Monday, 31 March 2014

Haribo Pandas Review

Today's review is just a quick one as I've had these Haribo Pandas in the snacks archive for quite a while now... but from what I can remember they were delicious! I first bought them from Asda last year.

They're basically cute panda-shaped gummy sweets that are vanilla and blueberry flavoured. This is quite the unique flavour combination and I wasn't all that sure it would work that well to be honest!

It certainly did work though; they were very tasty, and I became seriously hooked on them for a while when they were available. The blueberry and vanilla flavours go together perfectly and make them somehow even more moreish than regular gummy sweets. I had to be careful not to eat a whole bag in one go!

Unfortunately I haven't seen these in shops for a while now, I'm not sure if they've been discontinued from the UK market or if anywhere still sells them. If anyone's seen them please let me know in the comments!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Alibi Max (Lion Bar imitation) & Góralki Coconut Wafer

Once again thank you to Bring Back Banjo for sending me these chocolate bars as part of a snacks package recently! Most of them are wafer-based, but of course none hold a candle to the awesome Banjo Wafer Bar last seen in the 80's... so please do sign the Bring Back Banjo Petition as well as Like Bring Back Banjo on Facebook :)

The first bar we have is the Alibi Max which is basically a Lion Bar imitation. I've seen these in the Polish section of Tesco and I believe they come in different flavours. This one is the regular variety, and splitting it open revealed a familiar looking interior that looked very much like a Lion bar:

It tasted pretty good, with a decent thick milk chocolate coating, chewy caramel and crunchy wafer, but it wasn't quite as good as a real Lion bar. It was still pretty tasty though and as an imitation Lion it does what it's supposed to. These are also available in a coconut version, and according to Tesco Online they're on special offer at 3 for £1 at the moment! If anyone tries one please let me know in the comments!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Góralki Kokosowe (Coconut) Wafer:

Next we have this Polish Góralki coconut wafer, and being a fan of all things coconut I couldn't wait to get stuck in! Opening the wrapper revealed a thick square of wafer filled with coconut cream, thinly coated with milk chocolate on the sides. It had a very strong and delicious coconut aroma.

It tasted lovely - very light and crunchy, with a delightful creamy coconut flavour from the filling. I ate it with a cup of coffee which it went perfectly with. Overall what can I say... this is a lovely wafer bar!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Once again a big thank you to Bring Back Banjo for sending me a question to my readers: why are wafers so popular in Poland? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! :)

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hotel Chocolat Earl Grey & Lemon Bar Review

Today's review is for a product I've had in the snacks archive for quite a while was available last Summer as part of Hotel Chocolat's summer range, so I'm not sure if it's even around anymore. I couldn't resist giving it a try since I've always been a big fan of earl grey tea...and I thought it could taste potentially amazing paired with chocolate!

Although it wasn't amazing, it was still very, very nice indeed. The bar contains stripes of "mellow earl grey milk chocolate and creamy white lemon chocolate", and combined together they did provide a subtle earl grey flavour. The bar tasted very creamy thanks to the fantastically fresh lemon white chocolate, with the earl grey milk chocolate providing a subtle bergamot flavoured backdrop.

Overall, I thought this was a very tasty bar indeed and one I would thoroughly recommend if you like earl grey tea. I imagine it's not something the average Hotel Chocolat customer would want to try though...I guess I'm a bit weird with my flavour tastes!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Have you tried this bar? Would you want to? Let me know in the comments! :)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Cocoa Boutique Artisan Chocolate Tasting Club Review

A big thank you to Cocoa Boutique who recently sent me a box of chocolates from their Artisan Chocolate Tasting Club to review recently!

Ripping open the box I was met with this amazing sight:

Don't they just look gorgeous?! I couldn't wait to get stuck in, although the chocolates looked so nice I felt bad cutting into them! They smelled as delicious as they looked, too. Below are my thoughts on each chocolate:

Milking Maid Truffle:

This is a simple creamy milk truffle enrobed in chocolate and coated in chocolate shavings. I expected it to be rather boring but it was actually one of my favourite chocolates in the box. Just proves that sometimes simple is best! 9 out of 10.

Raspberry Champagne Bombe:

This chocolate contains a white chocolate shell studded with dried raspberry pieces, with a raspberry and champagne truffle filling. I loved how light and fresh it was, but as I'm not a fan of alcoholic flavoured chocolates it wasn't my favourite. It was still very nice though! 8 out of 10.

Gazillionaire's Shortbread:

Inspired by the classic millionaire's shortbread, this chocolates contains mini shortbread pieces with a traditional copper pot caramel in a milk chocolate shell. I loved this one - it combines all the best elements of caramel shortbread in one chocolate. The caramel was buttery and gooey and complimented perfectly with the crunchy, buttery shortbread. Divine! 9 out of 10.

Cafe Brew:

This truffle contains a delicious creamy coffee truffle filling, topped off with white chocolate and surrounded in a 30% milk chocolate shell. I loved the design on this one - the chocolates look like mini coffee cups! They tasted sublime - extremely creamy, and with a subtle but not over-powering coffee flavour. 9 out of 10.

Lemon Meringue Pie:

This is of course inspired by the classic dessert, with the extra sweetness of added white chocolate. This was by far one of my favourite chocolates in the box; they've recreated the taste of lemon meringue perfectly! The filling had a lovely fresh lemon flavour and the creamy white chocolate complimented it beautifully. 10 out of 10.

Passion Fruit Burst:

This award-winning chocolate contains a zingy passionfruit filling encased in a crisp dark chocolate shell. Be warned as it's intensely fruity! I really enjoyed this but wasn't quite expecting just how strong it would taste. If you love your fruity chocolates then this is definitely one for you! 8 out of 10.

Cocoa Dusted Salted Caramel:

Being a salted caramel convert I couldn't wait to try this one. It's apparently won a "Great Taste" award and contains salted copper pot caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder. As delicious as it was...I felt the caramel was a little too runny for my liking. I know salted caramel is usually very runny but personally I prefer it slightly chewy and sticky. Still, it's an excellent quality chocolate! 8 out of 10.

Praline Sliver:

Two layers of silky praline topped off with a fine layer of milk chocolate. I loved this one, it was so creamy and nutty and melt in the mouth! Think of the best parts of a Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Bueno (the creamy centres) and make them denser and richer...and that's what this tasted like! Amazing. 9 out of 10.

Encrusted Hazelnut Truffle:

This contains a creamy hazelnut truffle centre coated in a 34% cocoa shell, topped with hand-chopped hazelnuts. I enjoyed this one, although the hazelnuts weren't quite as fresh as I would have hoped. It's still far superior to a Ferrero Rocher though! 7 out of 10.

Nib-let Bar:

This is a simple milk chocolate bar with cocoa nibs and a dash of white chocolate swirl. Despite its simplicity, I loved it! The cocoa flavours really shone through and the bar tasted smooth and rich, with the cocoa nibs giving it a nice crunch. 9 out of 10.

Almond Cube:

This contains almond praline spiked with a hint of salt, enrobed in 40% Ghana milk chocolate and topped off with a whole almond. I loved this one, it had all the best elements of a chocolate - smooth nutty centre, crunchy nutty topping and rich milk chocolate. The lick of salt brought out the savoury moreishness even more. I could happily eat a box of these! 10 out of 10.

Other varieties in the box included: Honeycomb Bites, Smooth Caramel Buttons, Steeped Cherry Brandy and 72% Venezuelan chocolate drops. All were delicious and of excellent quality although the cherry brandy wasn't for me.

Well I have to say I am extremely impressed with this selection from Cocoa Boutique - initially I assumed they were just a Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club rip-off, but dare I say it I enjoyed them more than some chocolates I've tried from Hotel Chocolat! The variety is fantastic and there wasn't a bad chocolate in the whole box, not something you can often say about boxed chocolates. I would thoroughly recommend Cocoa Boutique if you're a fan of chocolate tasting boxes - they can rival Hotel Chocolat any day!

More info: 
Cocoa Boutique is a subscription-based Chocolate Tasting Club, the introductory box of 31 chocolates and 3 tasting trays costs £34.95, and further boxes cost £19.95. There is a full refund guarantee on the introductory box so you can get your money back if you don't like them.

*I received these chocolates for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Get Fruity Oat Bars - Strawberry, Mixed Berry & Apricot Review

Today's review is thanks to a new company called Get Fruity who are aiming to revolutionize the cereal bar market with their all-natural bars filled with fruit, wholegrain oats and coconut oil. I was thrilled when they offered to send me some to review as I'm always trying to do the right thing and eat healthier, despite my chocolate obsession! All natural foods are becoming quite the trend recently, with coconut oil especially taking off in a big way so it's perfect timing for such a cereal bar.

Below are my thoughts on each flavour...

Apricot, Orange & Ginger:

When I opened the wrapper for this I wasn't quite expecting the bright orange bar that revealed itself - it was very orange, almost like the David Dickinson of cereal bars! I knew these were made with real fruit, but I never expected anything quite like this...

Texture-wise it was very chewy; the oats are ground rather than whole which made for a welcome change to regular cereal bars. It isn't like a crunchy cereal bar but is more dense and moist. The apricot is very refreshing and complimented nicely by the orange and ginger flavours. Overall it felt far more healthy and refreshing than the average cereal bar. 8 out of 10.

Scrumptious Strawberry:

Like the apricot bar this was also strongly coloured, this time with a strong deep red. On opening the wrapper it had a delicious strawberry aroma.

Like the apricot bar it was very chewy and bursting with fruit. It had a deep and comforting strawberry flavour which I just loved - strawberries are one of my favourite fruits, and together with the oats I thought it was the perfect combination! Very moreish indeed. 9 out of 10.

Moist Mixed Berry:

Last but not least is the "Moist mixed berry" flavour, with its strong dark purple colour and berry aroma.

This one is infused with cranberries, blackcurrants and blackberry juice and is just as tasty as the other flavours. It's slightly tangy thanks to the cranberries, which I personally loved as I'm a major fan of cranberries! 8 out of 10.

Well I have to say I'm very impressed with Get Fruity bars, they're very different to other cereal bars out there and taste a lot more refreshing and of course fruity than most! If you like moist and chewy cereal bars that are also healthy then these are for you.

More info: Get Fruity Bars have no artificial colours or flavours and contain only naturally occurring sugars from fruit, plus they're low in salt and suitable for vegans.

These bars are only available from Get Fruity's Website currently, but I would expect they'll be available from most good health food stores and supermarkets before long!

*Product sent for an honest review.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Reese's White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures Review

It's a while since I bought these Reese's White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures but at the time they were on offer for £1, yes just £1 at Asda! They're usually £2 or more so I snapped up a few bags while I could!

I'm a massive fan of regular Reese's peanut butter cups - they're basically the definitive peanut butter and chocolate combination, nothing else comes close! And as I also love white chocolate I thought that combined with Reese's peanut butter in this miniature format it must surely taste like heaven?!

Well, it almost did...these mini peanut butter cups are certainly very moreish and tasty, but a bit overbearingly sickly too. Since they're in mini format it's far too easy to mindlessly munch on them one after the other, and before you know it you're hit with that familiar sugary "throat burning" sensation and feeling like you've overdone it!

They're definitely highly moreish and tasty, but just a tad too sweet. They're probably best shared with friends whilst watching a film, but even then only a few are needed to give you a hit of sweet creaminess combined with salty, peanutty moreishness. They make a nice change from regular Reese's peanut butter cups but the originals are still the best, and always will be!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Price: Usually £2.30 per bag at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, nuts, soya.
Nutrition (per 100g): 549 Calories, 31.7g Fat, 49.5g Sugar.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Reese's Sticks Peanut Butter Wafers Review

Another snack from the package Bring Back Banjo Bar recently sent me...and surprise surprise, it's wafer-based! ;) Whilst not being as awesome as the sorely missed Banjo Wafer Bar, these Reese's Sticks are pretty amazing as far as nuts and wafer goes!

Opening the pack revealed two chocolate coated wafers which were light and crunchy and similar in texture to Nestlé Blue Riband. They were much tastier though! There was a layer of delicious Reese's peanut butter creme running through them with a slight salty edge, which tasted every bit as delicious as it sounds!

The combination of crunchy wafer, peanut butter and sweet milk chocolate made these a perfect snack, combining all the best elements of a wafer with Reese's peanut butter - what more could you want? Don't get me wrong I love a Kitkat with my coffee but these made for a tasty change!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Many thanks to Bring Back Banjo Bar for sending me these - please sign the Bring Back Banjo Petition and Like the Facebook Page!

Kraft Big 3Bit Hazelnut Bar

The 3Bit Bar was featured in a Choc It Out 10 Foreign Chocolate Bars video so I'm pleased to have finally managed to try one at last! These bars are often available in Polish import stores and are simple biscuit bars with a layer of cream filling coated in milk chocolate. Although I'm not sure why it's called 3 Bit since it comes in 5 bits!:

Polish stores are always a treasure trove of cool snacks as they seem to be a lot more adventurous than us Brits, so you'll always find plenty of interesting biscuits and wafer bars there that you never would in any UK supermarket - I'd highly recommend taking a look sometime! There's also a Pina Colada version of this 3Bit bar!

The bar was very tasty indeed - it's about half and half biscuit and cream filling, the biscuit being crunchy and almost shortbread like in consistency, whilst the hazelnut cream is milky and sweet. It's a tad artificial in flavour but still very nice. The milk chocolate is standard sweet and milky fare, but completes the bar perfectly.

Overall, this is a tasty treat and rather unique as biscuit bars go - I'm not sure I can think of anything similar on the UK market, and I'm surprised there's no similar biscuit/cream bars already widely available. Maybe it's next on Cadburys/Mondelez's list for a new Dairy Milk product... Dairy Milk 3Bit anyone? You heard it here first! ;)

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Many thanks to Bring Back Banjo Chocolate for sending me this bar...please do sign the Banjo petition and Like Bring Back Banjo on Facebook!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Tunnock's Caramel Log Wafer Review

tunnock's caramel wafer log

A big thankyou to Bring Back Banjo Chocolate Bar for sending me this Tunnock's Caramel Log as part of a cool snacks package recently...stay tuned for more, and in the meantime please sign her Petition to bring back the awesome Banjo Wafer Bar!

I was a big fan of Tunnock's Coconut Snowballs as a kid, but oddly I've never tried any of their other products. I know they have a lot of history and a strong fan-base, though, so was very curious to see what this Caramel Log Wafer would be like. Although the packaging is rather retro and plain, opening it up revealed a rather cool-looking wafer bar that somewhat resembles the Hershey's Zagnut:

tunnock's caramel wafer log

It's described as a "Roasted Coconut Covered Caramel Wafer Biscuit" which sounded like the perfect combination to me - coconut and caramel? I couldn't wait to get stuck in!

tunnock's caramel wafer log

Cutting it open revealed a thick caramel wafer, which smelled sweet and coconutty. Biting into a piece I was met with dense wafer with the chewy, buttery caramel sandwiched in-between. The wafer was quite wheaty and almost like a waffle rather than a wafer. The toasted coconut added a lovely edge that made it very moreish. The combination of all three elements worked together perfectly!

Overall, although I wasn't expecting much from this wafer it really surprised me and is a delicious bar indeed - I'll definitely be buying these in future!

Many thanks to Bring Back Banjo for sending me this bar, please sign the petition here to bring back Banjo chocolate bars - every bit of support helps!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £1.59 per 8-pack at Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, gluten, milk & soya.
Nutrition (per wafer bar): 134 Calories, 10.4g Sugar, 5.3g Fat.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Vue Cinemas Thomas Tucker Popcorn - Coconut Toffee, Chilli & Lemon, Smoked Cheddar Cheese Review

When I was contacted to review these new varieties of Thomas Tucker popcorn recently I really couldn't say no...especially since the flavours are very unique for popcorn!

The popcorn market has been exploding in the UK and there's new flavours popping up all the time, but Thomas Tucker will be available exclusively from Vue cinemas, so there's no need to take your own if you want a unique snacks fix! Let me know in the comments which of these flavours interests you the most...

Coconut Toffee:

This flavour was lovely and my favourite of the three. The "lightly popped" popcorn had a crunchy toffee coating complimented with a delicious creamy coconut flavour. The sweet flavours went together perfectly and made for a highly moreish combination - I could easily get through a bag to myself at the cinema! 9 out of 10.

Smoked Cheddar Cheese:

This flavour was a bit odd. I've never really been into savoury popcorn as it just makes me thirsty, which is annoying when you want to watch a film in peace! Luckily this wasn't salty and simply had a tasty strong smoked cheddar flavour. The coating was bright yellow in colour as you can hopefully see here:

I did enjoy this popcorn but it's not something I would choose over other flavours. I think cheese should be a flavour for crisps or crackers really...I prefer my popcorn sweet. Fans of cheesy snacks will no doubt love this though! 6.5 out of 10.

Chilli & Lemon:

This was the oddest flavour of the bunch. I liked it more than the cheese variety as there was somehting oddly addictive about it...the tangy sweet chilli flavour pared with the lemon was very moreish, although my brain was telling me that popcorn shouldn't taste this way! Overall though I thought it was very successful and I certainly wouldn't mind nomming on a bag of this at the cinema. 7.5 out of 10.

I think it's great Thomas Tucker are being a bit daring and creative with these flavours, it livens up the whole cinema experience and makes a change from regular, boring popcorn (which I'm not really a fan of - it's so bland!). The Coconut Toffee variety is a definite winner and will no doubt be loved by many, and the savoury flavours are very interesting too. There's some other flavours from Thomas Tucker such as Fruits of the Forest, which sounds right up my street!

Which Thomas Tucker Popcorn flavour would you like to try? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Nestlé Aero Bubbly White Chocolate Bar (Limited Edition) Review

nestle aero bubbly white chocolate

Last December Nestlé UK ran a competition on Aero's Facebook to introduce a new limited edition Aero. The contenders were strawberry, lemon, cappuccino and white chocolate, and somehow white chocolate ended up the winner. My personal choice was for the lemon variety but alas it wasn't meant to be - the Great British Public voted white chocolate!

This isn't the first time Nestlé have done a white chocolate Aero, of course; who can forget the version with the blue wrapper from the early 2000's? Here's a pic:

This new version seems to be slightly different as there's no mention of actual white chocolate on the wrapper, it's simply described as "Smooth milk chocolate with vanilla flavoured bubbles".

Opening the wrapper, I have to say it smelled delicious and had a lovely chocolatey aroma, although it was of the milk rather than the white variety! There was also a pleasant vanilla undertone.

Cutting it in half revealed the bubbly white centre:

Taste-wise it was very nice indeed - creamy, chocolatey and with a lovely sweet vanilla flavour. The main problem though was that the milk chocolate coating overpowered the vanilla centre - it still tasted nice and creamy, but the milk chocolate was too dominant.

Overall, this isn't a bad bar of chocolate by any means but I do think a lot of people will be disappointed that it isn't all white chocolate. The milk chocolate coating distracts from the vanilla flavour and kind of spoils it.

Also I think it's disappointing this variety won the Aero Facebook competition - a Lemon, Strawberry or Cappuccino Aero would've been much nicer in my opinion and a bit different from what's already on shelves! Interesting flavours are what consumers want these days - just look at the success of Cadbury's Marvellous Creations range. Come on Nestlé, be a bit more daring next time! ;)

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.

Price: 60p at Sainsbury's.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, whey & vegetable fat.
Nutrition (per bar): 221 Calories, 12.3g Fat, 24.9g Sugar.

Did you know?: In the past Rowntree's made Lime, Strawberry and Rum flavoured Aero's! Here's some pics (credit: