Saturday, 21 January 2017

NEW! Grenade Carb Killa High Protein Shakes Review (Online)

Before Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a parcel from Grenade containing their new Carb Killa Shakes to review. If you've read this blog for a while you'll know that taste-wise I think that Grenade's Carb Killas are the best on the market. I tend to see them more as a treat though and rely on Reflex's bars and powders for the top quality nutrition. Grenade's Carb Killa range is ever expanding, and even since the Shakes came out the banana armour and peanut butter bars have been released. It seems there's no stopping Grenade, but I'm certainly not complaining!

The Carb Killa shakes are currently available in three flavours: cookies & cream, fudge brownie and chocolate mint. All 330ml bottles deliver at least 24g of protein with a maximum of 9g carbs whilst still coming in at less than 200kcal -not bad going for a treat!

Chocolate Mint
Choc mint was the first up, purely because I expected to like it the least of the three and wanted to save the best until last. The shake was much thicker than expected, with a rich chocolate flavour that had a strong minty edge. It wasn't as dark as the flavour in the respective Carb Killa bar, but I liked that about it. The shake tasted undeniably indulgent, probably due to the 3% cream content. It was a delicious shake but mint chocolate is never my favourite, so I was really looking forward to the others.


Cookies & Cream
Next up was the cookies and cream for a treat post leg day workout. As you can see from the photo below, it was a very cold morning and so I took a swig before deciding to heat the rest of the bottle (in the mug not the container FYI). I couldn't believe how scrummy this shake was, and it as a bonus contained real biscuits (albeit only 0.5%)! Even compared to its non protein compadres this was one of the best milkshakes I've ever had. I mean warm cookies and cream on a freezing January day.. can you think of any better treat to help soothe aching and growing muscles?


Fudge Brownie
Last but not least was the chocolate fudge brownie shake, which I had last night before bed (alongside an array of other treats in my usual fashion). Again I slurped a swig fridge-cold before heating the rest in the microwave. The thickness in all three was similar to a frijj milkshake, and therefore almost spoonable. As a chocolate milkshake again this was delightful, and equally delicious warmed up too. I only wish I'd got some squirts cream to top it with!


I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's so easy to forget that the Carb Killa range is designed to supplement sport when it's all so bleeding tasty! Peanut butter or banana shake next please Grenade? All of the Carb Killa shakes are available to purchase from their website. 

*A huge thanks to Grenade for the samples. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

NEW! Mini Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns (Waitrose)

It's official. I'm missing mince pies, yet I still can't bring myself to buy the ones still lurking in Waitrose, Greggs or poundland. It's January after all and one must wait until they return to supermarket shelves in August. Helping my pining situation somewhat however is the arrival of the hot cross buns. As I said the other night, the best way to get over mince pies is to get into hot cross buns! It's going to be a similar situation in my house though to the festive pies, I've already spotted so many that I want to try (and will review) but Bert won't touch the things. Oh well, more buns to grow the buns 🍑, right?

The first buns to be bought however were these chocolate orange mini versions from Waitrose, which appealed because they were reduced to just 55p. Chocolate orange seems to be the favoured flavour choice this year and I've seen versions in M&S and Morrisons too. To be honest It was Waitrose's cherry almond buns that really appealed -which I'm praying are an improvement on their Heston's Bakewell buns of last year- but they were full price so will have to wait.

"9 Hot cross buns made with dark chocolate and orange zest."

There's only one pack that I've seen that just aren't appealing to me right now* but made me think of Becky & Gemma on Instagram who both left me comments about eating hot cross buns with marmite...

Meanwhile the chocolate orange mini buns looked a little worse for wear, and for once my clumsiness wasn't to blame, for they had been rammed into the bargain bin (you should've seen the state of some of the loaves in there).

A super strong tang greeted my nostrils as soon as I ripped open the pack. They were fairly soft and light too, so far so good.

I decided to try my first bun toasted with JimJams chocolate hazelnut spread, but that proved to be a silly move because the chocolate chips melted over the toaster and the chocolate spread completely overpowered the orange flavour. As a messy chocolatey bun it was enjoyable though!

Attempt number two I decided to eat at room temperature, and spread one half with butter and the other half with peanut butter. I couldn't help myself ok? This time I could really appreciate the richness of both the dough and the dark chocolate chips. Unfortunately the orange flavour was once again overshadowed, and I'd have really like the smell to have translated into taste. The 3% zest just wasn't enough to shine through. My other bug bear was the lack of raisins or sultanas. Is it just me who doesn't believe a bun is 'hot cross' unless brimming with dried fruit?

I can't deny that I enjoyed my first buns of the year, but I hope they're not the best 2017 has to offer.

After the marmite comments I'm intrigued: how do you eat yours?


*inquisitiveness might change this though!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream (M&S)

Last spring M&S went positively potty with a huge release of their Spirit of Summer range. Some of the goods have since been re-branded and retained under the normal labelling -such as the peanut butter cookies, which I wasn't particularly fussed on, much preferring the softer style of Grandma's or Lenny & Larry's. Other products have held on for dear life and, despite summer having been over months ago, can be found lingering in corners of the food hall. The Mud Pie & Key Lime Pie ice creams are two such items, although they've finally been reduced to clear this week.

I wrote a review of the Mud Pie last year so I thought I'd write up a quick review of the Key Lime Pie in case you're worrying about spending 75p on snapping up the 500ml tubs. I joke but I did briefly question my purchase actually, not because of the monetary element for once, but because I wasn't entirely sure how or if a lime ice cream could work. 

"Dairy key lime flavoured ice cream with key lime sauce (10%), digestive biscuit pieces (8%) and meringue pieces."

Hang on a second, shouldn't M&S have used ginger biscuits instead? 
...Although a quick google search later proved that Delia uses digestive biscuits, so maybe it's just me who uses gingernuts in citrus based desserts! 

Anyway, the pale green ice cream was fairly easy to scoop straight away, and I was only one spoon down before I uncovered a treasure trove of goods (biscuit chunks). That's what I like to see Marks & Sparks! The lime sauce wasn't so evident, but I could smell a strong zingy scent straight away. 

What a welcome surprise! The lime worked much better than expected as an ice cream flavour, with the zing counteracting the sweet creaminess wonderfully. It wasn't bitter either, which is always my fear with citric desserts, but was very refreshing on the palate (I imagine it would be particularly good after a curry). As for the abundant digestive pieces, they were crispy -but tasted more rich tea than digestive. Their crunch was gladly received, making the ice cream much more interesting to munch on, but I still think that ginger biscuits would have worked even better! Occasionally I would fall upon a pocket of sweetness coming from the meringue pieces, but they were subtle in their inclusion and wouldn't have been missed if omitted completely. 

The biggest shock with this Key Lime Pie ice cream was that even flavour fussy Bert liked it. I didn't tell him what it was before he tried it for fear that he would refuse to even sample it, but he actually said that he enjoyed it! Quelle surprise!

M&S' Key Lime Pie ice cream was an innovative and unusual addition to their 2016 line up and I'll be stocking up on tubs whilst they're so cheap. I'm also looking forward to seeing what they bring out this year... any ideas?

*Fingers crossed for banoffee pie.*


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dr Zak's Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter (CNSport)

I can't deny my love of chocolate and peanut butter. My 2016 New Years' resolution is still going strong and I'm still having my two favourite foodstuffs every single day without exception. It's needless to say therefore that when Conor at CNSport offered me a jar of Dr Zak's chocolate powdered peanut butter to review I jumped at the chance -especially because I'd enjoyed their Banoffee Pie and Chocolate Fudge Brownie peanut spreads so much!

"High protein & defatted chocolate flavour powdered peanut butter. All the taste of chocolate spread with 70% less fat."

Could peanut butter taste as good with none of the fat? I enjoy some fat-free products such as Skyr and Quark, but surely pb tastes so good because of its natural fat content?

I poured some of the powder into a ramekin and added equal measures of water -as suggested- before stirring to make a paste. I was about to spread it on my fruit loaf when I thought I'd give it a quick sample first.

Bleurgh! What the? Sweet bejeezus that's no relative of peanut butter.

All I could taste was a bitter chemical flavour* that I just had to spit out. 

*At this point I'll add that there's no chemicals: the tub simply contains peanut flour, cocoa and stevia -but boy it was vile. 

Am I doing this whole peanut powder thing wrong? At the moment I can't even bring myself to try it again, but if you've had it and can make it work please do send me your suggestions.


A huge thank you to Conor for the sample! Unfortunately I can't love everything you stock, sorry ;).

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dessert Menu Dutch Apple Tarts (M&S)

There's not many things more satisfying in life than finding a good bargain, particularly if said bargain is found in M&S! One afternoon last week I popped into our local branch and spotted duo packs of their Dessert Menu Dutch Apple Tarts reduced to just 35p! Now I'm not normally a fruity dessert kind of person, opting for chocolate every time, but these looked rather good and I just couldn't turn them down at such a steal -especially as they could be frozen too! 

"Apples with sultanas and cinnamon in an all butter luxury pastry case topped with butter enriched filo."

They didn't pay a lengthy visit to my freezer because I thought that the tarts would make a perfect post-roast Sunday pud. They appeared to be the wonderful love child of a strudel and an apple pie. Could these possibly be the most homely desserts known to man?

The tarts come in individual tin foils, and M&S suggest popping them in the oven for 15 minutes before serving. Whilst they were heating up I contemplated serving them with custard, then ice cream, before remembering I'd got the rest of the Aunt Bessie's custard ice cream left to use -perfect. 

The tarts were hot to touch after quarter of an hour, and were easy to remove from their casings. One had a slightly soggy bottom so I guess it could've done with a few minutes longer, but I was too impatient to wait! 

There was a good mixture of apples and sultanas in the centre of my tart, which were wonderfully sweet and well spiced. The apples were soft but not mushy, retaining just enough texture to provide bite. Talking of texture, the combination of pastries worked wonderfully well together. I can't remember ever having filo and shortcrust pastry together before, but they complimented each other remarkably well.

As they did with their Frangipane Mince Pies (which I so hope will return this year) Marks and Spencer have created perfect buttery shortcrust pastry once again. It's sweet and crumbly, melting in the mouth in the most delicious way. I'm sure I heard Bert groan with pleasure at the simple but ultimately scrummy dessert -I know I did!

I only wish I'd stocked up on these tarts; they're delightful.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Jude's Salted Caramel Ice Cream Review (Sainsbury's)

Do you remember my first Jude's ice cream review a couple of months ago? If not I'll give you a swift recap...

Their peanut butter and chocolate ripple ice cream thoroughly impressed me, not only because it managed to challenge my aversion towards nuts in ice cream, but because it was damn good quality and the company donate 10% of their profits to charity. I favour the idea that I'm doing good somewhere in the world whilst scoffing my face with delicious ice cream -especially when it's peanut butter flavoured. I felt that the only down-side was the relatively high price point, but also mentioned that it's worth it for a treat every now and then. 

The next Jude's ice cream to call to me in Sainsbury's was their salted caramel. It was a risky choice to buy this flavour though because Bert also loves salted caramel and so I knew I'd have to share the tub. 

"Tuck into this trusty, tasty caramel with a mischievous sea salt twist."

What I hadn't mentioned before is the surprisingly scarce ingredients list in Jude's ice cream of items that you can actually pronounce -let alone understand. Take this flavour for example, each tub contains simply: 
Fresh Whole Milk, Fresh Double Cream, Caramel (13%) (Whole Milk, Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Caramelised Sugar), Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Pasteurised Free Range Egg Yolk, Stabilisers: Locust Bean Gum and Guar Gum, & Salt.
Isn't that refreshing?

This deep gold coloured ice cream had an equally pleasing texture as the peanut butter flavour. It resisted the urge to melt away rapidly, yet was instantly soft enough to enable me to scoop easily. 

Given that milk and double cream are the primary ingredients it's not entirely shocking that the ice cream tasted utterly indulgent with an unparalleled smoothness. I loved the addition of peanuts in the other tub, but also relished the velveteen qualities of this salted caramel. As for the flavour of the caramel, it was butterscotchy and had enough salinity to warrant its 'salted' title, successfully bringing the taste back from sickly realms. 

I think I might've had my best dessert brainwave yet thanks to the Jude's Salted Caramel. Remember the Twix Cookies review last week? Recall me saying I was going to enjoy one warm with salted caramel ice cream? Well, I chose Jude's to have it with. Need I say more?


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Fresh Cream Toffee Doughnuts (Tesco)

I'm sure you're bored of me moaning about the lack of decent doughnuts in my little city. Sure there's a couple of Greggs, but it's just not the same, and I feel particularly hard done by this month thanks to Krisy Kreme's new tiramisu and chocolate orange doughnuts -as well as the return of the Kruller. 

Come on Krispy Kreme! Please at least deliver to the Tesco's in Hereford or Worcester if you're not going to open a store? Tiramisu sounds right up my alley, and the food porn on instagram is driving me crazy. Anyway, all of the doughnut pics brought on cravings that needed to be satisfied, and that's where these fresh cream toffee doughnuts from Tesco come in. 

"2 Doughnut fingers filled with a layer of toffee sauce and toffee cream decorated with salted caramel butterscotch pieces."

I'm not sure if they're new countrywide or just new to Hereford, but they looked damn good and at £1.40  (or two packs for £2) they weren't bad value. 

As you can see, one had a generous covering of butterscotch pieces, whereas the other had next to none. Both were amply filled with the toffee cream in an attractive swirl pattern though, which oozed out of the ends (lets pretend I didn't scoop it up and eat it with my finger, eh?). 

Picking my doughnut up, I realised that the dough wasn't as soft and light at is its freshly baked counterparts -but isn't that always the way with the refrigerated versions? 

The cream had a lovely toffee undertone to it, like a very mild angel delight mousse. Unfortunately the toffee sauce wasn't as abundant as it needed to be to counteract the rather bland and stale almost bread-y dough. As for the crispy butterscotch pieces, they were a bit non-committal and I can't remember actually tasting them in amongst the cream. 

Meh. I'm still craving that Tiramisu KK, maybe even more so now!