Saturday, 20 December 2014

After Eight Finest Mint Selection Box Review

Whilst in Home Bargains the other day I saw they had these After Eight selections for only £1, so naturally I couldn't resist giving them a try - they usually cost £3 so this was a real bargain indeed!

I first tried these chocolates in the mid 90's when Nestlé brought them out one Christmas, for them to never be seen again. I don't know why they discontinued them, but they must be popular once again as they've been resurrected once more!

The selection contains individually wrapped mint creams in milk, dark and white chocolate. They're leaf-shaped rather than the traditional squares of After Eights. There weren't that many in the box so I don't think the RRP of £3 is really justified. £1 seemed a fair price.

There's not a lot to say about them really...they all taste very sweet and pleasant, with the traditional After Eight flavour. The white ones were the sweetest, with a milkier mint flavour, the milk choc ones a little less, and of course the dark ones were more richer. None of them were as good as the traditional square After Eights as there's a greater ratio of fondant to chocolate, making them much sweeter.

Overall, these are pleasant chocolates, but certainly not as good as regular After Eights. If you see them for a pound I would recommend giving them a try, but otherwise far better to stick to the regular version!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Price: £1 at Home Bargains.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk. May contain nuts, egg, soya.
Nutrition (per 2 mints): 65 Calories, 3g Fat, 8.6g Carbs, 8.2g Sugar.
Recommend?: Only if you see them for £1, otherwise stick with regular After Eight.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Star Wars Roll'Ems: Solid Milk Chocolate Balls

Whilst in Asda recently I noticed these Star Wars themed chocolates in the kids sweet section. I bought them out of pure curiosity, but assumed they wouldn't taste very good. Luckily I was proven wrong and they actually tasted ok!

They're basic spheres of milk chocolate with a shellac glaze to make them shiny. The chocolate tastes pretty decent, with a nice milky flavour and melt, although it's certainly nothing spectacular. I'm not sure how they relate to Star Wars...maybe they're meant to be mini Death Stars?

Overall, for 50p these are an ok snack for kids and I'm sure they'll be very popular when the new Star Wars film is released. I bet they'll be popular with collectors too. As for the name "Roll'Ems", this is apparently because you can "shake, rattle and roll 'em" due to the shape. A bit of a tenuous link but there you go!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Price: 50p at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya. May contain traces of nuts and seeds.
Recommend?: Only for collectors.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Collective Dairy Xmas Pud Yoghurt (Limited Edition) Review

I bought this "xmas pud" yoghurt from The Collective Dairy when I saw it reduced at the Co-Op recently - for 69p I couldn't say no (it usually costs over £2!). It's a mixture of live gourmet yoghurt with xmas pudding flavour "mincemeat" sauce.

The yoghurt tasted very creamy and indulgent, with a nice tang. The mincemeat sauce is very plentiful and dispersed throughout the yoghurt, which means you get a generous amount depending on where in the tub you're eating. It tastes very spicy with plenty of citrus peel and raisins, and reminded me of the filling in mince pies rather than xmas pud. This isn't a bad thing as it works well with the creamy yoghurt.

Overall, this is a very tasty seasonal yoghurt...and it's a healthier way to get your xmas pud & mince pie fix over the festive season!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: I paid 69p but I've seen them for as much as £2.40 in some shops.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains dairy. Gluten free.
Recommend?: If you like mince pies & xmas pud, yes!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Moser Roth Plum & Cinnamon Chocolate (Limited Edition) Review

There hasn't been many exciting seasonal chocolates this year, hence I haven't had many to review. However when I learnt of the new seasonal Limited Editions available at Aldi recently I just had to try them! There's this Plum & Cinnamon flavour, plus Apple Strudel and Pear varieties.

The Plum & Cinnamon variety is described as "Five individually wrapped bars of milk chocolate with a lightly whipped mousse filling, with a plum and cinnamon flavoured topping". It's a similar concept to the Panna Cotta Moser Roth bars I've reviewed previously, with a gooey plum layer above the smooth cream.

The chocolate tasted very nice, if a little bit sweet. Initially I got hints of summer fruits, but as I let the chocolate melt on my tongue, subtle hints of cinnamon started to emerge. If I were doing a blind taste test I would never guess this was plum flavour; it just tastes generically fruity, but it works well with the cinnamon and milk cream and makes for a pleasant chocolate bar.

Overall, this is a tasty chocolate bar but doesn't quite hit the spot as a "Christmas" flavour. I'm hoping the apple strudel variety will taste a bit more Christmassy!

RATING: 7 out of 10. 

Price: £1.79 at Aldi.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya, may contain nuts.
Nutrition (per small bar): 193 Calories, 11g Fat, 21g Carbs, 17g Sugar.
Recommend?: Yes, if you like cinnamon flavoured chocolates.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Milka & Daim Ice Cream Review

Whilst in a local discount frozen food store recently I spotted some tubs of Milka ice cream. I've already tried the UK Daim Ice Cream but wondered if this version with Milka might be different. It certainly looked it; it contains a marbled effect with chocolate ice cream with Daim pieces and vanilla ice cream with Daim pieces.

The texture of the ice cream was rather light and moussey, as oppposed to the more dense ice creams from the likes of Haggen Dazs or Ben and Jerry's. It reminded me of Carte D'or.

It tasted very nice...and surprisingly, I found the vanilla portion to be the nicest part. The creaminess complimented the crunchy Daim pieces perfectly, whereas they got a bit lost in the chocolatey flavour of the chocolate portion.

Overall, this was a very tasty ice cream and one that's very easy to eat thanks to the soft texture. I actually preferred it over the UK's Daim Ice Cream. This one appears to be made in Germany and imported so isn't widely available unfortunately, but if you happen to spot them in your local Heron/Farm Foods/Jack Fultons they're definitely worth as try!

RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

Price: £1.25 a tub.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Marks and Spencer Dulce De Leche Chocolate Review

When all the new Xmas goodies came out in Marks and Spencer this was the one that intrigued me most. I thought it was some kind of "blonde chocolate" in a similar vein to Valhrona Dulcey, and going by the description on the pack this is a fair assumption: "dulce de leche caramel flavour white and milk chocolate, for the perfect caramel taste experience".

Unfortunately it's not quite the same thing at all, and I was left feeling a bit short-changed!

Opening the wrapper revealed a beige-coloured square block with different sized segments. This is a nice idea as it gives you lots of different sized pieces to choose from.

Unfortunately the taste wasn't upto much. It's basically a sweet, milky white chocolate with a slight hint of caramel. Nothing strong or anything that stands out. The dried milk flavour was the most dominant aspect of the bar and I couldn't taste much else. I was left feeling unsatisfied, a little ill from the large quantity of sugar and annoyed at paying 4 quid for what amounts to basic white chocolate with a slight caramel flavour.

I hate to be such a scrooge, and certainly wouldn't complain for the sake of it...but this is simply a disappointing bar of chocolate - don't be fooled into thinking it's anything special! Overall I would avoid this, although if you're curious I'm sure they'll be slashed in price after Christmas...

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Price: £4.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya.
Recommend?: No, although if you're curious look out for the inevitable price reductions after Christmas!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Sainsbury's Chocolate Treats Review

Whilst in Sainsbury's recently I noticed they had their own chocolate selection to rival Cadbury Roses and Quality Street. This is a bold move, since they're in the same price range; in fact, they actually cost £1 more. So naturally I expected them to taste just as good or even better in quality... which shouldn't have been too difficult, since both Roses and Quality Street are not good quality any more!

Unfortunately they turned out to be very poor. The plain box design set the tone, and the wrappers were all shiny and gauche - the sort of thing you would serve up at a cheap Christmas party. I knew these were going to be disappointing as soon as I set eyes on them!

Below are my thoughts on each flavour...

Honeycomb Truffle:

A bland, overly sweet truffle with poor quality chocolate. Not much else to say about it really!

Strawberry Creme:

This chocolate was okay and gave a very sweet, artificial strawberry hit. It has a thin layer of strawberry "jam" in the centre which makes it a little different from your average strawberry creme.

Dairy Toffee:

A very hard toffee, the kind that almost breaks your teeth. It tasted bland and overly sweet with hardly any buttery flavour.

Orange Creme:

Not as nice as the ones in Quality Street, but pleasant enough. Like the Strawberry Creme this contains a thin layer of "jam" in the centre.

Double Chocolate Eclair:

This is similar to a Cadbury Eclair but much inferior. The caramel tasted sweet and bland whilst the chocolate offered no flavour at all.

Popping Candy Truffle:

This truffle was sweet and crunchy, but I couldn't detect any popping candy - there was no crackling in my mouth at all. Maybe it had already "popped" during storage!

Vanilla Fudge:

A sweet and tasteless fudge. It had a nice soft texture, but little in the way of flavour.

Hazelnut in Caramel:

This one was okay as it had a slight buttery flavour, but I couldn't really taste the hazelnut. The purple ones in Roses & Quality Street are much better!

Chocolate Fudge Brownie:

This had no brownie pieces in and was more of a basic chocolate truffle. It tasted okay though, and had a decent chocolatey flavour.

I have to say this is a very disappointing chocolate assortment. The price point is the same as Roses and Quality Street yet the quality is much inferior - I would've expected better from Sainsbury's! If they'd knocked a pound off the price I could understand the point of them, but they cost more than a box of Roses or Quality Street do in most supermarkets (£2). Overall, these are really not worth buying.

RATING: 5 out of 10.

Price: £3 for a carton, £5 for a large tub.
Vegetarian?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk & soya.
Nutrition (2 sweets): 110 Calories, 4.6g Fat, 12.8g Sugars.
Recommend?: Not at all. Stick with Roses & Quality Street, or better yet don't waste money on such substandard chocolates!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Cadbury Winter Wonderland Minis: Xmas Tree Shaped Ice Creams! (Limited Edition)

tree shaped mini vanilla white and milk chocolate ice creams

Hey everyone...I'm back! I've had an extended blogging break recently due to life getting in the way, but hopefully, I'll be bringing a few Kev-style stocking fillers for you all in the run-up to Christmas! :)

When I saw these Christmas Tree shaped ice creams in a local Tesco Express recently, naturally I just had to pick them up. I first reviewed the Winter Wonderland Dairy Milk bar last year and loved the idea of it...and now it seems Cadbury have seen fit to extend it into ice cream format.

tree shaped mini vanilla milk and white chocolate ice creams

How does it compare to the bar? Well, its not quite as great to be honest...

tree shaped mini milk and white chocolate ice creams

It's a nice idea poorly executed. Christmas-tree-shaped ice creams sounds great, fun, cute and novel, but unfortunately Cadbury must have used duff moulds - either that or they were trying to cut corners and used Poundland moulds - they look, quite frankly, pathetic! Not like something you would expect from a household name like Cadbury (or should that be Mondelez!) There's nothing wrong with Poundland - don't get me wrong - I shop there myself for cheap goods like any other cash-strapped Brit...but you expect better from a multinational heavyweight like Cadbury/Kraft, right?

tree shaped mini milk and white chocolate ice cream sticks

Well these ice creams are pretty average. They have a vague Christmas tree shape and come in both milk and white chocolate. The milk chocolate ones are pleasant - very sweet and milky with a decent vanilla ice cream centre - although I'm not sure it's Dairy Milk chocolate as the wrapper doesn't explicitly say so. If so this is a bit misleading considering "Winter Wonderland" is supposed to be a Dairy Milk thing! The white choc ones are even sweeter - too sweet in fact. Mixed with the vanilla ice cream they amalgamate into a sweet, vanilla flavoured mass, which is pleasant but a bit much.

It's just as well they're minis because they're a little too sweet and without any real quality elements. They're nice enough, and a cute idea, but the shape lets them down. They could've been onto something really cool if they had got the basic design right...

Use better Christmas Tree moulds next time, Cadbury! The ice creams don't have to have the same quality as a Magnum because quite frankly not many do, but at least get the basic shape right! Overall, a cute idea but cheaply executed.

Price: Around £2.49 a pack at Tesco Express.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, soya. May contain nuts.
Recommend?: They're a nice novelty but unfortunately I can't recommend them. There's much better Christmas-themed ice creams out there such as this Wall's Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich.

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Ultimate English All Butter Fudge & Honeycomb Nuggets Review

A big thankyou to Ultimate English who sent me some products from their lovely toffees and fudges range to review recently! Ultimate English are a company based in Harrogate, Yorkshire producing hand-made fudge and toffee in the traditional English way. They describe their fudge as "The grandest butter fudge in the world", which is quite the claim...luckily I can say they may just live up to it!

Below are my thoughts on their Fudge and Honeycomb Nuggets...

Simply Marvellous All Butter Fudge:

This fudge was simply divine! The texture was firm and crumbly, and although I generally prefer softer fudges like Thorntons, this was pretty amazing. It tasted extremely buttery, with a moreish golden syrup and brown sugar flavour. It melted in mouth and tasted was mega sweet of course, but so nice I accidentally ate too much at once!

Overall, seriously amazing fudge - some of the best I've tasted. I've seen this on sale in B&M bargains recently so if you happen to spot some, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Ultimate English Astoundingly Brilliant Honeycomb Nuggets:

Apart from Cadbury's Crunchie I've never really had many Honeycomb chocolates - it's just not one of those things I've ever really thought to buy, since there's so many other chocolates around. So I was glad to have a change with this bag of  "Astoundingly brilliant honeycomb nuggets". Like the fudge, it's described as "The grandest honeycomb in the world"...again, a tall order! The blurb on the pack reads "An often overlooked sweet indulgence, our heavenly honeycomb is whisked for extra crunchy lightness, then broken by hand and coated in luxurious Belgian chocolate. A deliciously decadent delight to brighten up any day!

The honeycomb nuggets were very chunky, in fact I could only manage to eat half a piece at once since it was so thick! This is great though because it makes it very substantial and satisfying. Taste-wise the honeycomb had a lovely crunch with a delicious buttery golden syrup flavour, whilst the chocolate provided a nice creaminess and tasted good quality. It was quite simply, delicious.

Overall, I I think Ultimate English may just live up to their claims of making the grandest fudge/honeycomb/etc in the world. It's really is delicious; full of buttery, golden, sweet flavours, very luxurious and actually better than Thorntons quality-wise. Give them a try if you spot them!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10. 

Where to buy?: Available in B&M stores.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Gluten-free. Contains Dairy.
Recommend?: If you love fudge/toffee/honeycomb then yes!

*Products sent for an honest review.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Kitkat Toffee Treat Review

a toffee flavour kitkat with dark and white chocolate

A new Kitkat flavour is always a "big thing" in my opinion, considering it's the biggest selling chocolate bar in the world. Nestlé UK have been quite busy with the Kitkat brand recently, launching a new Kitkat Chunky Double Caramel, and also this new toffee variety in the multi-pack range found in the biscuit aisle.

At first I thought this would simply consist of toffee flavoured wafer, but turns out it actually has a toffee flavoured coating! It's kind of similar to the Kitkat Caramac they did years ago, but this one has two layers: one of toffee flavoured white & dark chocolate, and a base layer of milk chocolate.

Opening the wrapper, the bars had a very strong toffee aroma...I could tell this was going to be sweet!

Unlike the 4-finger and Chunky Kitkats, this 2-bar version has retained the much-loved foil wrapper, and I have to applaud Nestlé for this as it looks quite grand with the light glistening off it!

Peeling the foil off revealed a two-tone bar, with a beige coloured upper layer and milk chocolate layer underneath. It brought back memories of the much-missed Kitkat Caramac...

Taste-wise it was of course very sweet, with a strong toffee flavour, but luckily the milk chocolate layer toned the sweetness down a little making it more bearable. It was a nice snack dunked in a cup of coffee, but you wouldn't want more than one of these at once, so it's just as well it's in a two-finger format. This is definitely one for the sweet-toothed!

Overall, it's nice to see something a bit different from Nestlé and even if they haven't seen sense and brought back the mighty Kitkat Caramac... this will do for now! ;)

RATING: 7.5 out of 10. 

Price: £1.59 for an 8-pack at Tesco.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, gluten, dairy, soya. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per bar): 108 Calories, 5.3g Fat, 13.4g Carbs, 10.8g Sugar.
Recommend?: Only if you have a sweet tooth!
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Bounty Dark Noir 75% Cocoa Review

It's not often we get a new Bounty variety in the fact, outside of import stores I've never seen anything different from the Milk and Dark chocolate versions. So when I spotted this "Noir" with 75% cocoa solids recently I just had to pick one up! They were on offer of 3 for a pound, which is a great bargain, although they were a little past the best before!

The only other Bounty variety I can remember ever trying was a Mango flavour, way back in around 2004. Sadly it was an import and only available in discount stores. Some countries also get a Cherry that's one I'd like to see in the UK!

This one appears to be made in France and imported by Mars Canada, then shipped over to the UK...confusing!

Opening the wrapper the first thing I noticed was that the chocolate looked a lot darker than the "Dark" Bounty we get in the UK. 

The extra percentage of cocoa was very noticeable in the was richer and far more satisfying than the UK's Dark Bounty. It gives an extra flavoursome hit the original lacks and contrasts well with the sweet coconut filling, preventing the whole thing from becoming too sickly. I really enjoyed it!

Overall, this is a very tasty Bounty bar and much nicer than the UK's Dark variety. If you happen to spot one anywhere definitely pick one up! It might not live up to the standards of most "fine" dark chocolates but it's pretty good for a mass market 75%!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: 30p/3 for £1.
Recommend?: Yes - if you're lucky enough to find one! (check independent discount stores and market stalls).
Allergens: Contains soy, milk & sulphites.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Magnum Caramel Chocolates (Not Ice Cream!) Review

agnum caramel chocolates

Last year, Magnum UK brought out a new countline chocolate...or rather, three mini chocolates in a countline wrapper. I was skeptical whether they would stick around to be honest, but it seems they must have been popular as they've now added a caramel variety to the range.

Like the original variety this contains "a vanilla flavoured white chocolate truffle filling", and is complimented with a layer of firm caramel running above it. They're like mini versions of caramel magnums! 

As with the original variety the chocolate is rich and good quality, a step above most average chocolate bars. The filling was smooth with a lovely vanilla hinted flavour, and tasted very reminiscent of Magnum ice cream. Which is nice...but a little odd in a chocolate bar. The caramel had a nice buttery flavour and complimented the truffle very well. 

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Magnum countline range, although I think they could do something a little more exciting...caramel seems like such a "safe" flavour to me. That said, if they'd have made it salted caramel it might just have won me over! 

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Price: 65p at Morrisons. 
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes. 
Allergy Information: Contains milk, soya. May contain nuts & egg. 
Nutrition (per piece): 67 Calories.
Cocoa solids: 38% minimum.
Recommend?: Yes - better quality than an average chocolate bar at this price.