Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Galler Chocolatier 70% Noir Intense Review

I purchased this 70% Noir Intense from Sainsbury's recently on a whim. I've tried Galler's filled bars before and was a little unimpressed, but thought I'd give them another chance since this is the first 70% bar I've seen from them.

The box was almost like a cardboard envelope and opened like one, containing a golden foil wrapped bar inside. The bar had unique shaped blocks which you don't usually see on chocolate bars...they were quite wide in size.

Taste wise the chocolate was intensely rich, with a slight hint of fruitiness. It was a little on the bitter side, but still very nice. I loved the clean look of the chocolate and the snap when breaking pieces off - you can tell this is good quality stuff.

Overall, an excellent quality 70% bar from Galler, although I'm not sure I'd go for this over Lindt's 70% dark chocolate, given the choice.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

JD Gross Vanilla Mousse White Chocolate Bars Review (Lidl)

I can't believe it's taken me so long to review this...I bought it from Lidl last year and somehow it got lost in the snacks archive!

The box pack contains mini sticks of white chocolate bars with a vanilla mousse filling, and they're absolutely delicious!

There were plenty of individually wrapped sticks of chocolate in the pack, each divided into 3 small segments. Usually I wouldn't see the point in this but in the case of these bars, it was very wise. That's because they taste so incredibly rich that you need to savour them just a little bit at a time.

The filling contains vegetable fat, which usually I'm not a fan of since it's so unhealthy, but I keep reminding myself that Lindor also contain veg fat and they taste fantastic. So I'll forgive JD Gross on this occasion ;)

Taking a bite I first noticed the intense creaminess from the white chocolate. It's very sweet and vanilla laden, but good quality - better than Milkybar for example. The filling is of course extremely creamy and smooth, with a strong vanilla flavour. It all melts in your mouth to form a molten creamy, rich mass of deliciousness. It's almost too rich, in fact! These certainly aren't chocolates to eat a lot of at once, so it's just as well they come in mini bars!

Overall, if you're a fan of white chocolate you have to give these a try! They're pretty cheap at Lidl - I forget how much exactly, but they were about £1.09. They're a great bargain for the price and the quality is excellent in comparison to most mainstream white chocolates.

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Ülker Golden 70% Cacao with Pistachios - Turkish Dark Chocolate Bar Review

Whilst browsing a local Turkish store I came across this Ülker dark chocolate bar with pistachios. I've previously reviewed the Ülker Milk Chocolate Hazelnut bar and was very disappointed as it was a bit stale, but thought I'd give them another chance. I was especially intrigued by a bar containing pistachio nuts as it's not something you see that often!

Opening the cardboard sleeve revealed a lovely golden foil-wrapped bar. I have to say Ülker are great with the presentation of their chocolates! Of course it also fits with the name "Golden", which is even better!

Opening the foil revealed a rather glossy looking bar. It looked a lot nicer than some other dark chocolate bars I've tried.

Snapping it in half revealed plenty of chunky pistachio pieces embedded within the chocolate. They certainly don't skimp on them!

Taking a bite I was met with quite an intense dark chocolate but unfortunately it didn't have a particularly distinctive flavour, it was just quite bitter. The pistcahios were a nice addition and added a lovely savoury nuttiness, but unfortunately they got lost under the harshness of the chocolate. I've heard there's an Ülker Golden White Chocolate variety with pistachios, which sounds like it might be a bit nicer than this. I'll certainly keep my eye out for it, because although this bar didn't quite work I imagine pistachios would work better with creamier chocolate.

Overall, this is an interesting bar but the harshness of the dark chocolate just doesn't work with pistachios. Hopefully I can get my hands on the white chocolate version!

RATING: 6.5 out of 10. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Milka Tender a la Tiramisu Mini Rolls Review

A while ago I found a load of different Milka products in a local Discount store. These have been doing the rounds for a while now and include a Milka Black Forest Roll, a Strawberry Yoghurt Cake, the Schokolade Cake reviewed here by Grocery Gems, Strawberry Mini Rolls and also these Milka Tender a la Tiramisu mini rolls.

I paid £1 for this pack, which contains 5 mini rolls.

When I opened one up it had a sweet chocolatey aroma with a slight hint of coffee.

Taste-wise it was very light and spongy, with a light alcoholic coffee flavoured buttercream filling. It was nice but not very strong in flavour. Coupled with the very thin layer of chocolate coating I was a bit disappointed to be honest - it felt a bit insubstantial and not quite as special as I was hoping.

Overall, these mini rolls were very pleasant but they're not really as special or fancy as they initially appear. The tiramisu flavour is a little weak and the sponge itself is too light. They're worth trying for £1 though if you happen to see them. I would recommend the Milka Black Forest Roll over these instead though, it's much nicer!

RATING: 6.5 out of 10. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Spotted In Shops! - Blueberry Rice Cakes, Chocodates & Tesco's Bizarre Frog Key Hider!

Just a few things I spotted whilst out shopping recently...

Kallo Rice & Corn Cakes Blueberry & Vanilla Flavour:
I saw these in Home Bargains and thought they sounded like an odd flavour for rice cakes - they're apparently new and contain 36 calories per rice cake. If you've tried these please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

There's also a Caramel variety:

These contain 40 calories and have no added MSG. I wouldn't expect a sweet-flavourd snack to contain MSG anyway so I'm a bit puzzled as to why Kallo are boasting about this!

Arabian Delights Chocodate:

In Tesco's World Foods section I saw these "Arabian Delights Choco-date with almond". They sound very interesting...presumably they're chocolate coated dates and almonds, but I'm not sure I'd pay £9 for a box!

Gap Tom Yum Flavour:

Also in Tesco's World Foods section were these Gap Tom Yum flavour biscuit sticks. At first I thought they were an orange version of Mikado or Pocky, but it turns out that "tom yum" is a Thai word for a type of spicy soup. The story behind it is complex but luckily Wikipedia explains everything!

Not a snack, but whilst on the subject of Tesco I couldn't resist mentioning this Frog Key Hider they're selling for £3...

I don't get the logic behind this at all - if your burglar shops at Tesco then surely they'd know exactly what this is?!

That's all for today's short edition of Spotted In Shops...if you've spotted any cool new products please do get in touch and I'll give you a shout-out in the next edition! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

E Wedel Maxi Smak and Blood Orange & Mango Duet Bars - Polish chocolates Review

Last year I found some unusual and interesting chocolate bars in a local Polish store. I was very excited because these flavours aren't typically found in most UK shops, and it seems the Polish are an adventurous bunch compared to us Brits! Thanks goodness their chocolates are available in the UK then!

Wedel are a well-known Polish chocolate company, and I believe they used to be owned by Cadbury. They make pretty decent chocolate compared to other Polish companies (such as Wawel) and do some pretty exciting flavours too!

An example of that is Wedel Maxi Smak. This is a milk chocolate bar with a cream filling and a layer of lemon and orange jam.

The jam provided a zingy tartness which tasted rather unusual combined with the cream and milk chocolate. Usually I like lemon flavours paired with cream, but in this case the inclusion of orange somewhat spoiled the overall flavour. Overall, this was an interesting bar in terms of novelty but didn't quite work for me.

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.

Wedel Blood Orange & Mango Exotic Duet:

Another fruity bar I bought along with the Maxi Smak was this Wedel "Blood Orange & Mango Exotic Duet" bar. Grocery Gems reviewed this bar earlier in the year so many of you may remember it. Wedel certainly like to play around with fruity combinations don't they?!

Taste-wise I thought this bar was nice and pleasant, but the tartness from the filling was just a little bit too odd paired with the cream layer and milk chocolate. It didn't quite work together.

Overall, although this bar sounded interesting, for me it didn't quite work out in practice.

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.

If you're a fan of fruity chocolates I would seriously recommend heading to your local Polish store and trying some Wedel bars...they do a rather extensive range including the Coconut, Pierrot and Forest Fruits Leśny Duet bars I reviewed last year. All of those were seriously tasty bars!

Have you tried these bars? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Nestlé Orion Pistachio Cream Bar (Czech) Review

I've had this bar in the snacks archive for ages now, in fact I bought it last year alongside a Blueberry Cheese variety from my local import store. I don't know if its still available or not, but if you've seen/tried it yourself please let me know in the comments!

Nestlé Orion is a Czech brand that makes some very interesting chocolate bars. I've reviewed quite a few since starting the blog - Orion Deli Raspberry, Orion Studentska, Orion Lime Cream, Orion Banány White, etc. I always love to see what new products they come up with as they're far more exciting than a lot of stuff we get in the UK!

This Pistachio Cream bar was no exception. For £2.59 I got a huge slab of chocolate filled with pistachio cream, chocolate cream and a crunchy pistachio filling. I loved the unique, curvy block design it had:

Cutting into the bar there were two different layers - a chocolate cream lower half and a green pistachio cream upper half, topped off with a layer of chopped pistachios. All of this was wrapped in sweet milk chocolate.

This bar was quite simply delicious! It's not often I sing Nestlé's praises but this was one of the nicest bars I've tried from them. The pistachio cream filling was so smooth, rich and nutty it was to die for. It contained vegetable fat which makes it melt-in-the-mouth like Lindor, and while I'm not a fan of vegetable fat in chocolate it actually worked really well here! The chocolate coating was very sweet and milky, nothing amazing but it worked well with the filling. The bar was perfect with a cup of coffee, and because it was so rich I only needed a few pieces to feel satisfied.

Green chocolate bar!
Overall, this is a fantastic bar from Czech Nestlé and one that Nestlé UK should seriously consider introducing here. If you spot these bars anywhere I would recommend giving them a try! Please stay tuned for my review of the Blueberry Cheese version...

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Have you tried/seen this bar? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Mallow Tree Mini Eggs Review (TK Maxx)

Some more mini eggs I picked up in TK Maxx recently were these by The Mallow Tree. They were reduced in price and I'd never heard of Mallow Tree before so I couldn't resist giving them a whirl!

I'm glad I did as they turned out to be very tasty mini eggs indeed, in fact far better in quality than anything from the major confectionery companies like Cadbury or Mars!

The eggs had thick, chunky shells in pastel colours with speckles on. They looked very impressive indeed...far better than Cadbury Mini Eggs!

The shells were much thicker and crunchier than Cadbury Mini Eggs, and the chocolate inside was richer and darker. They tasted fantastic - extremely creamy and rich, with a higher percentage of cocoa solids compared to mass produced mini eggs. They were far more satisfying too!

Overall, I thought these mini eggs from The Mallow Tree were fantastic and some of the better quality ones I've tried - it's just a shame they're not more widely available! I would recommend checking out TK Maxx after Easter though as they often reduce unsold Easter may just pick up a bargain!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Corifeo Liquid Filled Sugar Easter Eggs (TK Maxx) Review

Whilst in TK Maxx recently I spotted these "Liquid filled sugar eggs" and bought them because they sounded rather unusual, in that they're not regular chocolate eggs, but rather liquid filled sugar sweets. This isn't something you see often, although Nestlé attempted it once with Fruity Smarties Mini Eggs:

The eggs reminded me of jelly beans but with a much harder, crunchier shell. They come in an array of bright colours with speckles on them:

To be honest there's not much I can say about the taste as they were all insipidly sweet and overly sugary - there was very little fruit flavour to them. The shells were hard and crunchy, and the liquid filling was simply a basic sugar syrup. Nothing all that exciting really! Still, I imagine kids with a sweet tooth would love them.

Overall, these are an interesting novelty and definitely one for the kids, but not something I would recommend. I would suggest looking in TK Maxx after Easter though as they usually do heavy discounts on their Easter chocolates!

RATING: 5 out of 10. 

Have you tried these Corifeo Liquid Filled Eggs? If so what did you think? 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Mix-Ups with Maynards (Vegetarian) Jellies Review

cadbury dairy milk marvellous mix-ups with maynards jellies

Hot on the heels of Marvellous Mix-Ups with Oreo, today I'm reviewing Marvellous Mix-Ups with Maynards. Unlike the Oreo version this is more unusual in that it contains jelly sweets...with chocolate! Marvellous Creations are known for their jelly and chocolate combinations, of course; (Jelly Popping Candy and Cola Pretzel Honeycomb) so this comes as no surprise. In a way I suppose you're getting the best of both worlds with a product like this - it saves the bother of deciding between sweets or chocolate when you need a snacks fix! (we've all had that dilemma, right?)

The bag contains Dairy Milk Caramel Nibbles, Fudge Dreams and Maynards jellies. I'm not sure which jellies specifically as they aren't Wine Gums or Jelly Babies...just different fruit-flavoured jellies in fruit shapes. The Fudge Dreams are the same as those found in Cadbury's Milk Tray, although this isn't highlighted on the pack.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous mix-ups with maynards jellies

Opening the bag I was a little sad at the small amount in front of me. There was no way I was going to share them!

cadbury dairy milk marvellous mix-ups with maynards jellies

They were a little awkward to eat by the handful as the fudge pieces are rather chunky, but I did manage to eat some of them all together and they were very tasty indeed. The fudge was buttery and smooth, with the Caramel Nibbles adding further buttery caramel elements and then...the jellies added a burst of fruitiness. They were a bit odd combined with the caramel and fudge flavours but somehow it worked. It's not the perfect synergy of flavours like Marvellous Mix Ups with Oreo, but it's certainly very tasty.

The addition of the Fudge Dreams is the real highlight, as it's not often you get chocolates from a box like Milk Tray in bagged form. In fact it makes me think they should launch a bagged version of Milk Tray... or even the Milk Tray Bar from the 80's! (here's a pic:)

Back on topic, overall I thought this was an interesting "mix-up" of sweets although I do think many people will find the inclusion of the jellies a bit odd. To be honest though the bag is worth buying just for the Fudge Dreams!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £1 at Asda (introductory offer), £2 at Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes - including the Maynards jellies as they contain pectin.
Allergy Information: Contains milk & soya. May contain nuts & wheat.
Nutrition (per 100g): 430 Calories, 14g Fat, 72g Carbs, 56.5g Sugars.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Mix-Ups with Oreo Review

cadbury dairy milk marvellous mix-ups oreo

As well as the new Marvellous Creations Banana Caramel Crisp bar, Cadbury's have also launched these new "Marvellous Mix-Ups" and the idea is that they're a "mix up" of different chocolates and sweets made by Cadbury. As someone who remembers penny "mix-ups" as a kid I was quite excited to see how the combinations would work, and if they could rival Revels for flavour-combining!

Today's review is for the Oreo variety (there's also a Maynards jellies variety - review due soon!) When I first read the description for these I was a little skeptical as it seems like a sneaky way to re-package existing products. The "mix-up" features Giant Dairy Milk Buttons, Dairy Milk Pebbles, Mini Oreos and White Chocolate Buttons. All delicious products in their own right...but what matters is whether or not they all work together, and luckily they do!

cadbury dairy milk marvellous mix-ups oreo

Opening the bag there was a nice amount of each product, with plenty of white chocolate buttons in particular and lots of mini Oreos.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous mix-ups oreo

Munching on a handful of them all together I have to say they worked perfectly - there's the crunchiness from the Oreos, the comforting taste of Dairy Milk from the Giant Buttons, a creamier and milkier edge from the white buttons and then a nice sugary crunch from the Pebbles.

Overall, this bag is a nice combination of creamy, crunchy and chocolatey elements mixed together and you'll definitely be reaching for more. My only gripe is that there seemed to be such a small amount in the bag - you certainly won't want to share them with anyone!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £1 at Asda (introductory offer), £2 at Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, milk, soya. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per 100g): 505 Calories, 24.5g Fat, 64.5g Carbs, 51g Sugar.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Banana Caramel Crisp Review

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

The new Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations bar is finally out in time for Easter, and what a marvellous creation it is indeed! This bar seems to be replacing the Cola Pretzel Honeycomb variety introduced last year, which can now be found in Poundland and other discount stores.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

The 200g bar is on introductory offer at Asda for £1.50 at the moment but the RRP will be £2.50. It's described as "Milk chocolate with banana flavoured candy pieces (8%), caramel pieces (5%) and malted cereal balls (3%)", and like the other Marvellous Creations flavours comes in a "crazy paving" style slab. This made it a little awkward to break into pieces, but I managed to find some chunks with bits of banana candy sticking out:

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

The aroma of the bar had me salivating - it reminded me of the (now discontinued) Dairy Milk with Shortcake Biscuit I used to love, as the cereal pieces had a similar biscuity aroma.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

I was fully expecting the chocolate to taste weird due to the banana candy but it was actually pretty normal and tasty! It had a banana, toffee and biscuit synergy that was reminiscent of banoffee pie, but combined with the comforting taste of Dairy Milk. All these familiar elements worked together perfectly. The malt balls reminded me of Maltesers but were more denser and biscuity, providing a lovely crunch together with the caramel pieces. The banana candy wasn't like the foam bananas I remember from childhood, but more of a chewier sweet with a glazed shell.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

Overall, although this bar may sound a bit weird since banana isn't a flavour often paired with chocolate (though Gnaw did it well with Go Bananas!), it's actually a rather tasty combination. If it's meant to replace the Cola Pretzel Honeycomb then I think Cadbury made a wise choice, as this bar is a bit more tasty and keeps with the Marvellous Creations theme much better. If you like banoffee pie or banana & chocolate combinations I would recommend giving this a try!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Price: 200g blocks are currently £1.50 at Asda (introductory offer), RRP is £2.50.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, wheat, gluten. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per 25g serving): 6.7g Fat, 15g Sugar, 128 Calories.