Saturday, 21 January 2017

Violife Original Vegan Cheese & Tesco Free From Dough Mix! #Veganuary

violife original vegan cheese

Today's review is a slight switch-up from the usual snacks - I'm reviewing cheese...vegan cheese to be precise! Yes, in honor of my vegan friends and #veganuary I thought I would see what a gluten free pizza tastes like with this Violife Original on it. This isn't any regular vegan cheese with soya added, it's made with a mixture of coconut oil and starch, making it suitable for legume allergy sufferers too. I found this in the chilled Free From section of Tesco costing £2.30 or so for a 200g block.

violife original cheese

I also purchased some Tesco Free From Gluten & Dairy Dough Mix, to make my own vegan and gluten free pizza.

tesco free from dough mix

I tried some of the cheese by itself before melting it. It tastes okay; it's similar to the rubbery Dairylea style cheese slices used in burgers or sandwiches.

violife original vegan cheese

I hoped it would be much improved when melted on a pizza...I added tomato puree, as well as herbs and sweetcorn. A simple, classic but tasty combination! It turned out quite well...

vegan gluten free pizza

The cheese tastes a lot better melted, it's slightly gooey with a mild cheesy flavour. I'm not sure where the flavour comes from, but the cheese does contain added vegan flavourings so it must be those. It made for a satisfying, cheese-free alternative that was very filling, and approved of by my vegan friends too!

vegan gluten free pizza

Overall, it's a win for both Violife Vegan Cheese and Tesco's Free From Dough Mix. The Dough Mix costs a mere £1.30 which is great value, and is even stocked in some Tesco Express stores. This is definitely one I'll be using regularly from now on! And if you're vegan or dairy free but haven't tried Violife yet, give it a go; it might just surprise you. I've heard from others that it's the best vegan cheese available in the UK...

Violife Cheese: 8 out of 10.
Tesco Free From Dough Mix: 8.5 out of 10. 

Violife Original ingredients: Water, coconut oil, modified starch, sea salt, vegan flavours, citric acid, sorbic acid, b-carotene.
Nutrition Information (per 100g): 285 Calories, 23g Fat, 20g Carbohydrates, 0g Sugar, 0g Protein.


Tesco Free From Dough Mix ingredients: Potato starch, rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, yeast, stabiliser, rice bran, ascorbic acid, salt.
Nutrition Information (per 100g made as instructed): 326 Calories, 7.9g Fat, 58.9g Carbohydrates, 2.4g Sugars, 4.1g Protein.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

M&S Liquorice & Blackcurrant Dark Chocolate

marks and spencer liquorice and blackcurrant dark chocolate

I'm always game to try an unusual chocolate flavour, so when this Dark chocolate with liquorice and blackcurrant appeared in Marks and Spencer's newly revamped range recently, straight into my basket it went!

The bar contains 52% cocoa solids, is fairtrade, and dairy and gluten free although not suitable for those with dairy or nut allergies due to manufacturing methods. It costs £2 for a 100g bar and is described as "Dark chocolate with liquorice and blackcurrant flavour".

marks and spencer liquorice and blackcurrant dark chocolate

I do like the blocks on M&S bars, they always look so clean and sleek with the M&S logo printed on.

marks and spencer liquorice and blackcurrant dark chocolate

I popped a piece in my mouth not knowing what to expect. Firstly I noticed the chocolate; it's sweet and quite smooth for a darker chocolate, and you could easily mistake it for milk chocolate. The flavour from the crunchy blackcurrant pieces is subtle but very nice, and really enhances the chocolate. The liquorice creeps in behind it, at first I couldn't even taste it but it's definitely there in the background. It's probably good that it's not too overpowering as I imagine many might find it too harsh if it were stronger.

Overall, this is a very tasty bar indeed, and one I would buy again when looking for a darker chocolate with a different flavour. This as well as the M&S Dark Chocolate Clementine bar are ones I would highly recommend! (do stay tuned for a review of that one...)

8 out of 10.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Magnum Double Raspberry Ice Creams

magnum double raspberry

It wouldn't be January without several new ice creams to tempt us away from our New Year diet resolutions, now would it? Yes, not content with a new range of Magnum Ice Cream Tubs (the white chocolate one is particularly amazing!), they've also brought out a new Magnum Double Coconut and Double Raspberry. The Double Coconut was a bit of a letdown for me, so how does the Raspberry aka "Lampone" or "Frambuesa" compare?

magnum double raspberry

Described as "Raspberry ice cream with a chocolate flavour coating, raspberry sauce and milk chocolate", these are currently £3 at Tesco, and are suitable for vegetarians as well as gluten free.

magnum double raspberry

Well, these surprised me as I found them a lot nicer than the Double Coconut variety! Biting into one, the raspberry sauce oozes out immediately, giving way to the pink raspberry ice cream below...

magnum double raspberry

The combination of flavours is spot on; the raspberry ice cream is subtle and tangy, with the sauce enhancing it and adding some gooey sweetness too. I found these very moreish, maybe it was the tartness of the raspberry balanced with the chocolate, I'm not sure, but the contrast works perfectly. In comparison, I found the chocolate sauce in the Double Coconut variety rather boring.

magnum double raspberry

Overall, this is one tasty Magnum and I'd happily buy these again. I do hope we see yet more varieties in the future...maybe something tropical?!

Nutrition (per ice cream): 238 Calories, 14g Fat, 26g Carbohydrates, 20g Sugars, 2.1g Protein. Gluten Free. Vegetarian.

Ingredients: Reconstituted skimmed milk, sugar, raspberry puree, glucose fructose syrup, coconut oil, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, glucose syrup, butter oil, fat reduced cocoa powder, skimmed milk powder, raspberry juice concentrate, modified starch, emulsifiers, whey solids, stabilisers, flavourings.

8.5 out of 10.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Magnum Double Coconut Ice Creams

magnum double coconut

Following on from the new Magnum Ice Cream Tubs, today's review is one that had me very excited indeed when I saw it. I found this Double Coconut or "Cocco" variety in my local Tesco a mere hour after hearing about it online; fate was calling to me, I MUST have it! Into my basket it went without even a glance at the price, along with the new Raspberry variety too.

Priced at £3 a box (working out at £1 per ice cream!) these are gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and described as "Coconut ice cream with a chocolate flavour coating, chocolate sauce and milk chocolate". Having fond memories of the Walls Carte D'or Coconut Ice Cream of years past, I was hoping for a similar luxurious, tropical taste experience with these.

magnum double coconut

The bars looked pretty snazzy with their "Dare to go double" wrappers I have to say...

magnum double coconut

Unwrapping one I bit in; the chocolate shell is very thick and the chocolate sauce oozes out straight away. It's gooey and sweet, yielding to the coconut ice cream below. Now to be honest the ice cream was okay, but it was far from the rich, tropical coconutty experience I was hoping for. The ingredients list 2% coconut paste, so at least it has "real" coconut in, but I'm thinking maybe they just need to throw in some flakes of coconut or something to give it that extra bit of oomph. 

magnum double coconut

Overall, these aren't bad ice creams and no doubt coconut fans will love them, but I do think they could be better. Luckily, there's also a new Double Raspberry variety which I enjoyed a lot more - stay tuned for a review of those!

Nutrition (per ice cream): 239 Calories, 15g Fat, 23g Carbohydrates, 22g Sugars, 2.8g Protein.

Ingredients: Reconstituted skimmed milk, sugar, coconut oil, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, glucose fructose syrup, fat reduced cocoa powder, whole milk powder, coconut paste (2%), butter oil, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, whey solids, stabilisers, emulsifiers, modified starch, flavourings. 

7 out of 10.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Magnum Almond Tub Ice Cream

magnum almond tub ice cream

As well as the new White Chocolate Magnum Tub Ice Cream I reviewed the other day, Unilever have brought out a Classic Milk Chocolate variety, and this - Almond Milk Chocolate, all of which are available from Iceland for £3.89 a tub.

magnum almond tub ice cream

This is suitable for vegetarians and is described as "Vanilla ice cream, almond pieces and milk chocolate shards in a cracking milk chocolate shell". There's a thick layer of milk chocolate above the ice cream, containing bits of almond embedded within.

magnum almond tub ice cream

Luckily it was the perfect temperature to crack open with a spoon, which I didn't hesitate in doing!

magnum almond tub ice cream

The chocolate has a very full on rich, creamy flavour, with the savoury nuttiness of the almond mixing well with it. It compliments the vanilla ice cream nicely, and there's also extra shards of milk chocolate within the ice cream for extra enjoyment.

magnum almond tub ice cream

As nice as this variety is, it paled in comparison to the White Chocolate version in my opinion. The white chocolate one is much creamier and a lot more decadent, whereas this feels rich and nutty, but a little on the sickly side. Maybe I'd just eaten too much ice cream all at once?!

Overall, this is a nice variety in the Magnum Tub Ice Cream range, but I do wish I'd got the Classic Milk Chocolate instead. I think they should do a caramel version...now that would be amazing!

Nutrition (per 100ml): 234 Calories, 14g Fat, 22g Carbohydrates, 20g Sugars, 3.3g Protein.

8 out of 10.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Magnum Tub White Chocolate Ice Cream

magnum tub white chocolate

Today's review is for something new and very exciting indeed; not content with regular Magnums Unilever have now launched the classic ice cream sticks into tubs...complete with shards of cracking chocolate! There's three varieties; Classic Milk Chocolate, Almond and White Chocolate.

magnum tub white chocolate

I'm starting off with the white chocolate variety, which is available in Iceland and described as "Vanilla ice cream and white chocolate shards in a cracking white chocolate shell". It's suitable for vegetarians and has an indentation on the side of the tub stating "press to crack". Apparently this breaks the shell coating the inner tub, so you can enjoy the shards of white chocolate that crack off.

magnum tub white chocolate

As well as that there's a thick disc of white chocolate on top of the ice cream. It didn't take me long to smash into it with a spoon, and luckily it was just the right temperature for cracking...no waiting necessary!

magnum tub white chocolate

It tasted incredible, perhaps even nicer than an actual Magnum. The ice cream is creamy and luxurious, and the vanilla really shines through in the taste. The white chocolate is just as sweet and creamy and is perhaps the best quality white chocolate I've ever tried in ice cream form. The two combine together to make one hell of an indulgent experience. The extra shards of white chocolate throughout the tub add further texture and creaminess, this tub is literally just an explosion of sweet and creamy!

magnum tub white chocolate

The tubs are a bit pricey (£3.89 at Iceland) but boy are they worth it. They certainly hold their own against the likes of Ben and Jerry's and Haagen Dazs and more than justify the price. I would definitely recommend these, if you love both ice cream and white chocolate grab yourself a tub pronto!

Ingredients: Reconstituted skimmed milk, sugar, cream, cocoa butter, glucose-fructose syrup, whole milk powder, skimmed milk powder or concentrate, butter oil, skimmed milk powder, glucose syrup, emulsifiers, stabilisers, vanilla bean pieces, flavourings, colour. 

Nutrition Information (per 100ml): 218 Calories, 13g Fat, 23g Carbohydrates, 21g Sugars, 2.5g Protein.

9 out of 10.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Nescafe Cafe Menu Toffee Nut Latte

nescafe toffee nut latte

There's been a few new coffee varieties from Nescafe recently, from the limited edition Coconut Latte brought out last year to the latest, perhaps more sensible flavour, Toffee Nut Latte. Toffee Nut is a staple flavour of coffee shops so it makes sense Nescafe would do a version too. But is it any good though?

nescafe toffee nut latte

It's labeled as a Special Edition, so presumably won't be around forever. There's 8 sachets per box and they're suitable for vegetarians.

nescafe toffee nut latte

I made it as directed, producing a very frothy drink. It tasted pretty good; a nice mild coffee kick with plenty of creamy sweet froth. At first I couldn't detect the nut, but eventually there it was - a slight hazelnut flavour with a hint of toffee. It wasn't too bad although was a little on the artificial side, which I guess is no surprise. I later made another cup but this time doubled up on sachets, which produced a far nicer drink...who cares about the extra calories?!

Overall, this isn't a bad Special Edition flavour from Nescafe, it's probably not something I would buy regularly but I wouldn't turn one down if offered it. Now I'm curious what the coconut variety tastes like...I've heard bad things about it!

Nutrition Information (per 100ml): 32 Calories, 0.7g Fat, 5.7g Carbohydrates, 4.4g Sugars.

8 out of 10.