Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sugarfina Box Review


Sugarfina recently contacted me to review one of their gourmet candy boxes, and as a lover of all things sweet I couldn't say no to that. They make quite an impressive range of artisan products, from cocktail gummies, birthday cake chocolates, and a fantastic range of caramels too. To check out their full range visit their UK website at https://www.sugarfina.uk.

The box they sent me contains a trio of interesting treats, including Robin's Egg Caramels, Jelly Ice Cream Cones and Champagne Gummy Bears.

Robin's Egg Caramels:

The caramels were the ones I was most eager to try, not only are they like crunchy coated chocolate eggs, they also contain a caramel filling!

The chocolate is 43% cocoa dark chocolate, with the caramel filling being chewy and creamy. It tasted delicious! The contrast between chocolate, chewy carmel and crunchy candy shell is perfect, making these tasty but somehow more sophisticated than your average chocolates. They weren't throat burningly sweet like mini eggs and felt like a real treat. 9 out of 10.

Jelly Ice Cream Cones:

The jelly ice cream cones smelled perfect, with aromas of vanilla and caramel in abundance. And unlike mainstream gummy sweets like Haribo, these didn't just taste of pure sugar - they were fruity, creamy and with a nice vanilla edge that made them super tasty. They were so addictive I couldn't stop eating them. Love! 9 out of 10.

Champagne Bears:
sugarfina champagne bears

Last but not least, the Champagne Bears are a more adult version of gummy bears with Dom Perignon Vintage champagne in the ingredients. These tasted as advertised, sweet gummy bears with a slight alcoholic edge in both Brut and Rose flavours. They weren't my thing to be honest since I don't like alcohol flavoured sweets, but if you like all things champagne then you'll surely love them. 7 out of 10.

Overall, this Sugarfina box is an excellent variety of sweets, and would make a great special gift for birthdays or Christmas. I would love to try one of just the chocolate and caramel Sugarfina products, as they sound pretty amazing. If gummy sweets are your thing this might be the selection for you, although Sugarfina also do other boxes focused on gummies. Check them out at https://www.sugarfina.uk.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Tesco Free From Blackcurrant Cheese Cakes

It's pretty much impossible to get a decent gluten and dairy free cheesecake, but luckily Tesco are bucking the trend and have brought out these new Milk, Gluten, Wheat & Egg Free Blackcurrant Cheese Cakes, suitable for vegans as well as coeliacs. The cheesecake filling is comprised of a mixture of coconut oil and milk, with a base of rice flour and corn starch and a topping of Blackcurrant compote.

These cost £1.70 for a two pack, which is a pretty good bargain for a Free From product.

They tasted very yummy, the compote is tart and tangy and goes well with the other layers. The cheesecake filling is extremely sweet, not particularly cheesecake like but still very tasty and it goes well with the topping. The base is crumbly and biscuity, and finishes things off nicely.

Overall, these are some pretty yummy dairy and gluten free desserts, and a bargain for the price! If you're vegan or coeliac seek them out!

Nutrition (per pot): 274 Calories, 10.5g Fat, 43.7g Carbohydrates, 19.5g Sugars, 0.6g Protein. 

8.5 out of 10. 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Go Coco Coconut Shakes: Chocolate Fudge, Banana Split, Strawberries & Cream

Recently Home Bargains started selling this range of Go Coco Coconut Milk shakes, in three flavours; Chocolate Fudge, Banana Split and Strawberries & Cream. I had never heard of them before so snapped up all three flavours. They were around 70p or so per carton.

They're suitable for vegans, dairy and gluten free and contain no refined sugars. They're sweetened with date nectar and stevia as well as fruit purees, and contain dietary fibres.

Starting with the Chocolate Fudge variety, this is the one I enjoyed the most of the three. It had a very sweet but distinctly fudgey chocolate flavour that was very nice. The coconut milk made it somehow lighter and more refreshing than a milkshake containing dairy. I would definitely buy this one again, I loved it! 8.5 out of 10. 

The Strawberries & Cream was my second favourite, it was a bit sweeter due to the extra strawberry puree, but very refreshing and tasty. This would be perfect on a Summers day. 8 out of 10. 

Last but not least, the Banana Split. Now banana flavoured products are always tricky to get right, and even though this contains real banana puree it still somehow tasted a little artificial and overly sweet. Maybe it was the stevia, but it didn't taste quite right somehow. Still it wasn't bad, and definitely makes for a nice alternative to dairy milkshakes. 7.5 out of 10. 

Overall, this range from Go Coco gets a big thumbs up from me, they're not perfect but for vegan and dairy free milkshakes they're certainly better than a lot of stuff that's out there. They're refreshing and light, and great for Summer picnics. Thank goodness companies are starting to cater to people who are vegan or allergic to dairy!

Nutrition Information (per carton);
Chocolate Fudge: 299 Calories, 12.2g Fat, 42.3g Carbohydrates, 14.4g Sugars, 2.5g Protein, 4.9g Fibre.

Strawberries & Cream: 250 Calories, 11.5g Fat, 33g Carbohydrates, 15.5g Sugars, 3.7g Fibre, 1.8g Protein.

Banana Split: 240 Calories, 11.4g Fat, 30.6g Carbohydrates, 12.9g Sugars, 3.8g Fibre, 1.7g Protein.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Kinnerton Just Chocolate Florida Orange

Kinnerton Just Chocolate Florida Orange

Recently Home Bargains started selling a new variety of Kinnerton Just Chocolate, which is dairy free, vegan and gluten free. This variety is flavoured with Florida Orange and costs just 19p a bar - a bargain for anyone looking for dairy free chocolate!

Kinnerton Just Chocolate Florida Orange

The bars are thin and reminded me of Milkybars. They taste of semisweet dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids) with a hint of zesty orange, which tastes very refreshing - it seems that Florida orange is indeed different to regular orange. I really enjoyed these and would happily buy them again, which isn't something I can say for the regular Kinnerton dark chocolate bars.

Overall, if you're dairy free or vegan these are a perfect tasty little treat - be sure to stock up on them if you have a Home Bargains nearby!

8.5 out of 10. 

Nutrition Information (per 25g bar): 138 Calories, 1.6g Protein, 8.9g Fat, 11.8g Carbohydrates, 10.7g Sugars

Friday, 19 May 2017

Maui & Sons Dark Chocolate Coconut Chips

Maui & Sons Dark Chocolate Coconut Chips

Coconut chips seem to be one of the new snacking trends this year, and I for one am very pleased about that. I've had mixed success with some brands I've tried so I was hoping these dark chocolate coconut chips from Maui and Sons would be a win. They're available in Poundland and discount stores like Bargain Buys and are gluten free and vegan friendly. 

Maui & Sons Dark Chocolate Coconut Chips

It's fairly obvious the coating isn't "real" chocolate but rather a blend of vegetable fat, sugar and cocoa, but that doesn't matter because they are pretty tasty! The cocoa flavours compliment the crunchy tropical coconut perfectly, making for a moreish snack. I soon polished off the whole bag.

Overall, if you're one of the coconutters out there like myself (you know who you are!) then these are a must try! For £1 they're a great bargain compared to other brands.

8.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Doisy & Dam Maple, Toasted Rice & Pink Salt Dark Chocolate

Doisy & Dam Maple, Toasted Rice & Pink Salt Dark Chocolate

There's an increasing array of new fancier chocolate bars appearing in Sainsbury's stores recently, amongst them various Montezuma's varieties and also these new boys on the block: Doisy & Dam. I've reviewed their White Chocolate with Lemon, Baobab and Poppy Seed before, and really enjoyed it, so I was very eager to try some more flavours when they were on offer in Sainsbury's recently.

Doisy & Dam Maple, Toasted Rice & Pink Salt Dark Chocolate

This one is organic and vegan, containing 74% cocoa solids and with the inclusion of maple syrup, toasted brown rice and himalayan pink salt. Quite the bold combination!

Doisy & Dam Maple, Toasted Rice & Pink Salt Dark Chocolate

The toasted rice is clearly visible on the underside of the bar, and the chocolate itself has a strong maple aroma.

It tastes interesting. The maple is very prominent, with a sweet syrupy almost earthy tone, that is almost too much combined with the rich dark chocolate. It's a very bold flavour, so if that's your thing you'll probably love this. Personally it was just a bit too much for me. The rice pieces were nice and crunchy and gave a good texure, with the pink salt adding to that sweet and salty flavour mix, but all in all this bar was a bit too much.

Overall, a bold flavour for sure, as are the other bars in the Doisy & Dam range, but this one is not for me.

Nutrition Information (per 100g): 552 Calories, 7.3g Protein, 34g Carbohydrates, 26g Sugars, 41g Fat, 10.2g Fibre.

Ingredients: Dark chocolate (cocoa mass, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla powder), pure canadian maple syrup (4%), toasted brown rice, himalayan pink salt, natural maple essence.

7 out of 10.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Montezuma's Black Forest Gateau Pudding Bar

Montezuma's Black Forest Gateau Pudding Bar

The Montezuma's range seems to be steadily expanding in Sainsbury's stores recently, from the likes of the Absolute Black bar and the Geranium and Orange, and now they're also stocking these Great British Pudding Bars. I picked up the Black Forest Gateau variety recently to see if it lives up to the classic cakey treat.

Montezuma's Black Forest Gateau Pudding Bar

Described as "Dark chocolate with cherry" this cost £1.50 and is currently on special offer. The bar comes foil wrapped, with the classic Montezuma's design of segmented blocks on the upper half and a thicker chunk at the bottom with the Montezuma's symbol on. I like the design, it's a bit different!

Taste wise it was a nice fruity rich dark chocolate, with earthy tones. Sweet enough to be palatable (70% cocoa solids) but strong enough to give a good flavour. The cherry pieces enhanced the flavour with a gentle tartness, which complimented the chocolate perfectly. I did feel there could have been more of them, and there were no other ingredients to make this similar to a Black Forest Gateau so I do think they're pushing it by giving this bar such a name. Regardless, it's still a tasty bar of chocolate.

Overall, this is a good bar from Montezuma's that I would happily buy again, and I do hope to see more varieties in Sainsbury's in the future.

Nutrition Information (per 25g): 10g Fat, 9g Carbohydrates, 7g Sugars, 2g Protein, 2g Fibre.

8.5 out of 10.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Tesco White Chocolate & Raspberry Ice Creams

Tesco White Chocolate & Raspberry Ice Creams

Ice cream season is slowly creeping up on us, and there's a never ending variety of new lollies, sticks and tubs appearing in shops recently. Some have been disappointing, but Tesco have bucked the trend with these rather tasty White Chocolate & Raspberry ice creams, which are essentially a Magnum Double.

Tesco White Chocolate & Raspberry Ice Creams

Described as "Vanilla dairy ice cream, covered with raspberry sauce, coated in Belgian white chocolate with freeze dried raspberry pieces", they're suitable for vegeterians and cost £1.50 for a pack of three.

Tesco White Chocolate & Raspberry Ice Creams

The white chocolate shell is creamy and sweet, with the raspberry sauce oozing out just below it. It's the perfect contrast of creamy and zingy flavours. The raspberry pieces further add to the flavour, and combined with the ice cream make for a pretty delightful treat! I actually enjoyed these a lot more than some of the other ice creams I've tried recently, including the Haagen Dazs Mango & Raspberry sticks and the Magnum Doubles. The white chocolate, raspberry and vanilla flavours are just spot on.

Overall, for a cheaper alternative to a Magnum Double you can't far go wrong with these - highly recommended!

Nutrition information (per stick): 213 Calories, 17.5g Fat, 37.1g Carbohydrates, 33.8g Sugars, 2.7g Protein. 

8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread

reeses peanut butter chocolate spread

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are becoming ever more popular in the UK, so it makes sense that other Reese's products would start popping up over here too. One that caught my eye recently, reduced to clear in Morrisons, was this Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread. It's described as simply "a blend of peanut butter and cocoa".

reeses peanut butter chocolate spread

Peanuts feature high on the ingredients list, which is a good sign since some spreads don't use a high percentage of nuts in them. Opening the lid, the spread certainly smelled very strong and nutty.

reeses peanut butter chocolate spread

And it tasted pretty darn good! It's somewhat like a cross between smooth peanut butter and chocolate spread, sort of like a peanut Nutella. The peanut butter texture is nice, giving that grittiness that only peanut butter can. This is good stuff but it's definitely very sweet, which is maybe the only thing that lets it down.

Overall, if you're a fan of Reese's and peanutty things in general this is definitely worth a try, it makes a nice change from Nutella, and I think it would go nice alongside some real peanut butter as a topping.

Nutrition (per 100g as sold): 552 Calories, 32.5g Fat, 56.1g Carbohydrates, 51.2g Sugars, 8.7g Protein. 

8 out of 10.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Booja Booja Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream

Booja Booja Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream

I've been exploring the dairy free side of life a bit lately, and trying to find some good ice cream alternatives has proved to be a bit of a challenge. Most are based on soya milk or pea protein, which don't sit too well with my tummy, but I had heard good things about Booja Booja's range so thought I'd give them a whirl. They were recently on offer at Waitrose so it seemed like the perfect excuse!

Booja Booja ice cream is nut based and made with cashew nuts and coconut syrup, so not suitable for those with nut allergies but it's gluten free and suitable for vegans.

Booja Booja Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream

I went for the Caramel Pecan Praline variety as it sounded a bit more lively than the Hunky Punky Chocolate tub. And boy I'm glad I did!

This is described as "Caramel vanilla dairy free ice cream shmoozled with salted caramel pecan praline sauce (18%) made with cashew nuts" and contains 7 organic ingredients: Water, cashew nuts, coconut syrup, agave syrup, pecan nuts, sea salt and vanilla extract.

The ice cream is amazingly creamy considering there's no dairy. Who knew cashew nuts could give such a great texture? In fact this ice cream was quite simply heavenly, the creaminess is delightful and the salted caramel pecan praline swirl has the perfect sweet, salty and nutty flavour that makes it ever so moreish. The combination of the ice cream with the swirl is just perfect, I couldn't stop myself from eating! This is seriously good stuff, up there with the most expensive ice creams around.

Overall, if you're vegan, dairy free or otherwise curious about nut based ice creams, this is one you simply MUST try, it's the best out there in dairy ice creams in fact! I seriously need to try more of their flavours now...

Nutrition (per 100ml): 149 Calories, 5.5g Fat, 22g Carbohydrates, 19g Sugars, 3g Protein.

9 out of 10.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Haagen Dazs Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream (Fruit Collection)

Haagen Dazs Strawberries & Cream

Haagen Dazs have brought out some new boxed packs of mini tubs recently, including a Caramel Collection, Sorbet Collection and this - Fruit Collection. It contains 4 varieties: Mango & Raspberry, Summer Berries & Cream, Blueberries & Cream and Strawberries & Cream. I bought this box on offer at £2.50, although the RRP is £4.

Haagen Dazs Strawberries & Cream

Like the Blueberry version this comes in a small pot with a plastic spoon, making it perfect for taking to the beach or on trips out.

Haagen Dazs Strawberries & Cream

It's basically strawberry ice cream with strawberry pieces mixed in, and tastes delightful! I preferred it over the Blueberry variety as it's more refreshing and summery, and who doesn't love strawberry ice cream?!

Overall, this is another fantastic variety from Haagen Dazs, and probably the best strawberry ice cream out in shops right now. I will definitely pick up the large tub if I see it on offer.

8.5 out of 10.

Nutrition (per pot): 211 Calories, 13.5g Fat, 19g Carbohydrates, 3.4g Protein.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Magnum Honeycomb Ice Creams

Magnum Honeycomb Ice Creams

Okay so I've been a little absent from the blog lately, do forgive me - life has been getting in the way! But I'm back, back again, guess who's back?...to tell you all about the bestest snacks around!

Today's review is for something that's been around a few years now, the Magnum Honeycomb. This is available in most supermarkets for £1.50 to £2.00 per pack of three, and is described as "Honeycomb flavour ice cream with milk chocolate and sugar pieces". It's gluten free but does not state if it's suitable for vegetarians. 

Magnum Honeycomb Ice Creams

The bars have pieces of honeycomb or "sugar pieces" studded in the chocolate coating.

Magnum Honeycomb Ice Creams

Taking a bite, this was one very tasty Magnum indeed - the honeycomb ice cream is the perfect flavour, with a sweet buttery burnt sugar edge, with the honeycomb pieces adding some crunchiness to the texture. They're very yummy indeed, but quite sweet so you won't want more than one at a time.

Overall, out of all the many new varieties of Magnum out there (I've got my eye on the Magnum White Almond), this is definitely one I would buy more than once.

8.5 out of 10.

Nutrition Information (per 100ml stick): 240 Calories, 13g Fat, 27g Carbohydrates, 25g Sugars, 2.8g Protein.