Monday, 29 June 2015

Review- McVitie's NEW Breakfast Oaty Breaks: Porridge Oats & Golden Syrup and Porridge Oats Raisin & Cinnamon

Look! Another breakfast bar/biscuit - Just what the world needs! I picked up these NEW McVitie's Breakfast Oaty Breaks in Asda for £1 a box. Since they were so cheap, I thought it was only right to get both flavours - Porridge Oats & Golden Syrup and Porridge Oats Raisin & Cinnamon. 

Each box contained 6 individually wrapped, packs of 2 fingers. 

I was so surprised that they were wrapped in clear plastic.. I realise Breakfast Biscuits tend to be but I thought these looked a little cheap!

Porridge Oats & Golden Syrup

There was a nice snap to the biscuits when I seperated the bar down the centre into the 2 the fingers. They both, smelt as well as tasted very much so of golden syrup - With even having the almost metallic undertone flavour, you often find from the sweet stuff! There wasn't as many porridge oats as I expected but given how hard and crunchy the biscuits already were, not to mention the super sweetness, it is probably not such a bad thing! Definitely a snack to have with a strong coffee - Its a 3 out of 5.  

Porridge Oats Raisin & Cinnamon

This one smelt very festive - A cinnamon scent always exudes Christmas! Taste wise it wasn't quite as potent as its aroma suggested, with the spice being fairly subtle. The raisins gave an extra sweetness and, although they weren't soft, it added more of a chew to the dry, biscuity texture. Once again, the oats weren't in abundance so didn't really give much of a wholesome flavour which is a bit of a shame! Its another 3 out of 5 from me.  

Overall, these Breakfast Oaty Breaks aren't a bad offering from McVities's.. Not life changing by any means but do the job. I  do however, think they are the sort of thing you would only want to eat if you have a hot drink around, otherwise you might find your mouth to be like the Sahara - On your own head be it! 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Review- The Co-op NEW Truly Irresistible Passion Fruit & Coconut Cake

My local Co-ops are pants and never seem to have anything other than tinned food and booze - Neither of which I could live off, unfortunately. I was on my holidays in Suffolk last week with the Co-op being the local shop and to my pleasant surprise, turned out to contain a plethora of exciting snacks! 

I was immediately drawn towards this NEW Truly Irresistable Passion Fruit & Coconut Cake which was on offer for £2.

Coconut flavour cake filled with passion fruit jam, topped with coconut flavour buttercream and decorated with a jaffa orange jam and coconut chips. 

As soon as I opened the box, I was engulfed in a tropical coconut scent. The slices cut well although the cakes texture was slightly denser than I imagined - It was verging on being more of a madeira sponge than its light and fluffy appearance. Taste wise, it was super sweet coconut all the way which at first, I found to be being slightly overpowering. I noticed that the layer of passion fruit jam wasn't a consistently spread layer and most had squidged out one side of the cake so I had to taste it separately. It was fruity with a flavour not to dissimilar to that of a Solero Ice Cream - I am sure if it had actually been in the cake, it would have cut all the sweetness! The jaffa orange jam had a good tang to it although it was a little sparse given the thick, sweet and creamy coconut buttercream, it was drizzled upon. I wasn't mad for the coconut chips which topped the cake either - They were a little hard and chewy so I am thankful, they were few and far between!

This cake has the potential to be amazing.. Sort out the layer discrepencies and I reckon, The Co-op would be on to a winner! It is definitely worth giving a go if you are a massive coconut fan like me -Dontcha just love how the stuff comes out in full force when Summer is upon us!? Its a 3 out of 5 for this sugar rush inducing delight!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Review- Tesco Finest Chocolate Ganaches

There are so many NEW desserts out at the minute, it's hard to keep up! I was particularly intrigued by the Tesco Finest Chocolate Ganaches so picked myself up a couple when they were on a 2 for £2.50 offer. 

Each glass pot contained 55g of calorific goo  - I was horrified when I read the nutritional values.. 9.3g of saturated fat for the Ganache Topped Belgian White Chocolate Mousse and a whopping 12.2g for the Java 34% Milk Chocolate Ganache!

White Chocolate

White chocolate mousse topped with white chocolate and vanilla seeds ganache.

I was a bit confused by this at first - The texture was more that of a yogurt than a ganache! It appeared to be very liquidy with a strange foamy top which I wouldn't liken to mousse at all. Taste wise it was bland but sickeningly creamy, with no real sweet, white chocolate flavour.. Until I had almost finished the pot, that is! All the vanilla seeds had sank to the bottom! I gave it a good stir and then the vanilla flavour came through although I still wouldn't identify it as being white chocolate. Its a 2 out of 5 from me. 


Milk Chocolate Ganache.

This pot was much nicer and had the thick, silky smooth texture you expect from a ganache! The flavour wasn't bad but not rich by any means - It was a lot like the generic chocolate "custard" you find in the supermarket brand, fresh cream sundaes. My Brother claimed it tasted like the Rolo Desserts which I can't even remember ever having but I have to admit, it was a very familiar taste so who knows. For being slightly more appealing, its a 3 out of 5! 

Unless you are after some good quality, dinky glass tumblers, I suggest giving these a miss. The Ganache Topped Belgian White Chocolate Mousse was pretty much a train wreck, with the 34% Java Milk Chocolate being slightly more pleasant but certainly not worth the calories. There is a Ecuadorian 72% Dark Chocolate Ganache in the same range which might be worth giving a go, for a richer flavour.. Or maybe just for the pot! 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Review- Twinings NEW Cherry Bakewell Green Tea

I love Tea. I love Cherry Bakewell. The two combined was only ever a dream until I spotted this New Twinings Cherry Bakewell Green Tea in Tesco for £2.49. 

Inspired by the English favourite Cherry Bakewell - Theres something sweet and comforting about this green tea. The almondy cherry taste is delicately softened with smooth vanilla flavour to creat a delicious indulgent green tea blend.

The very pretty box contained 20 Envelopes - How cute are the cherry and Bakewell illustrations?! 

I followed the brewing instructions on the back which recommended placing the tea bag in freshly boiled water for a maximum of 2 minutes to ensure the delicate flavour is not lost. 

Oh my, this smelt amazing - It was like a delicious concoction of Bakewell Tart and Rice Pudding, believe it or not! Taste wise, it had a lovely almondy flavour with cherry undertones which were perfectly balanced with the recognisable taste of green tea. My only complaint is that the vanilla flavour didn't particularly come through, although with everything else going on, it didn't really go amiss. The tea left a pleasant, lingering, almond taste which made me feel like I was actually having a dessert rather than a drink - Minus all the calories, of course! 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this flavoured tea offering from Twinings. There is also a NEW Fudge Melts Green Tea that I am keen to try next - Even I, the self confessed coffee addict, needs to switch it up sometimes! Its a 3.5 out of 5 from me.  

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Review- Asda Chosen by You Custard Cream and Bourbon Ice Creams

Wednesday saw the review of the amazing, Tesco Giant Bourbon and Custard Cream Biscuits.. Today, its Asda's turn with their twist on our favourite biscuit tin treats, in the form of these ice cream bars.

The boxes of 6 individually, wrapped ice creams, cost £2 each.

Custard Cream

Vanilla flavoured ice cream with custard cream biscuits

The looked very cute and cut well! Unfortunately, I can't say they tasted much like a Custard Cream. The biscuits did have a subtle buttery flavour with a pleasant crunch which was nice against the soft, cold ice cream. The positives ended there sadly.. It tasted very much like a cheap supermarket ice cream - I wouldn't say it was vanilla-y what so ever, either! Its a disappointing, 1 out of 5 from me. 


Chocolate ice cream with cocoa biscuits 

I hate to say it but the Bourbon wasn't any better. The biscuits were much softer in this bar with a chewier texture. They did have a slight (I repeat, SLIGHT) chocolatey, bourbon biscuit taste to them though. The chocolate ice cream sandwiched in the middle was mostly bland and again tasted like a generic, sweet, supermarket branded one. Absolute pants! - Its another 1 out of 5. 

I have to say these are a massive waste of money. I can't imagine anyone really enjoying them.. I guess they would be quite good for kids as they are easy to eat without getting sticky - Not to mention the fact, they will pretty much go for anything remotely sweet! Big kids should steer clear and just crumble up actual Bourbon and Custard Creams on a good quality ice cream for a cold biscuity treat - I know thats what I will be doing! 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Review- M&S NEW Rhubarb & Custard Cake

Marks and Spencer have brought out a number of NEW Cakes recently to coincide with their Summer Range. After having had a slice of the rather delicious, NEW Blackcurrant Fool Cake in one of their Cafes, I thought it was only right to give the Rhubarb & Custard a go too!

A lot of the cakes have been on offer recently and I picked mine up for £2.50 rather than the usual £3.

Sponge cake filled with rhubarb jam, topped with custard flavour buttercream and decorated with rhubarb sauce.

I can't say I am blown away by this cake. Although it was pleasant enough with a soft and light sponge, the whole thing was really lack lustre! The very little jam that was sandwiched in the middle was more of a sauce than a jam - I couldn't really tell the difference between it and the actual drizzled sauce on top! There was very little tartness to either which is something you expect from rhubarb. The buttercream topping had a generic vanilla-y taste to it - I am pretty sure you wouldn't be able to identify it as being custard flavour unless you knew, prior. Rubbish! 

Overall, this cake is a bit of a let down after having the Blackcurrant Fool Slice.. It is a shame M&S can't seem to sell the same quality goods in store as they do in their Cafes. They really haven't been meeting my expectations lately.. Im starting to lose all belief! Its a 2 out of 5 from me. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Review- Tesco NEW Giant Bourbon and Custard Cream Biscuits

You can imagine my excitement when my fellow reviewing buddie, @kevvieguy posted a picture of these NEW Giant Bourbon and Custard Cream Biscuits on Instagram a few days a go. Being the stereotypical lover of both, I knew I had to get my hands on them and see how they fare against the ones Costa did a while back! 

The biscuits were a rather chunky, 90g and a whopping 435kcal each. At 85p a pop, I thought they were very reasonably priced.


The strong cocoa scented biscuit was so thick, it was mighty difficult to get a knife through. It had a nice crunch to it and wasn't crumbly at all - Perfect for dunking in the hot beverage of your choice (Coffee! Always.). Taste wise, it was more of a standard but decadent chocolate biscuit rather than having the actual Bourbon taste - A shame but enjoyable none the less! The thick cream layer filling wasn't super sweet and had a good chocolatey flavour. Its a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Custard Cream

Once again, the biscuit was a little tricky to cut but I had high hopes as it smelt exactly like a Custard Cream.. Boy, did it deliver! The shortcake biscuit was buttery and had a lovely bite to it with a thick, vanilla-y cream layer sandwiched in the middle. The flavour really was very similar to that of its original counterpart. My only complaint is given how super sweet it was, I am not sure anyone would be able to eat it all in one go without throat burning ensuing! Its a 4 out of 5 from me! 

Overall, I loved both of these giant biscuits and have to say they are much nicer than the Costa ones. I will definitely be buying the Custard Cream one again - Now, do I find someone to share it with or risk a throat burn? Such a dilemma! 

Get yourself down to Tesco and buy both.. It might just make you feel like a big kid!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Review- Roberto & Giuseppe's Tomato & Sweet Basil Pastinos

I am always excited to go into Waitrose as I don't have one right on my door step - Great snacks are to be found there! I spotted these Roberto & Giuseppe's Tomato & Sweet Basil Pastinos in the Crisp aisle and thought they looked a bit different. They also had a 1/3 off and only cost £1.46 which is always a bonus!

The Pastino Gourmet Snack gets its name by bringing together the words PASTa, which is what they are made from and the Italian word for snack, SpunTINOS. INGENIOUS, I tell you! 

They certainly look like pasta shells and sounded exactly as they do when shaken in the bag - It was a bit odd to think I was about to eat them "raw". Upon opening, I was welcomed by a lovely Mediterranean aroma. Taste wise, they were fantastic! They definitely tasted of pasta but with a light airy crunch rather than being soft. The sweet tomato and basil flavours were really apparent with a moreish salty kick which made them very hard to stop eating.

These are one of the nicest "Crisp" snacks, I have had! The 150g bag didn't last even an hour.. Thats the true sign of an amazing snack! The Pastinos also come in Arrabbiata Chilli & Tomato and Chianti & Olive which I am definitely going to get the next time I come across a Waitrose. Its top marks from me, 5 out of 5!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Review- Thomas J. Fudge's Mouthwatering Milk Chocolate Florentines

I am not a nutty person. Well.. I am nuts but the edible sort aren't really my thing. I can enjoy them up to a certain point and then my throat begins to feel funny. Luckily, I don't have to much of a problem with almonds (They are not technically nuts, I know!) and hazelnuts which is what these Thomas J. Fudge's Mouthwatering Milk Chocolate Florentines are made from. Winner! 

I picked up the very suave looking box in Tesco for £2.69. The milk chocolate coated Florentines contain cranberries, sultanas, mixed peel, hazelnuts as well as the signature almonds. 

Inside contained 8 Florentines which were presented in a plastic tray within a cute cardboard outer. 

The Florentines smelt amazing - Chocolatey with sweet caramel tones! They had some serious crunch to them thanks to being jam packed with almonds. Taste wise, the mixed peel really shone through with plenty of nuttiness coming from the almonds and hazelnuts. They were pleasantly sweet with a pop of tartness from the cranberries although I have to admit, they were few and far between. A generous layer of smooth creamy chocolate coated one side of the super chewy and sticky almond mixture. There was also a slight saltiness which created the perfect balance of flavours. 

Overall, these Florentines were pretty darn fabulous! It is a shame that there aren't more than 8 in a box as they certainly didn't stick around for long! A few more cranberries and I'd be giving these top marks.. Its a 4.5 out of 5 from me! 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review- Asda Butterfly Custard Choux Buns

MSW (Mother Snack Warrior) and I went a little mad in the Fresh Cream Cake section of Asda a few weeks ago - We can't seem to say no! Its gotten to the stage where I now have a back log of reviews to get through. Its a hard old life.

We picked up the 2 Butterfly Custard Choux Buns for £2.25.

Pastry Buns filled with custard and sweetened whipped cream decorated with chocolate flavoured fondant.

It cut quite well with a sharp knife, although as you can probably imagine, it was a little messy to eat! The choux pastry was perfectly chewy with a mild buttery taste. Inside, sat a thick layer of velvety smooth, vanilla custard that was ice cold thanks to being kept in the fridge. The amount of slightly sweet, whipped cream was spot on - Any more and I think things could have become a little bit sickly!  I can't say the chocolate on top had a lot of flavour but it was a pleasant difference in texture to all the softness, beneath. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed yet another one of Asda's Fresh Cream Desserts - In my opinion, theirs are the best out of all the supermarkets! If you are a fan of the choux and custard combo, I highly recommend you give these a go. Its a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Review- Aunt Bessie's NEW Carrot Cake Loaf

Aunt Bessie's has recently moved into the cake aisle with the release of their NEW Tarts, Loafs and Round Sharing Cakes. I picked up this Carrot Cake Loaf for £1.50 in Tesco where the range is currently, exclusively available.

A few words from the lady herself who certainly makes it sound good!

"My Carrot Cake, moist deliciously wholesome carrot cake, made with fresh carrots and mixed spices, topped with our rich cream cheese frosting and finished with a dusting of cinnamon to make an irresistible treat all the family will love. Now its over to you to cut and serve. Enjoy thus delicious cake any day of the week."

First of all.. The award for worst packaging 2015 goes to Aunt Bessie's! I assume they must directly cook the cakes in the cardboard pans and then just frost the tops when cool because it was an absolute nightmare to get out!

The ends weren't well perferated and when I did eventually get into it, a lot of the cake and frosting had stuck to the sides. There was no way I was going to get the entire loaf out in one piece so I resorted to cutting it on the sticky liner to produce what was hardly a neat slice!

The cake itself was very enjoyable with a soft, moist texture and subtle mixed spice flavour. The grated carrot was plentiful with the pleasant surprise of juicy sultanas running throughout the sponge. Unfortunately, this didn't help the already noted slicing issue as they pulled apart the cake when cut! The cinnamon sprinkled, cream cheese frosting was delicious! It wasn't overly sweet and had a nice tang to it which perfectly topped the warming feel of the loaf.

If you can get passed the questionable packaging, this Aunt Bessie's Carrot Cake Loaf isn't half bad! All the signature, well loved, flavours are there and for only £1.50, it is a bit of a bargain. The cake also comes in the Round Sharing form along with a Chocolate and Lightly Fruited Cake, priced slightly more at £2.30 each. Personally, I am keen to try some of the Tarts next and already have my eye on the Raspberry & Coconut version! Further expansion of the range is expected later on in the year so it looks like Aunt Bessie's Cakes are going to be sticking around.. Lets just hope they banish the dodgy, cardboard loaf pans! Its a 3.5 out of 5 from me.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Review- M&S British Pudding Chocolates

Life is like a box of chocolates, Folks.. You never know what you're gonna get! Or maybe we should do in this case, with these NEW British Pudding Chocolates from M&S.  

The rather fetchingly pink 200g box, containing 8 different chocolates was only £4.

L-R Jam Roly Poly, Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding, Banoffee Pie, Bakewell Tart, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Rhubarb Crumble, Strawberries & Cream, Parkin

Jam Roly Poly
A rich white chocolate truffle infused with raspberry flavoured compote, encased in creamy white chocolate and dusted with chocolate powder. 

Blimey, this tastes just like Jam Roly Poly! I am quite amazed at how M&S managed to get it into chocolate form! The smooth truffle was sweet and creamy which melted in the mouth once through the white chocolate outer. The centre was fruity and not to dissimilar from jam in consistency. I wish there had been more than 2 of these in the box - Delicious! 

Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding

Inspired by an M&S favourite, this dark and milk chocolate blended ganache, has a gooey dark chocolate caramel centre, smothered in dark chocolate.

I hope their actual dessert equivelent is better than this chocolate as it tasted ridiculously cheap! It was waxy and chewy in texture with no real melt. The chocolate had very little flavour and I couldn't taste caramel at all. I had high hopes for this but it appears to be more of a generic "filler" chocolate to make up the numbers in the box - Rubbish!

Banoffee Pie
Luxurious caramel blended with banana pieces, captured in a creamy milk shell, simply heavenly!

I was a bit wary of this chocolate given my on-off banana allergy and it certainly smelt very potent! I risked it and was met with a taste equally as strong. It had the super sweet, artificial flavour of foam bananas, mixed with a semi buttery caramel. I found the texture a bit strange as the banana pieces were quite hard and everything else was very soft. It didn't leave a very pleasant aftertaste either which is always a put off!

Bakewell Tart
Almonds and chopped cherries create this mouth-watering classic, enrobed in milk chocolate and sprinkled with roasted almonds. 

This was more plain old, soft marzipan than Bakewell Tart! It tasted very strongly of the stuff and shared the same signature, almost gritty texture.  The cherry flavour did come through slightly to add to what already was a very sweet chocolate. I wasn't a fan of the almonds on top either - They were brittle with very little flavour so I felt, not really necessary. I like marzipan but this one might be best kept to the fanatics!

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Inspired by a much loved pudding, this delicious toffee flavour mousse is encased in milk chocolate with crunchy toffee pieces. 

I am quite the Sticky Toffee Pudding fan so was happy that this chocolate was included in the box. The soft mousse was certainly very sweet and full of toffee flavour but it did get a little sickly. A crunch from the pieces in the chocolate shell gave a nice change in texture although once again added to the overall sweetness. I am sure this one would go down a treat with all the sugar lovers out there.

Rhubarb Crumble
A sumptuous rhubarb layer on a custard flavour truffle base, lavished in milk chocolate and sprinkled with crunchy croquant pieces. 

Although it tasted more of Turkish Delight than rhubarb, this chocolate was delicious! The custard layer had a vanilla-y aspect to it which went perfectly with the subtle flavour of the baby pink truffle on top. Texture wise it was soft and very melty with a crunchy nutty element coming from croquant pieces. I would buy a whole box of these chocolates in a heartbeat - Absolute perfection!

Strawberries & Cream
A heavenly double cream and strawberry ganache, coated in white chocolate, inspired by a summer favourite. 

Thank goodness, this chocolate didn't taste artificial or medicinal as I find many strawberry chocolates do! It was very sweet as expected from the white chocolate and full of strawberry flavour. The rich, creamy ganache was silky smooth and had a almost mousse-y feel to it when in the mouth. It melted perfectly on the tongue which made for one mighty tasty chocolate.

A rich fudge made with treacle and flavoured with ginger and mixed spice, smothered in dark chocolate. 

This chocolate was really not my cup of tea! Although it had a lovely fudgey texture as well as being coated in a deep rich chocolate, the whole thing was a bit to christmas-y for my liking - Not really something you want when the weathers nice, out! I have never actually had Parkin so I can't comment on the similarity but I am sure if heavy spices and ginger are up your street, you would enjoy this.

Overall, this box of chocolates really was a case of "you never know what you're gonna get'!. The Jam Roly Poly was amazing and my favourite, with the Rhubarb Crumble coming a close second - Yet on the other hand, there is the abysmal Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding and artificial Banoffee Pie (I survived eating it by the way, if anyone is interested.. No? OK). I do commend M&S for extending there Confectionary Range extensively this summer but I do wish they would maybe stop trying so hard - I reckon if they toned down the sweetness and used better quality chocolate, they might be on to something. It will hardly break the bank at £4 but there are definitely better boxes of chocolates out there to be had. Its a 2.5 out of 5 from me!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Review- Nescafe Azera Iced Coffees: Caramel Latte and Cappuccino

As much as I love coffee, sometimes you just don't want a hot drink in the summer months.. This is where Iced Coffees come into play! I was very excited to pick up these NEW Nescafe Azera Iced Caramel Latte and Iced Cappuccino Sachets in Asda. They are currently on a 2 for £3 deal.

To enjoy your barista style coffee, empty the contents of a sachet into a large glass and mix with 100ml of cold water. Stir in 100ml of milk and finish with ice cubes.

Iced Caramel Latte

This tasted identical to the Nescafe Cafe Menu Caramel Latte Coffee Sachets - Just cold instead of hot, obviously! It was ridiculously sweet with a mild coffee flavour. Sadly, it all got a bit to much and I couldn't finish the whole thing. I made MSW (Mother Snack Warrior) try it and she exclaimed "IT TASTES LIKE HORSE POO!" with a repulsed facial expression. Now, I am not sure how she knows what that tastes like but it is certainly not a flavour you want from your coffee! Its a 1 out 5 from me. 

Iced Cappuccino

Thankfully, the Cappuccino version was delicious! It was very refreshing with a strong coffee flavour whilst not being overly sweet. I liked how the top was frothy just like its hot counterpart. This one went down a treat with MSW who downed both hers and the rest of mine in quick succession. You really could not want anything more from an Iced Cappuccino! Its a 4 out of 5!

Overall, I think these Iced Coffees are a great addition to Nescafe Azera - I hope they extend the range even further with a Vanilla Latte as well as Mocha Iced Coffee. Unless you are particularly partial to Equine tasting sweet drinks, I suggest you give the Caramel Latte a miss and stick with the Cappuccino! Whatever floats your boat, they are Limited Edition so get your hands on them whilst you can!