Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Nestle Quality Street Matchmakers Salted Caramel Review

Nestle Salted Caramel Matchmakers

The Salted Caramel trend has been going for at least a few years now, and it seems that companies are determined to put it in everything. Galaxy Salted Caramel is a few years old, and more recently we got Salted Caramel Kettle Chips. Nestle have got in on the act too and added a Salted Caramel variety to their Matchmakers range (which now bizarrely has been lumped under the Quality Street brand, even though Matchmakers never had anything to do with Quality Street). This is no doubt a replacement for the Matchmakers Yummy Honeycomb which is still available in Home Bargains, although it could be old stock.

Nestle Salted Caramel Matchmakers

You can pick these up for around £1 in most shops currently - Tesco have them at half price and they're also in Poundland and other discount stores for £1.

Nestle Salted Caramel Matchmakers

They're described as "salted caramel flavoured chocolates with skimmed milk chocolate, dark chocolate and boiled sugar pieces". Yum - boiled sugar, sounds so enticing!

Nestle Salted Caramel Matchmakers Review

Opening the box they had a super strong butterscotch-like aroma, so strong there was no way it can be natural. It's so overpowering.

The sticks are the classic Matchmakers, perfect for nibbling on or stuffing as many in your mouth as you can fit! You get a good amount to munch on, which has always been one of the best things about Matchmakers in my opinion - they're great value for money.

They taste strongly of salted caramel, too strongly in fact. This isn't the sort of salted caramel that sits there on the fence - it's full on SALTY, strong and butterscotch like, and quite frankly after a few sticks these were too much. I did enjoy them but they become too overpowering and I think the fault lies in the strong artificial flavour (although the ingredients list "natural flavouring", hmmmm I wonder what it is?).

Overall, these aren't bad and I'm sure they'll go down a storm over the festive season if you like salty caramel flavours. They certainly make a nice alternative to the usual Mint and Orange Matchmakers. But they're a bit too much for me personally.

Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, glucose syrup, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, vegetable fat, lactose and proteins from whey, whey powder, natural flavouring, emulsifier sunflower lecithin, salt.

Suitable for vegetarians. 

Nutrition (per 4 sticks): 71 Calories, 3.1g Fat, 10.2g Carbohydrates, 9.2g Sugars, 0.5g Protein. 

7 out of 10. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Tesco Finest Candy Cane Crisps Limited Edition

Tesco Finest Candy Cane Crisps Limited Edition

This Christmas it seems to be the year of sweet crisp flavours for some reason. There's the new Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream - which is actually pretty awesome - as well as these Candy Cane flavour Tesco Finest crisps. Last year we got a Rum & Cocoa Limited Edition from Tesco, which was really nice so I don't know why they haven't kept it this year. Even more so after trying these which were pretty horrible...

Described as "candy cane flavour potato crisps" and costing £1 these are available from most large Tesco stores, along with more savoury flavours like Pigs in Blankets and Pulled Pork. They're suitable for vegans, and 100% of the sales will be donated to Fareshare and The Trussell Trust.

Tesco Finest Candy Cane Crisps Limited Edition

Opening the bag, they smelled as you would expect: vaguely of toothpaste and not very inviting!

Tesco Finest Candy Cane Crisps Limited Edition

They tasted pretty horrible. The flavouring is just a sweet, sticky minty powder, not the sort of thing anyone wants on a crisp. It's just wrong! They tasted very sickly and unlike the Kettle Chips Salted Caramel, weren't very moreish at all. A waste of £1, but nice to know that it's at least going to charity.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend trying these at all, even for the novelty factor - no one will like them! Go for one of the savoury varieties instead or better yet the Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel. For the same price they'e a lot more enjoyable! Oh Tesco, what a shame you went and replaced the Rum and Cocoa Crisps with these... *sad face*

Nutrition Information (per 25g): 130 Calories, 7.2g Fat, 14.7g Carbohydrates, 1.1g Sugars, 1.4g Protein. 

Ingredients: Potatoes, sunflower oil, candy cane flavour seasoning (sugar, dried glucose syrup, salt, colour beetroot red & paprika extract, flavouring). 

3 out of 10.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream

Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream

When I first saw these new Salted Caramel flavour Kettle Chips I laughed. It seems a bit ridiculous to put the Flavour Du Jour (which is fast becoming the Flavour Du Yesterday!) on crisps, I mean who wants sweet crisps? Is it a new trend? (Tesco seem to think so - their latest weird Christmas flavour is Tesco Finest Candy Cane crisps - click for my review!)

I'm glad I put my reservations aside and gave these a shot though. They're only £1 in Tesco at the moment, and I thought they would at least make for an interesting review. They're described as "Hand cooked potato chips with salted caramel and double cream seasoning", and are Gluten Free as well as suitable for vegetarians.

Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream

I tipped the bag right into a bowl and dug straight in - no messing about! They had a vague toffee-like aroma that seemed more savoury than sweet. Intriguing!

Kettle Discoveries Salted Caramel & Double Cream

And they tasted...rather amazing! Now I don't really know how to describe these other than moreish - they're sort of cheesy, possibly owing to the double cream, with a strong savoury edge and saltiness. There's a very slight buttery sweetness there under the surface from the salted caramel - which is apparently Tiptree Salted Caramel Spread. I couldn't stop myself from eating one after the other...they're soooo good!

Overall, should you try these? Yes, yes you should! Like the Chocolate Coated Cinnamon Tortilla Rolls from M&S they're a snack sure to get people talking this Christmas, and one that will no doubt be a big surprise to all. You may even want to buy an extra bag so you can have one all to yourself...

Nutrition per 100g: 26.1g Fat, 59.3g Carbohydrates, 3.2g Sugars, 4.5g Fibre, 5g Protein.

Ingredients: Select potatoes, sunflower oil, salted caramel and double cream seasoning (dried salted caramel spread extract, golden syrup, condensed skimmed milk, butter, double cream, sea salt, dried cream, demerera sugar, sugar, dried buttermilk, sea salt, dried caramel syrup, dried dorset cream, salt, natural flavouring).

8.5 out of 10.

Have you tried these Salted Caramel Kettle Chips? Did you love them as much as me? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Maynards Bassetts Tropical vs Original Jelly Babies

Maynards Bassetts Tropical

Todays review is a face off...well...a jelly baby off between the new Tropical flavour Jelly Babies from Maynards Bassetts vs the Original Jelly Babies. It seems incomprehensible that a new variety could beat the originals, so this will be interesting!

Firstly, I must mention the new name: Jelly Babies were originally labelled as Bassetts, but Mondelez have put both the Maynards brand (which is on things like Wine Gums and Sports Mixture) and Bassetts (which includes the likes of Liquorice Allsorts - who can forget the character Bertie Bassett?) I'm not sure it's a good idea to lump two brands together like this, but I guess it fits with Mondelez' marketing strategy of making everything the same.

Maynards Bassetts Tropical

First up, the Tropical Jelly Babies. These come in mango, pineapple and BANANA (ooh!) flavours so straight off they are at a disadvantrage of containing less variety than the Originals, despite the fancy flavours. But are they good flavours? Yes, they are as it turns out! They are all fruity, tropical and lovely, and make for a nice change from regular Jelly Babies. The banana is interesting and if you like banana sweets you're bound to love them...it's a bit less artificial tasting than foam bananas. The mango and pineapple are both lovely, fitting the tropical theme perfectly. I really enjoyed these! 8 out of 10.

bassetts jelly babies

The originals are...well, the originals and the best! They have a wider variety of flavours, with citrus as well as berry, giving a nice contrast. The berry flavours distract a bit from the overly sweet citrus ones, and strawberry is always a winner. Overall, a fantastic and classic selection that has stood the test of time. 8.5 out of 10.

bassetts jelly babies

Overall then there's a clear winner - original Jelly Babies! The Tropical ones certainly make for a nice change and I've always loved tropical sweets in general - I used to love the tropical Fruit Pastilles available when I was a kid, more so than the originals. These Tropical Jelly Babies don't quite beat the originals, but they are certainly very tasty. And they get extra points just for including a banana flavour...because we need more banana flavour sweets on shelves!

Which ones did you prefer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Nestle Kitkat Chunky New York Cheesecake Review

Nestle Kitkat Chunky New York Cheesecake

Today's review isn't something I would usually feature, since it contains gluten. However on this occasion I decided to test this new Kitkat Chunky variety on friends and see what they thought of it. I was offered some of these to review and I can't turn down free samples!

New York Cheesecake is an unusual flavour indeed for Kitkat, so how have they recreated the classic biscuit and cream cheese dessert? By putting the cream cheese as a layer over the wafer of course! Described as a "crispy wafer finger with a New York cheesecake flavour topping covered with milk chocolate", these are available in all supermarkets now in 42g bars for 60p or so.

Nestle Kitkat Chunky New York Cheesecake

The bar is the classic Chunky design split into three sections.

Nestle Kitkat Chunky New York Cheesecake

The cream sits nicely above the wafer, and breaking the bar apart it certainly has that familiar malty Kitkat chocolate aroma, with a faint smell of cream cheese.

Nestle Kitkat Chunky New York Cheesecake

My friends commented that this tastes like the classic Kitkat Chunky with a creamy sweet edge that could get sickly if you eat too much. It doesn't taste strongly like cheesecake but it does have a slight tang to it. It's very rich and indulgent and tastes like a real treat.

Well - there you have it! There's not much I can personally say about this bar without risking death so I'll trust my friends opinions on this. Everyone enjoyed it and felt it was worth a try.

Now, while I'm at it does anyone remember the epic Tiramisu Kitkat Editions from years back? They were seriously, seriously good!

Nutrition Information (per bar): 224 Calories, 12.6g Fat, 23.4g carbohydrates, 20.5g sugars, 4.1g protein.

8 out of 10

Monday, 9 October 2017

Marks & Spencer Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Rolls

M&S Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Rolls

Now normally I would reserve reviews like this for December, as that's the only time it's really acceptable to be eating festive snacks, however today's product is an exception because it's so good that I just had to tell you all about it!

These are currently in M&S amongst their new festive range, along with Maple Bacon Tortilla Rolls, Christmas Pudding Ice Cream (fancy!) Chocolate Orange Ice Cream (do want!), Christmas Pudding Roulade and more besides like Salted Caramel Pinecones, Prosecco Caramels etc. For more goodies do check out my Instagram page!

M&S Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Rolls

These particular snacks are selling like hot cakes - or hot tortillas - it seems; they're out of stock whenever I look in M&S. By chance I managed to nab the last pack on a flying visit to Glasgow, for a respectable £2 for 190g of "milk chocolate coated corn tortilla rolls with a cinnamon sugar seasoning".

M&S Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Rolls

The milk chocolate is on one side of each roll and looks kind of chunky, with the cinnamon sugar more prominent on the other side. Some of the tortillas were stuck together in lumps, which is a good thing as it means you have an excuse to eat more at once!

M&S Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Rolls

As I started eating them, at first I wasn't too sure. They tasted very savoury and I wasn't convinced that salty tortilla was a good thing mixed with sweet cinnamon. But as I crunched on them, they became more and more addictive, and soon enough I couldn't stop reaching for one after the other! They're so good! The combination of salty, savoury tortilla works beautifully with the cinnamon sugar, and the milk chocolate completes everything with a creamy sweetness. I would have liked more milk chocolate on them to be honest, as it's a bit lost in the cinnamon and tortilla flavours.

These are just so good! Seriously moreish, very festive and sure to have everyone talking at Christmas. They're a must have on your Christmas list - stock up on them! And don't wait until Christmas either...they're ok to eat early because we are now in Pumpkin Spice season, and cinnamon is a pumpkin spice so...yeah. It's ok, no one will judge. Even if you do scoff the whole bag like I did...oops!

9 out of 10.

Ingredients: Maize flour, coconut oil, belgian milk chocolate (20%) (sugar, cocoa butter, dried whole milk, cocoa mass, soya lecithin, vanilla flavouring), sugar, ground cinnamon, salt, flavouring, cinnamon extract, clove extract. 

Nutrition Information per 30g serving: 153 Calories, 7.7g Fat, 18.8g Carbohydrates, 3.6g Sugars, 1.3g Fibre, 1.6g Protein. Suitable for vegetarians. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Green & Blacks Velvet Edition Mint Dark Chocolate

Green & Blacks Velvet Edition Mint Dark Chocolate

Mondelez have done a few questionable things in recent years, but perhaps the most questionable yet is their move away from organic chocolate within the Green & Blacks range. It remains to be seen if all G&B bars will no longer be organic, but so far they've been giving this new non organic Velvet Edition range quite a push in supermarkets.

After the disappointing Almond & Blood Orange bar I wasn't going to bother trying any more of the range, however curiosity got the better of me with this Mint version. I do love a minty chocolate, and was curious how this might compare to the regular mint chocolate bar from G&B.

The range is reduced to £1.50 at the moment in Tesco, which is still too much for inferior chocolate if you ask me. The bars contain 90g which I believe is less than a regular Green & Blacks bar. So not only are they non organic they're giving you less too. Way to go Mondelez!

Green & Blacks Velvet Edition Mint Dark Chocolate

Do forgive my grainy photo, I took it as I was exiting Tesco on a dark night haha! The chocolate did look a bit odd on closer inspection, with a slightly grainy appearance despite there being no crunchy mint pieces added.

It tasted of pretty much nothing...there is very little flavour to the dark chocolate (according to Mondelez, consumers don't want dark chocolate to taste of dark chocolate!), and the mint is no different to that from any other bar. In fact it's quite tame and not punchy enough. Overall the bar tastes less appetizing than the Tesco Mint dark chocolate bars that cost £1 (which aren't actually half bad!) As for the regular Green and Blacks mint bar, it's far superior to this of course - with a richer cocoa flavour and fresher mint taste. Hopefully it hasn't been discontinued to make way for this nonsense!

Overall, this bar just reaffirms my feeling that this G&B Velvet Edition range is utterly pointless. The chocolate is flavourless and bland, you get less for your money and still pay a lot. Maybe I should have tried the Raspberry and Hazelnut or Salted Caramel versions, but alas I'm done with them now!

5 out of 10.