15 April 2024

Cadbury Triple Decker Mint Edition (CandyMail) By @Cinabar

Cadbury Triple Decker Mint Edition

I think I have to start by saying, I bought green chocolate! Mint and chocolate are a fairly common combination (think Mint Twirl, After Eight, etc.), but actually making the chocolate a green colour is a braver choice. This Triple Decker Mint Edition bar is from Cadbury, but it is imported from Australia; perhaps they are braver with coloured chocolate there. 

Inside the pack is a large sharing bar, and the green shines through, but there are actually three layers: milk chocolate, green mint chocolate, and a topping of white chocolate. 

I gave the bar a try and really loved it. The texture is that of solid chocolate, but when I bit, it seemed to split into the three pieces a little bit. The mint is lovely and strong, and my senses were filled with sweet peppermint, followed by the creamy white chocolate that seemed to be dominant in the flavour. This gave the bar a nice, soothing, refreshing feel, and I had to remember that it was meant for sharing and not to accidentally eat the whole thing while watching Netflix. What a delight this Cadbury Triple Decker Mint Edition is! I wish they would bring it out in the UK, and I even forgive the green colour. 

Cadbury Triple Decker Mint Edition

14 April 2024

Rana Sicilian Style Caponata [@NLi10]

 It's Rana time! We are definitely part of the Rana family and love picking up the new versions as they come out.

This one is an odd one - aubergines, tomatoes, onions & capers. All quite strong flavours and ones that I like.

It says to add tomatoes too - but we didn't spot that and were just having them as a late snack.

Always cook for the indicated time so that it's neither runny or hard inside - like eggs I guess.

And here we see them, with a little balsamic thrown on top for added pizzaz.

The usual 'chopped not blended' Rana ingredients really benefit here - there is great textures and deep flavours here.  I do think that the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes would have been a bonus and it'd work better in a full meal but I'm sure we will keep buying this one as it's a nice side dish.

13 April 2024

Titanic Iceberg American Pale Ale (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Titanic Iceberg American Pale Ale

I'd say I was going with a theme tonight by having a salad with Iceberg Lettuce in it with my steak and chips, but it looks like I've got vegetables instead. This 4.1% in volume Iceberg American Pale Ale was first produced by Titanic Brewery in 1993. Heavy on the wheat, it was one of the first UK beers to use American hop varieties in its production.

The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic was a British ocean liner, owned by the White Star Line. It sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15th April 1912, after it hit an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, United States. It's one of the most famous ship accidents in history, with great loss of life, and many movies both good and bad.

Titanic Iceberg ale was produced with Maris Otter and also Pearl malted barley, as well as wheat, with Herkules and Cascade hops. There should be a citrus, zesty and floral aroma, with flavours of grapefruit and citrus bitterness from the hops. So on opening the bottle there certainly was a zesty citrus smell with a slightly floral aroma from this bright golden American Pale Ale.

Titanic's Iceberg ale started with a sharp bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit, as well as knife like citrus with underlying sweetness of malted barley trying to batter off oodles of wheatiness. This was a very refreshing Spring feeling pale ale, with lashings of citrus bitterness and sweetness of malts and wheat into the aftertaste. It was scrumptious washing down my steak and chips.

12 April 2024

Shloer Summer Punch Sparkling Fruit Drink (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Shloer Summer Punch Sparkling Fruit Drink

The weather might not quite be saying summer, but this new drink is the Shloer Summer Punch Sparkling Fruit Drink. I can’t resist a new flavour of Shloer; it is my favourite posh soft drink, and I do buy them quite often as an alternative.

This version simply declares itself to be a summer punch, which wasn’t nearly enough detail for me to understand the flavour. There is a bit more description on the back of the bottle that says it is a sparkling juice drink with strawberry, cucumber, and mint. It also suggests pouring the drink over fruit and ice, but I didn’t go that far, even though that would look super pretty if there were people coming around.

I did pour the drink straight into the glass; it has a light pink colour and a nice fizz. I gave it a try and was super impressed with the flavour. This drink is all about the strawberry, which we just don’t get enough of in soft drinks. The flavour then went onto a lovely blast of herb mint, and that worked so well with it; it was fresh and well balanced, and it did taste very grown-up. As I said, I drink Shloer regularly and always get the limited edition flavours, but this one would take some beating; they should make it all year round. This Shloer Summer Punch Sparkling Fruit Drink is very different, and the mint flavour and sweet strawberry were an absolute delight. 

11 April 2024

Muller SKYR - Raspberry & Hazelnut Granola [@NLi10]

 I wanted a quick post-supermarket snack and realised I’d not had a posh yogurt in ages. My god they’ve gone up in price!

I settled on a SKYR, as it was different enough to pique my curiosity and yet still basically a fruit corner.

It’s made of Quark! Well - isn’t everything? This just means the strange milk derivatives and not the sub-atomic particle, but I guess technically it’s both.

The lid sounds enough like a cat thing that both cats were summoned, they were both very briefly interested in the lid - but neither liked the taste so I was left to tip my granola into my quark.

It’s got a different texture to that which I expected, but it’s really nice. Not too sour, not too sharp. The granola was properly nutty and fruity in all the right ways.

I discovered on a future trip that if I’d bought a multipack these aren’t that expensive, but I think I’d rather just have them as a secret late night treat occasionally than have a stash ready.

Makes me wonder if they do vegan style ones made of coconut or similar because I’d be very interested in that.

10 April 2024

Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake (Ocado) @SpectreUK

Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake

I could definitely be accused of having a sweet-tooth. I have been known on many occasions to balance my calories, after eating all my fruit, carbs, protein and veg, more towards my evening pudding. This Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake sounds right up my street, unfortunately I have to share it, but sometimes that's the case.

New for Spring and Summer, Mr Kipling's Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake is pretty much a differently flavoured Battenberg cake. Whereas the Battenberg is a combination of sponge, apricot jam, and soft almond paste (Marzipan), this Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake is sponge, with strawberry jam, covered with a sweet strawberry icing.

Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake

There was an amazing aroma of strawberries on opening this Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake. The smell made me think of hot summer days watching tennis at Wimbledon on the box. The strawberry icing was super sweet, not sickly, but pretty much uber sweet. There was a great deal of fruity strawberry taste from the cake. The strawberry jam provided extra moisture, and the sponge was nice and soft.

Like a birthday cake, this Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake was super sweet and super indulgent. If you want a super sweet treat, maybe even for sharing, that reminds you of Spring and Summer, even if it is constantly raining outside, this is definitely your cake. Some of it was mine.

Information on the packet; Per 1/8th of a Cake (32g): 125kcal. Please see photograph for further information.

Mr Kipling Strawberries & Cream Chequered Cake

9 April 2024

Heinz Beanz Curry Edition (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Heinz Beanz Curry Edition

Recently, Heinz has treated us to a wonderful new product, the Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition. This wonderful can of beans had the grated cheese pre-mixed in for the ultimate lazy cheese and beans combination. I loved them; they are so quick to heat and add to a jacket potato, which makes a great meal. The cheese was plentiful and had such a nice taste. 

The next new variety to hit the shelves is this Heinz Beanz Curry edition. I bought a can and waited for my jacket potato to cook in the oven. The contents warmed quickly in a pan; they smelled nice, and I poured them over the potato. I love this kind of food. 

The beans are nice, but they didn’t wow me. The tomato-based sauce is there, and the beans have the usual nice texture. The curry element is mild and has a slightly sour, spicy taste. It reminded me of a curry dip flavour rather than a proper curry taste. I think I was expecting more of a softer, warming taste like a proper curry sauce, and although the taste was pleasant, I wouldn’t run out for another can. I may have also been spoiled by the Heinz Beanz Cheesy Cathedral City Edition, which was absolutely yummy, and these Heinz Beanz Curry Edition were just nice.

Heinz Beanz Curry Edition

8 April 2024

Caramelised Pineapple Drinking Chocolate (Hotel Chocolat @HotelChocolat ) By @Cinabar

Caramelised Pineapple Drinking Chocolate Hotel Chocolat

It has felt like a bit of a slow period in terms of new hot chocolate flavours over Christmas, but Hotel Chocolat has gone for a very interesting-sounding new drink: Caramelised Pineapple Drinking Chocolate. 

The word pineapple triggers two things: one, a thought of tropical tastes, and two, an argument about whether it belongs on a pizza. It does, by the way. My taste buds have yet to find a pizza I don’t like; from ham and pineapple to pepperoni or meat feat, they are all good. 

Back to the hot chocolate. As I’m clearly not in the camp that has any aversion to pineapple, even I have to admit it sounds like a curious combination with chocolate in a drink. Inside the box are sachets, which you can either use in a hot chocolate maker or by heating milk on the hob. As a hot chocolate addict, I have a machine, so I added milk and poured in the sachet. It smelled amazing and was very fruity in aroma, and I couldn’t wait for it to finish so I could give it a try.

The drink itself isn’t quite as sweet as I thought it would be from the aroma. This drink is chocolate first and has gorgeous tones of cocoa, and the pineapple is well balanced. It is very much present and tastes zingy, tangy, and sweet, but the balance is in favour of the cocoa, which gives it an unexpected soothing tone too. This Caramelised Pineapple Drinking Chocolatedrink is a delight. It is different, but it works. Even the people who are anti pineapple on pizza might find they like it! 

Caramelised Pineapple Drinking Chocolate Hotel Chocolat

7 April 2024

Bikaji Soya Sticks - Masala Munch {@NLi10]

 Crisps are great, 'Bombay' Mix is great - so why not just buy a whole bag of the one crispy bit from the mix that you fancy?  It is Ramadan after all.

This is Bikaji brand version- and Masala Munch sounds exactly like what I want.

Oil, tapioca starch & gram flour - and more importantly Ginger, Chili, Tumeric powder - instead of potatoes makes this a little different in texture to British crisps, and a welcome change.

You can still have them as a side with your sandwich too - and it adds a little spice to the proceedings.   Lovely and crunchy, and just spicy enough to get your attention but not so much that you need a drink alongside.  I do plan to eat lots of these with a beer (maybe during today's Wrestlemania) but they are more of a snack.

As I'd taken this to Nanna's I also got an ace slice of home made cake with Damson jam - but made by her gardener!  Puddings at lunch time is always a welcome luxury.

6 April 2024

Vocation Chocolate Caramel Cookie Stout ( @WeeBeerShop ) By @SpectreUK

Vocation Chocolate Caramel Cookie Stout

After a long week there isn't much better than a gooey chocolatey liquid pudding. This Chocolate Caramel Cookie Naughty & Nice Chocolate Stout was produced by Vocation Brewery. At 8% in volume, it should have a nice alcoholic kick with all the sweet caramel and cookie flavours, and smooth milk chocolate. Gosh, it's making my mouth water writing about it.

Malted barley, oats and lactose were added in the brewing sporting flavours of biscuit, chocolate, and even salted caramel. I can't help looking forward to drinking this Chocolate Caramel Cookie stout whilst it washes down my Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate Easter egg for pudding tonight. I'm slowly working my way through quite a stash of chocolate after Easter.

On opening the can there was a powerful sweet chocolate caramel aroma from the deep dark brown, almost black liquid inside. On taste there were bittersweet roasted milk chocolate flavours combined with an oaty biscuit taste, sweetened with gooey caramel, and more roasted chocolate malt into the aftertaste. Gosh, this Chocolate Caramel Cookie stout washed down my chocolate Easter Egg a treat.

5 April 2024

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis Exploding Candy (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis Exploding Candy

Popping candy has a Marmite-like property; some may hate it for its childish nature, and some absolutely love the popping tingle. Whenever I see popping candy, it takes me back to my childhood and those little sachets you used to get in newsagents full of the stuff with fruity flavours.

A few years back, Terry’s brought out a popping candy edition in full size orange, which I haven’t seen for some time. These seem to be the next step in the evolution, and here we have a sharing bag of Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis Exploding Candy. I can’t wait.

Firstly, the bag has one of those stickers for re-sealing, which I find useful and a reminder not to eat the entire bag in one session. Inside the pack are really cute mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments. They do look super sweet; each one has the logo on it. I gave one a try, and the chocolate was lovely, sweet, and smooth, and then there was a tingle and the exploding candy pops. It was a good, fun sensation, and it popped and crackled, and I really liked it. Terry’s chocolate is lovely and sweet, and the orange flavour is a good strength. The whole thing is a delight. I just have to remember that I don’t have to eat them all in one setting because the packet does re-seal! 

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis Exploding Candy

4 April 2024

Chicago Town Weekender Stuffed Crust - Salt & Pepper Chicken [@NLi10]

We happened to be in Asda so got to see a different range of pizza to normal - including some more interesting stuffed crust options. 

I love 'salt & pepper' chicken which seems to be the catch-all term for little bits of spicy chicken (even though the salt & pepper batter is really a very specific thing.

Just looks like normal chicken - and the brown blobs melt into the pizza as sauce

The meat seems decent - but the flavour here seems to be all around the outside.

The whole official picture does look quite lovely 

Mine less so - I had it too low in the oven so it burnt the base and that meant the whole 'raw dough' thing didnt' really work.  I know what the pizza itself is like so that parts fine - the new topping though was the interesting part.  It's very much like the Marks & Spencer Chinese Chicken - only with a chilli kick.  I'd have this again - but keep an eye on it in the oven!

Bonus: Cheese

We did have two pizza in the oven - higher up and therefore cooked better was the cheese option

I added herbs to this so it looked less boring.

Lots of colours in their cheese

Reality is a bit mono - but the cheese had started to brown in places.  The herbs really added to the smells here which was nice - but my partner said that it was a little too salty overall and many pints of water had to be consumed in the night!

A good set of options for pizza night  -but I think I still like the thinner bases.

3 April 2024

Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz

I always like the fact that Rowntrees Randoms and their other gummies are made with real fruit juice. Even though they are sweets, it still makes me feel like I'm leaning slightly towards my five a day. These new Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz are shaped like mini cacti. I don't know why, but they are kind of cute, and they remind me of the three cacti I own on the kitchen windowsill.

These Fizzy Cactuz gummies come in fruity flavours such as; raspberry, kiwi, passionfruit, and lime. The gummy sweets also keep with the Randoms theme, as they come in two different textures, with some cacti being regular fizzy gummies, and others with a bursting fruity filling when you bite in.

Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz

On opening these Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz certainly smelt fruity. The orange colour gummies with pink colour inside tasted of sour passion fruit, with a sweet liquid centre. The yellow pink gummies were much fizzier, lime flavour with a face twisting citrus zing. The green coloured pink centred gummies were lovely and fizzy, with a more subtle kiwi flavour, but were really nice though. The pink gummies were raspberry flavour and were very tasty, not as fizzy as the others, but fresh and fruity tasting.

All these Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz tasted very fruity and fizzy. I like the cacti shapes, as they were nice and original. I preferred these bursting with flavour in my mouth rather than the bugs. The bursting bugs gave me the creeps!

Information on the packet; The 130g bag contained 333 calories per 100g, with 0.1g of fat, 55.9g of sugar, and 0.32g of salt. Made with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, please see photograph for the ingredients.

Rowntrees Randoms Fizzy Cactuz

2 April 2024

Heinz The Godfather Pasta Sauce (Waitrose) By @Cinabar

Heinz The Godfather Pasta Sauce

When Heinz made this new product, I guess they were making an offering I couldn’t refuse. Sorry. Inspired by the legendary movie, we have a new sauce in town: Heinz The Godfather Pasta Sauce. I picked this up because of the novelty and the film reference. There is authenticity, though, and it is made as per Peter Clemenza’s instructions in the film. 

I made a mistake here; I thought this was a jar of pasta sauce, and as such, I also bought a packet of meatballs to have with it. It turns out it wasn’t a jar of pasta sauce in the sense that it was a sauce that needed meat; it was a complete package with mini meatballs already in it. So we ended up having a lot of meat in the ratio with this! The meatballs in the jar are small and not like the drawing of the front of the jar, or indeed, the ones I added. 

Anyway, I cooked some pasta (not spaghetti, oops), made the sauce with large meatballs, and served. The pasta had a lovely aroma, and I could pick up on the garlic, tomato, and really nice herbs. 

Taste-wise, it needed the proper meatballs; the ones included were small and not that flavorful. With the large meatballs, it worked well. The flavours were fresh and rich, and the contrast of meatballs and tomatoes was lovely. This sauce worked well. I’m not sure I’d buy this Heinz The Godfather Pasta Sauce again, though, just because of the mini meatballs inside the jar. They didn’t add value, and I’d rather add the meat element myself. 

Heinz The Godfather Pasta Sauce

1 April 2024

Extra Cream Bourbon Creams (M&S) By @Cinabar

Extra Cream Bourbon Creams (M&S)

There is only one thing that can improve a Bourbon biscuit, and that is more cream. Marks and Spencer’s are on to this and have created these new biscuits with added filling: Extra Cream Bourbon Creams. These sound perfect for my afternoon coffee, so I picked up a pack to try.

Now perhaps I’m greedy, or perhaps I’ve been influenced by programmes like Man v Food, but when I opened these, I was staring at them, trying to figure out where the extra cream was. They are bigger than a standard Bourbon, but not as much as I had hoped. I took a picture with a ruler, in case it was just me.

The flavour was good, and I admit that when I bit in, I could pick up on a little more filling. The flavour was nice and chocolatey, and the centre was creamy. There was good texture from the crunchy biscuits and the softer centre, and I think they worked well. I think if I had had one of these biscuits without knowing that there was supposed to be extra cream, I wouldn’t have noticed it at all. Having said that, these Extra Cream Bourbon Creams were still an absolutely lovely biscuit and very enjoyable with an afternoon coffee. 

Extra Cream Bourbon Creams (M&S)