Monday, 21 August 2017

Magnum Double Raspberry (Tesco)

This weekend I stayed with my sister and we found ourselves craving some proper comfort food. Both of us were super-achey (she’s training for the Cardiff Half Marathon) and I’d started phase two of the Crusader Strength Program*. We needed stuffed crust cheese pizza and ice cream. But what ice cream to have? Lou, like me, has a strong love for all things Black Forest (I think we’ve got our grandma’s Xmas roulade to thank for that) and so it didn’t surprise me that she was drawn to the new double raspberry Magnums whilst we were on our junk food hunt in Tesco.

I was unimpressed with Magnum’s 2017 flavours when they were announced earlier this year. Double raspberry? Double coconut? Meh. As you might’ve gathered I’m not Magnum’s biggest fan, but I wasn’t about to argue with my sister! 


"Raspberry ice cream with a chocolate flavour coating (8%), raspberry sauce (19%) and milk chocolate (24%)."

The ice sticks have a similar layout to the Double Peanut Butter Magnums; i.e. the ice cream resides in the centre, surrounded by a chocolate layer, then a sauce, all coated in milk chocolate. 


Biting into the stick revealed the tetralogy of distinct layers. The ice cream in the middle had a pleasant berry flavour, but you'd be hard pressed to ascertain that it was raspberry and not strawberry. This might sound like a complaint, but I was fond of the seemingly discontinued white raspberry Magnums, and so did enjoy the ice cream. 

The raspberry sauce was sticky and oozed from between the chocolate layers. It was much thinner than the sauce in the double peanut butter Magnums, and I preferred it as such. Magnum have made it from raspberry puree, which was a wise idea as it gave the sauce a sharpness that counteracted the sweetness from the ice cream wonderfully. 

The milk chocolate coating was just as tasty as I'd hoped it would be. Magnum might've reduced the size of their lollies quite considerably in recent years but they don't seem to have messed with their chocolate. However, I can't help but think that this ice cream would have been really special had Magnum have opted for a white chocolate coating. I mean, white chocolate and raspberry were just meant to be together weren't they?

Thanks Lou bum to treating me to the Double Raspberry Magnum (especially as I've promised to not buy any more new ice cream until I've got my collection under control). 

8/10



 *please check it out if you fancy building some strength and muscle with an extensive full-body plan, I can’t believe the changes I’ve seen in five weeks.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Efectiv Pro & Oats High Protein Flapjacks (Online)

There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t eat oats in some form or another. In fact, it was the food I missed most when in Malaysia earlier this year. Almost every morning is kick-started with a bowl of protein oats (proats if you will), but I also love granola and flapjacks too. Protein flapjacks however are often disappointing, and tend to be so far removed from real flapjacks that I’d rather have a real flapjack and get my protein elsewhere. I’m not averse to trying new products though and so when Efectiv contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I’d like to try their new protein flapjacks and Dual bars, I accepted their kind invitation. After all, the protein bar market is rapidly evolving. Gone are the days of chewy bricks, thank goodness! 


Their flapjack range currently consists of three flavours: Chocolate Orange, Toffee Oat & Cherry Bakewell. Each 70g bar is less than 270 cals and contains 14g of protein (check the bottom of the review for the full macros). They’re made with gluten free oats and whey, with no palm oil or gelatine. Efectiv have also used natural flavours and sweeteners, and the flapjacks are GMO free and certified Halal. One massive bonus for me is that they contain no soya protein or polyols, making them much kinder on your stomach. This makes them higher in carbs, but also the perfect post-workout treat. I say treat, but that’s only right if they taste good… 

Cherry Bakewell
I’d normally save the flavour I’d anticipate would taste the best until last, but my preconceptions on what these bars would taste like wasn’t especially high and so I thought I’d give Efectiv the best chance possible. 


The first thought that struck me was how much closer to a real flapjack this bar looked. It was also a decent size too. The second realisation was just how soft the bar was - often protein flapjacks are either super dry or gluey, but this was neither. 


The texture was spot on. Soft and gooey, with a pleasant chew that wasn’t hard work. The cherry flavour however was milder than I’d have liked and I couldn’t help but think that either a layer of jam or chunks of dried cherries would improve the taste. It was still the best protein flapjack I’d tried to date though. 

8/10

Chocolate Orange
Unlike the Bakewell bar, this flapjack was dark in colour. Texturally it was very similar though. 


As for the flavour, this time it was much punchier, although I’d describe it more as cocoa orange as it lacked the milkiness that I’d associate with eating a bar of orange flavoured chocolate. In fact, the flavour kind of reminded me of something that Trek might make, but it was much tastier than Trek’s protein flapjacks. 

8/10

Toffee Oat
I saved this bar until last and found myself really looking forward to it. 


I wasn’t disappointed either. The bar tasted like a proper flapjack! It was gooey, sweet, soft and chewy with a lovely toffee undertone. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that I’d happily eat the Efectiv toffee & oats pro&pats flapjack instead of a normal flapjack and I’ll be hunting down more to try in the future!

9/10

All in all, I was mightily impressed with these protein flapjacks from Efectiv. I do feel like the flavour of the Cherry Bakewell bar could be improved slightly, but that’s just a mini moan! Thank you to Efectiv for sending me the samples. The flapjacks (and the new Dual bars, watch out for the review) are available from their website.

*as promised, here's the Macro breakdown:



Saturday, 19 August 2017

Honeycomb & Caramel Dairy Ice Cream (Sainsbury's)

A few weeks ago I discovered the peanut buttery tub of joy that Sainsbury's surreptitously keep in their freezers, and so I couldn't help but return to my local store to find out what else I was missing...

Cookie dough and honeycomb & caramel are the other two flavours in Sainsbury's own dairy ice cream range. It was a fairly easy choice between these two tubs for me; cookie dough is fairly widespread and never as good as Ben & Jerry's, whereas there's a distinct lack of luxury extras-added honeycomb ice cream -especially since the sad loss of Morrisons' Shortbread Millionaire's mash up. 


"Caramel flavoured dairy ice cream swirled with toffee sauce, honeycomb pieces and chocolate coated shortcake pieces."


I swear the caramel ice cream was softer in this tub than in the peanut version, but I must have imagined that because there appears to be similar ingredients in both: skimmed milk, double cream, sugar, skimmed cows' milk concentrate, glucose Syrup - AKA the good stuff. Perhaps it was the sauce that made it seem looser. As well as the textural issues this toffee ripple provided, it was also problematic on the flavour front. You see, the peanut tub worked well because it had the nut brittle to counteract and cut through the sweetness, but this toffee sauce just tipped the ice cream into sickly territory. Not great.


So what would make a caramel ice cream and toffee sauce even more cloying? Oh yes, that's right, honeycomb pieces. There was an abundance of them, and they were light and crunchy... but this tub really didn't need any more sugar, and remember, this is coming from an out & proud sugar addict. Ok, ok, yes I've also recently acknowledged that I can't hack a great deal of honeycomb, so maybe if you're a Cadbury Crunchie fan this might be up your street. It's just not in my neighbourhood. 


Thankfully, redemption reared its head when it came to the chocolate coated shortcake pieces, which were both buttery and crisp. The biggest issue with biscuit in ice cream is the fact that it often goes soggy, but the coating prevented this nicely. The chocolate wasn't anything of note, but it wasn't awful either. Which reminds me, I must try the McVities nibbles soon. 

Meh. As you might've gathered, I wasn't overly fussed on this tub. Bert however really enjoyed it, and said that he'd happily have it instead of Ben & Jerry's. If we were talking about the Sainsbury's peanut tub I'd agree with him, but this one? I'd rather pay the extra 50p and have B&J's any day. 

6/10



Friday, 18 August 2017

Nestle White Chocolate Crunch (Poundland)

I often moan about the lack of white chocolate bars on the market. Are the sweet-toothed big kids among us really that far and few between? In any case, none of the primary mass-manufacturers of chocolate in the UK seem to be that interested in it, with one exception to the rule - Nestle. I can't help but feel disappointed by that, namely because I don't really like Nestle's chocolate. Except Milkybar. The release (or rather re-release) of the Smarties Milkybar was a great idea on Nestlé's part, but I fear that that's about as exciting as the white chocolate market is going to get over here for now. 

Luckily, my instagram feed is full of fellow chocoholics who also love finding unusual/lesser known bars...


...and this is how I came to find this white chocolate Crunch bar. I'm aware that some newsagents sell smaller versions of it, but I haven't seen any in eons, and I don't think I've ever actually tried it before - hence the review.
The bar was imported from the Netherlands, and I found it after spotting this post by junk food genius Niki. Poundland it was, post-haste! 

Who didn't grow up on Rice Krispie cakes? If memories of sticky fingers (or every body part in my case) whilst pouring a box of puffed rice into melted chocolate wasn't a staple part of your childhood I feel sorry for you. For some reason we never made white chocolate versions, and that seems like a shame. 


Luckily Nestle have gone some way to rectify this mistake with this Rice Krispie filled bar. I loved the craggy shaped blocks and the big lettering down the smooth side - which I assume is there in case you forget what you're eating. The underside looked like it had contracted a nasty case of acne. Wait, that's not a very appetising description is it? 



Don't let my gruesome analogy put you off though, the bar was yummy in a cheap yet nostalgic kind of way. I mean, it was a far cry from the likes of the luxuriously silky Choc Affair bars. It tasted slightly chalky and especially sweet -but was also oddly comforting. The texture lived up to expectations; delivering a crunchiness that wasn't off-putting whilst simultaneously invoking memories of Sunday afternoon 'baking' sessions with my siblings. 

If you're a fellow sweet toothed white chocolate lover than this bar is well worth a trip to Poundland for! It's not about to win any awards, but it's sure to make you smile. 

8/10

Thursday, 17 August 2017

NEW! Cadbury Crunchy Melt Chocolate Centre Chocolate Chip Cookies (ASDA)

Christ that's some title! Is it awful that it bugs me that it would be perfectly alliterated if it wasn't for that damn melt? They'd better be melty.

I was actually on a mission to pick up (yet another) pack of the new banoffee caramel digestives (our fifth packet so far) when I spotted these new cookies. I haven't given in to the new wafer based 'Roundies' yet, but filled cookies? Count me in.

At £1 per pack they didn't seem to bad value either, and I was torn between the trio of options: chocolate centre, soft cookie centre and double chocolate with a chocolate centre. I was tempted to buy all three, but then the rational side of my brain kicked in (there's a first time for everything) and I thought I'd try one first - I could always go back for the others after all. 



"Crunchy chocolate chip cookies with a soft melting centre."

The pack contained 6 cookies, and the inner plastic tray successfully kept them intact. Some of the cookies were more adorned than the others. I spotted the serving suggestion that they were 'even better warm' so tried one warm and one ambient. You know, for review purposes, because I'm good like that! 

The ambient cookie was far crisper than I imagined it to be. Crunchy is certainly right, although I must admit that I much prefer a soft, chewy cookie. I can't really complain about the texture though, seeing as they're marketed as 'crunchy melts'. It had an oily aftertaste to it too, and I can't say it was particularly enjoyable. As for those chocolatey chips, they were minute, and I can't even admit to tasting them.

But what about that chocolatey filling? I hear you ask. Well, the product description reads: "Biscuits with milk chocolate chips (15.4%)* and a filling (25.9%) with milk chocolate (4.5%)."



A filling with milk chocolate. Oh dear. That doesn't sound like a milk chocolate filling does it? 

It didn't taste much like one either. In fact it tasted hazelnutty to me, which is odd seeing as the ingredients list doesn't include any nuts. It wasn't particularly an issue as I love both hazelnuts and Nutella, but it didn't taste even remotely of Cadbury's chocolate. Hmm. 

Would they be better warm? 

The packet suggested microwaving it for between 10-12 seconds but warns not to heat for any longer. I don't have a digital timer on my microwave, so I obligingly counted to eleven elephants before retrieving my cookie and waiting the designated minute before munching. 

The centre was slightly better warm, but it didn't really improve the cookie at all. Meh. 

I shan't bother with the other cookies in this range. I feel like the Cadbury packaging is a clever ploy from Mondelez to lure us chocoholics to buy another one of their very mediocre products. These 'Crunchy Melts' are clearly made with cheap ingredients, and without the nostalgia factor that other mass-marketed biscuits have, they're nothing shy of a disappointment.

5/10

*My arse. 1.54% more like. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Crunch Bars (Sweet Victory Products)

A week or so ago I received the following message from Sweet Victory Products:

"Hi Amy,we noticed you are a fan of peanut butter and was wondering if you would like to sample some of our sugar free peanut butter crunch bars for a review?"

Well, of course I did, how could I refuse such a gracious offer? A couple of days later a parcel arrived containing a purple pick and mix bag...




The bars are made by an American brand, Atkinsons, who make all sorts of sugar-free sweets. As you may have gathered, I've recently been venturing into sugar free sweets (courtesy of Sweets Without) but had never come across peanut butter flavoured ones!



"Crispy, crunchy and completely peanut buttery! Peanut Butter Bars are packed with our famous peanut butter and handmade with Splenda."

Uh oh. That sounded remarkably similar to the description of my peanut butter nemesis: the Butterfinger bar. They did however smell extremely peanut buttery and so I put my preconceptions aside to give them a good go!

They tasted delicious! The peanut butter was prominent throughout, with a resounding sweetness. I tried my hardest to suck them as I would a normal boiled sweet, but due to their size (and the overwhelming temptation to crunch) it wasn't long before I cracked them open between my molars. 


Unlike the Butterfinger bar, they didn't make my jaw ache and were fairly soft. Without the chocolate coating, they were also far less sickly than the Butterfingers, however, they did lodge themselves between my teeth -making them fairly awkward to eat in public. Fortunately, I'm not particularly ladylike so I've kept on eating them regardless, but I thought I should let you know what you're letting yourself in for with these Atkinsons peanut butter crunch bars!

At £1.59 for 100g I think these are excellent value for money, and are perfect if you want a sweet (yet sugar free) peanut butter fix to keep in your handbag (or car). As far as I'm aware, we have nothing similar to these in the U.K so please do head over to Sweet Victory's website where you can benefit from 10% off your first order with the code AMYS10!

8/10

Thank you to Sweet Victory for the samples!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Coffee Nut M&Ms (A Taste Of The States)

If you read my review of the American white chocolate M&Ms a couple of weeks ago, you might recall my rant about the appalling lack of flavours we have in the U.K. Luckily, we've got A Taste of The States who have come to our rescue and brought the funkier flavoured editions to British shores on our behalf. Do you remember I mentioned the gift card they gave me? Well as well as the Mrs Freshley's cinnamon swirl bun (now back in stock), I also ordered a pack of the Coffee Nut M&Ms.


The coffee nut M&Ms were the winners of a flavour vote last year which coincided with the US presidential elections and included three options: coffee nut, chilli nut and honey nut. I must admit, I'd have gone for coffee nut too! Honey nut also sounds tempting, but I wouldn't have tried the chilli nut. Bleurgh. Which one would you have chosen? Drop me a comment below (or on Instagram) and let me know!


I was surprised by the strength of the coffee aroma that welcomed my nostrils as soon as I opened the share sized bag -which for info is 92.7g and equates to 2 servings, although I'm not sure how one measures 46.35g of M&Ms 😉! The candies, again, were larger than the British counterparts -but that does't surprise me anymore. 

Each M&M contained a full sized peanut, wrapped in chocolate and covered in the standard sugar coating. Mars have shun their usual bright colours too, opting for coffee-esque shades, which I think was a smart choice. 

I didn't really expect the full on mocha hit that I experienced with these M&Ms. In my head, the flavours shouldn't really work well together -no coffee shop that I've ever visited has offered peanut syrup- but I really enjoyed them. Admittedly, the coffee and chocolate completely overshadows the peanut, meaning that all the centre really offers is a textural contrast with a slight earthy undertone.

I can't help but wish that Mars had chosen to fill these coffee nut M&Ms with either whole almonds or hazelnuts, but I'm not really complaining. They're unusual and wholly addictive. In fact, they're my favourite M&M flavour to date. 

You can order these coffee nut M&Ms from A Taste of The States, and also benefit from 20% off the entire site with the code: AMYSEEKS20. Go on, treat yourself!

9/10

Thank you to A Taste of The States. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

NEW! Dessert Menu Banoffee Semifreddos (M&S)

Banoffee pie is absolutely up there as one of my all time favourite desserts (with tiramisu and my mum-in-law-to-be's apple crumble). The trouble is, most of the supermarket versions are pretty poor, and most of them come in large sized pies (I can't deal with that amount of temptation in the house, the same reason I don't make it very often). Cue M&S. Thank the lord. Their frozen dessert collection now contains a double pack of banoffee semifreddos. But there's a catch -they're £4 a time, yes, ouch. I struggle with spending £3 on a couple of cheesecake slices, but then I reconsidered...

1)  I'd heard resoundingly positive feedback on the semifreddos from fellow dessert fanatics Nat and Sian.
&
2) I'd pay more than that for a single dessert at a restaurant.

But then I had a brainwave anyway. The dine in for £10 meal deal. That says it includes selected ice creams. It usually contains some of M&S' dessert collection free desserts. I wonder... would the banoffee semifreddos be secretly part of the fortnightly deal? There was no offer ticket to suggest it was, but I did used to work at the Hereford branch and so I cheekily asked the lovely Maria to check it through the till...

BINGO!

It worked. I managed to buy two rump steaks, 4 potato rostis, a bottle of wine and the semifreddos for just a tenner. Bargain.


"Banana and vanilla custard cream with Dulce De Leche caramel sauce on a digestive biscuit crumb base, finished with cocoa powder and a dark chocolate plaque."


Chuffed with myself, I got them home and opened them up, to find that M&S had done a rather marvellous job of packaging them carefully in separate little brown boxes. First brownie point awarded to Marks, they were impeccable, despite my persistent clumsiness; anyone remember this doughnut pancake?


The topping was well flavoured with an authentic flavour (M&S have used real bananas - 6% of the ingredients) and it was creamy whilst remaining fairly light. I couldn't get my head around the consistency though; after the 20 minutes suggested defrosting time I had a soft moussey outer edge and a frozen inside. I get that's what its meant to be, but it made me think that I hadn't left it out of the freezer for long enough. 


The biscuit bottom was a lovely digestive affair, and although it was on the crumbly, fall-apart end of the cheesecake base spectrum, it was delicious nonetheless. 

It was the caramel centre that I was most excited about, and as I started to dig in, I thought M&S had been fairly stingy. In reality, it simply turned out that it was mostly pooled down one end, and the golden treasure was worth the wait. It was thick, gooey, and sweet with the buttery richness that I had hoped for. 

M&S Banoffee Semifreddos will never beat a fresh, homemade banoffee pie -especially as they understandably* lack the slices of fresh banana. At £4 for two, they're expensive too, but are well worth picking up as part of the Dine in Offer. As such, I'd happily have them again. 

8/10

*no-one wants slimy, black defrosted bananas gracing their dessert after all!








Sunday, 13 August 2017

NEW! Ben & Jerry's Berry Neighbourly (Tesco)

I thought I was just viewing another enviable American edition Ben & Jerry's when scrolling through my Instagram a couple of days ago and spotting the Berry Neighbourly tub. Wait, that's Chloe's page. I know Chloe has recently come back from America... but it wasn't #throwabackthursday. Was it a sneaky #flashbackfriday? No. No it wasn't! It was a new flavour, here in the U.K. Huzzah! Ben & Jerry's, you little devils! Why do you sneak these new flavours into our lives? Please shout about these things! 


Yep, it's another Tesco exclusive flavour (as Sofa So Good and Wholly Coach are). And yes, Tesco have put their price up on Ben & Jerry's again. So if you want to get your hands on this tub, you'll have to be prepared to stump up £4.20, and there's a good chance you'll have to ask a member of staff to retrieve it for you too; both of our local Tesco stores have it out the back, but haven't put it on the shelves yet. 

"Vanilla ice cream with cookie (9%) and blueberry (8%) swirls, and white chocolate flavoured chunks (6%)."

I was pleased to find that the ice cream was slightly firmer than the Sofa So Good. All of the sauce seemed to be on one side of the tub though. Also, there wasn't a huge deal of white chocolate flavoured chunks in the tub, but the ones I did find were huge! 



The vanilla ice cream was fairly good, melting easily (but not too quickly) with the indulgent creaminess that's missing from most luxury tubs (Haagen-Dazs being the other notable exception) but perhaps this is unsurprising considering that cream is the primary ingredient.

The jammy swirls were delicious though, offering a strong and authentic sweet blueberry flavour with a hint of zing. This successfully cut through the vanilla well, but there just wasn't enough of it! As for the cookie swirl, it too was scrummy, but there was next to none in my portion - although Bert seemed to  fare better than me last night on this front. This was a huge shame, as the single mouthful of cookie was delightful, giving the ice cream a real cheesecake vibe. With this in mind, I've heard people compare this tub to the Ben & Jerry's blueberry cheesecake Froyo, but as I never tried it, I can't comment on that.


As you might have gathered, Ben & Jerry's have veered away from their usual ampersand format with the white chocolate in this tub. Instead they've opted for brick shaped chunks, which made them much more obvious than the chocolate in the Topped tubs. Again though, the chunks were missing in my tubs (what is it with me and fillings), and my portion only contained two. What the badger? However,I'm pleased to see than Ben & Jerry's are honouring the white chocolate lovers amongst us again-although I'm still morning the loss of Baked Alaska. Boo. 

As someone who doesn't normally buy vanilla based ice creams (caramel and peanut butter are much more up my street) I was surprised to enjoy this new tub as much as I did. To be honest, it's nowhere near the top of my favourite Ben & Jerry's flavours, but it's a nice fruity addition to the pack.

My tub: 6/10
If it had more swirl & more chocolate: 8/10

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Milka Cherry Creme (Polish Deli)

I was on an unsuccessful hunt for more of the Karmelove bars in our local Polish delis last week when I came across a couple of treats that did catch my eye. 

One of which was a spread version of the KarmelLove bars, which seeing as it's pretty much the equivalent of Caramac you can top your toast with, I feel it should really be renamed crack. If you see it, buy it*. We have an abundance of Easter European shops in Hereford and I've only found the one jar in one shop. It's also short dated, so I'm not sure if E.Wedel is still making it. The lack of availability is the only reason that I'm not doing a full review, but do let me know if you find it and try it! 


The other product that got my attention was a cherry flavoured Milka bar, which was far more readily available. I first fell in love with Milka on holiday in turkey almost twenty years ago, but now it's pretty easy to get hold of (the only benefit of the Mondelez takeover I guess). Some of the funkier flavours are still resigned to the Polish delis however, but I found this 100g bar for a very reasonable 79p. Normally I prefer my fruits paired with white chocolate, but given my affinity towards anything Black Forest, I was happy to give it a go. 

The Milka bars, as you probably know, are a lot slimmer than the Cadbury large bars and so I wondered how they would fit the cherry within the squares.

Snapping it in half however revealed a generous jammy layer atop a Creme -all surrounded in the typical Milka alpine chocolate. The Cherry oozed, emitting a tangy, fruity scent. 


As expected, the Cherry jam was super sweet, but there was enough of it to pack a punch. The chocolate was also good and far silkier than Cadbury. As for the Creme, it reminded me of the vanilla mousse filling in Cadbury's seasonal products -such as the egg n spoon and Snowman. On its own or in small doses, it's fine, but combine it wish jam and creamy chocolate and you've got one sickly concoction. 

Normally I can eat 50g+ of chocolate without batting an eyelid but even I was struggling with the sweetness by the time I'd even eaten half of this bar. It's tasty, and one to try as it's so different to what the British mass market chocolate offers, but it probably should be eaten in smaller portions than I'm used to! 

7/10 

*this is the crack spread...





Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Salted Peanut & Caramel Ice Cream (Sainsbury's)

Has anyone else noticed that the standard 'half price' offer (AKA the only price that you'll spend if you're sensible) on Ben & Jerry's has gone up in the last month? Shocking. All the supermarkets seem to be charging a minimum of £3 per tub; it's been £2.50 until now. My heart weeps. I was, in fact, on a B&Js mission when I spotted Sainsbury's 500m own brand luxury ice cream tubs on offer. 



"Caramel flavoured dairy ice cream swirled with peanut butter sauce, caramelised peanut pieces and chocolate coated salted peanuts."



Chocolate coated salted peanuts? Caramelised peanuts? This sounded rather good - and even better, it was only £2! Having just finished the Gelatelli Pretty Peanut Butter, it was time to take a punt on a pint of Sainsbury's....



The ice cream smelt incredibly sweet, emanating buttery caramel tones the moment the tub was open. I was pleased to find that the ice cream was a good consistency too; none of this 'wait 10 minutes to scoop' nonsense, but neither was it so soft that it was a puddle the moment you tried to cone it up either -something I find is often the case with caramel based Ben & Jerry's ice cream



What is this wizardry?! How on earth is an own branded ice cream so damned delicious? I mean the ice cream itself wasn't as creamy as Haagen-Dazs, but it was far superior to Tesco's attempts at luxury. So often we see a peanut butter ice cream that's swamped by caramel sauce, so it was good to see that Sainsbury's had opted for a caramel base with both peanut praline and peanuts in.

The magic really happened when I got a taste of those caramelised peanut pieces too. Think of the caramel brittle in the Haagen-Dazs, now imagine it to be peanutty. Are you envisaging heaven yet? You should be. Seriously now, it was ingenious. 

The chocolate coated peanuts were also good, and although I don't go out of my way to buy peanut M&Ms (until only recently, I really didn't like them) I did enjoy their inclusion in this ice cream. Yes, they're obtrusive, but so are the added elements in the Ben & Jerry's tubs - and that's exactly why I love B&Js so much. 



Sainsbury's, I'm angry at you for keeping this deliciousness secret from me for so long. I'm so glad I've eventually found it. I'm utterly hooked, and as such will have to try their other ice cream flavours soon...

Have you tried this tub? I'd love to know whether you were as impressed as I was!

10/10

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mrs Freshley's Cinnamon Swirl Bun (A Taste Of The States)

As you may have gathered from my many lengthy rambles about cinnamon buns, I bloody love the things. In fact, I love most cinnamon based treats, and have now renamed Mondays Cinnamondays. It's the buns that especially fill my heart with joy though and so It should come as no surprise that when A Taste Of The States recently gave me a gift card to spend on their website that the Mrs Freshley's Cinnamon Swirl Bun made its way into my basket. If you regularly read these posts you'll know that I'm also no stranger to Mrs F's cinnamon products, having tried their Cinnamon Twirls and, more recently, their Cinnabon Cinnamon mini ring donuts.


At 113g it was a sizeable affair, slightly larger than both Tesco's cinnamon buns and the Kanelbullar that I'm (more than a little bit) in love with. As you know, Cinnamon buns are often covered in cream cheese frosting; but given the long life span, ambient nature and the distance this bun had travelled, I was pleased to see that Mrs F had opted for some kind of icing instead. It was also shorter, wider and less tightly coiled than the cinnamon buns I'm accustomed to.

Oh jeez. You remember I said that the Mrs F cinnamon donuts were like a cake hybrid? Well imagine a cinnamon bun crossed with a glazed doughnut and you'll get the gist of what this cinnamon swirl bun was all about. It was soft, sweet, spicy - and even better when warmed in the microwave for 15 or so seconds!


The glazed coating was sheer genius, and I was left wondering why other companies don't jump on the bandwagon and glaze their buns. It's safe to say that it's not for the clean eaters though, and should probably come with a notice that they're best reserved for dedicated sugar fans only. Noms.


The Cinnamon Swirl Buns from A Taste Of The States cost just £1.39 (although they're currently out of stock, please keep an eye on their website as they're regularly restocked) you can also get a massive 20% discount off them (and anything else that catches your fancy on their website) with the code: AMYSEEKS20.

9/10


Thank you to A Taste Of The States for the gift card!

Monday, 7 August 2017

NEW! Mocha Cheesecakes (Waitrose)

A couple of days ago I reviewed Waitrose's new Cookies & Cream cheesecake slices and mentioned that I'd bought another double pack at the same time. It was these Mocha cheesecakes that had initially caught my attention though, and was only Bert's hatred of coffee that caused my brief hesitation. It wasn't long before I saw sense and bought them anyway, making the most of the fact that they're currently on offer for £2.63 -before they go up to £3.20.

I sent my sister a picture of my dessert purchases, and she instantly tried to persuade me to hop on a train to Cardiff to share them with her -despite my insistence that they wouldn't bode well on the two hour walk-train-bus journey to her house. In a great twist of fate however, her best friend collected her and brought her back to Hereford on Saturday evening. Great! I'd cook her Sunday dinner and we'd have them for dessert. Or so I thought... 

A heavy night of drinking later meant that she was only up to a coffee at my house yesterday, and took her cheesecake-to-go. Cheeky mare (love you really, Lou bum). Anyway, yes, mocha cheesecakes. Back to the case in hand, and the reason you're reading this post...



"2 Baked chocolate and coffee flavoured cheesecakes on a chocolate flavoured biscuit base, topped with vanilla flavour mousse and cocoa and vanilla dusting."

Despite their thoughtful packaging, the cheesecake stuck itself to the acetate surrounds, meaning that they didn't look as attractive as I'd hoped. I reminded myself that it was the taste I bought them for, not the aesthetics. 

Is it just me or is the vanilla mousse a slightly odd choice of topping for a mocha cheesecake? My thoughts went as follows:

 1. Cheesecake isn't normally topped with an additional layer
and
 2: Well, wouldn't white chocolate be more in keeping with the mocha theme?

I mean, it was light, fluffy, and perfectly pleasant. I just think it was slightly peculiar.

For once,  I was pleased that Waitrose hadn't opted to include a ganache layer because it meant that the Belgian chocolate flavoured cheesecake could shine through. Yes, it was every bit as rich and delicious as I always hope for when buying chocolate cheesecake, no doubt thanks to the inclusion of 10% Belgian milk chocolate.But wait a little minute here. Wasn't this meant to be chocolate and coffee cheesecake? Did that mean that there was meant to be two tiers of separate flavours, or that the cheesecake was meant to be mocha and therefore encompass both? All I know was that the coffee flavour was very much on the mild side, especially noticeable considering the helping of Jude's Flat White Coffee I chose to enjoy alongside the cheesecake. Looking at the ingredients gives an indication as to why it wasn't particularly prominent - Waitrose have used coffee granules here, and not ground coffee. Oh.


I forgave Waitrose a little when I reached the centre of the cheesecakes though, and uncovered a secret chocolate sauce centre*. Ooh, you cheeky devils! There was no hint of this on the products description (or the ingredients list), but who doesn't love a chocolate surprise? I know I do. It wasn't ganache-thick, but it wasn't overly runny either. There wasn't a huge deal of it, but it had a slightly darker edge to it than the milkier cheesecake and was therefore a welcome inclusion. 

The chocolate biscuit base was also pretty good (it was similar to the one used in their new C&C cheesecake) but I think a standard digestive (or coffee flavoured biscuit) base may have actually worked better considering how much chocolate there was already going on. That's only a slight niggle though, because it was still absolutely scrummy. 

Would I buy these again? Probably not, and especially not at £3.20 per pack. As far as new chocolate cheesecakes go, I much prefer the M&S sunken Valencian Orange. 

8/10

*apologies for the dark photo, I was eating it in front of the T.V, hopefully you can spot the darker patch in the middle! 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Nellienoo Fudge Review: Biscoff, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Zesty Lime, & Lemon Meringue (Online)

The lovely Nic of Nellienoo fudge gave me the most wonderful surprise a couple of weeks ago when I came home to a packet containing not just one, but FOUR of her fabulous fudge packets. You can imagine how excited I was by this delivery, especially given how much I loved both her Caramac and Malteser Fudge....



Even better, Nic had included two of my absolute favourite flavours (biscoff and chocolate peanut butter) as well as two summery flavours: lemon meringue and zesty lime. 

Zesty Lime


"This white chocolate fudge combined with zesty fresh lime juice has such a wonderful flavour, subtle and fresh."


Here's where I admit that I'm not overly fussed on lime. It's not something I crave -mostly thanks to my grandmother's obsession with feeding us lime jelly. Put it this way, I never want to suffer three day old Banana Chartreuse* ever again. Anyway, I tried to forget the memories of Hartley's florescent jelly whilst taking a bite into Nellienoo's fudge.

Jeeeeeeesus, that's good. Nic you are a genius! The white chocolate base was as creamy as all of her other fudges -honestly, I've never known anything like it. Cutting through the sweetness, the lime offered a perfect zing that was utterly delicious. My only possible suggestion for improvement would be for the fudge to include some ginger biscuits within the mix, but then it wouldn't be gluten free. 

Lemon Meringue
"Fresh zesty lemon fudge with sweet crushed meringue pieces throughout."

This was another refreshing flavour. I thought that perhaps the meringue might make it either too sweet, or perhaps make the unbelievably smooth fudge feel a little grainy. Silly me. Of course Nic had mastered both the flavour and the texture. It was absolutely scrummy and a must buy for all lemon lovers!

Chocolate Peanut Butter



"This white chocolate fudge combined with peanut butter is delicious, it has milk chocolate chips stirred through at the end to give a marbled effect and a milk chocolate drizzle finish."

I'm sure Nic is a wizard. She certainly works magic on her concoctions. I was pleased to see that she hadn't watered down the flavour with any caramel. This fudge reminded me of white chocolate Reese's cups (still one of my all-time favourite treats) and it was a struggle to not gobble it down in one sitting!

Biscoff



"This delicious biscoff fudge is packed full of flavour. Smooth creamy texture with chunks of biscoff biscuit throughout. Perfect treat to have with a coffee."

You might think it was the chocolate peanut butter that had me most excited, but you would be wrong. Biscoff fudge? I was all over it

I had every right to be excited too. I mean it was everything I hoped for - and more. The sweet cinnamon spice came through in each soft, chewy nibble. The biscuit pieces hadn't gone soggy and added that beautiful caramelised crunch into the mix to really exalt the eating experience. It was sheer heaven. 

You know it's love when I was enjoying my fudge this much and offer a bite to my biscoff loving, but fudge hating other half. Bert seriously detests fudge. I mean he won't go near the stuff at all. Normally. But... Nellienoo fudge apparently doesn't count. It's that tasty that not only has it won him over - but I found myself hiding the rest of the pack from him. What have you done to us Nic?

I'd like to say another huge thank you to Nic for sending me some more of her magnificent fudge. Please do pop on over to her website where you can buy all of her super-duper treats for £3.50 per pack -it might just be the best money you've ever spent.


*An odd dessert made with banana, lime jelly and cream. It was meant to look something like this (photo courtesy of the Food History Journals) but hers never quite did...