Sunday, 28 February 2016

Review- The Coconut Collaborative: Mango & Passion Fruit and Blueberry

I've been hunting high and low for the NEW Chocolate Ganache from The Coconut Collaborative but sadly with no avail.. I did however find these Yogurts when having a peruse, which I thought were also new but after conferring with The Bananah, it turns out they're not quite as hot off the press as I thought.. Nevermind! 

I picked up both the Mango & Passionfruit and Blueberry Yogurt alternatives in Sainsbury's where they are priced at £1.40 a pop, for 120g. They're gluten, soya, dairy, pretty much everything free and only contain natural sugars. Fair warning though, they may be good for you thanks to all the coconut milk and water which boosts your energy levels a treat, but they are bloomin high in saturates with 8.6g per pot! 

Mango & Passionfruit

Am I the only person who gets a tad annoyed when a yogurt is sloshed all up the sides of the pot? I realise it's most unreasonable to expect anything else but still.. It does bug me! Digging down to the bottom, the orange coloured compote was plentiful and held its shape nicely when scooped. Taste wise, I was a little taken a back but how tart the yogurt was - I realise it doesn't contain any sweetener but I did find it to be particular sharp although very creamy and smooth.. A bit like a super strong natural yogurt, I suppose! I couldn't distinguish any coconut until the flavour of the fruity compote which was uncanny to a Solero Lolly, subsided. A pleasant, very mild coconut taste was left in the mouth and no claggy throat occured which goes a long way with me! It's a 4 out of 5. 


Being left a little let down by the potency of coconut, I took a whiff of this pot and it did smell quite tropical - A bit like sunscreen, if you will! Continuing to contrast with the above, the compote was a lot more liquidy and did kind of slop everywhere when trying to get some on my spoon. I found the yogurt to also be a lot milder in taste and almost sweet rather than tart, even when tasted without the deep purple bottom. An uncanny similarity to the squeezy kids Wildlife Choobs/Furbes was the flavour in general which I wouldn't know to be blueberry but was mighty tasty and took me right back to packed lunch days! Another 4 out of 5 from me. 

Overall, I'm quite pleased I didn't find my most sought after Ganache afterall - I don't usually go for Yogurts but have been pleasantly surprised by this duo from The Coconut Collaborative! There is also a Plain and Raspberry version which I will be keeping my eyes peeled for.. Who needs chocolate, ey?! 

Friday, 26 February 2016

Review- Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough 'Wich

Long gone are the days of boring Ice Cream tubs.. Ben & Jerry's have moved onto bigger and better things by sandwiching their deliciousness between Cookies! This may not seem all that ingenious but it is a NEW one for the UK B&J market (Or so says the Snack King) and I'm pretty much excited. 

Chewy cookies (40%) (made with 3% chocolate chips), with vanilla ice cream & chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough (4%). 

I picked up the box of 3 Cookie Dough 'Wich from Morrisons where they are priced at a ridiculously extortionate, £4.15. I am not entirely sure how Ben & Jerry justify their pricing.. How can a trio of ice creams weighing a measly 65g each, cost almost £1.40 a pop? It's absurd.

One, fairly dinky, slightly wonky, 'Wich - I've always wondered why during manufacturing they can never seem to get these things in the centre.. Surely, it can't be that hard to ensure they don't get nudged? 

Oo, look at those cookie dough pieces - I was pleased to see that B&J hadn't scrimped on the quantity! The Cookies individually were relatively thin with a soft bite once through the initial crunch to produce a sugary feel along with a vanilla-y, buttery taste - Pretty much the ideal Cookie that I would be happy to eat as is! A super smooth, creamy ice cream was the centre and thankfully it wasn't like a block but instead melted in the mouth perfect. Running throughout this was the relatively hard and crunchy nibs of dough which tasted of cookie dough and nothing but, adding to the overall flavour. Hits of dark chocolate were the last element to come through from the odd chip - This helped offset all the sweetness with a dark cocoa flavour. Yum! 

Oh Ben & Jerry.. You have done it again, chaps! These Cookie Dough 'Wich are delicious and I imagine they will go down a treat with the masses and especially those who are fanatics of the tubbed ice cream of the same name! A brilliantly named, Son of a 'Wich box of 8 minatures is also available for those who fancy a smaller treat.. Although they are even more pricey so perhaps cutting today's ones in half would be the way forwarding if you are calorie conscious. It's a 4 out of 5 from me! 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Review- Cadbury NEW Dairy Milk Big Taste: Triple Choc Sensation, Oreo Crunch and Toffee Whole Nut

Cadbury have gone a bit mad. No, they haven't changed their Dairy Milk recipe again (Or have they? Hmm!) but instead released about 37 NEW Chocolate Bars in the past few weeks. I lie, it's only 5 really but still, that's a pretty big increase! Also, the term NEW should be used very loosely as todays trio of Big Taste Bars as well as the Medley duo* are direct copies of those by Milka who just happen to also be owned by Mondelēz International.. So all in all and as usual, the whole things a sham.. Onto the review! 

I picked up the Dairy Milk Triple Choc Sensation, Oreo Crunch and Toffee Whole Nut in Sainsbury's after having searched high and low for the things. The Bars weigh in at a chunky 300g each and are priced at a hefty £3 a pop which means yes, I did spend £9 on chocolate. This is what my life has become. 

Triple Choc Sensation

Milk chocolate with white chocolate (42%) and dark milk chocolate (25%).

There isn't a lot to say about this bar that isn't already in the description - It's Milk chocolate, White chocolate and what they've called Dark Milk chocolate.. What is Dark Milk chocolate? Is it Dark or is it Milk? I'm confused. Popping a triangular chunk into my mouth, it tasted how I expected.. Chocolatey! The Dairy Milk wasn't particularly stand out with the White being lost completely but the "Dark Milk" definitely added the most flavour in terms of cocoa-y tones, if you can really call them that! A semi decent melt was apparent, resulting in the layers seperating, which was quite enjoyable but it was hardly enough to redeem such a mediocre bar. It's a 2.5 out of 5 from me. 

Oreo Crunch

Milk Chocolate with a vanilla flavour filling (40%) and biscuit (16%).

Moving onto something with a little more action going on - The Oreo Crunch. As suggested in the name, this bar packed a serious munch and was a real, pleasant mouthful given its chunkiness. The signature Oreo flavour also came through which went well with the very sweet set vanilla filling which although wasn't quite that of the kind you find sandwiched in between the actual biscuits, it was fairly tasty! Encasing the lot was of course the chocolate.. It was sweet, generic and as expected, not a patch on the Dairy Milk of years previous. It was also relatively thin in comparison to the filling which left the whole thing borderline, biscuit bar rather than chocolate - I am not sure this would go down well with the chocolate fanatics but I didn't mind personally.. I couldn't take much more of the "DM"! A 3.5 out of 5 from me. 

Toffee Whole Nut

Milk chocolate with toffee flavoured filling (32%), Caramel (10%) and hazelnuts (8%).

Lastly, the Toffee Whole Nut. It smelt pretty delightful with a strong, buttery "warm" Caramel scent that just screamed "Eat me!". I did as ordered and basically fell into heaven. Breaking through the same lack lustre, although perhaps marginally thicker chocolate than above, the muted cocoa flavour was a pretty decent carrier for the pure hit of toffee from the soft filling. The runny puddles of sticky caramel only added to the sweet, deliciousness and was a good contrast in texture to the firmer aforementioned elements - Usually I would say this about the nuts which in this case were fresh and crunchy but the liquid-y caramel really helped things from being to "dry". Amazing - A 4 out of 5 from me. 

Overall and unfortunately, these Cadbury NEW Dairy Milk Big Taste Bars are a bit of a waste of time. The Toffee Whole Nut** is amazing if you like super sweet things, there's no two ways about it and the Oreo Crunch isn't disastrous by any means so I haven't marked them awfully.. (Unlike the Triple Choc Sensation which we shan't even mention) But these are meant to be CHOCOLATE Bars and they fall way short. The quality of Dairy Milk leaves a lot to be desired and quite frankly, it's embarrassing to the point where I am not entirely sure what Cadbury are playing at.. I mean, sales are down thanks to them messing with recipes and possibly doing the worse thing ever (If not selling to Mondelēz International in the first place) in switching the Creme Egg from Dairy Milk to their cheaper recipe and it's leaving a bitter taste in a hell of a lot of peoples mouths. I can't help but feel that one day, it is going to come back and bite them on the bum.. Yes, there may be the loyal customers who continue to buy their products but for how long? Cadbury just isn't what it use to be. And I'd like my £9 back, please. 

*Nibs is the Medley Maiden. 
**Mrs 1T has reviewed the Milka version of this Bar so go have a read and leave a nice comment. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Review- Krispy Kreme NEW Brownie Batter and Cookie Dough

Happy Monday! Once again, it is Krispy Kreme time! Today saw the release of 2 brand spanking NEW Doughnuts despite having only just had the Valentine's editions - We are being spoilt! Rather than another fruity option, KK have ventured down the indulgent, chocolatey route with Brownie Batter and Cookie Dough options to brighten up their stores and our Tesco Cabinets. YAY. 

As I was feeling extra chunky, I bought an Assorted Box of 3 Doughnuts today but I am going to assume that these are priced at the usual £1.90 each. I would usually have been much more vigilant but I was kind of distracted by the appearance of the things - I don't know if someone had dropped the trays or if the KK minions are just getting sloppy during manufacturing (I expect the latter) but all of the Doughnuts looked a bit of a state with filling falling out of most, not to mention unequal toppings.. With some angst, I picked the best of a bad bunch and went on my merry way. 

Brownie Batter 

A brownie batter filling, hand-dipped in milk chocolate and topped with brownie chunks & choc chips  

What an anti climax! Where is the brownie batter filling? This only reaffirms my suspicions of slacking KK minions. Taking a bite, the chocolate on top cracked, sending the toppings everywhere but thankfully, it did taste good although I'm not sure I would have identified the brownie pieces as actually being brownie.. They certainly weren't of the texture. The dough was up to the usual standard with a light, fluffy texture and sweet flavour. A thick, gooey ganache like filling was in the centre and despite there not being a lot of it, it was mighty chocolatey and cocoa rich. Not quite brownie batter but yummy nevertheless - A 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Cookie Dough

Filled with cookie dough kreme, coated in white chocolate and hand-decorated with cookie pieces and chocolate chips!

Once again, when cutting the lil fella in half, I was left wondering where all the cookie dough kreme filling was.. In fact, there was a massive gapping hole in the left half where I assume it had been injected! Luckily, this time a more than generous blob was hiding in the other section and was nice and whipped as kreme should be. Taste wise, it was cookie dough and nothing but, with a very sweet, biscuity flavour but I did feel it was a little lost when eaten with a big chunk of soft, doughnut itself. As seen previously, the toppings did crack, crumble and go everywhere apart from in my mouth but quality wise, they were bad at all.. Even if these Cookie pieces had the exact same, soft texture as the so called Brownie above! A 4 out of 5 from me. 

Overall, these NEW Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are pretty darn delightful - The Brownie Batter isn't revolutionary by any means but when you want a chocolate hit, it will certainly provide one.. And it hasn't got that god awful, chocolate sauce KK use which can only ever be a good thing! As for the Cookie Dough, you need one - It's as simple as that so treat yourself before they disappear! Go check out my Peanuts' review over at Nibbles 'n' Scribbles to see if minions were messing with her too and have a delightful Doughnut Day, folks! 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Review- Mr Kipling NEW Cupcakes: Angel, Cherry Bakewell and Apple Pie

NEW Mr Kipling products? Yes! Everyone's childhood favourite treat supplier has recently and very quietly I might add, released 3 NEW Cupcakes into the world.. Well actually they've only made it as far as Tesco given that they are exclusive to the store but times are exciting nevertheless with Angel, Cherry Bakewell and Apple Pie!

As I was never not going to get the full set, I picked up the trio of 68g each, Cupcakes for £1 a pop, in the Cake aisle where they were situated with all the other Mr Kipling products. Now, I don't know if the company think we are dense or if they are just so use to selling multipacks but it states both on the front and back of the box that there is "1 Cupcake" inside.. Just incase you were thinking the dinky cube was a Tardis and would contain more than a single portion. Naturally. 

Popping the Cupcakes out, I was pleased to see the use of plastic hinged pots to prevent any squishing action and loss of frosting - There is nothing worse than losing half of your topping! 


Pink and yellow vanilla flavoured sponge with a raspberry jam filling (9%), topped with a decorated pink and yellow buttercream frosting (47%). 

Erm.. Someone's nicked my jam. 

Found it! I tried my upmost to cut the little cake directly down the centre so unless I was totally off.. I'd say the sponges weren't equal and the jam was most definitely hiding in the right half! I also thought it smelt of banana initially (It didn't) so a real mish mash of first impressions! Starting with the sponge, it was light enough although not exactly the same in texture or taste to a Angel Cake loaf, with a sweet fruity sort of flavour even before hitting the jam. The off centre blob of the dark red sticky stuff was as expected, very sweet with a sort of Tutti Fruity flavour rather than raspberry - I enjoyed it whatever it was! Vanilla-y and extremely thick sums up the frosting on top which left indentations when bitten.. It certainly wasn't a soft and pillow-y buttercream that's for sure! It's a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Cherry Bakewell

Almond flavour sponge with a raspberry jam filling (9%), topped with almond flavour buttercream frosting (44%), decorated with half a glacè cherry (3%) and a dusting of fruit powder. 

Huzzah - The jam wasn't hidding from me in this Cupcake and was much more of a generous blob than above. Texture wise, the sponge was soft, tender and essentially, like any other mass produced cake - Not exactly moist but is what it is. The almond aspect really shone and was plenty potent for something of the size - Having tasted the cake and the frosting seperately, I can confirm that both elements had the Bakewell flavour which wasn't artificial in the slightest. Once again, the jam wasn't identifiable as being cherry flavour but it was tart and counteracted the sweetness from the creamy mound it lay beneath. I have a feeling the percentage of buttercream is off in the description as even by eye, you can see there is more than the Angel version - It's a good job it wasn't throat burningly sweet and tasted amazing! A 4 out of 5. 

Apple Pie

Apple flavour sponge with a Bramley apple filling (11%) topped with a buttercream frosting (27%), Bramley apple sauce (14%) and soft crumble pieces (3%). 

Last up is the Apple Cupcake which I am happy to admit to not cutting straight - I did try my best! Similar to the first delight, the amount of filling wasn't all that abundant but was forgivable given the extra sauce on top. Super fruity apple hit immediately when taking a bite and it really was uncanny to that of the jarred stuff. This went well with the vanilla sponge although I found it to be slightly drier than the Bakewell for whatever reason. As seen throughout, the buttercream was super dense, smooth, creamy and delicious with a nice subtle crunch from the crumble, sprinkled on top.. I do however think it would have been nicer to have a Cream Cheese frosting instead but perhaps I was just sick of buttercream by this point - It does happen, believe it or not. It's another 3.5 out of 5 from me!

Overall, these NEW Cupcakes by Mr Kipling aren't bad additions to the range - They are far cheaper than a "gourmet" Cupcake and will perfectly suffice for when you need something sweet. No, the sponge itself won't change your world and the buttercream might clag you up a bit but they are worth a whirl, especially if baking isn't your thing.. Yes, I am a broken record and yes, that was a dig at non-bakers - Release the Mr/Mrs Kipling within! ..Or just go to Tesco. Fine. Whatever. Is anyone even still here?

Friday, 19 February 2016

Review- Costa Coffee Bakewell Tart

Yesterday, MSW and I went on a little lunchtime date to Costa. We use to do this a lot but haven't treated ourselves to such a thing since purchasing the almighty Nespresso machine back in December - Although we do miss the trips out, we can't complain from a financial point of view.. The Coffee shop doesn't call themselves, COST-a for nothing after all - I could quite easily spend £20+ in there a week! 

All butter pastry, filled with Morello Cherry jam and topped with almond and fondant. 

Ignoring everything I said above, after the purchase of 2 Cappuccinos and 2 Sausage & Onion Toasties, we just couldn't refuse a Bakewell Tart each. Now, I've checked with the Mumsy as she was the one to go up to order (As well as the one to lose the receipt) and she reckons these were priced at £2.20 to eat in and £1.80 to go.. Whether there is any truth in those figures is anyones guess. 

The Tart really was as cute as a button - It almost seemed a shame to ruin its satisfyingly perfect, circular appearance and bright red cherry centre. Cutting it with a knife, it took some effort to break through the crisp pastry shell hence why it isn't all that straight and the cherry has gone for a bit of a pearler.. No matter though, on to the tasting! The extremely crunchy outer with its short texture was buttery as should be and a substantial casing to the softer frangipane like filling within. A real fruity kick came from the more than generous layer of jam which although I wouldn't have identified as being cherry, it was still blooming tasty and naturally, went well with the almond flavour. The finishing and my personal favourite part was the thick topping of a set yet still soft, super sweet icing which we all know is key to any Bakewell Tart and in this case was superb. Not to forget the cherry on top.. Well, it was the cherry on top! 

Overall, this Costa Bakewell Tart is delicious and so much better than I imagined - It's really all down to MSW as she was the one to champion the thing and practically force it down me. I highly recommend you pick yourself up one the next time you go in for your Coffee fix.. I won't tell anyone if you don't. It's a 4 out of 5 from me! 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Review- Millie's At Home NEW Ready to Bake Cookies: Milk, White and Triple Choc

Behold! Millie's Cookies have come home.. To Iceland of all places! I made a special trip to pick up these NEW frozen additions having heard the word on Twitter - Seriously, that place is where it's at when it comes to late, breaking happenings in the food world.. Heaven forbid I could have missed them given that it's the one supermarket I never go to. 

Tucked in with the frozen desserts, these boxes of Milk, White and Triple Choc Ready to Bake Cookie Dough were in abundance and priced at 2 for £5 or £3 individually - Quite steep considering only 6 Cookies are in each weighing approximately 35g a pop. Nothing was going to deter me though - Needs must and all that! 

L-R Milk Choc, White Choc, Triple Choc 

Bad news for raw Dough enthusiasts, on the back of the box there is a warning not to go there so if one choses to rebel against that.. Well, on your own head be it! For those who like their Cookies cooked, I plonked one of each different flavour, oblong shaped pieces onto a baking tray, ready to go into a 160ºC Fan oven for 14-16 minutes or until cooked - Although they are intended to still look soft when done, it is suggested leaving them for 10 minutes to set up before scoffing. 

L-R Milk Choc, White Choc, Triple Choc 

Tadaaaa! Like magic, 3 pieces of Dough turned into 3 Cookies. They smelt amazing when being baked just as anticipated. One thing to surprise me was that even though I kept them in the oven for a slightly less 11 minutes rather than the recommended 14 (Ahem), they were still quite crisp around the edges and the Triple Choc even caught slightly on one side - I even checked the temperate of my oven and for once it wasn't running hot!

Milk Choc

A crisp exterior with chewy inner, the Cookie had a pleasant texture.. Even if it wasn't that of an actual store bought Millie's - May as well get that out of the way before anyone gets to excited, sorry! Butter, vanilla and sugar were the stand out flavours as one would expect with such a treat. The chocolate chunks were few and far between but the ones I could taste did have a a nice milky cocoa flavour and were slightly melted thanks to the Cookie still being warm. Not bad, but not stand out by any means - A 3 out of 5 from me. 

White Choc

Once again, this Cookie had a similar chewy texture as above but perhaps a tad softer crumb. The flavour was also the same with an extra kick of sweetness thanks to the white chocolate chunks. An eggy sort of taste was also apparent which I am certain didn't come from under baking as it wasn't wet or soggy in the slightest. Very vanilla-y and very tasty - Another 3 out of 5 from me. 

Triple Choc

Last by no means least was the Triple Choc. Rich in cocoa with bursts of gooey, sweet chocolate, this Cookie was the best of the bunch. It appeared to be the most packed with chunks which is a bit of an anomaly considering the Cookie itself was also chocolate - I guess they weren't lying when giving it, its name! Texture wise, it was nice and chewy, ignoring the slightly burnt edges with an almost Brownie like middle despite being thin. It's a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Overall, these NEW Millie's At Home Cookies are what they are - Yummy but certainly not the same as store bought.. I would even go as far as to say, you wouldn't know they were meant to be Millie's unless you had read the box and paid the daylight robbery of a price! Don't get me wrong, they hit the spot when you need something sweet and the freshly baked "warm" aspect is appealing but you could get something similar from anywhere and for a lot less.. Or dare I say, release your inner Baker and make your own. What is with all the Chocolate also? A soft Oatmeal & Raisin next time Millie's, if you will. 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Review- M&S Balanaced For You NEW Cod & Salmon Root Veg Risotto

I've been on a bit of a Chicken Chow Mein kick lately - It's quick, easy and surprisingly not all that bad for you! I have been buying it all over the place but have come to the conclusion that my firm favourite is the Balanced For You option from M&S.. Which bring us to today - Cod & Salmon Root Veg Risotto! Wait, what?

Cod and salmon pieces with a vegetable risotto made of carrots, butternut squash and sweet potatoes in a tomato sauce topped with spinach 

Don't worry, I haven't completely lost it - I picked up 2 Chow Mein meals and opted for this as my third item in the 3 for £10 deal. I am uncertain of its individual price but figured that since it was NEW, it would make a good review and whacked in the basket.. Despite not being all that big of a fan of Risotto or baked salmon. Hmm. 

I microwaved my meal for the instructed 4 minutes to produce something that looked uncannily similar to a vomitting session I had in the early Noughties.. Jolly good, moving on! I proceeded to give the thing a good stir and was a little surprised how liquid-y it appeared to be - Although the "Risotto" was of the veg kind rather than traditional rice, it didn't have any of the creaminess I envisaged! Taste wise, it was just as confusing with a super tomato flavour paired with mushy vegetables but a really fishy kick to overpower the lot thanks to the abundance of big, flaky chunks. I wouldn't usually complain about such a thing but when something tastes purely of the sea, it's near impossible not to mention! The spinach floating on top didn't add a lot in terms of flavour either but did bring a nice burst of colour to the dish, so there is that!

OK, I'm now thinking I should have just gotten 3 Chicken Chow Mein and steered well clear of this Cod & Salmon Root Veg Risotto - Hindsight is such a wonderful thing. The meal doesn't work and it's as simple as that, unfortunately - The "Risotto" part is actually quite tasty but by plopping fish in there, you're left with some sort of confused, mish-mash of soup and sea! Granted, cooked salmon isn't my favourite but the combination of the two elements here is just bizarre and as usual, I am left wondering.. What on earth were you thinking M&S!? It's a 1.5 out of 5 from me. 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Review- Lindt Lindor Spring Collection: Milk, Coconut, Stracciatella and Strawberries & Cream

Continuing with the Easter theme and persistent mentioning of Blogging buddies.. Mrs 1T also included these Spring Collection Lindt Lindor Eggs in the very lovely parcel she sent me a few weeks ago. Having read her shining review of the Milk, White & Dark Irresistible Smooth, I was pretty much excited to give this variation a go! 

Milk & white chocolate eggs with assorted filling 

I am not 100% sure where this Spring Collection can be purchased as I haven't seen them in my home away from home, Tesco but I don't expect they should be to hard to find in the supermarkets - A lot of Lindt does seem to be floating about at the minute!

The box contained 14 individually foil wrapped eggs in which 5 were Milk and 3 each of the Coconut, Stracciatella and Strawberries & Cream. 

L-R Milk, Strawberries & Cream, Coconut, Stracciatella 

Do feel free to face plant the screen of your Tech - No one should resist such glorious looking chocolate! Starting with the Milk, it had the standard Lindt scent that we all know and love with a almost cold feel once having cracked through the shell to reveal the very creamy, silky smooth, rich chocolatey taste within - Perfection! Up next was the Strawberries & Cream - I was slightly concerned that I wasn't going to like this one given how I think the Lindor Balls of the very same flavour taste both artificial and medicinal but thankfully, I had nothing to worry about here.. Very sweet due to the white chocolate with an unmissable strawberry kick from the melt in the mouth, baby pink centre, these eggs were delightful and nothing like the aforementioned! Thirdly and perhaps the one I was the most excited about - Coconut! Once again, the shell had a good snap to it and cocoa flavour which paired perfectly with the pure hit of pure tropical goodness of creamy, heavenly coconut. Last but by no means least, was the Stracciatella with its vanilla-y tones from possibly the best white chocolate known to man, velvety inner with a contrasting crunch from the milk chocolate pieces running throughout the shell. Delicious! 

Overall, this Spring Collection of Lindor Eggs is as expected.. Wonderful! Nothing seems to come close to the quality of Lindt Chocolate - Each here is full of flavour, has a fantastic melt and is dangerously moreish. I highly recommend you treat yourself to some or perhaps sweet talk Mrs 1T into buying you a box! It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me.  

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Review- M&S NEW Red Velvet Valentine's Cupcakes

It's Valentine's Day on Sunday! Ooh, ahh, ee - Exciting times! I trust you have all gotten or at least will be getting something for your loved one - Nothing conveys ones affection quite like a nice bunch of flowers, a balloon and chocolates after all! Naturally, I always gravitate towards the latter of edible gifts so thought I would get into the lovey dovey spirit of it all by buying myself the NEW Red Velvet Valentine's Cupcakes from M&S.. Since no one else is going to. Clearly. 

The red and pink, love heart decorated box of 2 cost £2 with each cake weighing in at a rather dinky 75g. I ventured all the way to the bakery section to pick these up but I have been in several stores which have a Valentine's display at the front of the shop so they won't be hard to miss!

2 chocolate and vanilla sponge cupcakes filled with milk chocolate sauce, topped with cream cheese frosting. 

The entire time from first spotting these to when I got home, I was a unsure about how little frosting there was but I think there was some sort of optical illusion going on as it transpired that once out of the box, the proportion of the two was pretty much equal! 

Cutting the sponge in half, it wasn't the light texture I had hoped for with more of a madeira feel than a soft and fluffy cake.. Although it was not dry in the slightest. Taking a bite of the creamy smelling treat, I am sad to report that Red Velvet certainly didn't hit me. There was none of the signature taste you find in such a cake with the sponge tasting more like a generic semi sort of chocolate but at the same time, not really of much at all. The centre of sauce was fairly generous given the size overall but once again, the flavour didn't live up to my expectations - It felt very much cheap with 0 in the way of rich cocoa tones. As for the frosting, there was plenty of it with a good thick texture but it was extremely sweet and could easily have passed as a buttercream as the tang just wasn't there. Very disappointing! 

Overall, these NEW Red Velvet Valentine's Cupcakes aren't great - The trio of elements aren't repulsive by any means, they just don't taste of an awful lot and all in all, are a poor excuse for their delicious namesake! I say, skip these, your lover won't appreciate them and stick with the flowers, a decent box of chocolates and the balloon.. The balloon is key, trust me! It's a 2 out of 5 today. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Review- Tesco Finest Hot Cross Buns: Extra Fruity and Bramley Apple & Cinnamon

Easter may be a whole month away but in my house, that doesn't prevent us from buying Hot Cross Buns as soon as they hit the shops - We do like them an awful lot and get through packets and packets! Nowadays you seem to be able to get a smorgasbord of different flavours.. I've seen Cherry ones, St Clement, Ginger, Toffee, Chocolate, Mocha - You name it, you can pretty much get it! 

Some say we are boring but we say we are traditional when it comes to the humble Hot Cross Bun. I picked up these tame Finest offerings from Tesco on a 2 for £2 deal - Extra Fruity and Bramley Apple & Cinnamon.. Oo exotic! 

Extra Fruity

Packed with plump orange juice-soaked raisins, sultanas and Chilean flame raisins. With a touch of honey. 

Extra fruity, plump dried fruit? Hell yes - The bun was packed as you can see! Soft and squidgy, the dough itself was the perfect texture and wasn't remotely dry with pieces of fruit running throughout. The signature taste of the well loved Easter treat was very much apparent with its subtle spice and citrus-y notes from the peel as well as the juice. I personally couldn't taste any honey but naturally, there was a sweetness with a super sticky exterior to match. Sheer perfection - A 4 out of 5 from me. 

Bramley Apple & Cinnamon

Made with Kentish Bramley candied apple, juicy sultanas and spiced with cinnamon.

Moving on to the "exotic" option.. Once again, the Hot Cross Bun was packed to the brim with both plump, squidgy dried fruit as well as apple pieces - Although these claimed to be candied, I found them to be much softer than a citrus peel and would have just assumed they were just chunks of the fruit. The warmth of cinnamon paired with the apple went perfectly together and had a very much Autumnal/Christmassy feel which not so surprisingly was a match made in heaven to all the other elements of the melt in the mouth, springy, moist bun. Another 4 out of 5! 

See, it pays not to break from tradition! These Tesco Finest Hot Cross Buns are very enjoyable indeed and far superior to any supermarket regular line, I've ever had - You don't even need to toast or smother them in butter (Although I understand if you do feel the need) because they are perfect as is! I highly recommend you hop on down to Tesco, buy both now and maybe keep your eyes peeled for the Hot Cross Scones of last year for me, as they were superb.. And I am still in denial over the fact they are no longer doing them. Boo. 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Review- The Buttermilk Confectionary Company Indulgent Irish Cream Fudge

Fudge. It's a beautiful thing. There really is nothing that comes close to it in terms of a hit of pure sugar - It's an unbeatable, delicious rush. I make my own on occasion but will never turn down the bought stuff.. Especially when, from the Fudge Lady herself, Mrs 1T!

Rich and crumbly handmade, luxury All Butter Irish Cream Fudge. 

I'm quite surprised this little green and white box of Indulgent Irish Cream Fudge even made it to my doorstep to be honest, given Mrs 1Ts intense addiction.. But I am glad it did as I have never heard of The Buttermilk Confectionary Company before and was instantly wooed by the nice packaging!

Look at those dusted cubes. I barely had chance to sniff them before shoving one in my mouth - They were just to irresistible! The Fudge was quite "hard" and dense rather than a squidgy offering with a sugary but not gritty texture - I would say half way between a Fudge and a Tablet, if that helps anyone. A good kick of vanilla was apparent to pair nicely with the real creamy and butteriness and ever so slight tang of something sort of alcoholic.. Although I don't expect I would have noticed this unless I had read the ingredients prior to eating! The pieces melted in the mouth beautifully and I found it all to easy to eat one after another, after another - Scrumptious!

Overall, this Indulgent Irish Cream Fudge is what it says it is.. Indulgent! It reminds me a lot of "Seaside" Fudge which is something I am sure you're also familiar with if you live on the coast or have ever gone to the beach at some point in your life. It's the addictive type that doesn't last 10 minutes and leaves you wanting more almost immediately - 100g wasn't anywhere enough for my borderline diabetic body today as the packet was gone in a flash! Thanks Mrs 1T, you Fudge connoisseur you - It's a 4 out of 5! 

Friday, 5 February 2016

Review- The Chocolate Smith's Bacon Bizarre

My old mucker Kev AKA Butty knows how to treat people. He very kindly and slightly absurdly sent me this Bacon Bizarre by The Chocolate Smith's, to give a whirl - I do like chocolate and I do like bacon.. But the two together? I'm worried. 

Bacon and chocolate come together - at last! - as the ultimate sweet and savoury combination. It's wrong, but oh so right. 

Since Kev really is the King of Snack Finds, I haven't a clue where he bought this Bar from - Perhaps he hand made it himself in Northumbria.. It wouldn't surprise me, you can't put anything past the man. 

I ended up breaking most of the chocolate in hope of finding a piece with lots of crispy bacon bits showing but as you can see, my efforts were clearly folly. The bar smelt of bacon.. Artificial bacon - I wasn't looking forward to trying it. As I half expected, it tasted pretty damn disgusting. The chocolate itself wasn't all that bad with a decent melt and creamy taste but this was only until the overpowering flavour of fake bacon kicked in. It really was full on and no word of a lie, tasted like The Laughing Cow Bacon Dippers - I could actually taste the cheese part, it was that vile! A horrible sort of smoky, all round revolting aftertaste lingered which just finished things off perfectly, of course - YUCK. 

I always knew Kev was bonkers, but seriously.. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? This Bacon Bizarre is quite possibly the most repulsive chocolate bar I have ever eaten - I'm not sure it's even worthy of being called one! Nothing about it is right and the fact it's suitable for veggies baffles me - Can any non meat-eater ever be so desperate for the stuff, they would be willing to go down this route? Someone explain it to me. Sorry Kev but your gift game seriously needs to be upped - It's a 0 out of 5 from me!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Review- McDonald's UK NEW Bacon Clubhouse Burger

Fast Food doesn't feature much here on R4R.. Despite the KFC Med Bites of last summer being a very popular post and not to mention the fact I, like so many others, am addicted. Legitimately addicted! I've been good recently but broke all that today for the NEW Burger on the block.. The Bacon Clubhouse! 

Of course, Burger Lad was the first to announce that this most sought after, McDonald's item was finally coming to the UK - His little Principle Burger Critic, Admiral Burgerbar (Go follow him - He's brilliantly barmy, enjoys a sing song and usually three sheets to the wind) actually reviewed the Belgium version in 2014 and was so impressed, it ended up being the number 1 pick on BL McDonald's Wish List.

100% British and Irish beef burger with Big Mac sauce, cheddar cheese, Beechwood smoked bacon, Batavia lettuce, tomato and grilled onions in a toasted Brioche-style bun. 

So what is so exciting about the Bacon Clubhouse? Well, it is the only Burger on the menu to contain Big Mac Sauce other than.. You've guessed it, the Big Mac itself! Now, I hate to go and burst the bubble but said Burger has never really done it for me and I think throughout the years, they have gradually tasted worse and worse.. I know that many of you will now be revolting and wishing me harm but personal preference and all that - Lets all stay friends here.  

In classic Mcdonald's fashion and as you can see in the second picture, my Burger did look a bit thrown together but that was ok - The melted cheese looked very appealing and it only took a little budge to put things semi straight before taking a big old bite. Starting from the outside, the Brioche bun had been slightly toasted as promised with a super soft and fluffy interior - A most welcome change to the usual offerings which can sometimes be a bit cardboardy, dare I say. A hell of a lot was crammed in between the halves - The beef patty, which I am sure is the same one used in the Big Tasty, was most enjoyable, tasted of actual meat and as expected, was wonderful with the mild cheese. A slight smokiness was apparent from the rashers of bacon which was all that was needed as anything stronger probably would have ruined the lot! Lettuce was in abundance and thankfully, not limp or looked like leftovers and as for the tomato, it tasted fresh and was very soft in texture - Something I always appreciate! Now, all that was smashing but the real star of the show was of course, the Big Mac Sauce! Although I wish there had been a little more, it packed a punch with its distinct flavour and was a wonderful accompaniment to all the other elements but especially with the smooth, mellow taste of the soft onions - I have to say having them grilled was so much better than the usual hard and sometimes, really quite potent chunks you can find. Bloody delightful! 

Overall, I am pretty much blown away by the Bacon Clubhouse - Why on earth has it taken so long to make it to the UK? It's amazing! I can see it being extremely popular with both Big Mac fans and those who just want something a bit more gourmet! I hope McDonald's actually sit up and listen when it comes to making this Burger a regular on their Menu as it is definitely something special and definitely one I will be cramming in whilst I can - A 4.5 out of 5 from me!