Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Another quick Spotted In Shops, and it seems that it's not just the weather that's getting colder this week - so are the new snacks! There's been a lot of ice cream releases lately, from the Ben and Jerrys Birthday Cake and Topped Pretzel Palooza, to some new Haagen Dazs Peanut Butter Crunch sticks, as well as a Peanut Butter Crunch Tub. Both are available in Asda but unfortunately mine has none of the tubs in yet - boo! They feature peanut butter ice cream, swirls of peanut butter sauce, crunchy caramel and milk chocolate.
Magnum White Chocolate Honeycomb & Almond:
Featuring Honeycomb flavour Ice Cream with White Chocolate and Almonds, these new sticks from Magnum sound potentially dangerous! Available at Asda in boxes of 4.
Rowntree's Fruit Blaster Lollies:
Also new at Asda are these Rowntree's Fruit Blaster ice lollies - a variation on Rowntree's traditional fruit lollies.
Asda Hand Cooked Thai Green Curry Crisps:
An interesting new limited edition flavour from Asda in their Hand Cooked range.
Asda Hand Cooked Hoisin Duck Crisps:
Another interesting limited edition - Asda sure do excel with their crisp varieties!
Asda BBQ Flavour Popped Chips:
Asda are also getting on the popped crisps bandwagon with their BBQ flavour "popped not fried" chips (errrr we say crisps here, Asda?!).
That's all for now...have you tried the new Haagen Dazs Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream? How does it compare to the new Ben & Jerry's flavours? Let me know in the comments!
Monday, 26 February 2018
When I'm trying to eat healthy (#thestruggleisreal!) I do like a nice refined sugar, gluten and dairy free snack to munch on. There's always the trusty, tasty Nakd bars on hand in most shops, but a lesser-known brand is The Primal Pantry, who make Paleo and Vegan approved bars with ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, coconut sugar etc. I've tried their stuff before and really enjoyed it. So when I spotted this caffeine infused Espresso variety in the Co Op recently I got very excited indeed - probably too excited, must have been the thought of that shake-inducing caffeine!
Described as simply a "Double Espresso Protein Bar" it contains real coffee beans and seemed to be promising an energy boost in bar form - protein AND coffee all at once?! Can't get more #fitfam than that ey?
Unfortunately, the bar turned out to be a bit pants. Overlooking the fact it looked like something you'd find in your pants, the texture was my first point of contention: it tasted gritty and unpleasant, no doubt due to the hemp used to boost the protein content. If that wasn't bad enough the density was neither firm nor chewy but sort of soft and squidgy, because Primal Pantry have used coconut nectar as the sweetener and it didn't work well to hold the texture of the bar. On top of that, the espresso flavour was not a strong shot of the good stuff but instead tasted of cheap coffee.
Overall, I don't really care how much protein or caffeine this contains, those are just bonuses because the most important thing is the taste, and it just didn't deliver. Sorry Primal Pantry - as much as I liked your other bars this one really falls short.
Ingredients: Dates, hemp protein 26%, coconut nectar, almonds, coffee beans 5%, caffeine extract from coffee beans (0.18%).
Nutrition Information (per bar): 196 Calories, 4g Fat, 24g Carbohydrates, 21g Sugars, 3g Fibre, 15g Protein.
5 out of 10.
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Another quick edition of Spotted In Shops today, this time for something always worthy of shouting about: New Ben & Jerry's flavours! It seems they've been busy again and released two new flavours onto the U.K market: Birthday Cake, containing Vanilla Cake Batter Ice Cream with Pink Frosting, Strawberry Swirls and Cake Pieces. It comes in lovely packaging that enables you to gift the tub to someone on their birthday - such a nice touch! I would actually do this if it wouldn't melt in the post! Currently available at Sainsbury's for £4.
As if that wasn't exciting enough they've only gone and bloomin' launched another variety, this time in their "Topped" range called Pretzel Palooza. This one contains Vanilla malt ice cream with a chocolatey hazelnut swirl (11%), chocolatey covered pretzel chunks (7%), chocolatey chunks (2%) and chocolatey topping (9%), and it's currently £3 in Sainsbury's. What are you waiting for? Get yourself down there pronto!
Maybe a bit less exciting, but I had to include this since we are talking Ice Cream - Cadbury Crunchie Ice Cream tubs are now a thing!
Have you tried any of these new Ice Creams? Would you recommend them? Let me know in the comments!
Saturday, 24 February 2018
A quick post today with some interesting snacks news: Nestle are going to relaunch their axed Kitkat Senses brand in a miniature version, which will come boxed and contains Kitkat wafers with three different fillings: Salted Caramel, Hazelnut and Double Chocolate. The boxes will retail at £3.99, containing 20 bars and will be available in Tesco in the next week, and other supermarkets in March. This is intended to be a permanent release and not limited edition. The Salted Caramel variety will contain a layer of caramel and crunchy sugar shards, the hazelnut a layer of praline and crunchy pieces of nut, and the double chocolate will have a layer of ganache and cocoa nibs.
The bars are being launched in box format to meet the demand for sharing products and will be situated next to products like Ferrero Rocher and Maltesers. A hazelnut only version will also be launched.
Are you excited? Do you remember the original Kitkat Senses bars? Which flavour takes your fancy the most? Let me know in the comments!
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Whilst buying the delicious Swiss Blond Chocolate bar from M&S recently I thought I'd also try one of their new smaller "treat" bars with "healthy" additions. I went for this White Chocolate with Matcha tea and raspberry added because it sounded pretty unusual if not delicious. It's in the same range as the Latte Coffee Kick and Turmeric Coconut treat bars and costs 60p for 25g.
Described as a "matcha green tea flavoured white chocolate bar with freeze-dried raspberries" it's split it into two chunks - one for the AM and one for the PM. Really, M&S?! This may not be just any chocolate, but I certainly ain't saving half for later!
The dried raspberries were clearly visible on the underside of the bar. I can't say it looked all that appetizing to be honest.
Starting with the AM square (it was actually in the PM - so I had a good excuse to eat both pieces!) I took a bite, and thankfully it tasted a lot better than it looked! The chocolate is super creamy but this is offset by the sharp flavour of the matcha tea, which actually blends really well with it. Opposites attract it seems! The raspberry pieces added some nice crunch and bursts of tart flavour, which complimented the chocolate well. All in all this is a strange bar that's actually pretty tasty, a nice mix of creamy, sharp and tart flavours all in one.
Overall, would I recommend this bar? If you're a white chocolate fan then yes, definitely, it's something a bit different and not quite as odd as it sounds on paper. Only for the adventurous though!
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa butter, dried whole milk, freeze dried raspberries (2%), dried matcha green tea, emulsifier soya lecithin, vanilla extract. Milk solids 21% minimum.
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
As well as the Nestle L'Atelier Salted Caramel bar I reviewed the other day, I also picked up this 100g bar of Milk Chocolate with Cranberries, Almonds & Hazelnuts in Sainsbury's Express recently. It was on offer for £1.50 - usually it's £2. It comes foil wrapped which I love, since most chocolates are plastic wrapped nowadays and I'm sure it makes a difference in the taste.
It's described as "Smooth milk chocolate with dried sweteened cranberries and whole hazelnuts and almonds", and the chocolate contains 30% minimum cocoa solids and 18% milk solids.
Like the other bars in the range, the cranberries and nuts are clearly visible in each block which is nice as it means you know exactly what you're getting.
Breaking a piece off, it had a nice chunky feel and reminded me a little of the Nestle Double Cream bars from many many years ago. Anyone remember them?
The chocolate tastes pretty creamy and melts in the mouth nicely, but definitely has that distinctive "woody" taste that you just know is Nestle. It's kind of like a higher quality version of the chocolate they use in their other products. I wouldn't say it screams high quality but it was pleasant. The cranberries and nuts are really where the bar shines, they're so plentiful and combine well with the chocolate, making this feel like a posh Fruit and Nut bar. In fact considering Cadbury's Fruit and Nut tastes rather greasy these days, I'd say this tasted better.
Overall, this is a pretty tasty bar and worth picking up if you spot it on special offer. I wouldn't go out of your way for it though, the other bars in the Nestle L'Atelier range like the Blonde Chocolate with Nuts look a lot more interesting!
Nutrition Information (per piece): 77 Calories, 4.6g Fat, 7.5g Carbohydrates, 7.3g Sugars, 1.2g Protein.
Ingredients: Sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, dried sweetened cranberries (6%) (sugar, dried cranberries, sunflower oil), almonds 5%, hazelnuts 5%, emulsifier sunflower lecithin.
7.5 out of 10.
Monday, 19 February 2018
Recently, Nestle launched their range of premium chocolated Les Recettes De L'Atelier into Sainsbury's stores. This range has proven very popular in Europe so they are testing the waters in the UK it seems. There's some interesting flavours in the range, most notably L'atelier Blonde Chocolate with Roasted Almonds and Hazelnuts, although at £3.50 per large bar I have been put off trying it. A bit more reasonably priced is this thinner Dark Chocolate Sharing Bar with Salted Caramel pieces, usually £2 but reduced to £1.50 per 115g bar recently.
Most of the bars in the range have the added ingredients clearly visible on top, with the salted caramel pieces clearly visible on this one:
The bar can be broken into 5 pieces, although it's a bit difficult to get a clean split.
The underside has an unusual pattern on it, presumably due to how it is moulded:
Unfortunately, despite being dark chocolate this bar isn't suitable for vegans as it contains butterfat and cream, boo! The percentage of cocoa solids is listed as 54% minimum.
Taking a bite, it has a nice sweet flavour and was quite rich and flavoursome, moreso than I was expecting for such a low percentage of cocoa. The butterfat adds a pleasant buttery creaminess, with the caramel pieces providing bursts of sweet crunch whilst eating. They didn't taste particularly like salted caramel although there was the faintest hint of salt there. Overall, this is a pretty nice tasting bar and the salted caramel definitely makes it a bit different from most types of dark chocolate, although I'm not sure it's better than Lindt Dark Crunchy Caramel.
All in all, not a bad bar and this looks visually interesting but it's not something I would say justifies a very high price tag. £1.50 is about right as a standard price so I would only recommend buying this when it's on special offer.
Ingredients: cocoa mass, sugar, salted caramel pieces (8%) (sugar, cream powder, whole milk powder, salt, cocoa butter, whey powder, natural flavouring), butterfat, emulsifier sunflower lecithin.
Nutrition (per 100g): 547 Calories, 34.5g Fat, 47.2g Carbohydrates, 44g Sugars, 7.8g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Friday, 16 February 2018
With two new Blond chocolates to choose from in shops I feel we are being spoilt here in the UK. There's the Nestle Les Recettes De l'Atelier Blonde with Whole Roasted Almonds & Hazelnuts available from Sainsbury's (currently on offer for £3 - still too pricey for me!) and this more affordable, and probably better quality Marks & Spencer Swiss Blond Chocolate that costs £1.50 for 100g.
Described as "A unique recipe with aromas of caramel, shortbread and fresh toasted notes - which stands it apart from milk and white chocolate" this sounded very tempting indeed. It's basically a white chocolate made with caramelised sugar to give it the "Blond" effect.
Now the first thing that springs to mind when trying this was always going to be Caramac - because it's a bar that many of us in the UK grew up on and has been available forever. It's always had a special place in my heart, despite the poor quality and use of cheap ingredients over the years. So it was quite a revelation for me to finally try something of a higher standard made with not just any ingredients, but M&S approved ingredients!
The first ingredient listed is cocoa butter, and taking a bite of the chocolate it's immediately evident in the texture. The chocolate melts in the mouth beautifully, it's so silky and creamy, moreso than most white chocolates. The description of shortbread is quite apt because it definitely tastes quite biscuty, as well as of caramel. The flavour is superb, it's the perfect middle ground between milky white chocolate and toasty buttery flavours. It just works, and in comparison to a Caramac it doesn't leave you feeling sick or like you've dirtied yourself by eating it. It tastes clean, smooth and downright delicious!
Overall, this is a winner from good old M&S and I'm pretty certain it will become a big seller for them. It's unique on the market and I'm so pleased they brought it out. Whilst Nestle L'atelier's Blonde Chocolate may be getting all the attention, this deserves it just as much. If you like white chocolate or Caramac - seek this out!
Ingredients: Cocoa butter, sugar, dried whole milk, caramelised sugar (5%), dried whey, emulsifier soya lecithin, flavourings. Milk solids: 23% minimum.
Nutrition Information (per 20g): 119 Calories, 8.3g Fat, 9.8g Carbohydrates, 9.8g Sugars, 1.3g Protein.
9 out of 10.
Thursday, 15 February 2018
When I bought the New Diet Coke Mango flavour the other day I didn't realize that there was also a Peach variety, in the Coca Cola Zero Sugar range and exclusively available from Tesco. When someone informed me via Instagram I had to go and look for some, and luckily found this bottle in the same Tesco Express as the Diet Coke Mango. This cost £1.25, quite a lot for a small bottle!
Described as "Sparkling Low Calorie Peach Flavour Soft Drink with Vegetable Extracts with Sweeteners" these come in both 500ml small bottles and also larger bottles.
Like all Coca Cola products this contains caffeine as well as the sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame k.
I waited until I got home to try it, as with the Mango variety I had to drink it using my authentic Coca Cola glass!
I took a sip...unlike the Mango variety the flavour here is a lot tamer, you get an initial peach taste that is very refreshing but it quickly gives way to the stronger cola flavour. It's very nice indeed, but I would have preferred the peach to be a lot stronger. I think the Diet Coke Mango variety works better because Diet Coke doesn't have a "strong" taste like Coca Cola Zero does, so the fruit flavouring isn't overshadowed quite so much.
Overall, this is definitely a nice and different drink from Coca Cola but it's not perfect, so I hope to see more new UK varieties in the future (maybe the Diet Coke Ginger Lime and Zesty Blood Orange cans recently launched in the US?):
Ingredients: Carbonated water, colour caramel e150d, phosphoric acid, natural flavourings including caffeine, sweeteners aspartame & acesulfame k, acidity regulator sodium citrate.
Nutrition: 0.4 calories, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugars.
7.5 out of 10.
Monday, 12 February 2018
It's not often that Coca Cola bring out a new flavour, so when they do it's always an occasion worth shouting about. The last one was when Vanilla Coke was brought back (wayyyy back in 2013 - it feels like only yesterday!). More recently we had a Pepsi Max Ginger variety, which is about as exotic as the cola world gets these days.
So it's quite exciting indeed that Coca Cola have gone for such a bold, fruity flavour to pair with Diet Coke - Mango!
I was super surprised to find this in Tesco Express recently, I had heard rumours about it on Instagram but thought it would take a while to make it here up North. I immediately bought a bottle, not really caring about the price (turns out it was £1.10).
I waited until I got home to try this just so I could drink it from my bona fide special Coca Cola glass:
It's described as "sparkling low calorie mango flavour soft drink with vegetable extracts and sweeteners" and the ingredients are pretty much fizzy water, flavourings and sweetener. It also contains caffeine.
Taking a sip, I immediately tasted the mango and it was quite strong albeit artificial. This quickly gave way to the standard diet coke taste. It was kinda pleasant and definitely makes a change from regular diet coke, with the flavours both fighting for attention as you sip it. I wouldn't say the flavours blend together perfectly but it's an interesting drink for sure.
Would I recommend this? Yes, since it's more interesting than a regular Diet Coke, but I can't see it sticking around though as it's not super special or "unique" enough but it's still a nice change. I imagine it will be popular in the Summer months.
Available at Tesco.
Nutrition Information (per 100ml): 0.3 Calories, 0g Carbohydrates, 0g Sugars.
Ingredients: carbonated water, colour caramel E150d, phosphoric acid, sweeteners aspartame & acesulfame k, natural flavourings including caffeine, acidity regulator sodium citrate.
8 out of 10.
It's nearly time for the day of luuuuurve, so I thought I'd do a round-up of some special Valentine's Day treats I've seen in the shops recently. Enjoy!
First up is the latest limited edition from The Chocolate Smiths, "Love is Bizarre", a milk chocolate bar containing strawberry and caramel. Potentially sweetness overkill? Available from Fenwicks.
Hotel Chocolat Raspberry Heart Lolly:
This white chocolate and raspberry lolly looks super special, and is one of the more affordable items from HC's range this Valentine's Day. Available from Hotel Chocolat stores, online and John Lewis.
Hotel Chocolat Melting Hearts:
Also on the more affordable end of the scale, these Hotel Chocolat Melting Hearts sound scrummy. Spotted in John Lewis.
Hotel Chocolat So Good Together Slab:
A blend of rich milk chocolate and caramel chocolate with a melting pink strawberry heart in the middle...this sounds delicious! Spotted at John Lewis, also available in Hotel Chocolat stores.
Holdsworth Handmade Peanut Butter Caramel Truffles:
One for the #peanutbutterlovers, these sound divine! Available online or at John Lewis.
Holdsworth Milk Chocolate Banoffee & Chilli Truffles:
Something for the more adventurous, Holdsworth also produce these Banoffee truffles with a spicy chilli kick. Available at John Lewis or from Holdsworth Chocolates website.
Holdsworth Sensational Sea Salt Caramel Truffles:
And the classic combination of sea salt and caramel. Also available at John Lewis or online.
House of Dorchester Carrot Cake Truffles:
Featuring white chocolate and carrot cake spices, these don't actually contain cake so are #glutenfree. Thank goodness. Available at John Lewis or Selfridges.
Montezuma's Mini Chocolate Library:
One for fans of richer chocolates is this Mini Chocolate Library from Montezuma's. Available from Montezuma's stores, John Lewis or online.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures 56 Ounce Bags:
Another one for the #peanutbutterlovers are these huge 56 ounce bags of Reese's Miniatures Cups, available from Home Bargains. What a treat!
Tesco Heart Chocolate Cubes:
Cube shaped cakes with chocolatey hearts on top. Find them in Tesco and Tesco Express.
Tesco Finest Rhubarb, Orange and Vanilla Bean Creme Pots:
These pots sound lovely and come complete with white chocolate hearts!
Tesco Finest Passion Fruit & Raspberry Cheesecake Slices:
Also with little white chocolate hearts on top!
Mr Kipling You're Baking Me Crazy:
Also available in Tesco are these Special Edition Mr Kipling slices.
Mr Kipling Pink Fancies:
As well as these Mr Kipling Pink Fancies. Because cake is always a sign of love!
Waitrose Raspberry Mousse Hearts:
Heart shaped raspberry mousses, one for you and one for your lover!
Waitrose Sicilian Lemon Cheesecakes:
Mini cheesecakes with a heart shaped splodge of jam on top. Cute!
Waitrose Strawberries in Heart Boxes:
A simple, but lovely touch. If you're into #cleaneating or have any food allergies these would make a lovely gift. Providing you're not allergic to strawberries of course!
Marks & Spencer Chocolate Heart Gift Cake:
Featuring a pink Jazzie heart on top, this looks like the perfect gift for your Valentine!
Marks & Spencer Chocolate Heart Cupcakes:
Perhaps one of the nicest looking Valentine treats in today's post, these cupcakes contain pink chocolate hearts on top.
Marks & Spencer Pink Himalayan Salted Caramels:
You can't beat a good salted caramel, but M&S have gone a step further and made not just any salted caramel, but Pink Himalayan Salted Caramels. Yum!
Marks & Spencer Blackforest Rose Desserts:
The perfect way to say I love you - rose shaped black forest desserts!
Marks & Spencer Raspberry & Prosecco Spheres:
Ignoring the fact these potentially look like something else, these look really cool with their heart shaped white chocolates on top!
Krispy Kreme Donut Shaped Chocolates:
Who needs a chocolate donut when you can have a donut chocolate? (see what I did there? har har). Spotted in Next.
Last but not least are these heart shaped marshmallows, featuring corny Ed Sheeran lyrics. Available from Home Bargains.
Well, that's all for this years Valentines In Shops - if you are lucky enough to receive any of these treats do let me know in the comments! And have a great Valentine's Day!
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