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... 


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

NEW! Limited Edition Strawberry Swirl Jammie Dodgers (Home Bargains)

Yes, I'm still on the coffee caramel digestive hunt. It's driving me loopy now! Apparently they're on Ocado and in some Spars, but they still don't seem to have made an appearance in rural Hereford yet. Or Cardiff for that matter. My sister and I intended to go trampolining on Saturday, but when we got off the bus outside the trampoline park we decided that it was too hot to spend the afternoon inside - let alone doing any kind of exercise. Instead we made a quick detour into B&M and Home Bargains before getting back on the bus to her house for a sunbathing session. As soon as we walked through the door in Home Bargains I spotted jammy dodgers in different packaging. Ooh the past it had an ice cream cone on it! Was this a new flavour? Strawberry swirled. Hmm. It was hardly the most imaginative limited edition, but it was new, and would have to do in lieu of the digestives. Plus who doesn't love a good Jammie Dodger?

"Strawberry flavoured jam with vanilla flavour filling sandwiched between two shortcake biscuits."

I'm not sure where the swirl comes in but the cream filling was present on one side of the otherwise standard looking JDs. The biscuits were just as I remembered, not as crumbly as most shortcakes but with a decent vanilla flavour. It  don't expect that it'll shock you that the strawberry and cream style filling worked well together. The jam was -of course- very sweet and artificial,  and the vanilla was gooey and somewhat marshmallow-like. 

The biscuits were pleasant, but once again we find ourselves with a very lazy limited edition. With endless possible flavour combinations out there, why have we been palmed off with what's essentially a Happy Face/Classic jam ring biscuit? I miss the old banana and toffee JDs, but would love to see Burtons create something more exciting: rhubarb and custard, lemon meringue or peanut butter perhaps? 


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

NEW! Tiramisu Con Biscotti Speziatti *Biscoff Tiramisu* (LIDL)

Last week I popped into Lidl for my regular restock of Skyr and picked up their weekly deal brochure on the way out. Ooh Italian week! That sounded good. Normally there's a couple of items that sound rather scrummy, but this time I was positively drooling at the sight of some of the items on offer for the week. That's it, I'd have to go back on Thursday (aka special buy day) to fill up on Italian style treats. The one item that sounded especially good was the speculoos tiramisus. The regular readers amongst you will know that tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts, and that I'm currently obsessed with anything biscoff. At £1.29 for two packs they were slightly dearer than your average supermarket cheesecake, but they still sounded like a reasonably good deal to me. 

"Spiced Biscuit Base Topped with Vanilla Flavour Mousse, Sprinkled with Chocolate Flavoured Powder."

I'm not sure how Lidl have got away with calling them tiramisus really, seeing as they were devoid of Savoiardi or coffee-although they do include a minute amount of alcohol (1.5%) and mascarpone cheese (which comes even lower down the ingredients list). In fact the cocoa dusting and the pots they came in were the only real nods to the classic Italian dessert. Still, they'd reeled me in with the title and I was still looking forward to trying them.

I wasn't expecting the mousse to be marshmallowy. It was still light and airy, but it also had a gooey-ness to it that I haven't experienced with a mousse before. I could faintly taste the liqueur, but it's so mild that I wouldn't be able to tell you what it was.

At the bottom was the 'spiced biscuit' base, which also heralded further surprise. I was expecting it to taste like crushed Lotus biscuits, but instead it had a soft crumb -which was utterly delicious. The cake style base actually worked very well, especially because it had such a fantastic cinnamon flavour. I ended up googling 'speculoos cake recipes' as soon as I'd finished it. 

Now I took a punt and sent Bert to his Night shift with the other pot the same night I had mine. It was a risk because he claims to hate tiramisu, but seeing as it didn't contain coffee I thought it was worth the risk. He loved it. I'm glad he did too, otherwise I'd have been gutted that I'd wasted the other delicious pot. We'll be heading back to Lidl before Thursday (when The Middle Eastern week starts) to stock up and might even pick up a pack of the strawberry tiramisu -which is even less tiramisu-esque! 


Sunday, 18 June 2017

NEW! Mars Ice Cream Tubs (ASDA)

I wasn't too fussed on trying the new Mars ice cream tub when it first came out a couple of months ago. I mean, the ice cream bars are fabulous (albeit shockingly small) and I couldn't see the appeal of just eating the ice cream on its own. Surely nibbling the chocolate from around the bar whilst trying to stop yourself from getting covered in oozy caramel is the best thing about them, don't you agree? However, I happened to mention the new Mars and Snickers tubs in conversation with my sister though, who sounded much more excited by them. I then received report a week later from her that she's not only tried the Mars tub but had munched her way through three Mars pints since discovering them. That was it. I decided it was high time to get myself a tub. Like hell was I paying £3 though, instead I patiently waited for them to come back on offer, which they did this week -currently £2 per tub, exclusive to ASDA. 

"Dairy ice cream with caramel sauce (12%) and milk chocolate sauce (13%)."

The ice cream was on the soft side straight from the freezer, which makes it difficult to scoop on these hot summers days -not that I'm complaining about the weather, long may it last! I was over the moon when I spotted the large shards of chocolate that were embedded throughout though. Why, oh why, don't Mars highlight this in the tub's description?

Chocolate in the ice cream too? That makes it a winner for me! It reminded me of the new Magnum tubs, but with the addition of  both caramel and chocolate sauces. The second surprise came from the colour of the ice cream itself. I expected it to be creamy, but instead it was a very pale -almost malty- shade. 

Jeez. Whilst it wasn't comparable to Haagen-Dazs, Judes or Ben & Jerry's in terms of creaminess, it was reminiscent of summer days as a child: coming home from school and being given a Mars ice cream by my Gran, which always left me wanting more bars. It's like eating them mushed up, and in a waffle cone they were utterly delicious. The caramel sauce was more noticeable than the chocolate, but was as wonderful as I remembered it to be -sticky, sweet and toffee-like. Despite the shade of the ice cream, it didn't actually taste of chocolate, but I didn't really expect it to from the description on the pack, so I didn't feel disappointed. 

I've only got two real complaints:

1) How quickly the ice cream melted (you have too be quick with this one!)
2)  That the suggested serving size of 100ml (2 scoops) really isn't enough. 

Somehow this works better for me than the Magnum tubs, and I think I'll buy it over the Mars ice cream bars again -but only at £2 per tub. 


Friday, 16 June 2017

NEW! Müller Strawberry Oreo Yogurts (ASDA)

Last summer saw the launch of the Oreo split-pot yogurts. Unfortunately -as seems the case with many of the Oreo branded food products*- they weren't all that great. The trouble was, the yogurts are made by Müller. Müller have gone downhill in recent years, gone are the days of their thick and creamy yogurt; instead we're left with runny, artificially flavoured stuff that's best avoided. Still, I'm a sucker for anything labelled as Oreo, and I rather enjoyed the strawberry Oreo biscuits, so I just had to try them. You know... for the blog.. of course ;). I found them in ASDA at £2 for a pack of 4, but they're also in Tesco too (currently £2.89 for four). 

"Strawberry flavour yogurt with Oreo cookie pieces"

The yogurt side wasn't to the top, but it wasn't ridiculously empty either. As for the cookie side however, well that was pathetic. I was disappointed but unsurprised to find that, despite the artwork on the front of the four-pack depicting strawberry Oreos, the cookie pieces were plain. At only 8% of the yogurt, I suppose you couldn't have told the difference even if Müller had decided to go the whole hog anyway. Ooh, aren't I the cynic?

If you've had any of the strawberry split pot Müller corners recently, you'll know what to expect from the larger side of this yogurt. It was thin in consistency, with an artificial -albeit fairly pleasant- flavour. The strawberry worked well with the Oreo pieces (as it had with the biscuits), I just wished that the yogurt was thicker and creamier. This isn't supposed to be a diet yogurt after all! 

This new edition is a small improvement on the plain Oreo split-pot, and one of the nicer Müller corners available. Try them if the corners are your bag, but if -like me- you prefer thicker style yogurts, then I suggest you make your own using Skyr/Greek Yogurt and crumbled strawberry Oreos.