Thursday, 31 March 2016

Review- M&S NEW Milk Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

Once again, M&S appear to have gone overboard with NEW products.. They have literally got chocolate, biscuits and desserts coming out of their eyeballs with a fancy, Spirit of Summer range thrown in for good measure. I am not entirely sure of the logic behind the latter given it is barely even Spring but the brightly coloured packaging is quite enticing and worth a look if you're already feeling tropical! 

As I am not feeling quite "August Bank Holiday" yet I'll be sticking with the regular line today with the NEW Milk Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites which were specifically requested for review - I do aim to please! The 140g, resealable foil baggy of a metallic orange hue, cost £2 with its chocolate contents being suitable for Vegetarians.. Big up the Veggies! 

Milk chocolate and dark biscuit crumb with a soft white chocolate and biscuit filling (46%). 

I was pleased to discover some fairly sizeable nuggets in the bag which I would say were comparable to large marbles.. Although they smelt much nicer than marbles of chocolatey, cookie goodness! Popping one in the mouth, a soft bite that was almost fudge like was the first thing to strike me which then transitioned into something more crunchy with a gritty sugariness just like you would find with actual cookie dough! Taste wise, they were very chocolatey and rich with what I think was a malty sort of flavour - Not quite full on Malteser but definitely a hint! I can't say the cookie dough aspect was anything other than subtle but surprisingly, I didn't feel anything was amiss.. There was already plenty going on with the other sweet elements! Magically, more-ish!

Oh M&S.. Are you intentional mess-ers or genuinely ridiculously inconsistent with quality of your products as these NEW Milk Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites are shockingly glorious! They hit the spot big time and feel like a real substantial snack thanks to the different textures and all round chunkiness. I will certainly be buying more and can see them being a total hit with the masses so get yourself a bag, pronto! It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Review- Sainsbury's NEW Lemon Curd Filled Iced Buns

Easter may be over for another year but this does not mean we can't carry on with the spring like flavours, especially since said flavour didn't feature here last week. I give to you, Lemon - Sainsbury's Lemon Curd Filled Ice Buns to be precise!

I was very excited to see this NEW pack of 6 Iced Buns in the Bakery aisle and showed no hesitation when chucking them in my trolley, ready to pay £1.20. If you are a long time reader, you might recall the almighty M&S Whitby Buns that I banged on about for the majority of last year.. Given that they cost a whopping, 2 for £1.30, you can't knock Sainsbury's pricing here at all! 

Lemon flavoured finger bun filled with lemon curd and topped with a lemon flavoured icing. 

One, slightly sweaty but very delightful looking, beautifully iced, Bun.

I have to say, the dough itself looked questionable from the start - Cutting through, it was most apparent it wasn't going to be light and fluffy as I envisaged. My fears proved to be correct when taking a bite.. Although palatable, it was a tad dry and almost stale despite being well within the Use By date. Thankfully, things improved greatly with the flavour - The curd was plentiful, smooth and surprisingly, reminiscent of something homemade with its super tangy, citrus kick. As for the icing on top which was also fairly generous, a much subtler and sweet flavour came through helping cut any chance of things becoming over tart or a potential pucker face! 

Overall, these NEW Lemon Curd Filled Iced Buns do lack a decent dough but the lemon aspect ain't to shabby at all. Don't get me wrong, by no means are they anywhere near as spectacular as the Whitby Bun but they do hit the spot when a zesty treat is required on the cheap - It's a 3 out of 5 from me. 

Friday, 25 March 2016

Review- Tesco Finest The Coconut Egg

All together now! Come on, sing with me! I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts.. There they are, all standing in a row! ..Well, when I say all, what I actually mean is 2. I bought Tesco Finest, The Coconut Egg on Monday and then guess what turned up yesterday? Another one from the Nut to my Coco - Mrs 1T! I'm starting to think she only does these things to get shout outs.. That's 2 in 2 days now!

Belgian white chocolate with toasted coconut, hand decorated with milk chocolate and cocoa powder with coconut truffles. 

Isn't it glorious? £10 I paid at the beginning of the week for the 370g monstrosity of a Coconut accompanied by 5 Coconut Truffles which I thought was fairly reasonable.. But then again, I would probably sell my first born child for a Coconut given my love of the stuff! If you aren't quite as obsessed or don't fancy flogging your offspring, word on the street AKA Instagram is that the Egg is currently on offer for £7 so hopefully there are still a few knocking about!

Coconut Truffles

Starting with the pearlescent Truffles which today, appear to be on a blue background - Please excuse my horrid kitchen lighting! Slightly smaller than a Lindor in size, a crisp, thick, white chocolate shell encased a butter like centre that can only be described as perfect. The melt was exceptional with the most creamy, rich coconut flavour whilst being just the right amount of sweetness - Flawless.

The Coconut Egg

Moving onto the star of the show.. The Coconut Egg! Getting into the thing was a challenge - I bashed it on the table as a whole and it didn't crack as expected. I whacked it on the floor and still nothing. I took the biggest knife I could find and lobbed at it.. Nope, it wasn't going to budge. By this point, my Grandad who was sat at the Dining Room table having Tech Time, started giving me strange looks and thought it was an actual Coconut that I was trying to get into! My last resort was a sawing sort of action which finally did the job.. I was in! The chunky, Belgian white chocolate shell looked most inviting with visible coconut flakes running throughout with the outside most definitely looking the part thanks to a scraped coating of milk chocolate and cocoa powder. Taste wise, it was a case of love at first bite. Creamy and sweet with both vanilla as well as toasty coconut tones, the chocolate certainly didn't falter in terms of flavour or quality. Each piece melted on the tongue with a contrasting soft chew, from all the flakes which felt extra special and quite different! The cocoa went a long way in cutting any chance of things becoming to sweet and was all round, bloomin' marvellous! 

Overall, Tesco really have done a spiffing job here with this Finest, The Coconut Egg - It looks amazing.. It tastes amazing.. That is all I can say! The Coconut Truffles are also out of this world good as well as being far superior to their Lindt Lindor equivalent and I could quite easily eat them by the bucketful - I reckon they would make a fab addition to the all year round, confectionary aisle! 

Please do go seek out this Easter Egg if you are yet to have one (Or even if you do!), you won't be disappointed.. And if you turn out to be so, just send it my way - I am more than happy to have another to add to my collection! Thanks Kirks! It's full marks from me today.. 5 out of 5! 

Have a lovely Easter, Folks and enjoy your Bank Holiday! 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Review- Waitrose Jelly Mini Eggs

Another day, another Easter review and this one is completely down to the joy that is Mrs 1T - The woman literally has a built in sweet detector and finds all the goodies! I daren't copy all her reviews but these I just couldn't pass up.. It's Jelly Mini Eggs from Waitrose!

Soft jelly eggs in a crisp sugar shell. 

I actually sent MSW on a mission to locate these Eggs as I know someone who worked in that particular Waitrose store and I didn't want to speak to them (Don't you dare judge me - We've all been there!). She did a marvellous job and returned with not 1 but 2, 125g boxes of multicoloured eggs which cost a rather daylight robbery price of £3.50 a pop!

After a bit of a faff getting into the box, I tipped my gleaming eggs out and cut the slippery fellas in half for picture purpose. The first thing to hit me was how bizarre the texture was! Expecting a Jellybean like chew, it came as a massive surprise that the outer shell was quite solid and took a good chomp to break through. A gritty sugariness was most apparent which once again was a revelation of the best kind with a contrasting, York/Taveners/New Berry Fruit Jellies like texture in the centre. Flavour wise, it was a real mish mash! Starting with the Yellow and what I assumed would be pineapple, it turned out to be not so easily identifiable but I do know it was delicious and really fruity! Orange was up next and as expected, it certainly delivered its namesake - Full on orange and nothing but! I didn't have a clue what the White would be but it transpired that it was the elusive pineapple with a familiar, juicy tropical flavour which I am certain I have experienced before.. Chewits, perhaps? Pink was next and the one I was most looking forward to! Almost jammy in taste with a raspberry kick and what I think was a flash of apricot, this Jelly Egg was also mouthwateringly good and I could have quite easily eaten a whole carton full! Last but by no means least was the Green.. Apple, right? Well, not quite - This bad boy was actually one of my favourite foods.. Pear! The taste was second to none and scarily true to the fruit! Amazing.

Well these Waitrose Jelly Mini Eggs have to be up there with the strangest sweets I've ever had.. And without a shadow of a doubt, the best! They are so different to any Jellybean (Or any other Sweet for that matter), in both terms of texture as well as flavour. If pure sugary, squidgy, juicy, fruity things do it for you, definitely give these a go - They are well worth their price tag and that's not something I say lightly! It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me.  

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Review- Waitrose Easter Panettone

Today, the 23rd of March is a very special day. It is Reaching for Refreshment's 1st Birthday! YAY!

I can't quite believe it has been a whole year of reviews.. It seems longer than that and yet at the same time, only yesterday that my first post went up. It's been a journey. There have been some amazing snacks and some I wish to forget, some lovely comments and some that leave quite a bit to be desired! I've met some bloomin' brilliant people who I count just as much, if not more, my buddy chums as people I've known for yonks - This blogging malarky is a beautiful business and I would only encourage anyone considering it to give it a go.. You might just find yourself. Anyways, moving on to the real importance of today.. Easter Panettone! 

Yes, you did read that right - Christmas has merged into Easter with a Hot Cross Bun twist on an festive classic! I figure this is quite a natural progression really.. Despite having very little knowledge on the history of said Italian cake as well as being no expert on the religious connotations of it all, but Jesus, right? Lets just eat the bloody thing (It cost £8 from Waitrose, FYI). 

Italian cake made with butter, sultanas and candied orange peel.

Those are some big sultanas right there, studding the top of the cake which can only be described as perfectly golden brown! As you may be able to see, there is a lighter cross through the centre which is ready for the following.. 

A dusting of spiced icing to be sprinkled on with the help of a handy dandy stencil! 

There was no way I was going to miss the full experience here so did as instructed to get my cross - The stencil was surprisingly effective and produced a neat design.. The same can't be said for the table, unfortunately.  

Oh how I love Panettone. Cutting a wedge was a dream with the knife slicing through super easily thanks to the ridiculously light and airy texture of the bread. The pure buttery flavoured dough melted in the mouth after an initial soft chew to deliver the sweet, rich taste that we all know and love. Dotted throughout was an abundance of both plump sultanas as well as chunky pieces of orange peel - I have never seen such big bits with these here being 10 times the size of any bought "tub" kind! Fruitiness came in every mouthful which as expected, paired beautifully with the cakes flavour and with the ever so subtle spice of cinnamon, thanks to that light sprinkling of icing sugar, it certainly rang distant Hot Cross Bun bells! Delicious! 

Once again when it comes to Panettone, I am lost for words to describe how amazing this Easter offering is - It is everything you could ever want it to be and so much more! If I was to be really  really pernickety, the Hot Cross Bun aspect could be elevated just that little bit as it is quite subtle.. But then again, I didn't pour the entire contents of the spiced icing sachet on so perhaps this is my fault. Sensational - It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me!

Lastly.. Just a quick thank you to all of you who continue to read and support R4R. I appreciate it probably more than one should and most likely more than what is deemed normal, but it really does mean the world to me. You're the best Snack Army a Warrior could ask for and I salute you all. Here's to a fabulous and perhaps, slightly less soppy year 2!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Review- M&S NEW Whippy Eggs

I can't remember the last time I had an Easter Egg Hunt.. Would it be wrong to make MSW hide me a few chocolatey goodies at age 22? I don't think so - You're never to old, right? These NEW Whippy Eggs might actually be perfect for the job.. There really is no excuse!   

I picked up the 6 mallow filled Eggs for a rather pricey £3.50 in M&S where they are situated with all the other Easter items - I highly suggest going having a look even if you don't buy anything.. Some of their big Eggs are like works of art! 

Gosh, how cute is the packaging!? Not only are the eggs sat in their very own plastic egg box but they are beautifully wrapped in shiny foils! So pretty! 

It gets better.. A couple of the eggs have Chick faces and there is one with pink stripes! I can imagine Kiddos will love fighting over which colour they want.

Cracking into an egg, the mallow was clear to see and essentially looked like a standard Walnut Whip really! Taste wise, the chocolate itself wasn't all that to write home about with a fairly generic, mild cocoa sort of taste as well as texture - Nothing premium sadly. Going back to that soft, sticky, whipped mallow filling, it was super sweet with a hint of vanilla and definitely something I would be happy to eat by the bucketful. The two elements went well together to make for a simple yet yummy treat. 

Overall, these M&S NEW Whippy Eggs are what they are - Nice enough if you love soft, whipped Fluff like filling but they do seem a bit over priced for what they are, especially when the chocolate is only just average! I would have thought £2 to be about the right going rate but then again, this is the company that charges £8 for cherries! It's a 3 out of 5 from me. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Review- Tesco Finest Toffee Fudge & Belgian Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Hands up who likes traditional Hot Cross Buns.. Hands up if you like them fruity but less traditional.. Hands up those who like them rich and chocolatey.. If you're anything like me, I suspect you've just run out of hands! They are all delicious and as it is Easter this weekend, no doubt a lot will be being consumed of all the different flavours. Here is one option that falls in to the latter category - Toffee Fudge & Belgian Chocolate! 

As usual, said Hot Cross Buns were bought in Tesco where they cost £1.50. For some reason, they weren't available when I reviewed the two other Finest Buns back, at the beginning of February (A January purchase).. But if the fruitier options are more up your street, do go have a read! 

Filled with pieces of toffee fudge & Belgian dark chocolate chips. 

Cutting the Bun in half, lots of chocolate chunks and pockets of toffee were plain to see which I do appreciate as a lack of filling, is good to no one! As expected, the quality of the dough itself was superb - Soft and springy in texture with an ever so slight, molasses sort of taste. The borderline runny morsels of toffee added buttery, sweet tones as well as bringing an always pleasant, gooeyness. A rich depth of cocoa came from the studded, chocolate chips which helped cut the sweetness and were surprisingly dark in taste - A good call as I think a milk chocolate would have been far to sweet. Very decadent and very yummy!

I really can't fault Tesco Hot Cross Buns, be it from their regular range or the Finest - They always deliver on a decent soft dough with a quantity of fillings that no one can complain about.. And todays  Toffee Fudge & Belgian Chocolate are no exception! Definitely get yourself a packet before they disappear off the shelves for another year - It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me! 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Review- M&S Country Vegetable Soup

I love Soup and have spoken about it many a time here on R4R.. But I also have big issues with the stuff. The majority contain peas, chickpeas, lentils, green beans and a whole load of other ingredients that I can't eat! This makes finding a Vegetable Soup near impossible but thankfully, M&S have pulled their finger out with this Country offering! 

A traditional chunky soup with potatoes, carrots, swede, turnips and leek. 

I picked up the 600g tub of NEW RECIPE Soup for £2 although you can always Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price - The range is extensive so there is bound to be another that takes your fancy! I am not exactly sure how this recipe differs from the old but I'm not going to argue given the lack of peas and I don't expect Gluten Free-er or Veggies will either as the soup is suitable for both!

As instructed, I microwaved my soup which I poured into a bowl for about 4 minutes until it was scolding hot. Boiling on the hob is always an option though if the old fashioned method, does it for you - I would actually be interested to know how many people still do this.. It seems medieval. Or perhaps I'm just lazy. 

Vegetable Soup with actual chunks in abundance? Say it isn't so! - It was absolutely loaded! Quite liquidy itself, the almost Broth like soup was thickened by all the fairly sizeable cubes of veg which still had some bite to them rather than being a mush. Flavour wise, you could definitely tell what it was meant to be with the carrot in particular coming through as well as the swede. The onion and leek gave some oomph to the overall taste with the few bits of celery floating about, adding subtle tones. A final sprinkling of salt and pepper went a long way to heighten everything and despite hating the latter, I am thankful for its inclusion - Without it, I can see the soup being quite bland.. But there was nothing to worry about here! 

Overall, this Country Vegetable Soup is warming*, filling, tasty and not to mention, very good for you - There is nothing not to love! I will definitely be buying it again as I for one can't pass up something that isn't completely like a pointless Broth and more importantly, doesn't contain all the bad legumes! Well done M&S, you've produced a winner! It's a 4 out of 5 from me. 

*Does anyone know where Spring is? It's cold and wet.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Review- Rendles Cherry & Almond Cake

There is a less known wonder of the world that is so secret and elusive, I'm pretty sure only myself, The Bananah, Mrs 1T and Nibs are aware of it.. The Rendles Bakewell Flapjack! It's as amazing as it sounds but none of us have managed to locate it other then when on my trips to Suffolk, where the company is based. Old Mrs 1T however has found the brand in one of her local Garden Centres but instead of something oaty.. This time we've got something cakey!

A tantalising loaf cake pack full of sweet glacè cherries. 

Behold! The Cherry & Almond Cake! I squealed when discovering this delight in my magnificent Birthday box from the babe that is Mrs 1T. You can't beat anything Cherry and you certainly can't beat anything almond - It's a fact. 

The 280g loaf was in a traditional liner with a sneaky cherry peaking through the top which definitely reassured me it was legit.. Ignoring the 11 E numbers in the ingredients list, of course.

As promised, the cherries were certainly packed with both big and small chunks running throughout the pink tinged cake which ensured there was plenty in every mouthful. The texture was very much a dense Madeira sponge rather than anything light and fluffy. Bizarrely, thumb imprints were left where I had given it a squish - A bit like a undercooked bread really although of course, this wasn't! Although moist, the slice definitely required a drink to get it down as it was quite stodgy.. But given the sweet, buttery taste and the almond element being spot on, it was hardly a chore to have a cuppa! The similarity to its Flapjack brother was uncanny in being just right side of artificial, packed with Bakewell flavour.. And very much addictive! Yum! 

All in all, I enjoyed this Rendles Cherry & Almond Cake thoroughly despite its slightly odd texture - It didn't deter me and MSW eating it in 1 sitting so it couldn't have been that bad! If you like Bakewell, almond or just cherries for that matter, then I highly recommend you seek one out.. I know I'll be doing just that - Well, thats if I survive having consumed almost a dozen E numbers.. Hmm. A 3.5 out of 5 from me - Thanks Kirks

*NibsnScribs AKA Peanut is to thank for this review - She's brilliant. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Review- The Chocolate Smith's Easter Egg Custard Bizarre

As some of you may already know, it was my Birthday last week.. And boy, was I spoilt! All my lovely fellow blogging buddies went a little mad in showering me with gifts and in turn, are pretty much keeping me fed for the forseeable future. This can only mean one thing.. An influx of shout outs! Kicking things off today, is a chocolate bar from the Hand Selfie Snack King that is Kev and I have only one thing to say..

Bored of Easter Eggs? What about Easter Egg Custard? We've created a delicious hand made Belgian white chocolate bar with runny yellow custard filling to give you an entirely different Easter Egg experience! 

THANK GOD IT ISN'T BACON! I'm still quite traumatised from my very thoughtful, yet DISGUSTING Christmas present so was ever to pleased with this LE Easter Egg Custard Bizarre Bar from The Chocolate Smith's.. Thanks Butty, you done good!  

A picture of this chocolate almost didn't occur as I was so intent on scoffing it.. But I do distinctly recall the stripes of pastel orange running horizontally across the underside of the bar with two blobs, looking suspiciously like egg yolks, on the top. This must be the runny custard filling, right? Well, yes but no - There was no run, ooze or goo in sight with a texture that was more of a thick "dry" fondant than the sauce I envisaged. Taste wise, the chunky white chocolate itself was sweet, vanilla-y and a bit like a better quality MilkyBar with a far superior melt and smoothness. As for the custard element, it was neither here nor there.. Not Birds, not Ambrosia and certainly not anything more "premium" - All I could taste was diabetes from pure sugar.. And I liked it!

Overall and although this Easter Egg Custard Bizarre didn't exactly live up to its name or was the custard it promised, I did enjoy it.. And would happily eat another (Kev, take note!) - Who doesn't love a MilkyBar at the end of the day?! Bump up both the ooze factor and custardy flavour and The Chocolate Smith's would be on to a total winner - It's a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Review- NEW Twix Spread

My name's Lucy and I hoard jars of Spread. I mean, it's no secret that I eat Nutella by the bucketful, I slather everything in Biscoff and can't open the cupboard without having a sneaky spoonful of something something but things are becoming out of hand.. Which is exactly why I went and bought another jar.  It can only help. 

Asda was my port of call when locating this NEW Twix Spread which is of course, based off the chocolate bar of the same name. Sadly, it wasn't on any sort of introductory offer so I had to fork out £2 for it - Do these Spread makers think I'm made of money or something? 

Chocolate caramel flavoured spread with biscuit pieces. 

I debated on whether to have the spread on anything but figured, why change the habit of a lifetime and went straight into the jar! I was hoping for there to be more biscuit pieces showing, by digging into the smooth top but apparently not.. Thankfully, they were much more apparent when eaten! Chocolatey in both scent and taste with a coffee like edge, the spread was thick yet silky smooth with a satisfying, contrasting crunch from nibs that ran throughout. The caramel was fairly subtle and I felt, did take a back seat although perhaps this is what brought the butteriness to light as well as bumping up the sweet factor. Very rich and probably sickly after a while.. But scrumptious nevertheless! 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this NEW Twix Spread and have to say it's a vast improvement on the mediocre Bounty and MilkyWay offerings of last summer! It isn't exactly like the chocolate bar itself but when something tastes that yummy.. I'm not sure it really matters all that much! The Bananah has also done a review so do go have a read and leave her a derogatory comment on my behalf. Back to today and it's a 3.5 out of 5 from me! 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Review- Tesco Filled Hot Cross Buns: Citrus & Blueberry and Chocolate & Toffee

We are well into March now and with Easter being only 2 weeks away, it's pretty much a free for all on chocolate and Hot Cross Buns until the Bunny arrives.. Because clearly we need an excuse! Today's review is all down to a picture I saw on Twitter which I would link but given it was just under a month ago, there's no chance of locating it.. Thank you anyways to the person who brought these Filled Buns to my attention!

On one of my many jolly trips to Tesco, I picked up said packs of 2, Citrus & Blueberry and Chocolate & Toffee Filled Hot Cross Buns for £1 each. They can be found in the Bakery aisle with the Scones, Muffins and such but I don't expect you'll miss them with such cute packaging - Look at the adorable woodland animals! 

Citrus & Blueberry

White hot cross bun with blueberry jam filling, fresh and candied citrus peel. 

I cut the Bun.. And there was actual filling! - Naturally, I was dubious about just how filled, "Filled" meant but was pleasantly surprised to see a fairly generous dollop in the centre. Soft and squidgy with a texture that was more of a muffin, bun cross than actual dough, the Bun had a tender feel that wasn't dry in the slightest with a very fruit flavour. The jam was pleasantly sweet and sticky and although I wouldn't have identified it as being Blueberry, the fruitiness went wonderfully with the subtle citrus tones of lemon and orange. Everything went well together and although there was no stand out flavour, it was bloomin' delicious! A 4 out of 5 from me. 

Chocolate & Fudge

White hot cross bun with toffee fudge filling, toffee pieces and dark chocolate chips. 

Aaaaaaand my toffee is MIA because..?

Huzzah! It was hiding in the bottom half which I proceeded to claw at - Turns out, it was quite a good filling despite being miles away from the middle. The neatly crossed Bun itself, this time was a lot more like a traditional "dense" dough and not the spongy muffin texture seen above. Taste wise, it was sweet, buttery toffee thanks to the gooey filling which definitely had a Werthers familiarity. The dark chocolate chips were in abundance and added richer bursts of cocoa to cut some of the sweetness.. Although really, it was never not going to be sweet! Very yummy and hit the spot - Another 4 out of 5 from me. 

Overall, these Tesco Filled Hot Cross Buns get two thumbs up from me - They are sweet, scrummy and make a nice change to the usual Easter treat that you've slathered in butter, yourself.. And by butter, I mean Nutella of course! Having checked the other 2 Buns, I can confirm that both the Citrus & Blueberry and the Chocolate & Toffee had decent fillings with even the latters' being in the correct place this time, so I highly recommend you give them a go.. You won't be disappointed and I can guarantee, Kiddos will love them! Nice one, Tescy! 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Review- Cadbury Flake Celebration Cake

You cannot have a Birthday without cake, it's a fact.. Heck, it's pretty much the law. Since I'm not one to break from either of those things, we're going big today to celebrate me being a whole year older.. It's a Cadbury Flake Cake! Ooooooo.. Chocolate. Happy Birthday, Me! 

I have been patiently waiting to buy said cake since my lovely NibsnScribs told me how amazing it was, way back when in September of last year. Unfortunately, it went walk about for a while but now it's firmly back (With delicious NEW sponge, just FYI) on most supermarket shelves - I purchased mine in Asda for a quite reasonable, £8. 

Chocolate sponge layered with chocolate flavour creme and a chocolate flavoured syrup, covered with milk chocolate and decorated with milk chocolate flake pieces and white and dark chocolate curls. 

The cake cut well to reveal the vertical stripes of sandwiched sponge which were all unnerving equal.. Suspicion always arises from anything that looks to perfect! Why the cake wasn't placed on a board though is anyones guess - It can hardly look presentable when it's just sat in a plastic tray.. Although it was good at catching any rogue pieces of chocolate! 

CAKE! Doesn't it look like a good'un? It smelt chocolatey and like it definitely wanted to be eaten. The sponge was super soft and moist with essentially the texture of a light swiss roll. There didn't appear to be much filling between each section at first but it transpired to be just the right amount of mousse like buttercream along with the syrup. Both had a good cocoa taste without being overly sweet with the latter having a slightly deeper flavour as well as being pleasantly smooth yet sticky. Coating the lot was just the right thickness of set chocolate that actually stayed on the cake rather than cracking and crumbling as I expected! It also surprisingly tasted a lot more like old school Dairy Milk but perhaps this was just due to the fact there was a lot going on. With the Flake pieces on top and sprinkling of curls, a final chocolatey hit came to round things off perfectly - Yum!

I always knew The Peanut was one smart cookie but blimey, she's out done herself here - This Cadbury Flake Celebration Cake is up there with the best.. If not, THE best bought Birthday, I've had. It's simple but done well and at the end of the day, you can't really ask for anymore than that.. And it will feed the serving suggestion of 12 at a stretch! I would be interested to see how much the sponge here differs from the old but can only assume it has been a change for the better - I can't find much fault! If it's your Birthday coming up, I highly recommend you get yourself one.. Or even better, make someone else do just that! It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Review- PG tips NEW Green Tea: Strawberry Cupcake and Lemon Pie

As a massive Tea/Green Tea/Hot Beverage fan, I was so very giddy to hear about NEW releases from PG tips last month which were due to be on our shelves, well, right about now! Surely enough and true to their word, my Tesco is now over run with a smorgasbord of NEW snazzy flavours - The range could easily challenge that of the Asda Desserts and that really is going some! 

Naturally, I already knew which flavours I was going to buy before even finding said Teas in the shops.. Strawberry Cupcake and Lemon Pie! - Lets face it, if their is a baked, cakey, all round delicious option, I'm going to take it! Each box of Green Tea containing 25 pyramid bags cost £1.39 which is a bit of a steal considering the price of Twinings.


OH MY GOOD GOLLY GOSH, these smelt amazing! I can't quite believe how such a yummy scent was achievable but the Strawberry Cupcake was full on summery fruit with the Lemon Pie, literally smelling of lemon cake. Literally. Once I calmed myself, I brewed the bags as instructed for about 2 minutes to ensure for a good flavour infusion and watched the water change colour with Monkey. 

Strawberry Cupcake

Put the cake down! You don't need to be indulgent to indulge with this smooth green tea inspired by a juicy, sweet, strawberry cupcake. It's a hot, sweet fix. 

I whacked a bit of cold water in as I just couldn't wait for it to be at a drinkable temperature and took a sip.. It didn't disappoint at all! The warm, comforting liquid was as promised - Mild Strawberry with hints of something cakey with the familiar, ever so slight Green Tea taste in the background. Everything was perfectly balanced and although the Strawberry was subtle, anything stronger I feel or heaven forbid, artificial would have completely overpowered and spoiled the lot. Almost perfection - It's a 4 out of 5 from me. 

Lemon Pie

On one hand this Lemon Pie flavour tea is zingy and sharp, and on the other it's sweet, warm and mallow. It's a treat and a herbal delight. It's brimming over with personalit-tea. 

Once again, I added some water to cool the golden tinged tea and proceeded to get stuck in. Tasting exactly how it smelt, it was lemon cake all the way with it's sweet, mellow tones which were true to the latter part of the description - There was zero zing or a lip puckering tartness, thankfully! A buttery flavour lingered which only likened it more to a yummy drizzle sponge and with no real tea flavour to "ruin" things, it was bloomin' wonderful and so very, very smooth! Not pie but who cares? A 4.5 out of 5 from me! 

Oh PG tips.. You are some beautiful people - I love the Tea, I love you, I love Monkey, I love it all! These NEW Strawberry and Lemon Green Teas are the best I have tasted when it comes to the sort.. There's no two ways about it! They are the perfect in-between of Green and Herbal so if neither are your thing, these might just be! I will most definitely be buying a variety of the other flavours - Orange sounds amazing as do the Apple options.. I best drink up! 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Review- Asda NEW Puds: Carrot Cake, Banoffee Bombs and Rhubarb Jumbles

Something crazy seems to have happened to Asda's Fresh Dessert section - It's over run with Puds! No word of a lie, there are about a dozen+ NEW additions.. From fruity, St Clement, Passionfruit and Coconut to Millionaires and Mocha with Gingerbread Latte, Afternoon Tea, Apple Betty and a Blueberry Pancake number thrown in along the American way for good measure.. And that's just to name a few!  

After much umming and ahhing, I decided on the Carrot Cake, Banoffee Bombs and Rhubarb Jumbles which all cost £2 each with the latter weighing in slightly less at 96g per pot rather than the 100g seen in the Carrot and the 135g with the Banoffee. I'm going to assume this theme runs throughout all the NEW Desserts as they come in variety of different size pots.. Just to boggle everyone a bit. 

Carrot Cake

Cream cheese flavour mousse, carrot cake flavour compote and mixed spice sponge pieces.

Oo look at the gooey, ooeyness. The Pud smelt amazing and surprisingly like Cream Cheese - I half expected it to be nondescript! Digging all the way down to the bottom to ensure I got all three elements, I took a big mouthful and was immediately in heaven! The super smooth compote was the first thing to hit with its relatively spicey kick of cinnamon and ginger - Something we all know to be key with a good Carrot Cake. This was only complimented by the sponge which was soft enough and once again, packed full of those signature mixed spice flavours as well as proving to be a decent contrast in texture to all the soft. As for the pillowy mousse which was generously topping the lot, it was creamy and sweet with a good tang that was only to easy to identify as being Cream Cheese. Delicious - 4 out of 5 from me!

Banoffee Bombs

Banana mousse with fudge and toffee flavour sauces, sponge pieces and toffee chips. 

Moving onto the Banoffee Bomb and the one I was the most apprehensive about.. I love the flavour combination but in recent years have acquired an on-off banana allergy but figured I would risk these given my general wild ways and the fact the content of said fruit was only at 2.4%. This may seem not a lot but boy, did these pack a punch! The mousse was full on banana and nothing but with the balance of being "real" and artificial, perfectly paired. Super smooth and sticky, the toffee flavour was the next element to show itself which I would liken to the buttery taste of Werthers Original. The odd bit of sponge came to light but wasn't any where as near apparent or abundant as the Carrot Cake, above. A sprinkling of crunchy chips on the top was the delicious finishing touch which heightened the Toffee even further as well as complimented the lingering, banana aftertaste! It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me! 

Rhubarb Jumbles

Vanilla flavour mousse, cheesecake batter, rhubarb compote and flapjack pieces. 

Finally, the Rhubarb Jumbles which were bought in mind of MSW who can't get enough of the pink stalked stuff! As seen with the previous Puds, the mousse was whipped a treat with a lovely texture but this time didn't deliver in terms of taste - It was bland with no real vanilla flavour and all a bit claggy! The Cheesecake batter was also a let down as I couldn't even distinguish such a thing, let alone taste it. A very subtle tang came from the measly portion of Rhubarb at the bottom which was certainly way more chunky than a compote should ever be. As for the flapjack pieces, they were buttery and soft with a good chewy, oaty texture but unfortunately, couldn't save the thing from being almost tasteless overall. A disappointing 2 out of 5 from me. 

Well, minus the Rhubarb Jumbles, I am quite pleased I picked up these NEW Desserts - Both the Carrot Cake and Banoffee Bombs have some serious flavour and make for very luxurious, indulgent Puds that would go down a treat with anyone and everyone! I would definitely buy both again, if not, try some of the others flavours from the never ending list. One thing that I can't not mention though is the absence of a Red Velvet option - Why Asda have covered classic American Desserts here but failed to include the best of the lot, is beyond me.. Someone sort it out, please!