Saturday, 30 November 2013

Reece's Peanut butter cups minis and miniatures.

               Is big really better? Surely quantity is preferable to size too? Okay before you readers get the wrong impression I should perhaps explain. After all you might get the wrong end of the stick.
           
I am of course talking about sweets as usual, what else could I possibly be talking about? Honestly get your minds out the gutter people. No, I'm talking about two miniature versions of full size favorites of mine. These items are mini Reece’s pieces cups in both milk and white chocolate varieties.
          
  I can't tell you how excited I was when I found these, other than saying I may have let out a little squeal. However it was a very manly man squeal I can assure you. This was immediately followed by me practically throwing them in the basket and skipping to the checkout. See how manly that is. Before we look at the source of most of my excitement (the white chocolate cups) I will first look at the milk chocolate. I'm attempting some kind of buildup.
            
Sometimes, for some reason when companies change the size of their products they somehow change the taste. Usually it has detrimental effect. Perhaps the use of usually is a bit of a spoiler about my feelings towards these products. Indeed these are great, perhaps better than the usual Reece’s peanut cups.
           
Maybe because it’s more compact thus making the flavor seems more intense. For they are. When I popped one into my mouth I find these to be much stronger in flavour. It still maintains the usual sweet milky and fudge-like chocolate that tastes amazing especially when combined with the peanut paste. They definitely taste better to me than the usual cups; clearly a difference in displacement makes a real difference. Perhaps because you’re taking in the full experience at once that makes it better.
           
Now on to the White chocolate caps, these have two added bonuses before we even get to the taste test. (Not that there is any competition here, they are after all brothers... or sisters, siblings basically) The first benefit is that they are slightly bigger than the others, yes I'm a hypocrite and secondly they come in friggin foil and paper cups!
            
Right at this point I'm going to draw your attention to my post where I talk about expectations. That’s what I thought when I took my first bite into these babies. It has the same almost sickly sweet white chocolate as usual cups and the regular bitty peanut paste. Yet somehow it didn't taste as good as my favorite big cup variety. Then I took a bigger bite, and boy was I wrong. The shift in size has allowed for a slightly larger block of nutty goodness and creates a more intense flavor hit.

          
  Overall bigger is definitely not better as both of these products show. So yeah, don't judge on size people. 

Score
Milk cup - 7 out of 11
white cup - 9 out of 11

Found
Milk cup found in Tesco and White cups found in ASDA.

Final Thoughts
I think I've been rather contradictory in today's post sorry, blame excitement.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dairy Milk Nutty Caramel and Golden Biscuit Crunch

So, most of us have seen the madcap creations that Cadburys have been coming out with recently. Let’s face it I’m fully expecting a chocolate Frankenstein monster to emerge from the factory gates soon. Arms outstretched searching for his bride. Who will probably be made of white chocolate, opposites attract and all.

Yet it is just the creations range that they are trying out some cool combinations. Under their Dairy Milk bar range we have seen new flavours such as Oreo and more recently Daim. Another was the Toffee Popcorn bar I tried in this review HERE. And today I bring you two more newbies to the Dairy Milk range that passed me by for quite some time.
 
Sometimes Photographing chocolate sends me nuts!
The first is a bar of nutty crunch, which seems to be roasted hazelnuts with caramel sauce and wrapped in Dairy milk. Which sounds amazing, and like the toffee popcorn bar is a bit bigger than your standard Cadbury confectionary. I don’t know if these three belong to the same range but all have a beastlier size than your average bar. Not that I’m complaining after all more chocolate and filling right. Though you do pay more for this, these tend to retail for £1 more than the Daim and Oreo bars.

The second bar is another inspired choice on the face of it. A layer of biscuit topped in cream mousse like filling before being smothered in chocolaty goodness. I couldn’t wait to try either of these bars and rather impulsively bought both together. The lady at the till gave me a look of disgust at my gluttony before begrudgingly handing me my receipt. I don’t care who judges me, not when I have chocolate to console me.
 
It wasn't quite golden more like beige
I’ll start with the nutty caramel, sounds the nicest and I needed cheering up. I got the instant taste of the usual smooth and sweet milky chocolate. The as I delved deeper I hit the vein of caramel and the Hazelnut paste. The caramel added a nice sugary hit much like the caramel bars you get, nicely gooey and not too sickly sweet. Unfortunately the nuts were in detectable in taste. Although they do add texture to the bar that could have just been a sticky chewy mess. I think really the hazelnuts should have been flavoured with salt or something in addition to just being roasted.

Unfortunately it was the same story when it came to the biscuit bar too. The milk chocolate overpowered all the other flavours on offer. I did try the cream mousse layer on its own but could still not really detect any discernible flavour. It just tastes sickly sweet and a bit cheap, some kind of vanilla filling may have worked better. The biscuit too had no flavour and was again about adding texture. This bar kind of reminds me of a S’More a bit but not quite as nice.
I kind of mauled this for photography reasons obviously

Overall both were rather disappointing, let down by the sweetness of the chocolate. Whilst not a bad thing considering the inflated price I had hoped for a nicer product. 

Score
Nutty Caramel - 4 out of 11
Golden Biscuit Crunch - 3 out of 11

Found
Sainsbury's

Final Thoughts
I still have hope for their creations brand, I want more madness Cadbury.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Frijj 'Supreme Banoffee Pie' Milkshake

I’ll admit it outright, here and now. I am an impulse buyer! Regular readers of this blog are probably rolling their eyes at that statement and thinking ‘we know Roy, it’s pretty obvious. Plus you’ve admitted this to us before, remember?’  They will also no doubt judge me and my inability to learn from past mistakes. Well sorry folks, today’s review will prove the fact that I never learn.
 
Ooooooo Shiny Supreme Edition!
As an impulse buyer there are two words that have a massive effect on me, despite deep down knowing their true meaning. These words are ‘limited edition’. Slap that on your product and I’ll purchase it before I realise it is the same as its boring neighbouring alternative. Yet that phrase sets a frenzy inside me that leads me straight to the tills, out the door and tasting in one fell swoop. Today’s item is different, however. Truly this time, I promise for it is a bottle of ‘Frijj Supreme Banoffee Edition’ milkshake.

I don’t really know what makes a ‘supreme edition’ better than a limited one but it has the same effect on me. I was hoping its supremacy, perhaps, meant it could transform into some currency I could use to pay for it. Alas there was little chance of that happening, so when I got home I sought clarification from the packaging. This investigation uncovered something that sent a chill down my spine. Apparently what makes this product different is that it’s ‘supremely thick’ and made supreme with ‘fresh milk’. No Frijj, that doesn’t make your product supreme. It makes it a milkshake!
 
They did try realllllly hard to justify the Supreme
I begin to realise that in all honesty this is probably just a sweetened version of their current toxic (to me at least) banana flavour. Before I can get too downhearted I pop the cap off, which doesn’t help matters. I immediately detect a sickly-sweet banana aroma. I take a sip and I have to admit I was surprised. It was initially rather sugary with a subtle taste of vanilla and weirdly not much banana. This faded into a hint of toffee which blended well and did bring back memories of banoffee pies past. However, it doesn’t really taste substantially different enough to warrant its supreme title.
 
If looks could clog your arteries
It is definitely thick and creamy, which is actually something of a double edged sword. It’s too thick to refresh me in any real way and definitely wouldn’t be reached for on a hot summer’s day. Then again, it’s also not thick or textually stimulating enough to warrant being a dessert or breakfast-type treat. It’s stuck in a pointless limbo of no purpose. That was until inspiration struck and I poured it over some meringue and fruit to create an awesome dessert… at like, two in the morning.

Overall, if I am honest there isn’t anything ‘supreme’ about this and I’ve effectively been duped again. The only real change comes from the elaborately designed packaging which did its job and pulled me in. Were I  sophisticated, I could go on to philosophy and how everything is the same under its wrapper. But I’m not, for now at least.

Score
4 out of 11

Found
Sainsbury's

Final Thoughts

 It would seem that fool me several hundreds of times still causes shame on me :(

Monday, 25 November 2013

Foxes Cherry Cheesecake and Honeycomb-crunch Fingers




Guess what guys! Today's review is back to biscuits, okay wait before you flip your table in uproar at least hear me out. I do have a reason for going back on my statements from yesterdays review. Basically these two items are either on sale right now or limited edition. (coincidental tumbleweed of uncaring happens)

Fine! I know it is a feeble excuse for going back on my word, but you know what? I don't care, I love biscuits. Hell, I bet you love biscuits and anyway they aren't ginger biscuits again so at least there is some variety here.
 
Vinnie looks mighty proud of his "bisquits" (Advert reference)
The two items in question are completely different in their use too. One is aimed at snacking, pretty much to be shared in a group type function like an ambassador ball (or more likely film night). The other is more along the line of my usual biscuit binge, as an accompaniment to my caffeinated beverage at lunch.

I'll start with he biscuit that was on offer, mainly because it's not new just on offer so I get a sweet treat at a discount price. Win, win in my eyes. These are a sharing bag of Cadbury's mini fingers and not just any mini fingers but HONEYCOMB CRUNCH fingers. I know your excited now right. So without further ado or cup in hand I chomp down on these bizarre biscuit. They are definitely crunchy too, a great taste too when bitten into. The milk chocolate is sweet but not too sweet that the subtle honey flavour underneath can't get through. It has a nice toffee taste to it and is similar to the chocolate coated cinder toffee I tried before.

If left to melt you can fully enjoy the great Cabury's milk chocolate but with an added biscuit tinge. It's not quite as sweet as usual but this is as I've said good as it allows the honeycomb to step in. The biscuit beneath doesn't really do much on the tongue and isn't absorbent in any useful way for it to be dunked. Still a really nice biscuit great for sharing, especially with the re-seal able bag aspect. Although I doubt you will need it!

Next up with have one of Foxes new American orientated biscuits. Four limited edition flavours that Vinnie the Panda (Don't ask) hopes will invoke a taste of the Atlantic in our mouths. This is the flavour that most appealed to me and is Cherry cheesecake Jammy Dodgers. Which is odd as Jammy Dodgers are one of my least favorite biscuit around. Too much biscuit not enough filling. However, the idea of cherry cheesecake definitely appeals to me.
 
Amazingly exercised cross section display here... perfect separation
Am I glad it did catch my eye? You be I am! These taste great and I hope that they keep the range gong for a while or even add to them. The cream filling doesn't really taste cheesy, more like a vanilla butter-cream flavour. A bit too sweet on it's own. The jam has a very powerful and nicely tart cherry taste that compliments the creams sweetness. The digestive biscuit doesn't really have flavour of it's own but that's not a bad thing considering the mix already on offer.

Overall both of these biscuits are great. I would definitely recommend the American range whilst it is available. As for the fingers if you have a party coming up then these are bound to be favorites and enough to go around too.



Score 
Finger's 5 out of 11
Cherry Pie 8 out of 11

Found
Sainsbury's

Final Thoughts
Why does a Panda have an American gangster character type? Also why is a Panda the mascot for Foxe's bisquits?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Yo! Sushi coated Edame beans

Okay so I admit yesterdays review may have been a bit lazy. For starters I didn't pay for it, then factor in the fact that it concerned yet another ginger biscuit. If I'm not careful you guys and girls might stop reading. Hell if I keep boring myself I might stop writing. What a travesty for the world that would be right?

Anyway I thought I'd push the boat out a bit and get out there. The boat n question landed somewhere on the oriental shoreline it would seem judging by today's products. Added to this and to really spice things up one of today's items is a savoury snacking item. Wasabi peas to be precise (now go back re-read the spice it up comment and chuckle at my genius.) The other item is a bag of coated Edema beans another snacking bag but these are chocolate and yogurt coated and provide the usual sweetness to my post.

They don't look like much but really pack a punch!
So lets start with the savoury and talk about your P's and Q's. For those out of the know wasabi is a Japanese mustard like sauce, very hot and very spicy. Peas are small round vegetation that some people say is better for you than sugar! I love hot products so was rather excited hen I saw these for sale in my local cafe. Opening the bag I was struck by a very pungent mustard aroma, a sure fire sign for a heatwave ahead.

I popped one on my tongue and allowed the dusting to do its work. Wow are these spicy! With a definite taste of English mustard not too much to be overpowering and cause the familiar problem of mustard blowout leading to pain in the nasal cavities. The pea underneath is nicely roasted its got a great crunch to it and enough flavour on its own to curb boredom. I risked eating three at once and immediately regretted it. Too hot even for me and the result was a rather painful sneezing fit.

To recover and recuperate we shall move on to the sweet. These are roasted Edama beans coated in yogurt, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. This on the base of it seems like a very odd concept. Whenever I've seen Edama beans before they are at most in a salad coated in a soy sauce. They are very nice but not really for the realms of dessertery.
All bases covered here
First up the yoghurt coating, I let it melt on my tongue as per usual. It tastes subtly sweet with a nice plain milky flavour. Not to bad, may have worked better had it been coated in white chocolate. The bean underneath does add to the combination well, it's surprising how nice the combination is. There is a nice crunch and roasted flavour to these very similar to the peas.

Next I try the milk chocolate coated beans, I think these are going to be my favourite of the three. Allowing it to melt I get a pleasant sweet milk chocolate taste that is cheap but quite nice regardless. Not quite advent calender chocolate so no sickly sweetener aftertaste. The bean underneath again gives a nice savoury kick to the occasion that blends well. Lastly the dark chocolate, perhaps we should have the "dark" in quotes as it tastes more sweet than bitter. Clearly not a high cocoa content dark chocolate, rather just a slightly bitter plain chocolate.



Overall these are all nice in their own rights. Definitely the change from biscuits that I was aiming for too.   

Score
Wasabi Peas - 8 out of 11
Edama Beans - 7 out of 11

Found
The Wasabi peas in my local cafe and chocolate Edame from Yo! Sushi

Final Thought
Today has been very different, two whole types of vegetation in one review!


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Ringtons Gingersnaps


It's one of those reviews again, by that I mean a biscuit review. Don't be put off by that line' 
after rereading that I've realized it sounds a bit negative. I more meant that I do quite lot of these 
reviews. Mainly because biscuit are a big part of my day (wow I have an exciting life) and if I'm 
honest something I look forward to in my day.

Free Teas always tantalizing
Each day just as I'm flagging that cup of coffee and sweet treat give me the boost I need to 
carry me through. Today the choice is even better as the biscuit I have, here to try was a FREE 
SAMPLE!!! Picture the scene, I'm fighting my way through the hordes of Christmas shoppers. 
Feeling scared, claustrophobic and generally in need of some personal space. Then as I walk past 
someone I had just perceived to be 'some guy' I found a bag thrust toward me.

Funny how sometimes you don't realize something magical has happened until your too far to 
give proper thanks. For it turns out that 'some guy' was actually my savour and the bag contained 
the magical happening. Two free samples, a heavenly combination of a new tea brand and a 
gingersnap biscuit. Did he know when he handed me this bag how appropriate it was? Two of my 
favourite essentials (for they are indeed) in one coveniant carrier. So when today as I dropped my 
pick me up was completely Gratis!


They have the look of the biscuits you get in hotel rooms... good ones
These both come from a company called Ringtons, after a quick check of their website I can 
assume that these guys kind of know teatime. This gives me reassurance in the likely outcome of 
these products. After all if they choose to specialise in my favourite time of the day I need to know 
that experience falls to experts. Not only that but the biscuits in question are Gingersnaps, lets 
face it this blog has a bit of a record with gingery goodness. These are mainly due to my exacting 
standards but hey it's a personal issue to work through.

The tea itself is Assam and smells amazingly potent which is a great sign of a strong brew. In my 
opinion for my enjoyment the tea mus have strength. It needs to knock some sense into me, and 
believe me that takes some power. Unfortunately I can't review these today because of lacking in 
the kettle department. But I can still try the biscuit with a compulsory cup of Starbucks.
As I open the pack I'm immediately hit by a powerful ginger aroma one that sends me chills of 
anticipation at the prospect of finally having a taste fiery enough for me. I bite down and so seems 
does it. This thing is certainly solid, great crunch and an intensely ginger taste that improves if left 
on the tongue.

Certainly looks as solid as it feels!
I try dunking it in my coffee and try the biscuit as nature intended. Warm, softened and infused 
with bitter back coffee. The result creates a great combination where the sweetness of my treat 
blends with the bitterness of the coffee. Ringtons have this combination nailed. The sting in this 
tail is this, however, it would seem for more supplies I'm going to need to order directly from 
them. Something I don't like doing, complications right?

Score
9 out of 11

Found
In an awesome most importantly free sample bag

Final Thoughts
I may have to go shopping more often!



Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nero & Bianco - Dark Chocolate

There has been a lot of recent research that’s finding chocolate is actually more beneficial than previously thought. Helping beat cravings during diets, lowering BMIs of teenagers and strengthening your teeth more than fluoride! Before, however, you go out and consume the nearest candy you can catch there are some provisions. The benefits are truly only prevalent when you delve into the Darker chocolates.

Like a fancy looking Zebra!
Reading these recent development stories made me realise something, I haven’t yet tried any Dark chocolate for this blog! I know scandalous right? Upon this revelation I immediately reached for the conveniently placed Dark chocolate bar next to the cafes till. The rather luxuriously-looking examples usually get dreadfully overlooked by me in favour of the bright and cheery alternatives. I must add that the packs themselves are very proud of their Fairtrade and organic status. My impulsive purchase at least will not only make me feel better but the world too!

The product in question is from Nero & Bianco who apparently use only the ‘finest organic ingredients’. This bar is described further by them as being a ‘rich intense dark chocolate’ and containing 70% cocoa. Their range isn’t limited to this bar although all the others on offer are 35 grams. Not much chance of overdoing it here then. Being Dark Chocolate this bar also is slightly limited in calorie content too, at 217 calories for this whole bar. The saturated fat too is lower at 10.15grams. Overall, definitely better for you that a Rice Krispie Cookie Crunch bar.

Definitely not as healthy and about the complete antagonist in taste
It has a very designer feel about it, being black in style with a floral display. On the inside the bar is divided into a lot of very small blocks, clearly they know that little and often is the secret to happiness and health. It has a very subtle smell similar to burnt coffee beans. A temptingly warm, but bitter aroma. Taste wise I find it to be very disappointing. It has a waxy texture that refuses to melt on my tongue in any pleasing manner. It came across as very bland and a definitely bitter, this wouldn’t have been a bad thing had the sensation been a bit stronger. As it is the taste barely detectable and just a bit boring.  A lot of this could be down to my overly indulged taste buds after all I’m used to the sweeter things in life.

Score 
4 out of 11

Found
Local cafe

Final Thoughts
 Why does everything that's healthy have to be dull!




Sunday, 17 November 2013

Pringles - festive varieties!

Tastes  funny thing, apparently you can't account for it. That's what "they" say anyway, although, I'm not quite sure who "they" are. "They" do say a lot I must say and not all of it's so true or insightful. It seems on this occasion whats said is correct, especially in the case of today's review items. Thinking on it a bit more if we did all have the same taste, the world would be a dull place really.

Whats made me all philosophical and sage like? Well today's product, which seem to have a rather polarizing effect on people. Much like how Marmite often comes down to love it or hate it. These seem to be the same, if that is people make it past the first hurdle which is the concept of the items themselves. Those I offered them to often stared at me perplexed as though they needed a moment to figure out if what I was extending there way was real. They are believe me. These are the two limited edition flavoured Pringles available
this festive season. One is sweet cinnamon and the other is mint chocolate.
They look the same from the outside, it's only the dusting that's different!
Sounds weird doesn't it? Why should it though, think about it. The only reason people immediately disregard these as Yack, is because we are used to savory Pringles. That is how I viewed it and was much more open minded to the experience than most who I prof erred them to. I tried them both and didn't think too hard as I ate them, through this I hope you'll see me as unbiased in my reviews. Check me out being all professional right?

First we will tackle the one most people had trouble with, the mint chocolate. Now don't get me wrong the idea is odd even to me. However remember that the flavour of mint choc has been a firm favorite in many other forms for years. I must admit that I don't like the combination myself but I didn't let that stop me. It's the crisp format that is throwing people but hey I just think that gives them a nice crisp crunch! So without too much hesitation I tried one. It was odd at first, I noticed a weird powdery dusting that you don't usually get, perhaps more seasoning has to be added to achieve the taste. Which is rather minty, and quite chocolatey too. The taste lingers for a bit before being replaced by the Pringle/crispy aftertaste of potato product. It certainly is odd thought not unpleasant to me.
Seems this sight put people off even trying
The experience is a bit akin to having dessert quickly followed by savory. OK well not really but you get the idea. Both the initial minty chocolate and the potato taste are nice... just a bit odd when combined. I think a lot of people had trouble with this as out of about fifteen people brave enough to try these only me and one other liked them. Not good odds then. The second, sweet cinnamon, weirdly had more favourability. Not sure why people are more open about the flavour they just are.

I have to say of the two these are my favorite, the initial taste is much weaker but blends much better with the fried aftertaste. The combination here ends up tasting rather like a sugar and cinnamon doughnut. Really quite nice and much more moreish than the others. If anything more of the sweet cinnamon flavouring is needed as it's rather subtle and quickly replaced by the aftertaste.
This one appeared more pleasing
Overall the mint choc is ok but the sweet cinnamon shines brighter. I think the real story is that people need to be more open minded about new tastes... Or as mad as me!

Score
Mint Choc - 3 out of 11
Sweet Cinnamon - 6 out of 11

Found
Sainsbury's conveniently on offer when bought together!

Final Thoughts
Next up perhaps we will have bakewell tart! Bring it on!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Rice Krispies Squares - Cookie Crunch

I have a funny relationship with breakfast bars, come to think of it I have a funny relationship with everything. But, breakfast bars and me are curious occurences, mainly because I never actually have them for breakfast. I'm not sure whether this is the same for all of you, its' not like I've done extensive research.

Breakfast bars for me tend to be a bit of an impulse buy, usually at lunchtime when energy levels are flagging. they tempt me in with the promise of a possibly healthier alternative than the flapjack next door. However in truth I know that most bars are just as bad if not worse than the alternative. Take todays item a rice crispy square, on face or shelf value my thought process goes like this. Rice crispies are meant for breakfast, breakfast stuff is good for you. Then E=MC2 must mean that these are a healthy lunch option, after all I'm basically having more breakfast.

Not quite sure why I even think its good for me!
Except I'm not and it was all a ruse, as soon as I've bought, paid and eaten half I remember that Rice crispies are kids cereal and therefore have the nutritional values of  a lump of sugar... dipped in chocolate. Which is essentially the idea of all breakfast squares. Take sugar laden cereal replace healthy milk with sticky syrup or marshmallow. Top with chocolate and any additional thing knocking about the factory and then market it like it's golden. As their advertising campaign says "It's all lies... They arn't even square" bloody true they are rectangles!

However I am still a sucker for new and limited edition products, especially if they are cheap too. So when I saw this new range of Cookie Crumble Squires I thought I'd be "healthy" and try them. To be fair to them they don't state on the packaging that they are even attempting to be healthy it's just my mixed up mind that perceives them as such. Instead they identify themselves as Crispy grains of toasted rice with cocoa biscuits and a chocolate coating... Yeah no health benefits to be seen here then!
Ok so it definitely doesn't look healthy!
As ever the adventurer I unwrap and inspect regardless, immediately I'm met with my old friend dissapointment. This looks exactly the same as the normal variety of Rice Krispie "squares". The cookie crunch feature being very small balls of biscuit very sparsely distributed throughout. It's still got the syrupy and chewy texture that I dislike and makes me question why I even bother to give them another go.

I take a bite any way and actually it's not bad. I tactically took a bite that would give me a bit of biscuit and it actually does have a cookie taste to it. It is still rather sickly sweet and the usual flavour of these bars overpowers it to some extent (the mixed taste of sugar, condensed milk and overly sweet chocolate). However ther is an intial cookie type flavour present, it just doesn't make these any more appatising to me in general. They are still far too chewy and sticky for my liking and I regret buying the pack of four. If any one has any suggestions for uses of these things comment below. I'm thinking doorstops, or table legs.

Overal I don't know what I was expecting, these were hardly going to be different were they?

Score
3 out of 11

Found
Poundland

Final Thoughts
I hate being impulsive... sometimes.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

National Nut Day

Happy national nut day everyone! I bring you great and might I add nutty tidings for today. Hope your cashews remain crunchy and your hazelnuts hard. Whats that you have never heard of national nut day! Well actually neither have I, in fact I thought I had made it up as a exciting and engaging hook for todays post.

Howver as it turns out on the 22nd of October this very year (2013), the Uk celebrated not it's first but forth National Nut day. After a little research, (if I'm honest it was literally just reading the side bar on the official website.)  I found out that actually this is an American holiday brought over here recently to encourage healthy eating and environmental responsibility. Not sure how much of that actually applies to todays items, If I'm realistic the nuts here probably haven't even heard of sustainable!
Just how many m&m characters are there now?
Todays two nutty products are both m&m's and both clearly are on the nutty side of the fence. I have a bag of Almond m&m's which you don't find here in England. So when I saw a pack I knew immediately I wanted to compare them to the standard peanut m&m's. Surely I though they can't be that different to warrant two different sub products, please don't point out the fact that there are both a dark chocolate and milk chocolate m&m's. Nor the fact that there is actually a dark chocolate peanut m&m variant, can we just agree that perhaps that MARS are a bit m&m happy in their ideas department.
So bright and attractive and well nutty!
So let's look at these and make a decision, Do we need both? I'm going to throw a wild guess out there and say no. Lets not be too hasty ,however, after all perhaps they taste completely different (doubtful). Ok so firstly in mascot we have two guys here in the peanut corner we have classic Yellow guy (voiced by J.K Simmons, think we have a clear winner already!) and in the Almond alley Blue guy. Yellow wins he's one of the first thing that springs to mind when you think m&m, other than good old red. Next in size, which believe me matters people, well in candy at least it does. Yeah the Almond wins this round rather although remember no more chocolate is on offer it is just because almond is the bigger nut.

The important part now taste!the peanut has a great peanut taste that mixes with the chocolate in the best kind of way to give a nice sweet and nutty taste. Almost like nutella but much more subtly chocolatey, it's very nice and very more-ish. The shell adds slight sweetness and extra crunch. It's not quite as smooth as peanut butter but it's close and thats never a bad thing.
Remember folks size doesn't always matter!
Next the almond, as I've mentioned almonds are the bigger nut. Yet they don't usually have such a good and intense taste as peanuts do, after all who would buy almond butter over peanut butter (nutters thats who HAHAHA... sorry). I was right, barely any discernable nut taste but I was also wrong turns out there is more chocolate here. This just ends up tasting like a blander than average m&m with an odd texture inside. Not unpleasant but definately not enough of a nut hit for any fan.

Overall it's a clear winner in the Yellow corner, but than again what did I expect it's peanut after all!

Score
Peanut - 8 out of 11
Almond - 5 out of 11


Found
Peanut ones can be found pretty much anywhere, literally these are more availeable than the normal ones. The Almond ones I bought from an import store.


Final Thoughts
Hope non of you guys have a nut allergy and suffer as a result of my post

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Wonka Millionaire's Shortbread

Expectations are a funny thing aren’t they? Build them up and quite often they knock you down. Take today’s blog post for example if you go into reading this with the low expectations you’ve come to it with you may just enjoy it. Then again no matter how you approach my blog you’re going to love it, after all its awesomeness is a reflection of my own and I just can’t help that.

It’s a true point, however, that often when we build ideas up in our mind they can never truly live up to all the hype. It’s why I try to live as spontaneously as I can, if we don’t think too much not only will we be surprised more but you can never really be disappointed when something doesn’t live up to your standards. Take today’s item, a Nestle Millionaires Shortbread Wonka bar. When I heard that Nestle were re-launching the Wonka brand over here after a seven or so year hiatus I was excited like a small puppy. I remembered the amazing tasting bars that were released to coincide with the Tim Burton film and thought of the possibilities for crazy combinations.
 
Definitely an air of madness about it

Then they came out with the new flavours and immediately I was less jubilant, they weren’t the same and part of me knew that the flavours were variants of other Nestle products. This bar for instance is very similar in taste to a limited edition product that snuck out the back, as these jumped through the door. On the outside these do meet my hopes with the same crazy Wonka feeling design as the Nice Cream I tried Here. The colour and design are brilliantly chaotic that I’m sure Dahl would approve of. Once unwrapped, I found the shape to be rather a let-down. The last bar had a nice print of an ice cream sundae on it; this one is plain except for a monogram W in the corner.

Undeterred too much as usual by aesthetics alone I try a chunk, immediately I notice the chocolate yet again isn’t the usual quality Nestle taste. It’s clearly less cocoa more sweeteners, possibly with all the flavours being thrown around Nestle thought they be sneaky well I got you. It doesn't taste bad with a caramel paste inside with tiny chunks of crumbly biscuit for bite. I would have thought however if they were aiming to emulate millionaire’s shortbread that a solid layer of biscuit topped with caramel and then layered in chocolate would have been closer.
 
Just rather plain in comparison
Then it hit me what I was really eating and my hopes for the future of innovation fell ever more! This is essentially just a re-packaged Kit-Kat caramel, the limited edition bar that always seems to be around. Except unlike them the chocolate coating isn't as thick or even as nice. Whilst the Nice Cream was good and a great idea this one was disappointing. It just feels a bit cheap, the caramel paste itself shows this, and surely a nice coating of normal Mars like caramel would have felt less manufactured.


Overall I was disappointed by round two of the Wonka bar saga; I do blame my expectations in part. I’m looking forward to the final assault when I buy a bar of the Crème Brule although I will try to be neutral… TRY!

Score
4 out of 11

Found
Sainsburys

Final Thoughts
Todays review is rather serious clearly disappointment has aged me.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Cadbury's Dairy Milk and a Hershey's kiss: A rest is as good as a change.

I'm tired, So very tired. After yesterday's perilous adventure and travels into the crypts of Cadbury's I need a rest. Surely I deserve a moment just to experience a piece of confectionery just for the sake of it. Just to eat chocolate, I for one think I do.

To hell with it, of course I do. In fact, I challenge myself to revel in the mundane today. I'm going to grab a 'cup of Gypsy Lee'  and delight in something safe and comforting. I'm thinking something along the lines of a Milk chocolate bar, not even fruit and nut. No! this bar needs to be a plain milk chocolate example. Unfortunately with the nearest Tesco being an adventurous journey from my house, further still is Asda (there economy brand bars are still some of my favorite chocolate bars available see Here for details.). There is no telling what excitement could occur on any trip to them, for now I need to sit in my house and avoid danger.
The presentation is quite impressive!
The solution? A humble bar of Cadbury's dairy milk miniatures and a bag of Hershey's kisses I keep lying around for such an emergency of indecision. Both of these are the humble milk chocolate of choice in their home turf for many who are looking to merely just add some sweetness to their day. No frills, no innovation just simple sugary goodness. I recently bought both of these and the problem is unsurprisingly all the contents are the  same, which can get a bit dull. However they do indeed come in handy at times such as these when I crave basic comfort.
Less impressive but a bit more fun
First we have the Dairy Milk miniatures, these are ingeniously packaged I think. The outside is designed to look like one of the smaller blocks which are inside, giving it a Russian doll feel to it. The pieces are each individually wrapped in gold foil and then further in that classic purple paper jacket. They look very classical Cadbury's and invoke the feeling of ration era Britain. I pluck a piece and carefully unwrap the packaging. They smell subtly of Cadbury Milk chocolate and the wave of familiarity brings ease to my excitement weary mind. They kind of have the look of an accompaniment to a coffee an upper class Cafe would perch on your cups saucer. I take a bite and the usual taste meets my tongue. Sweet, creamy and definitely milky, with a smooth fudge like texture as it melts in the mouth. Nothing fancy just good chocolate.
Round one: appearance goes to Cadbury's
Next up is the Hershey's kiss. Call me biased but the appearance of these guys just aren't the same. The foil for instance doesn't even quite cover the entire piece. I do like the little stripe of paper used to unwrap them in one easy flick. In today's rush world it's comforting to know we can get chocolate in just one tug. I take a bite and find I great richer, much more subtly sweet tasting milk chocolate. Whilst the lack of sweetness is initially disappointing it does mean you avoid the cloying sensation you can get with Dairy Milk.

Overall both are great and much overlooked in a time of crazy candy combinations that seem to be booming at the moment.

Score
Cadbury's Dairy Milk - 7 out of 11
Hershey's Kiss - 6.5 out of 11

Found
Both have been residing in my cupboard, originally they came from the local co-op and American sweet shop respectively.

Final Thoughts
Tomorrow I fight a bear!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Cadbury's Portsmouth Outlet


I think I’ve found Shangri-La! Or you know El Dorado, something that people only dream of finding. The type of place a person wastes their lives searching for. Yet, I Roy Saxon have found it! In Portsmouth of all places! What is this mythical place, you ask? (You should be) It’s a Cadbury outlet store, yes a shop owned and run by Cadburys and indeed they sell chocolate. 
I feel like Indiana Jones or that guy who discovered that tomb. You know that one, right? I know this place will contain treasures beyond my wildest dreams, however, to get them there will be perilous traps. Traps that could easily take my life, or more likely my money. Without thinking of the risks too much I delve in for adventure.
Bask in the wondrous glory!
I was correct there is indeed chocolate to be had here, and at a discount price too. I enter and turn left (as statistically everyone does, apparently). A range of sealed bags bearing little description beyond misshapen bars are there before me. What a weird and wonderful idea I think. Perhaps all along those bars that are deemed unfit for sale do find a home beyond the rubbish heap I had expected. However it was a shame and on closer inspection these were in fact just jumbles of Cadbury Heroes and Roses. I was bitterly disappointed and sought comfort in the arms of some chocolate. The very chocolate I purchased and have brought to you today.


Before I made my actual purchase I had a further look round not wanting to miss a thing. I noticed how curiously it wasn’t just Cadbury products on sale here as I had expected.  It was their own products that were being sold at a reduced outlet price though and other names were their usual retail offering. The bar I picked of Toffee Popcorn Crunch can attest to this at a discounted price then I had been accustomed to seeing.

Looks sweet and innocent now, right?
So that’s today’s item. Which I soon unwrapped and consumed after escaping Cadbury’s candy cove. I was at once very surprised, well twice technically as I was taken aback two fold. Firstly just how thick this bar is, it is rather beastly, being almost twice as thick as a Dairy Milk bar. Obviously this is to allow it to contain whole pieces of popcorn which looks rather impressive. Secondly the worryingly sparse amount of chocolate, with just enough here to hold together said popcorn and a bit more for the top and sides.
I try a piece soon enough anyway. As always I try and let it melt for the first tasting. The chocolate is the usual beautifully sweet and creamy Dairy Milk but due to little coverage this fades quickly. The popcorn also melts nicely on the tongue but unlike the Dairy Milk the sensation isn’t as pleasant. Instead it just turns mushy and tastes a bit plain. The again popcorn isn’t really meant for melting in the mouth is it?

But look it's a friggin monster!
No, it’s meant for chomping down on in a noisy manner to annoy all other movie goers! So the next piece I chomp down on with glee. The experience is much better with a good bite and great texture its clearly not meant for a sucker like me. But it tastes great like this and the popcorn this time had a hint of toffee to it. This combined well with the chocolate and created a nice combination. The toffee was a bit fleeting, but there was obvious potential here.

Overall this bar is quite cool, but could be made better by having more of a toffee taste. The main thing is still my discovery of the Cadbury store, a modern day miracle!

Score
8 out of 11

Found
Cadbury's outlet store

Final Thoughts
I wonnder how many of these ancient chocolate worshipping sites exist?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Problems with Pumpkins

Hey folks well as promised I'm here today to review what I consider  traditional American Autmnsweets. By this I mean stuff I've found that has a vague connection to this time of year as far as I know from over this side of the pond. In reality you guys probably won't agree but when I think of Americans pre-hibernation I think pumpkin and Turkey. I'm a sweet blog (not to mention sweet in general *wink, wink*) so this means I've gathered some products with added pumpkin.

The image of what would happen if sweets incorporated turkey flavouring. I think we can all give thanks that the candy companies haven't quite got to that stage. Although by the standards of recent Wonka bars that could well be round the corner. Today I have an example of pumpkinny goodnes (and therefore one of my five a day) in the form of poptarts Pumpkin limited edition. I also have some pumpkin m&m's which I recently received through my mailbox.
Love how they try to convince them as a healthy, a whole 6 vitamins!
Lets start, however, with something all Americans apparently consuming by the boat load this time of year Candy Corn. It seems weird to me that these are so popular because half the time I hear people complaining how dull they are. I have some of the traditional corn today but there will soon be a Candy Corn post as I have got my mits on a few specimens. I have tried candy corn m&m's and have been looking forward to seeing how authentic they are. The answer... not very, whilst the m&m's were very sickly sweet (though not in a bad way) these have very little flavour to them. With a slightly waxy texture they arn't bad, just bland. I can see why people complain these things can be dull. After all I still have a whole bag to chomp through.

After two or three, or you know ten more of these I started to get a bit of a scratchy feeling in my throat and a sugary upset in my tummy. Clearly this bag will last a while and I too felt the burden you guys must get every year. I think I definately prefer the m&m version although clearly a pittyfull representation of the genuine article.This leads me nicely onto the pumpkin spice m&m's and a reoccuring problem; lack of flavour. (It's like I plan these posts!)
Ohhhh Autumnal? Not really
Pumpkin is a troublesome flavour in general, it has a rather lack of it on its own and the spices that we put with it tend to overpower it. On the other side is the fact that the flavour it has when its going solo is rather earthy and unpleasant. Case in point with these m&m's They are pretty much all spice (literally) and no pumpkin. They just taste of all spice and chocolate really which is still really nice just not pumpkin as described.

A trait unfortunately shared withe the pop tarts, although in this case there is a sugary sweet taste initially that fades into a bare hint of sweet pumpkin. They are nice just not flavourful. The frosting too only serves really to add a nice crunchy topping. When I tried the filling alone I did detect a sweet earthy tone but very vague. Interestingly when I froze one tart to try (for I have to try one cold: pastry too doughy, one heated: the main way and one frozen. To ensure they get the proper trial they deserve.) I found the pumpkin flavour to be more apparent.
Still rather proud of this
Overall these three were ok if a bit disappointing. I find it odd that we have become so attached to such a tricky flavoured vegetable. Then I remember how awesome they look!

Score
Candy Corn- 4 out of 11
Pumpkin Pop-Tarts- 5 out of 11
Pumpkin spice m&m's- 8 out of 11

Found
Various online places.

Final Thoughts
I think I've picked up on a serious topic of debate here, Pumpkins whats your views guys?

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Toffee Time Troubles

Remember, remember the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot. If your English this phrase will be a clear sign of something for you, that Autumn is well and truly upon us. You know as if the Christmas stock banaza that begins in June hasn't already given you clues.If your American I don't know what your reminder is perhaps giant inflatables floating past your window or every product incorporating pumpkin.
Apples wrapped in anything, another tradition
Well what ever your idea of what it means to be Autumnal, I have a couple of appropriate products today ready for review. Both of these products are traditional firework night treats here in Britain, toffee. To those who don't know fireworks night is when we celebrate a man who failed to kill our king and government, I don't know why everyone views us British as a cynical bunch. I understand how we choose to celebrate with fireworks, there is a clear link there to the attempt to blow up Parliament. Not quite sure why Toffees traditional candy for the day though, surely it should be popping candy.

Anyway so today's item is a British tradition and tomorrow I'l do some American traditions for Autumn, see I'm not biased. The toffee in question is rather special too and comes from my recent trip to Cumbria, where I found a shop called 'The Toffee Shop' in Penrith (know your product well I guess). According to the tourist information this was the place to go for toffee treats. Disappointingly the shop only does two types of toffee and three types of fudge. Although by the signs of the fudge samplers I had I was in for a treat.
It's all in the name
The first type is your typical treacle toffee, handmade on the premises they proudly proclaim. I'm not a big fan of treacle but when in Penrith do as the... Penrithians do? I found the chunks to be very sweet and very hard. Exactly what you want in toffee really, it had a great bite and it didn't take too long to soften enough to be chewed. The taste was very much treacle but it managed to be the right level of sweetness throughout and I saw why these guys were experts in their craft.

They don't really look appetizing, but they are!
The next piece was some of their butter toffee and this is when their love of toffee clearly lies. Again these chunks are pretty solid and my dentist was on hand ready to fix breakages. The taste was amazing at first I got a kick of sugar. This was soon complimented by a creamy, salty butter taste that created a sublime combination. Again it's no wonder these guys have a name for themselves, even if it is rather product restricting.

Overall these were nice, although the fudges they make were to me much nicer. I did buy rather a lot of fudge to keep me stocked if I'm honest. See you tomorrow for Pumpkins galore!
Score
Treacle Toffee- 6 out of 11
Butter Toffee- 9 out of 11

Found
The Toffee Shop, Penrith

Final Thoughts
Hope everyone's celebrations went off with a bang over the weekend!



Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Thanks Giving- Not the Holiday!

Today's the forth of November, well it was when I wrote this. Shock, horror my secret shame I wrote this a day early to be prepared! Anyway today's the 4th of November which means two things, well two birthdays. One my Granddad yes I have rung him like a good little Saxon, and two my friend Andrew. Who kindly provided me the opportunity to try one of his presents to review.
Ohhh pretty box time!
I usually feel guilty when I take candy from babies, so the fact that he's a year older makes me feel a bit better about taking his. Also helped is that this range is obviously meant for giving, with a colourful and attractive design that practically screams Thank You. Quite literally really considering this is a box of Cadbury 'thank yous', it's all in the name. These are quite cool although the fact that there is only hazelnut praline flavour on offer seemed a bit uninspiring. Again as these are meant for sharing I guess this way there's no fighting over the cremes.
They look quite cute and gifty.
Also it's not that much of a bad thing considering how nice these taste, maybe its because they were free to me or maybe because of my recent obsession with nuts (rephrase perhaps?). But these little flowery joys taste great! The thick outside shell of Cadbury Milk chocolate we all know and love is as good as ever. Then when this is mixed with the deliciously smooth and intensely nutty filling you get an amazing taste. Both melting wonderfully on the tongue.
I see what they did there, Oscar Wilde would be sooo proud!
Only lacking perhaps is the lack of texture beyond fudgy, no small pieces of nut on offer here. I have to point out that when buying my peanut butter I have to go for the crunchy variety over smooth, it just adds excitement in my life

Overall these are really nice and a great way to say thank you to someone. Or yourself if your pretentious, like moi.

Score
8 out of 11

Found
In my friend's box of chocs, he did offer them out though. No theft here!

Final Thoughts
I'm not sure why he got given a box of thank yous for his birthday. Thanks for surviving another year perhaps?

Monday, 4 November 2013

I let down my hair!!!

Guess where today's item comes from. Go on bet you can't think. Where's the last place you would expect to find me one of the most unsophisticated people around. Someone who shuns refinery in favour of the quick and the sweet.Times up!

Now you better sit down for this one, I was at the ballet! Or rather the ballet came to my town and I went along for a gander. Now normally I wouldn't be too fussed about dancing and a prancing but a few reasons struck a cord. Firstly my girlfriend (insert amazing here) wanted to go, secondly the show was a darkish telling of Rapunzel. But finally because a trip to any theater brings an interval and that means Ice-cream. All three of these meant I was looking forward to today and the possibilities ahead.
The hair aspect is an odd thing to focus on as it didn't feature much.
The show was really cool, believe me I only go to the theater for comedy shows usually and have never seen anything to do with dancing in my life. But the dark and haunting soundtrack, coupled with the earthy tones was amazing and the all important interval became less important and quick to come around. I can strongly recommend the Lorent Ballet's telling of the Rapunzel fairy tale tour dates can be found Here.

I don't quite know when toffees considered old... or English
Before the ensuing ques and hordes of show seekers descended upon the trays of ice cream I flew to be ahead of the curve. On offer before me wasn't just the trio of Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate I had expected. No also there was Mint Choc Chip (not a fan sorry), Honey and Ginger (tempting). But there literally the last pot was the one for me Minghella's Old English Toffee. I snatched this up without even thinking of where the spoon was or if it was included. To be honest in the state of excitement I was in I would have shoveled with my palms like a meercat.

I quickly popped the lid and found the spoon within. Now the problem occurred for my ice cream routine tells me to wait for the second half and for the ice cream to melt before digging in. This is very difficult as you can imagine. I stared longingly at a beautifully beige frozen dessert with rather large looking chunks of burnt toffee. The wait seemed unbearable. Then the curtains rose the lights went down and the ballet and binging begun.

They look and feel really fancy!

The ice cream was great a lovely sweet and almost salty tasting ice cream. Really good quality no wonder the outside packaging boasted of it's heritage. The little pieces of toffee worked great adding crunch and bursts of toffee that I love. The only drawback was that the second half was shorter than the first and was over in what felt like ten minutes.

Overall I had an amazing night, show was great and the ice cream wasn't bad either. Now you weren't expecting me to say that ever. were you?

Score
Ice-cream - 9 out of 11

Found
Local Theater in those cool ice-cream tray things the users have.

Final Thoughts
I feel so manly after this post, well kinda, well not at all actually. But I'm loving it!!!


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