Wednesday, 28 June 2017

NEW! Snickers Ice Cream Tubs (ASDA)

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I caved and bought the Mars ice cream tub? Well it didn't take long for me to return to ASDA on the pursuit of the Snickers tub. Normally I'm a Mars bar over Snickers girl, but I'd heard great things about the ice cream version and simply had to find out for myself what it was like! 

"Peanut (4%) dairy ice cream with milk chocolate coated peanuts (10%) and caramel (7.5%) and chocolate sauce (7.5%)."

The caramel sauce was instantly evident as soon as I removed the lid, and so was the softness of the ice cream. In fact I was patient enough to wait for the temperature outside to cool down last week before attempting to try the Snickers ice cream (just for info Ben & Jerry's Sofa So Good is sofa no good to scoop on the hottest days either, unless you fancy mousse).

I couldn't see a huge deal of the chocolate coated peanuts though, and felt a pang of disappointment at the lack of chocolate shards that made a surprise appearance in the Mars tub. I hadn't written this ice cream off just yet though... 

Kudos to Mars for using real peanuts in the ice cream (yep, I'm looking at you Mondelez), but unfortunately it wasn't as flavoursome as I'd hoped. There was a mild peanut taste but it certainly wasn't on par with Ben & Jerry's or the Co-Op. It was still enjoyable though, and despite the chocolate sauce being as lost in this pint as it had been in the Mars version, the caramel sauce made up for that. 

Oh there they were: the chocolate coated peanuts! Jackpot! They'd just been well hidden amid the ice cream, and actually there was an abundance of them. They were pretty smashing too, large in size and delivering the chocolatey hit that was missing from the sauce, as well as a textural contrast from the welcome crunch. 

Perhaps the link between ice cream and chocolate bar is on the tenuous side, given that there's no nougat in the ice cream and that the peanuts aren't chopped and are chocolate covered, but I don't mind that -like I say, I'm not a huge snickers fan anyway. Personally the Mars tub pips the Snickers to the top spot, but only just, and it's well worth a try whilst on offer for £2.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Marabou Daim Milk Chocolate Rolls (IKEA)

Please reassure me that I'm not the only weirdo out there that gets more excited by the food hall in IKEA than the furniture? It's surely the treasure at the end of the trail, the reward for getting through the market hall without murdering a dawdler (or five). No trip is complete without picking up a pack of my beloved Kanelbullar. This time I pushed the boat out and decided to treat myself to two bags, before spotting the chocolate and biscuit samples. Oops. That'll be two bags of Kanelbullar, some ginger and almond biscuits and some Daim chocolate then. After indulging in the Lindt shop a couple of hours earlier. And I'd promised to not buy anymore chocolate. I'll say it again, oops. 

To be fair, having sampled both the chocolate and the biscuits, I knew I'd regret not buying either. I think the Daim chocolates were £1.50 for the two-pack but I can't be 100% sure, so don't shoot the messenger. For those of you who don't know, Marabou is owned by Mondelez (owners *read ruiners* of Cadbury) and is the equivalent brand in Sweden. Like Cadbury, Marabou has lengthy roots and was founded 101 years ago. 

One of the most appealing features of this chocolate was the design. Instead of your usual chunky bars, the chocolate came in rolo shaped morsels. I love being able to savour my chocolate, and often wish we had more single serving bags of bite sized chocolate, so the Marabou Daims suited me down to the ground. At 70g, they're on the generous size for an individual portion, but I'm a chocoholic so once again I found Marabou scoring brownie points -or should that be chocolate points? 

The chocolate was delicious. It's smooth and rich with an easy melt. There's a striking similarity between the Marabou and Dairy Milk of days gone by. The little studs of Daim were a wonderful, if not a slightly sickly, addition. The combination of toffee and chocolate was delicious though, and utterly moreish -especially given the sunken dome shapes. I'd devoured my first pack before really acknowledging it, and I'm grateful that I've got the other in my fridge to look forward to. It's better than the Cadbury Daim bar, and the rolls are well worth tracking down.

That's another IKEA staple added to the shopping list!


Monday, 26 June 2017

Rhubarb & Custard Iced Buns (M&S)

M&S' rhubarb and custard buns have been around for a couple of summers now, but I hadn't brought myself to buy any thanks to the unimpressive reviews I'd read on them. To be honest, it's only in the past six months that I've learned how great M&S filled buns can be. If you'll recall, the Christmas boobie buns kicked things off, followed by the lemon Whitby buns, and I well and truly fell in love with the carrot cake & cream cheese hot cross buns -which I've only just run out of thanks to my excessive hoarding. It was these discoveries that got me wondering about the rhubarb buns, and praying that they'd return once again this year. Alas! When the summer products started to grace M&S' shelves, the rhubarb buns were missing, but thankfully they were just a little late to the table. The rhubarb & custard buns are £1.35 for two, but of course a I waited to find them reduced. 

"Vanilla custard flavoured buns filled with a tangy rhubarb jam."

I also managed to buy them during the heatwave, which means that they were difficult to retrieve from their cardboard wrap without smearing the icing everywhere. To be fair, I was impressed that the topping had stayed as intact as it had. 

Slicing the bun in half revealed the generous pocket of oozy pink sauce. It was much looser than normal jam, and had a hard time staying within the bun -as you can see from the photo below. I felt that Rhubarb and custard was a bit of a marketing ploy on M&S' part, for the 'custard flavoured bun' didn't taste any different to their normal sweet dough. I mean, it was light, fluffy and scrummy, but it wouldn't live up to Ronseal's standards. 

As for that oozy rhubarb sauce, it was very sweet, lacked the promised tang and was just too thin. I'd have really like to have seen a chunky, slightly tangy, soft-set conserve here instead. Well, actually, if it was me designing the buns I would have filled the buns with both rhubarb jam and custard (or Creme patisserie). The consistency and abundance (which I'm certainly not complaining about) of the filling means that it's a bun best reserved to eat at home. Especially if you're even remotely in the clumsy club, and never eat one in a white shirt. 

The final disappointment came from the icing. I'd have liked to have seen a rhubarb flavoured topping as per the Greggs ring doughnuts (which have made a reappearance this year). M&S have been lazy though, and just used a standard unflavoured icing. 

Despite my complaints about them not being really rhubarb and custard-y, these are yummy buns and so If you imagine them to be big, sticky, raspberry filled finger buns you won't be disappointed. I will point out though that the Lemon buns are far more exciting, and well worth a try if you haven't yet. 


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Nellienoo Chocolate Malteser Malt Fudge (Online)

Do you remember me telling you about the subscription box company that celebrates the best of British independent confectioners? Well it's thanks to The Treat Collective that I came across Nellienoo fudge, and Nic's fabulous Caramac fudge (which you can find my Insta-review of here). As you can see, I was most impressed by it and so when Nic offered to send me a mystery pack of fudge this week I gladly accepted with due excitement. After all, who doesn't love a sweet surprise? 

I might've done (ok definitely did) a little jig around my kitchen when I came home to the Nellienoo parcel on Friday. Malteser fudge? My life is complete. Despite the fact that I was only home briefly before popping out for the evening I couldn't help packing a couple of pieces to take to the cinema with me. 

As with the Caramac flavour, the Malteser fudge was undeniably creamy. I hate grainy fudge (and find Scottish tablet unbearable) but this was completely smooth. In fact the fudge was more like a chocolate hybrid due to the satisfying melt that starts the minute you pop a piece in your mouth. As for the flavour, Nic has nailed that too, adding to the chocolate-fudge hybrid experience. It tasted exactly like Maltesers thanks to the malty undertone that fully complimented the chocolate flavour at the foreground. 

My one complaint about the Caramac fudge was the lack of topping, but each piece of this fudge had a single Malteser adoring it. I had wondered if they would manage to retain their crunchiness -no one wants soggy balls after all 🙈- but they were as crisp as ever, providing a wonderful textural contrast against the silken fudge. Perfection. 

If you've got a sweet tooth you must check out Nellienoo fudge's website and Facebook page. Nic's creations are all handmade, and she sells an ample selection of incredible looking fudge (all available for UK delivery). Thank you to Nic for sending me the Maltesers fudge to try. 


That makes it a hat trick of full marks this week - this has to be some kind of blog record!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

NEW! McVities Coffee Caramel Digestives (Sainsbury's)

Tomorrow will mark two months since  the two new McVities caramel digestive flavours were announced, and since then I've been on my longest and most frustrating snack hunt to date. It seems I'm not the only one who's been desperate to try the new biscuits, as many of you have got in touch, sharing my  disappointment. At long last though I have got my hands on both varieties though (you can read my review of the banoffee caramels here) thanks to the lovely Beth and her digestive-related determination. I'm just glad I'm not the only foodzilla out there! The new coffee caramels can be found at Sainsbury's now for a rather exorbitant £1.75 -which usually I wouldn't pay, but given the length of time I've been searching for them I could hardly leave them behind. According to Beth's email from McVities, they'll be stocked in ASDA from next week and Morrisons the week after. 

"Wheatmeal Biscuits with Coffee Flavour Caramel, Covered in Milk Chocolate."

The components bare striking resemblance to the Cappuccino Twix (which, FYI, have recently popped up again, this time in Poundland at 3 for £1). I must admit though that I was less impressed when I re-tried the Twix version recently though; the caramel just wasn't as coffee-y as I had originally thought. I found myself praying that McVities had done just as good a job with this new flavour as they had with the banoffee.

I knew I was on to a winner as soon as I opened the packet and was greeted with the scent of freshly made latte. I say latte because it wasn't knock-your-socks off espresso, but the aroma was still promising.

The second sign that led me to believe that the Coffee Caramel Digestives weren't going to disappoint occurred when I left a couple in the living room whilst I retrieved my mug of coffee from the kitchen and heard a clattering. I pegged it back around the corner, where I caught my dog red handed, guiltily nabbing the biscuits from the coffee table. He's seven years old and never stolen food before. Damn McVities, what have you done to Monty?

Oh boy. They nailed it. The sturdy, wheat biscuits were truly complimented by a caramel that delivered a coffee kick much stronger than the Twix. The nature of the caramel means that it's still very sweet, but the flavour is not hindered in any way. In fact it want until writing this that I realised that the biscuit wasn't coffee too, for the flavour had permeated throughout. The chocolate was good too, which has got me thinking: why aren't caramel mochas a thing? 

I loved the taste of the cappuccino thins when they launched at the beginning of the year, but wasn't happy with the thin nature. I'm all for a bit of biscuit chunk (and hence won't be reviewing the 'new' Maryland thins -they can bore off). These are far superior, and well worth a buy!


Friday, 23 June 2017

NEW! Warrior Crunch White Chocolate Crisp

Yesterday was one of those days when the food stars aligned and I became the proud owner of not one but two incredible sounding new treats to try. Firstly, I had the heads up from Beth regarding the dates that the new McVities coffee caramel digestives were launching in each of the supermarkets and as a direct result successfully found them at last! Hurrah! I have already tried the new biscuits but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the low down I'm afraid.

One the other hand, the other new product was equally as exciting, but one I really didn't have to wait long for....

I popped into CNSport yesterday morning to speak to Conor about the new Mojito Moose Juice (which is amazing, but keep an eye on my Instagram if you want to see the review) and found him super excited about a new arrival that he thought i'd love. I wondered what it could be, but also jumped up and down when he opened the box and showed me the bar that had made my jaw drop and mouth water simultaneously when it was announced on social media only the evening before. Warrior Crunch: White chocolate crisp. 

If you remember, I likened the salted caramel crunch to a toffee crisp chocolate bar, and so I had extremely high hopes for this white chocolate version. 

I had every right to be excited too. Just look at those layers! The nougat core, caramel layer and crispies all coated in white chocolate. This was what protein bar dreams are made of, nay this is what white chocolate bar dreams are made of. 

The appearance was a fantastic start, but the taste was phenomenal. Protein bars have been coming on leaps and bounds in the last year but I can safely say that this was the best bar I have ever tasted. In fact, I'm tempted to go back and downgrade all the other bars I've reviewed in the past. The white chocolate was sweet creamy, so much so that I'm dubious about the low sugar content, but I really don't care as it tasted so good, as for the caramel and crispies, they added a wonderful textural juxtaposition against the soft nougat centre. It really was soft too, not much firmer than a mars bar, and completely lacking the tell-tale taste of whey that often hinders in the background. As an added bonus (which isn't really required but I thought I'd divulge anyway) the bar melts exceptionally well. 15-20 seconds is all that's required to transform this epic bar into a wonderful dessert.

I thought that Grenade were the undisputed kings of the White chocolate protein bars, but Warrior have completely knocked them out of the park with this one. There's nothing I would change about this bar. 

A huge thanks to Conor for giving me the new Warrior bars to try. Please give him a bell on 07967949984 if you'd like to place an order, but you'll have to be quick as I don't see these bars hanging around for long!


Macros per 64g bar: 214kCal P20 C25 (of which sugars 2.2g) F11

Thursday, 22 June 2017

NEW! McVities Penguin Cake Crunchers (Tesco)

How has it already been a week since I reviewed the Trio cake crunchers? Scrap that, how was yesterday the summer Equinox? Christmas doesn't seem five minutes ago, and yet Sunday will mark six months until the best day of the year. Yep, I'm counting down already and will be celebrating in my own way on Sunday, keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram if you want to see what I mean. Anyway, where were we? Cake crunchers. Yes, well of you remember I wasn't impressed by the lack of crunch in the Trio cake 'crunchers', but could the Penguin bars fare better? 

"Sponge cakes with a creamy layer and crunchy biscuit pieces, covered in milk chocolate."

The cakes were aesthetically pleasing to cut into with their respective layers, I'll give them that. Penguin cake bars have, of course, been around for donkeys but it was the cookies and cream flavour that first drew me to the bars (even a hint of Oreo anything and I'm there). The trouble is, 'cookies and cream' has become synonymous with 'unflavoured' in the same way that 'vanilla' has, and that was certainly the case with these bars. The original penguin cakes have a chocolate layer above the sponge, but this was just a plain mousse. I mean it wasn't unpleasant, but it was far from spectacular either.

 To make matters worse, the biscuit pieces were again more-or-less inexistent. At only 4% of the bars they were never really going to make an impact though we're they? Why bother Mcvities? Ah yes, because then you can label it as new and draw us suckers in. 

On a brighter note, the chocolate covering and cake were fair, in a cheap, long-life cake sort of way. They were also individually wrapped which makes them good for lunch boxes, but they're also high in sugar (10g per 24g bar) so be warned if you're giving them to children! These bars have got me thinking, why don't McVities make a Hershey's cookies n creme style penguin biscuit? White chocolate studded with biscuit crumbs and a milk chocolate filling? Now that sounds good to me...