Monday, 30 November 2015

The 24 Days of Snackmas

Seasons Greetings, Snack Army!

I am not sure how its happened but its the 1st of December tomorrow which means only one thing.. Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. 

I, like many others, are mad on all festivities - The food, the tree, the food, the songs, the food, the lights, the food.. Did I mention, THE FOOD? I don't know about you but I think its one of, if not the best part of Christmas - Although I am now sick of the sight of dried fruit.. I've got 8 Brandy laden Xmas Cakes maturing, 2 Puddings and more jars of Mincemeat than you can Ho Ho Ho at. My kitchen is overrun.. And yet I still can't wait until its time to make my annual Gingerbread House, Yule Log and a whole host of other goodies! We don't do Christmas by halves in my house!

With all that, surely there is no need to buy anything from the Supermarkets? Well.. This year there is every excuse as I, your resident Snack Warrior will be bringing you The 24 Days of Snackmas - A festive food review every day up until the big day itself! There will be Drinks, there will be Desserts, Party Food to Panettone, Sandwiches to Stollen, and then some.. With the obligatory overload of Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry thrown in along the way - If you're not repulsed by the thought of anything remotely Christmassy, come the 25th, I will be mightily disappointed!

So hang on to your Baubles, Folks - Go locate the Xmas boxes in the loft, deck your halls, trim a tree and mentally prepare yourself for the yearly nervous breakdown when trying to untangle the Fairy Lights as Santa is on his way.. As is Snackmas! See you tomorrow, with Jingle Bells on!

Review- Thomas J. Fudge's NEW Salted Caramel Florentines

I couldn't see the month out without a Thomas J. Fudge's review.. And what a treat to end on - Salted Caramel Florentines, Folks! I finally found them in Waitrose and paid a whopping £3.50.. I've never known such sporadic pricing!

As usual, the box had a funky pink design with some sort of architecture balancing on the chaps hat - How very fancy! 

8 Florentines in a plastic tray within a cardboard outer? Surely not! 

The first thing to strike me about these Florentines were how soft they were - I picked one up and it immediately bent! This wasn't all that surprising considering the sheer quantity of caramel binding the lot together. Although still crunchy in texture thanks to the almonds, a far greater chewyness was apparent due to all of the golden "glue". Taste wise, they were very buttery with the usual nuttiness and subtle citrus tones but foremost was the salted caramel.. Boy, was it salted! Usually I am moaning about the lack of the stuff but on this occasion it was borderline to much even with the sweetness of the dried fruit which was far better distributed than seen previously. Such a shame! 

The tables have turned - I can't quite believe I'm moaning about a salted caramel being to salted! Maybe it was just this box of Florentines that were so saline but I am not sure I would want to pay another £3.50 to find out. Sorry Thomas J. Fudges, its a 3 out of 5 from me! 

Previous Thomas J. Fudges Reviews

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Review- The Grown Up Chocolate Company White Chocolate Praline Wonder Bar

As many of you may already know, I am a big fan of The Grown Up Chocolate Company - So much so, I've reviewed 4 of their Bars with more in the archives! Today is the turn of the NEW White Chocolate Praline Wonder Bar! 

Wait.. Haven't you done this before? I hear you ask. Yes, yes I have - Back in July and I wasn't all to impressed with it unfortunately - It was far to sweet with the quality of white chocolate being equally as poor. Thankfully, Grown Up Chocs have taken this on board and contacted me a couple of weeks ago asking if I would like to try their NEW and improved Wonder Bar - Yes of course!

Caramelised wafer excitingly slathered in sumptuous praline with a sprinkle of biscuit pearls encased in white chocolate. A true Wonder Bar! 

At first look, I didn't think it was going to be any different to the original Bar - The packaging was identical and aesthetically, they looked essentially the same too. Scanning the ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Caramelised Wafer Praline had been bumped up from 36% to 42.3%, the White Chocolate from 21% to 37.5% and the doing away with the Fudge completely in exchange for Milk Chocolate 13.3% with slightly less Biscuit Pearls now at 6.9% rather than the 9% previously - Lots of changes!

Well would you look at that.. The inside was totally different - The White Chocolate casing alone was double the thickness! The Bar was a lot crunchier this time round and a bit like a brittle wafer in texture but not so hard you couldn't bite through. Thanks to the now MIA Fudge layer, things were not so sickly sweet and no throat burn ensued so that was spiffing! The main flavour was a sweet nuttiness with the Biscuit Pearls still not doing a lot in way of flavour but adding a further bite - Something I didn't mind either. A lovely melt and creaminess came from the White chocolate which tasted so much nicer this time than the last - I can only put that down to there being more of the stuff given that the Cocoa Butter and Milk Solids haven't changed! Delicious! 

Overall, without a doubt, this NEW NEW White Chocolate Praline Wonder Bar is 100 times better than its Mate back in the Summer - By removing the Fudge, the different elements are actually distinguishable although I do still feel the Biscuit Pearls are a little redundant but thats ok.. They don't hinder the taste! Thanks Grown Up Choc, this has been one case of Deja Vu that I don't mind - Its a 4 out of 5 from me! 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Review- Jus-Rol NEW Bake It Fresh Chocolate Chip Brioche

I LOVE Brioche, be it cold as is or warm and smothered in Chocolate Spread.. Theres no wrong way to eat it hence my excitement that the time has come for the ever so sneakily hinted at, Jus-Rol Chocolate Chip Brioche which I mentioned in my Tesco Cookie Dough review. Once again, these were purchased in Tesco for £2 although they are currently on a 2 for £3 offer. 

The 335g can of Brioche is rather fun to get into - A red tab is present on the underside of the cylinder which once pulled will pop open the can and cause some of the dough to haemorrhage out.. I wish everything was so enjoyable and easy to get into!

I followed the instructions of rolling each of the 6 pre cut pieces into cylindrical shapes and whacked them on a baking tray, ready for cooking at 180ºC fan for 13-17 minutes. I failed to glaze the Brioche with milk but did score with 2 decorative lines before putting them into the oven!

After about 16 minutes, the Brioches looked and smelled amazing - The scent of warm sweet dough wafted all throughout the house! They did lack a bit of shine but were very uniform in size and shape which I like to think compensated for the dullness.

My knife went through the Brioche a treat. The outside was crunchy with the soft and doughy interior hidden within. Taste wise, at first I thought it was kind of bland, partly due to my error of trying to eat the thing when it was hot rather than the suggested warm. Once it had cooled it was much more buttery and flavoursome with the chocolate chips which I'd say were more smudges than anything else, adding a mild cocoa flavour with that signature slightly boozy European feel. I do however think that these are best served with something to give them a boost so I drowned mine in Nutella and as expected.. They were 10 times better! 

I can't find much fault in these Choc Chip Brioche apart from a slight lack of flavour.. They are foolproof to wrangle and bake easily but the lack of chocolate lets down things a bit - A shame really! This NEW Jus-Rol range is quite extensive and includes, Bake It Fresh Cinnamon Swirls, Pain Au Raisin, Croissants and Pain Au Chocolat - Something for whatever takes your fancy! I would be interested to see if the 2 latter, are flaky as pastry should be! Today, its a 3 out of 5 from me.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Review- M&S Lemon Mousse Chocolate Bar

Lemon is luscious. doncha think? I can't fathom how some people are opposed to such an amazing flavour.. It works in everything, sweet and savoury! Having said that, I have found in chocolate it can be very hit or miss. Theres the disgusting Lemon Cremes in Quality Street and on the other hand, the amazing Lindt Creation Refreshing Lemon.. With the quality of chocolate for once not being the sole deciding factor! 

I was most excited to find this M&S Lemon Mousse included in one of the lovely packages from my Darling, NibsnScribs - She really does spoil me with a whole host of delights! 

Not sure if a bumpy transit was to blame or perhaps I squished it a bit to hard but the chocolate drizzle upon my bar was a little buffed so no perfect picture today, sadly. Its a good job its all in the taste as it was delicious! The fact the chocolate had next to nothing in way of scent did concern me at first but luckily didn't reflect in the flavour whatsoever. This thing was full of lemony goodness and surprisngly pleasantly tart - Not the usual super sweet artificial stuff! It had a beautiful melt thanks to the silky truffle like centre which I wouldn't liken to a mousse whatsoever as it was creamy and smooth rather than light and airy but was divine nonetheless. The white chocolate casing itself wasn't all that bad either and went well with the lemon however the dark chocolate part was pretty nondescript and I wouldn't have known it was there unless I'd seen it with my own peepers!

Its another winning chocolate bar from M&S! Who knew their confectionary was so good? I feel rather foolish for continually buying their disastrous baked goods all this time when I could have been having yummy chocolate instead! I recommend buying buying both The Crazy One and this Lemon Mousse.. Especially if you are a Lemon lover like me - You won't be disappointed! Its a 4 out of 5! 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Review- Nomadic Strawberry & Pomegranate Lassi Yogurt Drink

I don't much like Yogurt. Well I do but not enough to buy them regularly or even ever think about doing so.. Why have Yogurt when you can have Cake, after all? I must have forgotten to ask myself this very question when picking up this Nomadic Strawberry & Pomegranate Drink in Tesco.. I was lured in by the NEW sign but don't actually know if it is given my amateur status! 

Along with not knowing if it is NEW or not, I can't remember the price either! I want to say around £1.50 for a 330ml bottle but don't hold me to it! 

I poured myself a dinky tumbler and was immediately impressed by the fruity scent of the stuff. The texture certainly felt very luxurious - Thick and creamy and very smooth which went down a treat. Taste wise, it was full on strawberry! A few pips and pulp ran throughout which boosted the overall intensity and made it feel very "real". I couldn't really make out the pomegranate unfortunately but then again, I've never thought it tasted of much even in its fruit form. The flavour was somewhere between the Müller Light Yogurt of the same flavour and the Yop Drinks which I am unsure if are sold still... But healthier and of much better quality, of course!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this Nomadic Strawberry & Pomegranate Yogurt Drink and I would definitely buy again. I am keen to try other flavours and have spotted a Coconut & Vanilla which sounds right up my street! It may not be Cake but its worth a whirl - 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Review- Border Biscuits Raspberry White Chocolate and Pistachio Crumbles

Put the kettle on and grab something dunkable as its time for another offering from Border Biscuits! No it isn't the Chocolate Viennese that I hated intently as a child.. Its another Crumble of course! After the magnificent Yogurt Cranberry Pumpkin Seed, I was only to eager to try more in the range and expand my fondness for the company. Hopefully. 

I picked up these Raspberry White Chocolate and Pistachio Crumbles in a little Farm Shop in Suffolk. As this was over 2 months ago, I haven't the foggiest of the price but would assume it was around the £2 mark.. Maybe a tad more giving its place of purchase! 

Three uniquely delicious ingredients slowly baked to create an award-winning oat biscuit. 

As seen previously, the biscuits were really quite diddy - I'd say slightly bigger than a Jaffa Cake for reference. Once again, they had a light, airy crisp texture with a crunch and then the chew. The oats were full of flavour and slightly buttery which went well with the star of the show - The very fruity raspberry! Big chunks of sweet yet creamy white chocolate complimented the "tartness" and ran throughout each and everyone one of the biscuits - No scrimping! Rounding off things were the slightly hard pistachios which as expected were super nutty and went perfectly with all the other elements. Yum yum! 

Overall, I am most chuffed with these Raspberry White Chocolate and Pistachio Crumbles.. Maybe even more so than the Yogurt Cranberry Pumpkin Seed and they were something special - Border clearly aren't a 1 trick biscuit pony! They don't half give their products long names though.. They go on longer than it takes to eat the things! Its a 4.5 out of 5 from me - Pecan & Maple Syrup Granola Cookies, I'm coming for you next! 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Review- Häagen-Dazs NEW Coffee Ice Cream

Exactly this time last month, I was contacted by Häagen-Dazs who asked me if I would be interested in trying their NEW Coffee Ice Cream. Being a lover of both, there was no chance of me turning down such a offer so after a slight posting hoo-ha, I was very generously sent a couple of vouchers. 

Finding this 500g tub was a bit of a nightmare. I looked high and low and when I did eventually locate it, I couldn't buy it as I wasn't near home.. Or a freezer for that matter! Finally my luck changed when I spotted it in a local Sainsbury where it was priced at £4 which my voucher covered.. As well as the Uncle Bens Rice that was also in my basket - Winner! 

By the time I had driven home, the ice cream was in prime eating condition - Slightly soft and easily scoopable. Thick and smooth in texture with little in the way of ice crystals, the perfect base to any ice cream.. Things were off to a good start. Flavour wise, initially I felt it had a creamy malty sort of taste before developing into a very apparent coffee which was borderline bitter. Given its lack of overall sweetness, I found it the perfect accompaniment to a dessert rather than just on its own where it would leave a slightly artificial taste in the mouth which I am guessing is down to the use of a coffee powder extract in the ingredients! Not sure about that one.. 

As coffee ice creams go, this ain't all that bad. I do like how its comprised of only 5 things (Cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar and coffee powder extract) and the fact its not super sweet but unless you're mad on an extract-y sort of taste, I wouldn't suggest eating this alone.. Make/buy a chocolate pudding/torte and reap in a Mocha heaven! Thanks Häagen-Dazs for treating me and saving me £1 on a bag of Rice - Its a 3.5 out of 5, today! 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Review- Tesco NEW Bites: Jellybean Jumble and Salted Caramel & Pretzel

I wasn't going to bother with these NEW Bites from Tesco.. In fact I was so uninterested upon first spotting them last week, I didn't even bother picking up the packets to see what they were all about - Very unlike me! A change of heart occurred on Monday, partly due to the fact they were on a 2 for £3 offer when I picked up the Jellybean Jumble and Salted Caramel & Pretzel varieties. 

The resealable packets do not have a total grammage stated on them which I am dubious about but each is suppose to contain 14 bites each.. I counted mine and thankfully they did contain 14, slightly buffed, 1 inch sized cubes. 

Jellybean Jumble

White chocolate covered jellybeans, flavoured fruit pieces, marshmallows and biscuit pieces. 

Jeepers, these smelt sweet.. And surprisingly not fruity as I expected. I couldn't fight the scent of white chocolate for very long so bit a bite and found myself in heaven! First a crunch from the biscuity pieces followed by a soft chew from the mallows and then the residual gummy jellybeans with the chocolate itself melting in the background - Certainly a satisfying mouthful of contrasting textures! Flavour wise, the bites were as sweet as they smelt but tasted much more tropical than anticipated. Initially I thought it was Tutti Fruity but then was able to distinguish the individual flavours of the jellybeans which was a bit of a treat considering more often than not, a generic sweet is used! The fruitiness lingered long after the bite was gone with not even a hint of citrus peel for anyone concerned about such things - Winner! Its a 4 out of 5 from me! 

Salted Caramel & Pretzel

Dark chocolate tiffin with salted caramel and salted pretzel pieces with milk chocolate. 

Once again, I was impressed how amazing these chunky monks smelt - It was a concoction of rich cocoa and golden syrup upon opening the bag.. Something no one can refuse! Texture wise, the bites were very much like a Toffee Crisp with their airy crunch and chew. Big pieces of pretzels ran throughout which were definitely harder but not bothersome although they did have a much "drier" feel in the mouth. On to the tasting and the question on everyones lip.. Are they salted? I am happy to report that yes, they are! Only slightly but enough to stand out as well as compliment the milk and dark chocolates. Very chocolatey, very crunchy and very tasty - Its another 4 out of 5 from me! 

Well well well.. Wasn't I a fool to pass up these NEW Bites last week - Both bags are now gone and its only Wednesday! I will most definitely be buying both the JellyBean Jumble and the Salted Caramel & Pretzel again as well as trying the other 2 flavours in the range - Cherry & Hazelnut and Cookie Brownie Bites which I suspect will last about as long as todays ones! Nice one, Tesco! 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Review- Joe & Seph's Strawberry Cheesecake Popcorn

Last month we had Joe & Seph's Salty & Sweet Popcorn.. This month its the turn of the Strawberry Cheesecake variety! Yes, you did read that right. Strawberry and Cheesecake! In Popcorn! What kind of sorcery is this? 

Once again, I picked up the 70g bag at Snape Maltings for £3.50 - A bit cheeky considering its 10g less than the packet previously reviewed. The unique taste experience with this air-popped corn is meant to start with smooth caramel, followed by creamy cheese and to finish, strawberry. 

As you can see, the caramel coated popcorn were pretty uniform in size with no kernels lurking in the bottom of the bag - Always something I appreciate! The lightly dusted in pink powder pieces were crisp on the outside with the satisfying airy crunch interior. As promised, a buttery flavour came through at first with the strawberry then kicking in to produce a very sweet and maybe, slightly artificial flavour. I couldn't really distinguish any cream cheese but would say, it tasted a lot like strawberry milkshake.. Not to mention smelling a lot like one one too! 

Overall, I am a bit unsure on this one. It is nice enough and will really hit the spot if you want something super sweet but it isn't canny to its namesake at all, unfortunately. I am definitely keen to try other flavours from Joe & Seph's as the quality of popcorn itself really is second to none. Its a 3 out of 5 for the not so sorcerous, more Strawberry Milkshake than Cheesecake, Popcorn! 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Review- The Grown Up Chocolate Company Dark Chocolate Smoothy

NEWSFLASH! The Grown Up Chocolate Company is now readily available to all and is stocked in WHSmith stores up and down the country - This is exciting! I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this Dark Chocolate Smoothy next to the magazines during a quick browse. To make things even better, it was on a "Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price" offer so I treated BSW to a Superb Salted Peanut Caramel.. Like the amazingly generous Sister, I am. 

This duo weighed in slightly more at 75g rather than the 65g seen previously with the White Choc Praline Wonder Bar and Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus - Not bad for the £1.50 I paid on the deal. 

A rich chocolate ganache centre topped with sticky chocolate caramel slathered in intense dark chocolate.

Look at that thick caramel layer! Doesn't it just make your eyes light up? If it doesn't, for some strange reason.. The smell sure would as it was pure chocolatey heaven! Satisfyingly "bitty" cocoa nibs ran throughout the relatively soft ganache base which produced a lovely crunchy contrast in texture as well as boosting the chocolatey flavour. Upon this was the almighty doubly dense buttery caramel layer with a super smooth and soft feel yet sticky and chewy at the same time. The whole lot was encased in a surprisingly deep, cocoa rich, dark chocolate which balanced out all the sweetness from the caramel as well as complimenting the base elements. Sheer perfection. 

Things just get better and better with The Grown Up Choc Company - Its not often you find a decent dark chocolate bar that isn't milk in disguise or is just plain bitter.. This Dark Chocolate Smoothy is spot on! I didn't think anything would come close to the Crunchy Crispy Toffee Trilogy but today, we've got something real special. Its a 4.5 out of 5 from me! 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Review- Tesco NEW Ready to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

As some you may already know, I am big on baking. Massive in fact. Apart from blogging, its my one and only real hobby which hopefully one day I'll be able to make into something more. Its only since starting food reviewing that I've really bought into shop bought cakes and biscuits.. We all know that there is no comparison between them and homemade goods! Today, its the best of both worlds (Sort of. Not really) with this NEW Ready to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from Tesco, priced at £1.50. 

The 300g block is designed to be cut straight from the fridge into 8 Cookies, placed into a 160ºC fan oven for about 14-18 minutes and then enjoyed warm. 

I was impressed at how many chocolate chips were present - Theres nothing worse than a lack of chocolate in a Choc Chip Cookie. And yes, I did taste it raw and it was delicious!

I cooked as instructed and the Cookies turned out perfectly (Unlike my blackened tray.. Please do ignore) - Golden brown and smelling delicious! I was a little surprised that they hadn't spread in the slightest but I suppose that is the joy of a chilled dough! 

Soft and squidgy inside with a crunchy outer is the best way to describe these little delights. The Cookie was dense and chewy as it should be with a lovely buttery, brown sugar flavour. Chocolate chips ran throughout to add a mild cocoa element which as expected went well with the aforementioned flavours. A slightly grainy texture was apparent also which I really enjoyed as a change in texture. One thing to note is that these are amazingly comforting when warm but rock solid when cold so it is probably best to only cook however many you fancy at the time rather than the whole lot and risk breaking a tooth when coming back to them later - Biscuit, they are not! 

Overall, well.. It is what it is - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough which bakes into Cookies.. MAGIC! They aren't going to change your life by any means but if you fancy something "fresh" from the oven and don't have the time/inclination to make your own then you can't got wrong with this NEW Ready to Bake offering. You'll find the Dough with the Ready to Roll Pastries in the Cheese/Butter aisle which you may notice to have a few other NEW additions*. A hard one to mark given the "cheating" principle of it but today, its a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

*A certain Jus-Rol Bake it Fresh Brioche could well be making an appearance on R4R in the not to distant future so keep your eyes peeled. SPOILERS. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Review- Bonne Maman NEW Vanilla Crème & Raspberries

Bonne Maman are up there with my favourite makers of Jam - Heck, I buy an awful lot of the stuff for baking and the like! I have however never ventured into their Cakes, Biscuits or Tarts.. But I did spot these NEW Desserts next to the Thorntons Toffee Pots when perusing the yogurt aisle a few weeks ago and thought they were worth giving a go. 

A velvety smooth vanilla dessert topping on a bed of raspberry puree. 

It was a tough one, deciding which pudding to get as there were Mousses to Rice to Creams to Crèmes but did eventually decide on the latter of Vanilla & Raspberries. The pack of 2, 90g pots cost £1.40 but are currently on offer for £1 a pop in Tesco so go forth and buy a selection of flavours! 

I dug my spoon through the 2 soft layers and surprisingly they stayed put without really bleeding into one another. I didn't think the dessert smelt of an awful lot, just the usual sweet and fruitiness you always find with such things. Taste wise, it didn't float my boat much either, unfortunately. The top layer of Crème was super thick and smooth but sickly with no real vanilla taste despite the obvious seeds. It tasted like a stereotypical bland, French fresh creamy dessert - Not something I'm a fan of! Real pips were present in the raspberry layer which was full of flavour and quite tart but didn't make up for how claggy the whole thing was and the icky film it left in the mouth - Yuck! 

Overall, I am not impressed at all with this NEW Vanilla Crème & Raspberries from Bonne Maman.. Perhaps I just made the wrong choice when picking my pud but I still wouldn't be quick in purchasing anything else from the range to see if this is the case. Sorry Bonne Maman, I think I'll just stick with your Jams! Its a 1 out of 5 from me. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Review- McCain NEW Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

What do Salted Caramel, Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato Fries all have in common? No joke - They've all become the "it" thing in the last few years! There are the shunners but I, like the majority, have bought into all 3.. And have complained about all 3! Today, hopefully, there will be none of that with these McCain NEW Crispy Sweet Potato Fries which NibsnScribs pointed me in the direction of! 

I bought the 500g bag in Asda for £2. I was a little alarmed upon reading the back of the packet.. These little darlings contain not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 E numbers! Reasons why are unbeknown to me but I am pretty sure it isn't really necessary. Choosing to ignore the potential of a future hyper state, I cooked the fries at 210ºC fan, for the recommended 20 minutes. 

My oven is fantastic. It burns almost everything that isn't cake related - I think its trying to tell me what my diet should solely consist of.. And I''m ok with that. It is due to this misfortune it would appear that I only had a measly portion but this was not the case, have no fear - I just picked out the fries that were the most picture worthy! On to the munching, I was surprised at the size of some of the orange chips - One was massive and virtually took over the plate! Taste wise, as expected they were delicious - Full of Sweet Potato flavour from the soft, fluffy inside with a crunchy outer that was slightly greasy which only made them more enjoyable! I couldn't really taste the turmeric listed in the ingredients but didn't feel anything was missing anyways. Most delightful! 

Overall, McCain have done a mighty fine job here - Yes, they are only chips but they are chips done well! I will most definitely be buying them again and maybe even check out some of their other NEW Potato products - There are Spicy Peri Peri fries for anyone who likes a bit of heat! I do still wonder about the use of additives but whats an E number (or 4) between friends? They can't possibly do any harm, right? Its a 4 out 5 from me! 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Review- Fox's NEW Red Velvet Crunch Creams, Chocolatey Mousse Dark Choc & Rasp and Milk Choc & Lemon

A few months ago something struck me - Vinnie of Fox's Biscuits had been MIA since April! I was so concerned about the lack of tweets, I actually DM'ed him to find out where he was at. My message obviously did some good as lo and behold, he resurfaced shortly afterwards and is now back on Twitter - Huzzah! 

It just so happens that the little devil has been working on some NEW Biscwits whilst away.. We're got Red Velvet Crunch Creams and Chocolatey Lemon and Raspberry Mousse Biscuit Bars! I picked up all 3 in Asda priced at 50p and £1.78 respectively. 

Red Velvet Crunch Creams 

Smooth cheesecake flavour cream layered between two chocolate Red Velvet Biscuits. 

I have to admit, these were the Biscuits I was most looking forward to trying - I love Red Velvet and feel its not used anywhere near enough. These bad boys smelt sweet.. Really sweet and pretty non descript if I'm honest! I took a bite and that was that - They weren't Red Velvet in the slightest! No taste of Cream Cheese or signature tang. If I had shut my eyes and not seen the red colouring, I would have guessed it was a normal Golden Crunch Cream which just taste super duper sweet with a hint of vanilla. I did try the filling separately and it did have a slight Cream Cheese taste but you really do have to rely on your imagination! Nice enough but not Red Velvet by any means - Its a 2 out of 5 from me. 

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Mousse

Dark chocolate coated biscuit bars with Raspberry flavoured filling. 

Now is it just me or do these look suspiciously like Echo Bars? Back in the day, my Nanny Dearests good friend and neighbour, Bertha, use to ply me with the things so I had high hopes that the Chocolatey Mousse Bar would take me back. Sadly I must report, I've been left with a bitter taste in my mouth.. Quite literally as this thing tasted ridiculously artificial - Something I was anticipating given the strong scent of Raspberry which engulfed me when opening the outer packaging alone! Raspberry isn't easy to get right at the best of times but I feel Fox's really are way off here. The texture of the mousse is pleasant in being soft and creamy but couldn't save the fact the whole thing bizarrely tasted like a god awful, soft centre Quality Street with the dark chocolate outer as a repulsive reinforcement. Not for me - Its a 1 out of 5! 

Milk Chocolate & Lemon Mousse

Milk chocolate coated biscuit bars with a lemon flavoured filling. 

After the Raspberry, I wasn't all to eager to try the Lemon even though I usually can't get enough of such flavoured things. Once again, Deja Vu came over me with the familiar artificial taste of Quality Street! This bar was uncanny to the disgusting Lemon Chocolates you get only at this time of year in the boxes of Fruit Cremes! I did however prefer the milk chocolate to the dark mentioned above and the biscuit was nice enough in being crunchy and short textured. As the mousse aspect was almost equal to the size of the base it unfortunately packs an almighty punch in way of flavour which makes it impossible to ignore. Another 1 out of 5 from me. 

Oh Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie. You must have your Holiday Hat on still as these Bisquits really aren't up to scratch. A happy medium needs to be reached - The Red Velvet needs to upped with the Chocolatey Mousses toned down and less artificial, please.. And bringing back Echo Bars wouldn't go amiss either, if possible - My Bertha would turn in her grave at the very thought of the latter being used as some sort of Echo consolation prize! More yum per crumb? Not this time, Vin.  

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Review- Joe Delucci's NEW Crème Caramel Gelato

November has turned into a bit of a company comeback.. Joey D's was my first ever review here on R4R, way back in March! Soon after said review, things seem to take off and my Tesco was completely out of stock of the Coconut Gelato and Berries & Cream for what seemed like months. Luckily, he's back and this time with new flavours - Crème Caramel and Hazelnut & Chocolate. 

As usual, my Tesco only did half the job and didn't have both flavours so I had no option but the Creme Caramel which cost £2.99 for a 500ml tub - Cheaper than Ben & Jerry's! 

As all the caramel was at the bottom, I scooped my way down the thick ice cream and drizzled some on top for the purpose of a semi decent picture - Check out that dripping action! I've never known anything to be quite like Joey D's Gelato.. As always the texture was silky smooth and creamy with a sweet, slightly vanilla-y flavour. I could have quite easily eaten the entire tub.. Minus the caramel as unfortunately, the sauce was the sting in the tail and was absolutely vile! It tasted very artificial as well as really sharp and almost bitter. I am not sure why they called it caramel as it certainly tasted nothing like it - Yuck! 

Oh Joey D, what have you done? Things started off so well but then you went and spoiled it all by sitting your glorious white Gelato on a bed of unpalatable "caramel" - Utter sacrilege! Typically, it sounds like the Hazelnut & Chocolate is amazing so do check out Mrs 1T's review over on One Treat At A Time with green eyed envy. Its a disappointing, 2 out of 5 from me today. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Review- Betty Bakes Very Berry Flapjack Bites

Betty Bakes has returned to the Bloggy! This has been a long time coming - Our week long Bonanza was way back in May, would you believe it!? The reason it has been so long is due to the fact Betty isn't stocked anywhere near me much to my dismay. Fortunately, I randomly spotted this bag of Very Berry Flapjack Bites at Snape Maltings in Suffolk - My home away from home! Now, the price I am a little shady on.. I am pretty sure I bought mine on sale for £2.75 (ish) but their normal price was £3.50 - Pricey, yes! 

All butter flapjack with raspberry sauce and real cranberries drizzled with white chocolate 

The 16 bites really were bite size and smelt beautifully fruity - A scent no one can resist! Texture wise, the flapjack base was quite dry and very crumbly yet chewy at the same time.. It was a good job they were designed to be eaten in one go otherwise crumbs would have been everywhere! Packed with oats, a nutty butteriness was the initial flavour developing into a tart cranberry and raspberry which was cut by the sweeter topping of creamy white chocolate. The different elements went perfectly together and it was all to easy to pop one after another of the sticky cubes into your mouth!

Well I am as pleased as ever with old Betty Bakes - She really is the queen of gluten/wheat free! These Very Berry Flapjacks are definitely one to try if you're sensitive to such things and even if you're not.. They are a hell of a lot tastier than similar products. Hunt them down and give them a go. Its a 4 out of 5 from me!