Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Raw Chocolate Company Vanoffee Bar

Recently, I undertook the mammoth task of giving up sugar for a while. Being a longtime fan of new snacks and sweets this hasn't been an easy task...temptation lies on every corner! So do forgive me if there's been a lack of snacks posts recently! I'll still be posting reviews I've got in the archive but after that...who knows. I may start featuring only healthier snack products. Time will tell!

As part of my "healthier" snack sampling I tried this bar of "raw cacao confection vanoffee" from the raw chocolate co, which I found in a health food store for 99p. It's basically a raw chocolate bar made from cacao butter, Lucuma and coconut sugar. So not exactly sugar free, but coconut sugar is supposed to be healthier than refined sugar and is low glycemic, plus its paleo approved if you're on a paleo diet. This chocolate is also vegan, dairy free, contains no gluten or soya, and is of course raw. So it certainly ticks all health boxes!

What the heck is a "vanoffe confection" though? Well, it's basically a raw version of white chocolate. The Lucuma, which is a "subtropical fruit native to Chile, Ecuador & Peru", imparts a sweet, almost vanilla caramel flavour, which I presume is why they've called it vanoffee. The coconut sugar enhances the toffee like flavour even more. The high cacao butter content means the chocolate melts in the mouth beautifully, and overall it tastes like a more luxurious cross between white chocolate and Caramac. Make no mistake though, this is far better than any "real" white chocolate could hope to be!

Overall, I can only recommend The Raw Chocolate Company based on this bar. I haven't tried any of their other chocolates yet but they do some interesting stuff with different flavours such as goji berries, mint, orange etc. I've seen some of their bars in Boots, but I'm not sure if Holland & Barrett stock them yet. To find out more check their website here which includes information On where to buy (they currently have a sale on with up to 50% off!)

RATING: 8.5 out of 10. 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Haribo Tangfastics Frenzy Edition (New Flavours!) Review

Whilst in Sainsbury's I spotted these new limited edition, or rather "frenzy edition" Haribo Tangfastics. (Many thanks to Katherine from Grocery Gems for alerting me to these - check out her review of the Starmix variety here!). As much as I enjoy Starmix I love the sourness of Tangfastics more so I held out until I could find this version. The flavours are all tropical and completely different to regular Tangfastics, and include passion fruit, mango & pineapple, grapefruit, peach, pomegranate, mango, watermelon and passion fruit & peach. What's odd is that the cherries are now pomegranate flavoured...I've never had a pomegranate cherry before!

All these random flavours just add to the fun of course. The cola bottles now taste of watermelon, and along with the pomegranate cherries they seemed to make up most of the bag. They were very nice but I preferred the other flavours in the mix like mango, grapefruit and peach etc. This is definitely a very tasty mix of flavours, and dare I say may be even better than regular Tangfastics!

Overall, these are a a fun limited edition, if you're a fan of sour sweets keep your eyes peeled for them! I've only spotted them in Sainsbury's so far but apparently Primark also sell them near the tills.

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Hotel Chocolat Mango White Chocolates

I've already reviewed hotel chocolat's carrot cake and rhubarb and custard chocolates recently - both part of their new summer range - and the final review in the trio is these mango white chocolates. Now these aren't specifically British inspired like the aforementioned treats, but they're just as tasty and delicious...kind of like Solero ice cream in chocolate form!

They're described as "mango ganache sealed in a white chocolate shell, decorated with naturally coloured white chocolate". Mango concentrate makes up 8% of the ingredients, which is a lot of mango! Perhaps explaining this is the blurb on the pack: "our rabot estate is overflowing with mangoes - we mourn for the ones tragically squashed underfoot"!

Mango isn't a flavour I've often seen paired with chocolate, which is a tragic shame as it works so beautifully, especially with Hotel Chocolat's creamy white chocolate.

The mango ganache here is perfectly blended, it's sweet and fruity, combining with the white chocolate to create a soothing tropical flavour. If you've tried Solero ice creams that's what these will remind you of, but with the added deliciousness of white chocolate!

Overall, these are fantastic chocolates and Hotel Chocolat just keep excelling at creating innovative and tasty combinations. If you like fruity chocolates then seek these out!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Hotel Chocolat Rhubarb & Custard Chocolates

Following on from my review of the new hotel Chocolat carrot cake chocolates, part of their new summer range, today we have rhubarb and custard - another much-loved British treat. These chocolates are described as "rhubarb ganache layered with custard flavoured white chocolate, sealed in a milk and white chocolate vanilla seed shell decorated with naturally coloured white chocolate". According to the pack, "in the 1839 opium war, the Chinese tried to defeat the Brits by holding our rhubarb to ransom"...I never realised we loved our rhubarb so much!

Rhubarb has a tendency to be a bit  tart for some, no doubt why it works best when balanced with the creaminess of custard. These chocolates contain 3% rhubarb concentrate, which is enough to give a sharpness that blends nicely with the chocolate. It works beautifully! I couldn't stop scoffing these; the sharp rhubarb flavour combined with creamy white chocolate was extremely moreish. I'm not sure it tasted of custard exactly, but it had vanilla and cream flavours in spades.

Overall, these are fantastic chocolates and ones I would highly recommend. I'm probably biased as I love the tart flavour of rhubarb, but they were definitely my favourite of the new hotel chocolat summer selector range I've tried so far.

8.5 out of 10.

(Please stay tuned for a review of hotel chocolats mango white chocolates!)

Saturday, 30 May 2015

New Aero Mousse Chocolate Bar Review

Here we have the latest chocolate bar to shake up the confectionary world, the imaginitive new Aero Mousse! Please do forgive my sarcasm, it's just that this bar seems a bit plain and pointless to me, but nevertheless I still had to give it a try when I spotted it in Boots recently. According to the press release, it's being marketed at women, because of course no man would ever eat such a light chocolate bar. Only Yorkies for us please! 

Opening the wrapper and placing the bar next to it I was struck by how small it looked. I presumed this is because the mousse adds extra to the weight of the bar...but it only weighs 34g which doesn't seem a lot! I'm not sure how much a regular Aero weighs these days as I never buy them, but I'm pretty sure it's more than 34 grams. 

Anyway, the front of the pack gives the calories for half of the bar...because of course any self respecting woman would only eat a measly 17 grams!

Being the manly man that I am though, of course I scoffed the lot. And it tasted very pleasant indeed. It had that unmistakable Aero taste we all know - milky with a decent cocoa flavor, and very sweet of course. I couldn't really tell the mousse layer was tasted like a smooth chocolate paste, maybe slightly softer, but nothing that really stood out. Overall the bar was nice enough, definitely lighter than your average chocolate bar. But it didn't do much for me. 

I'm not sure I'd recommend this Aero to be honest, but I'm biased because I prefer higher quality chocolates nowadays. This is just too sweet for me, and I'd rather spend 69p on something else to be honest! I also can't help thinking it'd have been better with a hazelnut mousse filling instead of milk chocolate.

RATING: 7 out of 10

Price: 69p at Boots.
Suitable for vegetarians. Contains milk.

Have you tried this new Aero Mousse? If so what did you think? Let me know in the comments! 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Hotel Chocolat Carrot Cake Chocolates Review

Whilst in Hotel Chocolat recently I noticed they had several new products as part of their summer range. As always I wanted to try them all, but with the selector offer I limited myself to three (very difficult!) The most unique were these carrot cake chocolates, described as "carrot ganache layered with a walnut, hazelnut, cinnamon and nutmeg praline sealed in a milk and white chocolate vanilla seed shell, decorated with naturally coloured white chocolate". At this point everyone's probably thinking "carrot ganache?!"....surely vegetables and chocolate don't mix? Well, they actually do and very successfully!

According to the pack, Britain first embraced the carrot cake during wartime rationing, and it's now loved more than ever. I have to say I'm very partial to a good carrot's the one cake I'd break any diet for. Do these chocolates live up to the much-loved British treat? Well, yes and no. They're a different beast and lack the cream cheese icing that makes carrot cake so tasty, but they do have the lovely flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg carrot cake is so well known for. 

I couldn't really taste the carrot in these to be honest, which isn't bad as I don't think a strong carrot flavour would work with chocolate. The ganache just  tasted sweet (it contains 4% carrot concentrate) and blended well with the spiced praline, complimented beautifully with the vanilla chocolate. The flavours all combined to make a spicy, creamy chocolate that is very pleasing on the palate. I ate some of these in caffe Nero washed down with a chai latte, which was the perfect accompaniment.

Overall, these are very tasty and unique. I'd recommend everyone who likes spiced chocolates try them!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Now, as good as these were, there were other flavours in Hotel Chocolat's summer range I liked even more. Stay tuned for a review of the Rhubarb and Custard chocolates!...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Magnum Signature White Chocolate Review

Whilst perusing B&Ms range of imported snacks recently I spotted some new guys on the (chocolate) block (har har!). Magnum have now launched their signature chocolate in white, milk and dark varieties. By signature chocolate, they of course mean the chocolate used on their Magnum ice cream sticks.

Initially I couldn't decide which one to go for - I wanted to try all three but that'd be greedy! - so I went for the White since it's always been my favourite Magnum. Like the sticks, the chocolate contains Madagascan vanilla extract and vanilla bean pieces.

Opening the wrapper, I was surprised to find the chocolate split into two huge blocks. Which is probably just about block is the perfect size for a creamy sweet hit! Both had the signature "M" stamp printed on. 

The chocolate tasted delightful, it's that same creamy, vanilla flavoured chocolate you get on a white Magnum, but in a more intense and concentrated form. The vanilla makes it more moreish than it probably should be, but it's intensely sweet. The creaminess is very soothing, and after scoffing one large block I felt very satisfied, so much so that I saved the other one for later...something I rarely do!

Overall, this is great chocolate and tastes the same as that on a Magnum, so if you've always loved the chocolate on Magnums you may want to give this a try! That said, with it being nearly summer I think it'd be better to buy the real thing!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Price. 99p at B&M bargains (90g bar). Suitable for vegetarians.