Monday, 29 February 2016

Rhythm 108 Banana Muffin Good-For-You Dessert Bar (Amazon)

It's time for the final instalment in my series of Rhythm 108's good-for-you dessert bar reviews. I saved the Banana Muffin until last because it was the flavour that piqued my interest enough to find out about the company in the first place. Hopefully you'll have already read my reviews for the delicious Choco-Walnut Brownie, Apple Pie and Coconut Macaroon (lets forget about the Lemon Cake) bars, but if not please do give them a quick scout.
As you can see from the wrapper the Banana Muffin Dessert Bar consists of organic dates, almonds milk, amaranth and cider vinegar -in keeping with Rhythm 108's philosophy to create wholesome, gluten free products high in protein & fibre with no refined sugars.
I decided to enjoy the bar with warm custard this week, as I hope you'll agree that there's something quite magical about banana & custard. The bar had a similar consistency to the rest of the range -firm and moist with crunchy nuts dotted throughout. 
There was a fruity flavour that was apparent throughout the bar, although it was difficult to detect the banana by itself. I was quite disappointed by this considering how well Rhythm 108 have nailed the flavours in their other products, but its not entirely surprising considering that there's only 1/2 a banana per bar, and they contain no artificial flavourings. I don't want to complain too much though, as it was still scrummy and made for a warming afternoon pick-me-up treat, especially with custard!

8/10
If you've enjoyed reading about the Rhythm 108's healthy dessert bars, and now want to get hold of some for yourself to enjoy, please pop on over to their website/Amazon Shop.
For the very last time, thank you Rhythm 108 for kindly sending me your bars to review, they've been delightful!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Banoffee Flapjack (Boots)

I'd forgotten just how much I love flapjacks until (thanks to O2 Priority) I got the chance to try any of the Graze boxes sold in Boots completely free of charge! I was in a bit of a dilemma  as I liked the sound of the chocolate dippers and strawberry & blueberry coins, but then I spotted the lemon drizzle box and my choice was made. 

The lemon drizzle Graze was exquisite, soft yet gooey with a sweet citrussy kick, and hands-down the best flapjack I'd had in years. It was so good that it made me consider signing up to Graze!



You know what its like when you've rekindled a love for an almost forgotten treat and suddenly become acutely aware of its presence? Well, I go into Boots every Monday for my £1 meal deal (thanks again O2) and for the first time, acknowledged their own-brand range of flapjacks -including a banoffee version. As a lover of anything banoffee, I couldn't resist!



'Oat flapjack with caramel and banana, topped with belgian chocolate.'

The flapjack was a sizeable slab, weighing in at 61g. There were three dried banana coins on the top, and a generous chocolatey drizzle. The gooey caramel layer had stuck to the packet in places, meaning that the slice had a slightly messy appearance. As I've said before, I don't believe that looks are a reflection of taste, so I eagerly got stuck in to my treat.



Unfortunately, the Boots flapjack tasted utterly different to its Graze cousin. It was stodgy, and overwhelmingly sweet, with the caramel layer compounding the problem. Instead of the luxuriously silky Dulce De Leche style caramel that I experienced with the Morrisons 'Millionaire's Shortbread Mash Up' ice cream, it was a gritty saccharine layer that wasn't pleasant. The banana element came solely from the three chips on top, so felt somewhat like a lazy afterthought.

I couldn't help but think the flapjack would've been improved from the caramel and banana flavours being rippled through the oats, instead of being clumsily added on top. It's such a shame, there was so much promise for the Boots Banoffee Flapjack, if only it'd been given the thought and execution it deserved.

3/10




Saturday, 27 February 2016

Trix Cereal Bar (American Soda)

I ordered this cereal bar back in November from American Soda, but its been hanging about in the kitchen until now. Our snack cupboard is better stocked than ASDA, and so it was just the case that I kept forgetting it was there! This morning I was feeling rubbish thanks to a chest infection, so decided that I needed a bit of extra colour in my life, and finally reached for the neglected Trix bar.



Trix is an American cereal that has been around since the 1950's and was subject to a major overhaul at the end of 2015. General Mills decided it was high time to remove all the artificial flavours and colours from its products -a huge change for Trix and its characteristically vivid colours.


(Photo courtesy of General Mills)

I can't argue with the nutritional benefits of removing artificial crap from our food, but it does mean that the cereal now closely resembles the poop of its Rabbit mascot (sorry General Mills).


Fortunately, the healthy eating brigade haven't got round to meddling with the Trix cereal bar yet, and so I was greeted with quite possibly the most vivid technicolour food I have ever seen -so bright that I could've done with some sunglasses!


The cereal bar was a sticky combination of Trix cereal and oats, held together with corn syrup, sugar, fructose and oil. The sweetness was evident before I'd even taken a bite thanks to the sugary fruity scent and glossy sheen that covered the bar. 

Texturally it offered more in the way of crunch than chew thanks to the puffed corn cereal pieces. There was a fruity flavour, but it was far from natural, and quite clearly the result of substantial chemical engineering. It certainly would take a more discerning palate than mine to distinguish the raspberry, lemon, orange, wildberry*, grape and watermelon flavours that makes up Trix cereal!



I was left with an odd, almost metallic after-taste when finished, but admittedly the bright colours had suitably cheered me up (although I can't be sure that wasn't just the e-numbers) and so I can't help but wonder where the joy comes from with the 'new & improved' Trix cereal!

6/10

*I've no idea what wildberry is, please feel free to leave me a comment and fill me in if you've got a clue...


Friday, 26 February 2016

NEW! Double Chocolate Limited Edition Special K Moments (Sainsbury's/ Home Bargains)

A couple of months ago Kellogg's announced that they were launching two new flavours into their Special K Moments range. I managed to find and review the Black Forest Gateaux pretty swiftly, but its taken me until now to find the double chocolate variety. At long last I spotted them in Sainsbury's this week, but baulked at the full price RRP of £2.00, and I'm pretty glad I did because the following day I spotted them in Home Bargains for a more reasonable 99p.
 
 
 
'Delicious cocoa biscuits with a soft chocolate-flavoured filling, topped with a vanilla flavoured drizzle.'
 
The biscuits were just as pretty as the Black Forest Gateaux version, in fact you'd be pretty hard pressed to tell them apart once removed from the packet. There were lovely white ripples that adorned the biscuits, which were a nice touch that gave them look more luxurious edge. The 'Moments' snapped easily, revealing the chocolate saucy centre sandwiched between the two cracker-thin biscuits. Taste-wise there was a dark intense cocoa flavour that's not dissimilar to Bourbon biscuits, and the chocolate filling added extra richness.
 
These biscuits aren't as sweet as the others in Kellogg's range, so I imagine they'd be particularly appealing to dark chocolate lovers. I enjoyed these new double chocolate Special K Moments, but I preferred the more unusual combination of flavours in the Black Forest Gateau version.
 
7/10

Thursday, 25 February 2016

NEW! Rolo Mousse (Sainsbury's)

I guess that for most people, dessert is an optional extra, a little treat eaten on occasion. That's not the case in our house though I'm afraid, so much so that I'm sure we'd be advocates for the anti-sugar tax (if such a campaign existed). I look forward to pudding, and most evenings we have ice cream, but occasionally cheesecake, rice puddings, trifles and chocolate mousses make their way into the shopping basket. The Cadbury Mousses are a waste of time (you can see my review of their duo pots here) but I think that Nestle have created something truly wonderful with their Milkybar mousse pots, so I was really pleased to discover that they've recently released a rolo version at long last, hurrah!
 
 
'Delicious combination of toffee and milk chocolate mousse swirled with chocolate sauce'
 
Unlike the Cadbury's desserts, Nestle haven't been stingy when filling the pots, and the mousse reached the lid of the pot. The top layer was chocolatey, and as you can see there was a lovely dark chocolate swirl throughout. The mousse had a lovely, light, airy texture that melted away in the mouth with a good cocoa flavour to back it up. Underneath, was the toffee mousse, which was just as fluffy as the top layer, with a rich toffee flavour that was reminiscent of butterscotch angel delight (the best flavour!). The two layers worked in perfect harmony to produce a dessert that was pretty damn delicious!
 

The mousses only come in at 80cals per pot, which means that they are a good chocolate fix if you're watching what you eat... If not, then like me, you might find it impossible to stop after just the one!
 
10/10

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Lenny & Larry's The Complete Peanut Butter Cookie (CSN)

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pop into Cardiff Sports Nutrition whilst visiting the Welsh capital recently; the company sell a huge arrange of sports supplements, and as such stock a vast array of peanut butter. I always feel a bit intimidated when shopping in a dedicated sports store as I clearly don't look like an athlete, but the guys in there were friendly and helpful. I was on a mission to buy some coco-banana peanut butter (and that's another story) but I thought I'd have a quick browse amongst the snack bars and spotted this Lenny & Larry's peanut butter cookie which took my fancy.
Lenny & Larry's complete cookies boast 16g of protein, 6g of fibre and are vegan friendly. My only gripe is that the packet displays the nutritional information for half a cookie... I mean who eats only half?

I know I complained about the suggested serving size, but the cookies are pretty big (about the same diameter as my hand!). I read somewhere that the cookies are better served warm, so I broke of a chunk to try cold, and heated the rest for 30secs.


Whilst waiting for the microwave to do its thing I nibbled the cold cookie, and discovered a completely unexpected texture. Instead of being chewy or hard, it was deliciously light and fluffy with a cake-like consistency, and it tasted damn good! Sometimes high-protein snacks have an odd aftertaste, but this was completely different -just nutty and moreish.

I enjoyed the cold chunk, but the warm cookie was out-of-this world. It was so tasty and comforting, and transported me into peanut butter heaven. There were little chopped peanut pieces dotted about, which added to its authenticity and texture. Despite its size, the taste didn't become sickly or cloying as I had feared, it just filled me up (both in terms of joy and appetite) and I certainly couldn't have had the willpower to stop eating half-way through.
Wowzers, Lenny & Larry's you've got a new fan right here. The complete cookies aren't exactly cheap, with an RRP of £3.29 each, but you can buy them from Cardiff Sports Nutrition's website for £1.99. The Complete Peanut Butter Cookie is the perfect snack for Athletes, Vegans and peanut-butter nuts alike!*
9/10
*And no, unfortunately they haven't sponsored me!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Belvita Tartine Milk & Honey (Poundland)

I love Poundland, the unpredictability of their range of stock pleases me, and you never know what you might find!

I discovered these Tartines by chance in our local branch the other day; they caught by eye because I buy a lot of the Belvita's breakfast biscuits, yet I'd never come across this product. The packaging looked similar to that of the Belvita Tops, except they came in a milk & honey flavour that us Brits aren't privy to.
 
 
As with the other Tops, the pack contained 5 packs of three biscuits. Visually they weren't any different to their British counterparts, except for the creamy coloured pools that adorned each Tartine.
 
 
If you haven't tried the range before, I'll briefly fill you in: wholegrain biscuits, roughly about as thick as a digestive that supposedly release carbohydrates over 4 hours to keep you feeling fuller for longer. These Tartines follow the same recipe, and I am pleased to report that they both snapped and dunked well.
 
The only difference to the UK version was the milk and honey flavoured topping, and boy it was good! It was soft and creamy, with a genuine natural honey flavour that was remarkably similar to the local honey I use to cover my hot cross buns with.
 
I enjoyed them so much that I'd even go as far to say that I preferred them over the choco-hazelnut Tops, and as a chocoholic that's a pretty big claim! I'm heading straight back to Poundland today with the hope that I can find them again before they disappear into the Worldly abyss.
 
Belvita PLEASE release them in the UK too!
 
8/10

Monday, 22 February 2016

Rhythm 108 Choco-Walnut Brownie Dessert Bar (Amazon)

It's Monday, time for another Rhythym 108 review, and this week it's the turn of the delicious sounding Choco-Walnut brownie. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know by now that Rhythm 108 make healthy & organic, dessert-style energy bars that are gluten free, and high in calcium and fibre.

Their Choco-Walnut brownies are made from all natural whole foods (dates, cashews, walnuts, milk, amaranth, cacao paste and apple cider vinegar) which meant I was a bit dubious as to how tasty it would be. As with the apple pie, lemon cake, and coconut macaroon bars, I gave it a quick blast in the microwave, and this time I served it with cherry yogurt.

The brownie had a robust, almost raw cocoa flavour with fruity undertones. The experience was something that I thought I'd find overwhelming (particularly seeing as I'm more of a milk chocolate kind of girl), but I truly enjoyed the sharpness of the flavours. I took delight in the squidgyness of the bar, combined with the satisfying crunch that came from the nuts. It felt almost unbelievable to imagine that the brownie wasn't full of fat or sugar -the taste was so convincingly naughty.

I really loved this Choco-Walnut dessert bar from Rhythm108, although I can't help but think that I would have enjoyed it more with a (very) large scoop of ice-cream -it's all about the balance after all!

Once again, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Rhythm 108 for sending me their range to sample.
If you like the sound of the brilliant good-for-you dessert bars, then please pay a visit to the website and/or online shop.

9/10

Sunday, 21 February 2016

NEW! Peanut Butter Feast Bars (Morrisons)

Do you remember me telling you about my embarrassing little mid-lecture squeal about Unilever's new ice cream range? It was in the new peanut butter Magnum review, in which I also mentioned the new Feast Bars, Twisters and Cornettos that are coming to Supermarket freezers this year.

I made a trip over to Morrisons this afternoon to stock up on Müller Rices (currently on a brilliant 10 for £2 mix & match deal with all the Muller singles) and also to see if I could pick up the new Ben & Jerry's 'S'wich me up'' (which sounds awesome -check out One Treat's review). Unfortunately, the ice-cream tub section looked like it had been ransacked, most of the Ben & Jerry's had been upended and there was no S'wich me up left. I then hunted for the Millionaire's Mash Up to no avail, and was just about to give up and head for the tills when I spotted an alternate Holy Grail: the new Peanut Butter feast ice cream bars! I was tempted to leave them be as they weren't on offer, and the aforementioned Magnums went on offer the week after I bought them (how annoying is that?!) but I knew I'd be hankering after them until I got my lips around the, so into the basket they went.
 
'Peanut butter flavour ice cream with caramel sauce, chocolate flavoured coating and peanut pieces'
 
Feasts were my favourite as a child, the sheer amount of chocolate in one delicious product meant that they became the ultimate ice cream van treat. I have four younger siblings, so my mum didn't buy them very often for us due to the expense, and we ended up with mini-milks on most occasions.

I think it was these early experiences that led me to be so intrigued by the new peanut butter feast bar. My excitement was too hard to bear, and instead of waiting until dessert tonight to try one, the box was opened within the hour.
 
 
As you can see, the ice cream bars aren't very large, but at least there were 6 in the £2.01 (!) box.
 
Taking a bite, I was met with creamy vanilla ice cream... wait!... hang on!.. Isn't it meant to be peanut butter flavoured? The nuttiness was completely lacking, and I couldn't even remotely taste the peanut butter that it was meant to resemble. I mean, if the new Peanut & Caramel Müllerlight missed the mark, this hadn't even entered the nutty universe.*

I'm not sure if I opened a duff one, but my Feast was seemly missing the caramel sauce that was supposed to account for 14% of the bar. My only evidence that it partook in that section of the production process is from the photo below, and as you can see it's barely visible (looking nothing like the image on the front of the packet)!
 

Saving grace came from the chocolate that surrounded the ice cream  -it looked dark in colour, and that translated in taste too (I'd even go as far as to say that it's very similar to that of a Magnum). The peanut pieces embedded within the chocolate broke up the texture nicely, in traditional Feast style.

Ok, so the new peanut butter feast bars are far from being inedible  -the chocolate is tasty, and the ice cream is soft and velvety- I'm just underwhelmed for the second time this week** following what should've been a pretty special new ice cream. Boo.

4/10

*I was so disgruntled that I made my PB hating fiancé try a bite, but he was disgusted when he took a nibble and swears that I must've become peanut butter immune. I'd be extremely eager to hear your thoughts if you've tried them!

**Cadbury's new Medley bar was the first disappointment.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Millionaire's Shortbread Mash Up Ice Cream (Morrisons)

Once I've cottoned on to a particular idea, I'm like a bulldog who is loathe to let go. My obsession à la mode seems to revolve around sampling each of the Supermarkets' own-brand luxury ice cream pints, and it was this fixation that meant that I spotted Morrison's 'Millionaire's Shortbread Mash Up'  reduced to just £1.
'Shortbread flavour ice cream, chocolate coated shortbread pieces, milk chocolate drops & caramel sauce.'

The ice-cream was instantly scoop-able straight from the freezer, and it became immediately clear just how generous Morrisons are with their fillings. The rich caramel swirl was also evident, and I could smell a strong toffee aroma as soon as I started to scoop, making me all the more eager to get stuck in.

The ice-cream was gloriously rich and silky, although I'd have guessed it was toffee flavoured instead of shortbread. It was utterly smooth on the palette with a luxuriousness that gave the impression of a premium brand. The shortbread pieces maintained a good crunch thanks to their chocolate coating, and the chocolate drops gave little pops of cocoa throughout the ice-cream, breaking up the flavours and textures with every mouthful. The element that surprised me most was the caramel sauce, I expected a thin sugary sauce akin to something you'd decorate your ice cream with, but instead I enjoyed a thick, rich caramel that was in keeping with that of Dulce de Leche.
The balance of flavours and textures in this ice-cream were out of this world. The abundance of sauce, shortbread and chocolate chips combined with velvety ice cream resulted in a dessert that far out-shone even the likes of Ben & Jerry's. I sincerely hope that this ice-cream wasn't permanently reduced to clear (I can't even find it on their website) and that it'll come back to stores very soon.
10/10

Friday, 19 February 2016

NEW! McVities Caramel Digestive Teacakes (ASDA)

McVities Caramel Digestives. One of the best British biscuits money can buy, with their robust wholemeal biscuit base, oozy caramel and chocolatey top -surely they are the epitome of tea-dunking perfection. I'm a bit of a McVities fan in any case, one of my first reviews was of their caramel slice in fact, a wonderful creation that has become a weekly staple in our house. With that in mind, imagine my glee upon spying their new Caramel Digestive Teacakes in ASDA today, priced at £1.
 
'Caramel flavour mallow on a wholemeal base covered in milk chocolate and caramel flavoured sprinkles.'

The pack contained 8 teacakes, which were as light as expected, and looked very attractive complete with perfect domes and caramel embellishments.
 

The casing cracked nicely, but it didn't taste particularly chocolatey, as the caramel elements beneath and above it had caused the flavours to fuse. I didn't have a problem with the caramel-chocolate hybrid however, as the combination worked well together -and after all the chocolate was never meant to be the star of the show.
 

The marshmallow shone through, billowy soft with a powerful flavour that was reminiscent of the delicious Cadbury Caramel ice cream. The experience was truly melt-in-the-mouth and I'd have quite happily eaten a bag of the caramel marshmallow by itself.

The biscuit base was a bit of a let down however, it was soft and lacked the bite that I expected. It wasn't unpleasant, and I'm sure if I'd have thought of it as a cake-like layer that I'd simply commented on its deliciousness.

Gosh, my review reads as if I didn't like the McVities Caramel Digestive Teacakes, and that's simply not true. I did enjoy them, they were just a little different to my expectations and I thought that the combination of flavours was pretty spot-on... I'd buy them again.

7/10

Thursday, 18 February 2016

S'mores Cheesecake (Tesco)

Back in October last year I reviewed Tesco's new Toffee Apple cheesecake and was so impressed by it that I vowed to their other frozen desserts. Somehow I never got round to it, but ever the bargain hunter, I spotted their S'mores cheesecake on a half price offer



'Baked chocolate flavoured cheesecake batter and marshmallows on a digestive biscuit base.'

I was rather disappointed when I took the cheesecake out of its box; it looked utterly different to the attractive picture on the front, and was covered in icy freezer burn. Oh dear Tesco, not good so far. I acknowledged that looks don't indicate taste, and so I popped it on the side to defrost for a couple of hours with my fingers crossed.




Once it was ready to eat, the dessert was easy to slice, revealing a chunky biscuit base that accounted for roughly a third of its height (none of the barely there ASDA cheesecake fail). The chocolate layer was gelatinous in texture with a flavour that lacked any real depth. I mean, it tasted of cocoa, but it was utterly incomparable to the likes of Gu desserts. The marshmallows were a trivial addition to the cheesecake, perhaps offering extra (unneeded) sweetness, and they'd all but disintegrated away thanks to the excessive freezer burn. The base was the dessert's only saving grace, a crumbly digestive affair that luckily hadn't suffered the same fate of the marshmallows, and I was grateful for its abundance.



I'm not sure if I had bought a maltreated S'mores cheesecake, or if the product is a bit of a dead dog full stop, but if you're in Tesco and after a cheesecake freezer staple I suggest you buy their Toffee Apple version instead (it's only £1 until 7th March).

4/10

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

NEW! Banoffee Muffins (Co-Op)

I was queueing up to pay for my milk in the Co-Op on Sunday morning when a cleverly situated display of bakery goods caught my eye. Optimally placed at head height were their new mocha muffins, Easter doughnuts (which as far as I could tell we're just standard rings covered in yellow icing and sugary balls), and banoffee muffins. I haven't bought any of the Co-Op's cakes before, but the idea of banana and toffee combined in fluffy muffin form was just too tempting to resist!



'Toffee flavoured muffins with banana fruit pieces'

The muffins looked like they'd either been packaged when they were warm or they'd been sat under spotlights as they'd started to sweat slightly. They were perfectly sized - not so massive that they felt like a meal in themselves, nor so small that they would be gone in little more than a mouthful.
The muffins were light to touch with a good bouncy texture to them (a much better start than I had with the dry Galaxy Treat Cakes I reviewed last week).



Onto the tasting, and the toffee flavour was mild, in fact the only nod to its existence was the sweet undertone permeating the cake. The banana element however was much more powerful (despite only accounting for 4% of the total ingredients) with a genuinely natural flavour that made the cake taste home-made. The muffin was soft, but it was quite sticky (presumably because the cakes had sweated), close-textured and almost doughy -which admittedly I quite liked!



For 89p for four, I can't help but think these are an absolute steal. These banoffee muffins are a must-buy for banana cake fans who don't have the time or the resources to bake from scratch. Hats off to you Co-Op!

7/10

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

NEW! Cadbury Dairy Milk Fudge Medley (Poundland)

Cadbury let the cat out of the bag a couple of weeks ago by announcing the launch of two 'luxury' chocolate bars in a new 'Medley' range. The nut version is topped with dark chocolate chips, sweet caramelised hazelnuts and raspberry pieces; but I went for the naughtier sounding bar infused with dark chocolate chips, biscuit pieces and fudge.

I've always wondered why Cadbury don't produce their own version of the raisin and biscuit Yorkie. It's a conceptually brilliant bar that unfortunately doesn't taste as good as it could thanks to the inferior quality of Nestle chocolate, so I hoped that this new biscuity Medley would be the solution. 




The bar has a RRP of £1, and only weighs in at 93g, which I imagine is another cost-saving exercise employed by Cadbury who -like all chocolate manufacturers- are facing the rising costs of cocoa. Cadbury say:
‘We wanted to create something special for our adventurous chocolate fans who are seeking a new taste experience,’ said Matthew Williams, Mondelez International marketing director.
‘With the combination of a smooth centre, visible toppings and luxurious taste, we’re confident Cadbury Dairy Milk Medley will become a firm favourite on a cosy evening in.’

The bar is made up of 10 square shaped segments, adorned with plenty of little biscuit chunks, a spattering of dark chocolate chips and very few fudge nuggets. It is easy to snap, but that's kind of where the positives ended, for Cadbury had truly pulled the wool over my eyes.




Reading the pack I discovered that it's not a true chocolate bar, because it consists of  'chocolate flavoured creme', rendering it more closely related to the centre of a chocolate sandwich biscuit. Its texture is silky to the point of being greasy, and so very different to the iconic Cadbury's Dairy Milk. The biscuit bits are pleasant enough, but I couldn't even taste the chocolate chips or fudge pieces as they were totally overwhelmed by the fake chocolatey taste. 

Cadbury's you're a disappointment, and quite frankly I'd rather eat a Yorkie.

3/10

Monday, 15 February 2016

Rhythm 108 Coconut Macaroon (Amazon)

After last week's pretty foul experience with Rhythm 108's bitter Lemon Cake, it's safe to assume that I wasn't too enthused to sample their Coconut Macaroon Dessert Bar. This wasn't helped either by the fact that coconut is far from my first choice when it comes to flavours, presumably because I drunk far too much Malibu in my teens. 

The coconut bar consists of dates, amaranth, coconut flakes, Swiss milk, coconut oil, cashews and apple vinegar, which means that -like all their other products- they are gluten free.



I popped the bar in the microwave for thirty seconds, until it had started to become slightly gooey. I braced myself for impact, but was utterly blown away by the flavour; it was rich and creamy with a robust tropical flavour. Coconut can often make cakes feel very dry, but that just wasn't so with this dessert bar -it was soft and moist which made for a very pleasant eating experience. It was so good that I think that if I had shut my eyes I could've easily imagined I was enjoying a warm jam & coconut sponge baked fresh by my grandma, instead of this "good for you" snack bar. 

Rhythm 108 you have truly redeemed yourself this week, bring on the chocolate brownie & banana muffin bars, yum!

9/10

*The coconut macaroon bar was kindly sent to me by Rhythm 108. They are available to purchase from their Amazon shop.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Reese's Puffs Cereal

Valentine Day is upon us again. Sigh. It's one of the few celebration days that I really can't get along with. Perhaps my resentment is fuelled by the residual envy of watching pretty girls receive their cards and gifts at school, but really I think it's more to do with the idea that love can be expressed through presents and gifts -absolute tosh. Love is kindness, understanding and friendship, not something that can be bought. 

I feel like such a hypocrite this year though, because for the first time in our 8 year relationship I requested a cheeky little something from my other half, and of course it involved my two other major love interests: chocolate and peanut butter. I've been hankering after the Reese's Puffs for a long time, but at £5 a box I couldn't justify the extra expense over standard cereal. So I guess he must really love me, as for the first time this morning I got to get my lips around the famous American breakfast treat -hurrah!


The little peanut buttery and chocolatey balls were a similar size and shape to Nesquik, and as soon as I opened the plastic wrapper I was greeted by the familiar nutty scent that never gets old, making me all the more excited to get stuck in.


After my long wait, I wasn't disappointed; both flavours were well represented in a gloriously comforting manner. The cereal was so moreish that I ended up enjoying another bowl mid-morning -although that might just be my sugar cravings kicking in, 'cause boy it was sweet! 

If you're a fellow peanut butter obsessive with a sweet tooth then I implore you to fork out the extra couple of quid to try a bowl (or ten!) of Reese's puffs. Yum! Best Valentines Day ever, thank you sweetpea!

10/10

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Food Doctor Pineapple & Banana Wholesome Bar (Tesco)

In an effort to combat obesity and stop us from overindulging on chocolate and sweeties, Britain's checkouts have gradually been moving towards displaying healthier snacks. It was thanks to this change that a range of snack bars I've not seen before caught by eye, made by nutritional therapists turned health-food manufacturers 'The Food Doctor'. I've been vaguely aware of the brand for a while now, gently ignoring their healthy -but expensive- products including their multi-seed pittas and quinoa pots, but I hadn't come across their 'wholesome' bars before -which Tesco have recently started stocking. A quick google search informed me that the bars themselves aren't new -infact Kev reviewed the range way back in June 2014.


The bars are wheat and dairy free, contain no added sugars, are high in fibre and Vegan friendly. I almost opted for the apricot and almond, but then I was swayed by the inclusion of my favourite fruit (banana) and chose the pineapple bar instead.



It was extremely sticky (even more so than the Perk!er goji bar), and it was an unattractive brown colour (think slimy bananas!). It  had a chewy consistency, broken up nicely with the slight crunch of the plentiful sunflower seeds that permeated the bar. Flavour-wise, I could only taste a generic fruity sweetness, which unfortunately mean it lacked the real tropical or banana punch that I longed for.


I liked the texture of the bar, but that's about it. Food Doctor have got a long way to go to compete with Nakd's products in terms of flavour, so I probably won't buy them again.


4/10

Friday, 12 February 2016

Galaxy Treat Cakes (Morrisons)

I was on a rare venture into Morrisons yesterday where I spotted a huge display of 'new' Galaxy, Milky Way and Bounty cake slices. I'm not sure how recent they are because I'm well aware that companies often label their products as new way longer than they should, probably to trap obsessives such as myself. 

I realise that Galaxy has been a mainstay of the bakery aisle for years now with the chocolate cake bars, caramel cake bars and the festive 'Mistletoe Kisses' edition:
Galaxy Cake Bars 5 PackGalaxy Caramel Cake Bars 5 PackMcvities Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses Cake Bars 5 Pack
*Photos copied from www.tesco.com

The new treat cakes are presumably marketed as little indulgences because they each contain less than 100 calories. The galaxy version is simply chocolate sponge cake covered in milk chocolate, omitting the creamy layer of their previous bars altogether. 



I was disappointed to discover that the packet of 5 was half empty when the wrapper was removed, thanks to each cake being only marginally larger than a matchbox. The bars had a nice even chocolatey coating, which tasted more like the casing of a Mars bar than true Galaxy. The sponges were dry -unsurprising really given that they have a dubiously long shelf life- but the chocolate element edged them closer to enjoyable than simply edible.



These new 'treats' truly taste like the dieters version of the normal Galaxy cakes so -given that the caramel version contains only 18 calories and 0.5g saturated fat more-  I suggest that even if you're watching your weight that you stick to the original (and tastier) bars. 

6/10


Thursday, 11 February 2016

'The Crunchy One' Chocolate Bar (M&S)

I really think M&S have upped their chocolate game; at the end of last year they released a whole host of new chocolate bars including plain bars such as 'The White One' that I reviewed last month, and the exciting sounding 'Crazy One' that Lucy reviewed in October. This week I picked up the 'Crunchy One':


'Milk chocolate bar with a soft chocolate centre containing honeycomb, cornflakes, caramelised hazelnut pieces and wafer.'



The bar had a rippled appearance complete with a dark chocolate coloured drizzle on top. It was easy to slice, baring it's soft chocolate & crunchy filling. The chocolate covering had a very mild cocoa flavour, with the emphasis clearly leaning towards the milkier end of the spectrum. 

The filling was very creamy with a whipped, almost mousse like, texture that reminded me of chocolate flavoured buttercream. The honeycomb pieces were evident throughout, providing a hit of both sweetness and crunch, without the overwhelming sugariness that I often experience when eating a Cadbury's Crunchie bar. I could also detect the cornflakes which offered a nostalgic memory of eating Easter nests as a child (perfectly timed to the season of course!). The bar seemed to be lacking the hazelnuts and wafer elements (unsurprising really given that they only make up 3% of the bar each) but there was more than enough going on already, so I'll happily admit that I didn't feel hard done by.


Once again M&S, I have to applaud you for creating a delicious and innovative product, 'The Crunchy One' makes a lovely change!

8/10