Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Nestlé Wonka Millionaire's Shortbread Bar Review

The relaunch of the Wonka brand in the UK was announced only a few weeks ago - to much controversy (apparently the calorie content in these bars could have a "devastating impact on children"!) - so I was very surprised to see these Millionaire's Shortbread bars in a newsagents recently. Oddly, they didn't have the "Chocolate Nice Cream" variety which was also supposed to be launched along with this bar.

The bar is described as "Milk chocolate with a caramel filling (50%), containing biscuit pieces (6%)", and contains vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter. It's quite thin and comes in 4 blocks which have the Wonka "W" printed on them.

The press release describes this bar as "Just like the classic sweet treat: it's the tasty combination of delicious caramel and shortbread pieces covered in smooth milk chocolate". What's confusing though is that this bar doesn't contain any caramel whatsoever - or at least caramel as most of us know it. True caramel is supposed to be gooey, but this bar contains some sort of caramel flavoured "paste" filling, similar to what used to be in the now-discontinued Kitkat Chunky Caramel. I cut the bar into several pieces thinking perhaps the caramel was hidden in one of the other blocks...but alas, no caramel!

Taste-wise, the bar was nice but very sweet. The biscuit pieces were very crunchy, but I couldn't detect much flavour from them as they got a bit lost in the taste of the filling. They did add a nice texture though. The "caramel" part of the bar is a sweet, caramel-flavoured filling. It wasn't unpleasant at all - infact it was very rich and tasty - but considering this bar is supposed to contain actual caramel I couldn't help but feel a bit shortchanged! It was nothing like any millionaire's shortcake I've ever eaten that's for sure. The chocolate itself was Nestlé's typical milky chocolate - it tasted nice enough but wasn't particularly distinctive.

Overall, I was disappointed by this first bar from the new Wonka range. It's tasty enough, but not particularly unique or "scrumdiddlyumptious". I think the oompa loompas need to go back to the drawing board with this one - Willy Wonka would be embarassed!

Where's the caramel?!
After trying this bar I can't say I'm all that excited about the "Chocolate Nice Cream" or "Crème Brûlée" varieties in this range, but hopefully they might be an improvement!

Price: 90p at Newsagent. Also available at B&M Bargains for 69p.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Doesn't state on packaging.
Allergy Advice: Contains milk & hazelnuts. May contain peanuts, other nuts, egg & soya traces. Biscuit contains cornflour rather than wheat flour but doesn't state if it's gluten free.
Nutrition Information (per bar): 200 Calories, 19.5g Carbohydrates, 12.2g Fat.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Galaxy Honeycomb Crisp Review

It's not only Cadbury that have been busy releasing new products this year. Galaxy have also gotten in on the act and relaunched their chocolate range to include this new Honeycomb Crisp variety, as well as a Nut Crunch variety.

I found this large bar in Morrisons for £1.39 and it's described as "Smooth and creamy Galaxy chocolate with crispy honeycomb pieces". It comes in both small and large bars and bears the familiar Galaxy slogan "Why have cotton when you can have silk?"

The packaging has been updated slightly, and the chocolate comes in a fancy-looking gold paper wrapper:

The chocolate itself looks great and has the new "curvy" shaped blocks that Galaxy introduced a few years ago. It smelled delicious - there was a familiar milky Galaxy scent but with an added butterscotch aroma.

The chocolate tasted extremely creamy and smooth, as Galaxy chocolate is famous for. The honeycomb added an extra depth of deliciousness - it was butterscotch-like in flavour and had an almost salty edge to it, like "proper" honeycomb should have. I found it highly addictive - the combination of creamy Galaxy chocolate and crunchy honeycomb goes together perfectly, and made this bar feel like a real treat indeed.

To compare this to a similar bar I would say it's nicer than Cadbury Dairy Milk with Crunchie Bits, as the quality of the honeycomb is far superior and the chocolate is much smoother. Why have cotton when you can have silk indeed!

Overall, a superb new variety from Galaxy which I'm sure will be very popular - everyone should give this a try. And please, Mars/Galaxy UK - bring us more Galaxy chocolate varieties/limited editions in the future!

Price: £1.39 at Morrisons. Also available in small bars at Asda and Wilkinsons.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Doesn't state on packaging.
Allergy Advice: Contains milk. May contain peanut, almond, hazelnut, gluten (wheat).
Nutritional Information (per 100g): 547 Calories, 58g Carbohydrates (57.2g Sugars), 32g Fat (20g Saturates).

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate with Whole Almonds Review

Hershey's chocolate has a bad reputation here in the UK. Most people find the taste odd, a complaint I hear time and time again. I don't remember it being particularly special the last time I tried it (years ago!) but when I saw this Whole Almonds variety for 40p in a discount store recently, I thought I'd rediscover it and see what all the fuss is about.

To my surprise, it didn't taste too bad. There was no weird flavour from the chocolate at all, infact it was pleasantly milky and chocolatey. I liked the thickness of the chocolate pieces, and the almonds added a nice crunchiness. It wasn't particularly special or amazing by any means, but it was a decent chocolate bar for a mainstream brand. Infact it made a nice change to eat chocolate that wasn't quite as milky as Cadbury's chocolate. The bar contains 27% cocoa solids which is actually higher than Cadbury Dairy Milk, which might explain why it tasted a bit richer and less milky in comparison.

Overall, not a bad chocolate bar at all! I was really surprised by this Hershey Whole Almonds and for 40p it was an absolute bargain - these usually cost a lot more in American import stores. If you happen to spot these discounted I would highly recommend giving them a try!

*No pics of the actual chocolate I'm afraid - I scoffed it in Costa not long after taking the main pic!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Milka Caramel Review (Polish version)

Having slowly made my way through most of the Polish range of Milka bars, I thought I would give this Milka Caramel a try. The packaging caught my eye mainly because it looks reminiscent of a famous UK caramel chocolate bar - Cadbury Dairy Milk with Caramel.

I wasn't expecting it to taste great, since my experiences with Polish Milka chocolates have been a bit lacklustre so far. And I was right. The caramel didn't offer the same delicious buttery taste as Dairy Milk with Caramel - it just tasted overly sweet and without any real flavour. The chocolate itself tasted ok but was very sweet.

Overall, I find it hard to recommend this Milka Caramel bar. I'm not sure if there's a similar one on the German market but if there is I'd imagine it's much tastier than this. I should point out that this is different from the Milka Caramel Cream we currently get in the UK.

Price: Just over £1 at local import store.

Tender Cactus In Brine

When I saw this jar of "Tender Cactus In Brine" in the reduced section of a local department store I just had to buy it. How could I not? Because whilst this may be a normal foodstuff in some parts of the world (just guessing there), here in the UK it is downright unusual.

When I think of Cactus I imagine those prickly green things from Roadrunner cartoons. Or the miniature houseplants that don't need much watering. I never realized they could be - gasp - eaten!

These particular cactus' - or is that cacti? - are a product of Mexico "for UK use". Nice to know they've been made especially for our use! As well as brine the ingredients also list onion, spices, peppers, sugar and coriander. Opening the jar they smelled pretty much the same as a jar of jalapeno peppers. And that's kind of how they tasted, although perhaps milder. They had a somewhat sticky goo coating them which I found a bit off-putting. I wasn't too keen on the flavour to be honest, mainly due to the brine making them taste quite vinegary. But they are certainly interchangeable with jalapenos and could probably be used as a pizza topping or in other ways jalapenos are commonly used.

Overall, these Tender Cactus in Brine are an interesting novelty, but not something I would buy again. I'm not sure if these are a staple product in mexican food, perhaps someone more knowledgeable can educate me? If you've tried these yourself please do get in touch via the comments! :)

Friday, 23 August 2013

Milka Schoko Drops Review

A big thankyou to the fantastic Monster Sweets for sending me these Milka Schoko Drops to review recently! Monster Sweets are always on top of the latest American and European snacks releases - do check out their great range of stuff.

Being a fan of all things Milka I was really excited to try these. They reminded me of the Weihnachts Minis I reviewed last year but sounded a lot more promising.

They're basically a milky cream filling surrounded with Milka alpine milk chocolate and then coated in a crunchy candy shell. They're similar to Smarties and M&M's but the cream layer means the texture is quite different. The shells come in only white and purple colours to fit with the Milka branding, which I think looks really cool and unique.

The milk chocolate tasted rich and creamy, just like regular Milka chocolate. The milky layer added an extra level of creaminess and tastes kind of similar to the cream in Kinder milk chocolate bars. The crunchy shell finished it off nicely. I thought these were very moreish and I enjoyed the combination of creaminess, crunchiness and rich chocolate. They're more satisfying than Smarties or M&M's as they're creamy rather than being overly sugary. They also feel a bit healthier than Smarties and M&M's since they contain only two colours rather than a whole rainbow-full!

Overall, I thought these Schoko Drops were a tasty and interesting product from Milka. They're a lot nicer than Smarties and I think they'd be especially popular with kids.

You can buy Schoko Drops from Monster Sweets along with many other interesting Milka snacks that are unavailable in the UK here:


*Monster Sweets kindly sent me these chocolates for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

New! Cadbury Wishes Little Wishes Review

Another day, another new product from Cadbury. This time it's the turn of these mini versions of the Cadbury Wishes Chocolate Star that is usually sold over the Christmas period. They're called Little Wishes and include the truffle part from regular Cadbury Wishes in mini star-shaped form, plus pure milk chocolate stars. Like regular Cadbury Wishes, 10% of the profits from these will go to the Make A Wish Foundation. The profits will be at least £50,000 in the UK and go towards making the wishes of children fighting life-threatening conditions come true. I'm sure everyone will agree that this is very appropriate and heart-warming for a Christmas-themed product!

The chocolates are straight-up Cadbury Milk Chocolate, so of course they were going to be tasty. They're described as "Solid milk chocolates and milk chocolates with truffle centres" but there's little difference between them - the truffles are slightly softer to the bite, but that's about it.

Whilst I was never much of a fan of regular Cadbury Wishes, in miniature form they're somehow incredibly moreish. They had a similar effect on me as Cadbury Buttons - I couldn't stop myself from eating one after the other until most of the bag had gone! And with the promise of 10p of the £1 I paid for these going to charity, I felt a little bit less guilty. Yes - Cadbury have discovered a way to make us feel less naughty about eating chocolate!

As mentioned on the pack, the Wishes had suffered some scuffing during transit, but I still thought they looked pretty cool in their mini star shapes. They'd probably be good mixed with other Christmas-themed chocolates over the festive period.

Overall, these aren't anything particularly innovative or new, but they're very moreish and in aid of a good cause, so hats off to Cadbury!

Price: £1 per bag at Morrisons (current special offer).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Advice: Contains milk and soya. May contain nuts.
Nutritional Information (per quarter bag): 175 Calories, 10.5g Fat (6g Saturates), 17.5g Carbohydrates (17.5g of which Sugars).

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sunpat Choc-a-Nut: Chocolate Peanut Spread Review

Being a longtime fan of peanut butter I've always hoped that some company would make one with chocolate in. There was a glimmer of hope when Whole Earth did peanut butter with chocolate chips a few years ago (see review here by Foodstuff Finds), but I haven't been able to find it since.

So when I spotted this new Sunpat "Choc-a-Nut" spread in Asda I was very excited...I thought my wish for a chocolate and peanut butter spread had finally come true! Alas, turns out it had only half come true. This isn't peanut butter infused with chocolate, but rather a smooth peanut butter paste with added cocoa powder and vegetable oil to make it more spreadable.

It tasted good - very rich, nutty and smooth in texture, and pretty much like someone had combined smooth peanut butter with chocolate spread. But it lacks something. I think the problem is that it uses cocoa powder for the chocolate flavour, giving it a strong cocoa taste but not much creaminess. It's a good attempt but I wish they'd mixed real chocolate into it instead.

Overall, this is a tasty spread from Sunpat and will surely be very popular. It's good on toast, crackers, rice cakes etc. and makes a nice change from regular peanut butter. I'm just a bit disappointed it doesn't contain actual chocolate.

Price: £1.79 at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Ingredients: 58% peanuts, sugar, vegetable oils, cocoa powder (6.5%), sea salt, vanilla.
Allergy Advice: Produced in a factory that handles other nuts.
Nutritional Information (per 100g): 562 Calories, 38.6g Fat (7.5g Saturates), 33.7g Carbohydrates (26.7g Sugars), 16.9g Protein.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Nestlé Quality Street Green Triangle Desserts Review

As well as the After Eight desserts I reviewed yesterday, I also picked up these new Quality Street Green Triangle desserts from Morrisons recently. They're described as "Creamy chocolate and hazelnut flavoured dessert" and are "inspired by" the hazelnut praline green triangles from Quality Street.

Unlike the After Eight desserts these don't contain two different layers, just hazelnut flavoured chocolate dessert. They come in pairs like the After Eight desserts, which is quite handy because I immediately opened the second pot after finishing the first one!

I enjoyed these a lot more than the After Eight desserts. They tasted very nutty and chocolatey and fitted the flavour of the Quality Street Green Triangle perfectly. They were very sweet though, and two small pots were enough to give me a nice sweet chocolatey hit.

Overall I thought these desserts were very nice, although they made me wish that Nutella did their own version. They'd surely be tastier by default since Nutella is the king of hazelnut flavoured chocolate, and probably far more indulgent. I'd still recommend these though if you like hazelnut flavoured stuff - they're pretty tasty for the price.

Price: £1 per 4-pack at Morrisons (current special offer).
Ingredients suitable for vegetarians?: No - contains gelatine.
Allergy Advice: Contains milk and soya.
Nutritional Information (per 70g pot): 153 Calories, 9.1g Fat (5.9g Saturates), 14.2g Carbohydrates (13.4g Sugars).

Monday, 19 August 2013

Nestlé After Eight Desserts Review

Many thanks to Aarun on Twitter for letting me know about these new Nestlé desserts. There's two new varieties - Quality Street Green Triangle and After Eight. They're currently on offer at £1 per 4-pack in Morrisons along with other varieties such as Rolo and Milkybar.

The After Eight desserts are described as "Delicious dark chocolate and mint flavoured dessert" and are made with 60% fresh milk. The pots weigh 70g each and come in pairs of two:

Each pot has a layer of mint-flavoured dessert at the bottom with a dark chocolate layer on top:

The mint portion tasted somewhat like white chocolate and was very sweet and creamy, whilst the dark chocolate portion was more cocoa dominant. I enjoyed the combination and the fresh mint flavour went well with the chocolate layer. The desserts were very tasty but I was a little disappointed they didn't have a more intense minty taste like real After Eights. They were a bit tame in comparison, but pleasant nonetheless.

Overall, I enjoyed these After Eight desserts but feel they were a bit too "safe". Some real dark chocolate or actual mint crème from the centre of an After Eight would have gone a long way to making them more exciting.

Price: £1 per 4-pack at Morrisons (current special offer).
Ingredients suitable for vegetarians?: No - contains gelatine.
Allergy Advice: Contains milk and soya.
Nutritional Information (per pot): 125 Calories, 4.7g Fat (3.1g Saturates), 17.7g Carbohydrates (16.6g of which Sugars). 

Walkers Blonde Chocolate Caramel Thins Review

When I spotted these Walkers "Blonde Chocolate Caramel Thins" in a 99p Store recently, my snacks radar perked up. "Blonde chocolate? What on earth is that?", I thought. Reading the box unfortunately took away some of the mystique - they're described as simply "Coloured white chocolate thins with a caramel flavour filling". Not natural blondes then!

Speaking of "Blonde chocolate", it seems to be a new term in confectionery and one I've only seen coined in the description of the new Valrhona Dulcey chocolate so far (which I'm yet to try due to the cost!) It refers to a type of caramel-flavoured white chocolate in a similar vein to Nestle's Caramac. And that's kind of how these "blonde chocolate thins" tasted - like Caramac, but much sweeter.

Opening the box they actually looked like a Caramac version of After Eights. I got quite excited as I've never seen a product quite like this before.

Unfortunately all the fun stopped when I bit into one. It tasted like a waxier, sweeter and inferior version of Caramac. Which is saying something considering Caramac itself is very sweet and waxy these days (it used to be much nicer when I was a kid!) The ingredients contain vegetable fat which may explain the waxy texture. The filling wasn't really caramel, but rather some kind of caramel-flavoured vegetable fat "paste".

Overall I was very disappointed with these. Walkers claim to have been producing chocolate since 1963 and are focused on quality...but so far my experiences with their products say otherwise. I've reviewed their Milk Chocolate Raisin Eggs previously and although they were an interesting product, they weren't great quality. Maybe I'm just being too critical though - my friend liked these chocolates and said they were "gorgeous".

So don't take my word for it - try these for yourself and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Price: 99p per 150g box at 99p Stores.
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa butter, vegetable fat, whole milk powder, whey powder, colour, flavouring.
Allergy Advice: Contains milk. May contain peanuts and tree nuts.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Haribo Maoam Pinballs Review

Just a quick review for these Maoam Pinballs. They're not really anything new and I'm sure most of you will have seen them in the shops countless times. They're very tasty though and well worth a try if you like sour sweets!

I picked these up in Discount UK for about 99p but they're available from most supermarkets. They're apparently from Maomix (which sounds like a catfood brand to me) and are "so good they've got their own bag". I've never tried Maomix but I agree they're very good indeed. They're very chewy and with a nice sour tang that isn't too sour but just about right. The fruit flavours are refreshing and I really liked the apple and strawberry varieties. They also come in orange, cherry and lemon flavours.

Overall if you're a fan of sour sweets I would highly recommend these - they're not overbearingly sour but achieve a nice balance of pleasant fruitiness and slightly sour tanginess.

Price: around £1 in most supermarkets.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Blast From The Past: Nestlé's Crazy Kitkat Flavours!

In the early-mid 2000's, Nestle UK went a bit mad and tried lots of different Kitkat flavours and varieties. I thought it'd be fun to compile a list to remember them by here. I plan on doing more features such as this in future as I love to reminisce over snacks that are long gone!

These Kitkats were all released over a period between around 2003/2004 until about 2006.

Kitkat Blood Orange (Halloween Limited Edition):

This had a blood orange flavour cream in-between the wafers. I don't remember it tasting anything special. The tagline was "Have many spooky breaks".

Kitkat Christmas Pudding (Christmas Limited Edition):

These were only available in multipacks and tasted horrible. The "christmas pudding" flavour was achieved through the use of artificial flavours and was very unpleasant.

Kitkat White Lemon and Yoghurt:

This was the first new Kitkat variety launched in the early 2000's and was expected to boost flagging sales of Kitkat, however it didn't seem to sell very well. The lemon and yoghurt filling was very nice as I recall, and had an almost "cheesecakey" sort of taste. It was very refreshing and light.

Kitkat Luscious Lime - available in 2004, I believe:

This one was quite tasty - a white chocolate coated Kitkat with lime flavour cream in-between the wafers. This was available at the same time as Lemon & Yoghurt which always struck me as a bit odd.

Kitkat Caramac:
This was one of the best limited edition Kitkat varieties Nestlé ever made. It was coated in a lovely butterscotch Caramac flavoured coating, quite different to a regular Caramac and actually much tastier. They were very moreish and I'm surprised they were discontinued!

Kitkat Editions Tiramisu:
Kitkat Editions contained a layer of gooey filling above the wafer, and this as one of my favourite varieties they did. It actually contained a small amount of marsala wine and mascarpone cream in the filling. Sadly it didn't last very long on shelves.

Kitkat Editions Mango & Passionfruit:
This was one of the more odder Editions flavours - the flavours didn't really go well with the chocolate at all, although I still liked this bar for its unique fruitiness.

Kitkat Editions Red Berry:
This contained a strawberry and raspberry flavour filling above the wafer. I don't remember it being all that special.

Kitkat Editions Seville Orange:
This contained a layer of sour-tasting seville orange, and I remember a lot of people at the time didn't like it much due to the bitterness. It tasted more like marmalade than sweet orange, but personally I loved it!

Kitkat Editions Golden Caramel:
This was a real treat indeed - a layer of gooey golden caramel sat above crunchy wafer. Nestle have never made one of these since, but they did release a Kitkat Chunky Caramel that contained a caramel flavour "paste" instead. It was nothing compared to this though - they should seriously bring these back!

Nestle even tried a Low-carb Kitkat during the Atkins diet craze!:
As well as all the above Kitkat varieties, Nestle brought out Kitkat Kubes, which were cube-shaped bite-size pieces of Kitkat. Despite them not selling very well they came in an array of different flavours. Nowadays we get Kitkat Pop Choc, which are a similar sort of thing.

Kitkat Kubes Cappuccino:

Kitkat Kubes Orange:

Kitkat Kubes Mint:

Regular Kitkat Kubes:

Well, that's enough nostalgia for one day! I hope you've enjoyed this little foray into Nestle's Kitkat Madness. Stay tuned for another Blast From The Past featuring other limited edition products Nestle have released in the past, including Irish Cream Rolos and Lemon Sorbet After Eights!

Can you remember any of these Kitkats? Did you try any? If so I'd love to hear your comments!