Monday, 29 August 2016

NEW! Ben & Jerry's Sofa So Good (Tesco)

Happy Bank Holiday Monday! I do hope you're not stuck working and are outside enjoying the sunshine like me. If you are unfortunate enough to be earning some pennies today, then please feel free to hate all of us sunbathers! 

It seemed that ice cream had to be the most suitable topic up for review today, and who better to invite along than two of my favourite men: Ben & Jerry? I'm not the first blogger to give opinions on this new flavour*, but once again my stingy ways meant that I refused to spend the extortionate £4 on a single tub of ice cream -especially as all of the other lines were on offer for £2.50. For those of you who don't know, this flavour is apparently exclusive to Tesco, so it's no use eagle-eyeing unfortunately

Anyway, after a week or so of turning green every time I opened up Instagram, I caved and sent my other half on a mission to buy me a tub -he's definitely a keeper. Disaster struck however, when he phoned me from the supermarket and let me know the bad news: Hereford hadn't got any. And yes, he said, he had checked the ends and everything. Wondering whether he was 'man looking' I returned to the store the very next day, and lo-and behold, he had searched properly. No Sofa So Good, no ticket, no shelf space, nada. Unperturbed, and geared up by my successful advisor pestering a couple of days previously in pursuit of the new mint Oreos, I tracked down a nice looking Tesco lady and asked her to check the stockroom for me. I don't think she was particularly impressed with my request, but she said she would check the computer system for me -which happened to not be working- so out into the freezer she foraged. I don't think she was expecting the big hug I gave her in return for finding me the long-deliberated-over tub of Ben & Jerry's though. 

Caramel Ice Cream with a Salted Caramel Swirl (9%), Chocolate Brownies (7%) and Chocolate Cookies (4%)

This better be good Mr B&J! I was a little shocked to discover that the ice cream was noticably soft straight from the freezer. Having had the Blondie Brownie Core the night before (my consolation tub for not having Sofa so Good), I could really tell the difference. It was almost mousse like, which made it extremely messy to cone up -and I am far from an elegant scooper at the best of times! I couldn't even blame the time of day for it's melty-ness as I ate it late evening, and It became evident that this was going to be a race to finish -so please forgive the awful pictures! 

Ben & Jerry's are renowned for being generous with their extras, and Sofa So Good certainly lived up to expectations. The ice cream was jam packed full of deliciously chocolatey mini cookie disks and whopping great big moist brownie wedges. Perhaps the caramel ice cream and sauce meant that the ice cream was slightly on the sickly side, but that was good for portion control and meant that 1/4 of a pint satisfied me nicely. 

If it wasn't for the rapid melting, this new flavour would happily sit in my top three Ben & Jerry flavours, but Peanut Butter Clutter, Karamel Sutra and Blondie Brownie still reign. 


**Pop along and view One Treat At A Time's review here and A Review A Day's here 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

NEW! Mint Oreos (Sainsbury's)

Exactly a week ago I moaned about my difficulty in tracking down the new Strawberry Cheesecake Oreos, but Hereford seems to have been a lot quicker off the mark when it comes to the other new flavour: mint. In all honesty it's the new edition that I was less excited about, but still that didn't stop me doing my little finders jig in Sainsbury's when I spotted the gap where the minty oreos should be. Yep, that's right -and I apologise now to anyone who works in retail- I was that annoying little toad who asked if there was any of the new biscuits secreted out the back. After all, there was the shelf space, and even the ticket... surely they must be hiding somewhere?

If you're an avid Oreo fan or -like me- spend far too much money on imported goodies, you'll appreciate that Mint Oreos are far from a new revelation, and have been a stateside staple for a long time. Despite the fact that the Oreo is the fastest growing biscuit brand in the UK (growth rate of 21.2% and worth >£38.5million for anyone else interested in marketing) we're still lagging a long way behind out American cousins. I'll jump or joy when Oreo decide to launch the more exciting flavours over here; cinnamon bun & red velvet please! 

Anyway, enough of my whinging, hurray for new Oreos of any kind! Well, apart from the non-nutty-peanut butter wasters.. I promise I'll try to stop being so grumpy now. As you might have gathered, I really loved the strawberry cheesecake ones despite being a little dubious about the combination of strawberry & chocolate. Mint chocolate is a much more standard affair, but is equally as difficult to get right. My other half won't go near the pairing because he says it makes it think of brushing his teeth... and it's a thought I now can't shake either. 

"Chocolate flavour sandwich biscuits with a mint filling (28.8%)"

The filling perhaps wasn't quite as lurid as expected, and instead was a pleasant pastel-y green. It was certainly strong in smell however, causing me to worry that the chocolate would be lost against the mint completely.

I can't really tell you much about the Oreo biscuit that you won't already know, but I can explain how well the amalgamation worked. Yes, the softness of the centre did have a sort of toothepastiness about it, but I managed to forget that in its deliciousness. The bitter cocoa complemented the sweet and refreshing creme, resulting in a tastebud sensation that made me imagine a dark chocolate mint aero -now that's a thought! 

The strawberry cheesecake flavour just about pips the mint to the top spot in the UK, but this is a close contender... 


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

NEW! Milbona Skyr Pots (LIDL)

If you look into our 'drinks fridge' (aka the skanky fridge that we inherited with the house, but worked fine so we couldn't throw it out) you'll find a rather impressive selection of yogurts. My other half and I love the stuff -his shelf contains Muller corners, mine Skyr. I'm a happy girl with a bowl of yogurt so thick I can stand my spoon up in it. The trouble is, my preferred brand -Icelandic Skyr- is so much more expensive than the ARLA big pots, so I end up buying the cheaper version most of the time and then flavour it -at the moment I can swap between: banana, salted caramel, white chocolate, almond and tiramisu. With that in mind you can imagine my animation whens spotting the photo Alex posted onto Instagram of a selection of flavoured small pots he'd found in LIDL this week, and I made a beeline for the discount retailer after work. Everyone else must have seen Alex's pic too, because they had sold out the first day, but thankfully I was in luck the second! Each 150g flavoured tub cost 49p, and the plain 45p. 

So keen was I to try this new Skyr that I even took my first pot to the cinema with me that very afternoon (together with a generous supply of popcorn and sweets). I had assumed that the strawberry flavour would be amalgamated within the yogurt, so I was shocked -and excited- to find that in fact it formed a separate fruity layer at the bottom. The layer was also thick, and even better... it contained whole strawberries. I gleefully informed my fiance of this whilst we were watching the trailers, but I don't think he was as impressed! As for the Skyr, it tasted just like the ARLA stuff to me, and passed the thickness test.


Unfortunately the thick layer of compote at the bottom of the raspberry yogurt wasn't quite as successful. It was very runny, and the natural tartness of the fruit didn't do enough to counteract the acidic yogurt on top; resulting in quite a bitter yogurt pot.


The balance of sweet-sour was better with the blueberry, but again the fruit layer was too watery, meaning that it was more like a sauce. The pot was pleasant though, and certainly much more enjoyable than the raspberry.


Peach & Passionfruit
The almost tropical flavours worked well with the Skyr in this pot, helped again by the natural sweetness. My only complaint would again be the thickness, but it was better than the blueberry.


As expected, I couldn't handle the acidity of the plain Skyr. I can't fault LIDL for that though, seeing as I'm not keen on the taste of any natural yogurt. Not to worry though, my trusty tiramisu syrup came to the rescue!


These little pots from LIDL make a welcome change to ARLA, and are handy to pack in my lunchbox. They're not even close in deliciousness to the premium Iceleandic Skyr -but then I didn't expect them to be either. For anyone interested, the macros for the fruity are roughly: 6.6C/13.4P/0.3F (83Kcal) and the plain: 6.2C/17.7P/0.3F (98kcal).

Monday, 22 August 2016

NEW! Nutri-Bombz (Online)

I was very lucky to recently receive a sample box of goodies from Nutri-Bombz, a company that you might have heard of if you regularly use instagram -they seem to be everywhere at the moment! But who are they and what do they do? 

"Nutri-bombz contain no added sugars, additives or preservatives; just really healthy snacks that we deliver to your desk or door."

The box handily fit through my postbox, which means no nasty "we've got a parcel waiting for you" note to deal with. Inside there were 12 bombz in total -4 different flavoured packs containing 3 bombz- which all sounded delicious! The containers are designed so that you can open just one segment at a time, but I was too greedy for that and ate each pack in one sitting. 

Goji Fruit'N'Nut Breakfast Bombz
The healthiest sounding of the bunch. As ever I tried it first expecting to like it the least. This flavour is simply made from nuts, fruits, seeds, cacao and vanilla powder which means it is gluten & dairy free and also suitable for vegans.

The balls (oo-er) had a slightly irregular homemade quality to them, which I rather liked. Texturally they were soft, and moister than expected -much more so than Nak'd's products for example. I loved the additional crunch that came from the pumpkin seeds, and found that I really enjoyed them! 


Choccy Hazelnut Nutri-Bombz
I had heard brilliant things from other Instagrammers about the deliciousness of this flavour. The combination of chocolate and hazelnut always makes me think of Nutella, so my hopes were heightened before the pack was even open. As with the goji flavour, these bombz are gluten & dairy free, as well as being vegan friendly. 

The bombz were generously coated with a smattering of chopped hazelnuts. Unfortunately they just weren't chocolatey enough for my liking -I'll stick to Nutella for my choccy hazelnut fix in future. 


Coconut Nutri-Bombz 
Also suitable for vegans and the above allergies; would -and could- this taste like a healthy bounty?

The coconut, dates and cacao worked well together, but again I felt it wasn't chocolatey enough for me. I found that the cacao and dates fought for dominance and I'm afraid that the dates won. The coconut was punchy though, and I liked the tropical element. The coconut nutri-bombz are a good, healthy snack choice for warm summery afternoons. 


Salted Caramel Protein Bombz
The protein-bombz pack an impressive 4g of protein each (12g per pack!). The protein comes from milk however, so they're not suitable for vegans or those with a lactose intolerance. This flavour was another one that came highly recommended on Instagram, so would I feel as disappointed as I was with the hazelnut bombz?

Not at all, I really loved the fudgy, slightly indulgent taste to these bombz! They were really tasty and I would happily have them again.


Nutri-Bombz offer a great product, and I'm suitably intrigued by most of their other flavours -especially banana pie, cappuccino, peanut butter and rhubarb and custard! 

So how does it work? Well, you head over to their website where you let them know which bombz appeal to you, where then hand-select four flavours and post them out to you... all for £4.99 per box! Marvellous. 

Thank you to Nutri-Bombz for sending me the sample box.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

NEW! Strawberry Cheesecake Oreos (Sainsburys)

Once again, my local ASDA fails me. For weeks now I have been enviously eyeing up the packs of strawberry cheesecake Oreos that have been popping up all over instagram. So bad has my jealousy become that I am making (almost) daily trips to ASDA, just to check whether they've had them in yet. I could have cried yesterday when I saw a big 'New Oreo' advert in the store's entrance, to still find none on the shelves. Surely the mega supermarket chain couldn't be so cruel? I double checked and asked the staff members if Hereford had received them and not put them out yet.. but alas, no, there was none to be found. Later that very same day I visited Sainsbury's to stock up on Skyr, and popped my head round their biscuit section. Well, I'll be damned, what was staring back at me? The holy cheesecakey grail! At £1.20 per pack it was 2.4x more than what everyone else is paying for them in ASDA... but I'd been searching so hard for them that I couldn't let my inner scrimper win. 

The strawberry flavour was really quite overwhelming, reminding me nostalgically of Nesquik -I'll always choose banana though! From an aesthetics viewpoint I was also fond of the contrast between baby pink centre and characteristically dark cookie. 

Well, I'm not sure I could agree upon their cheesecakeyness, but the strawberry flavour was every bit as milky and sweet as it smelt. Chocolate & strawberry is often a match made in heaven -chocolate dunked fresh strawberries, yes please!- but it can also be downright disgusting if the combination ticks over into the sickly realm (if you want the strawberry creams from my Roses tin at Christmas, please help yourself). Fortunately, despite the aforementioned sweetness of the strawberry centre in these Oreos, the almost bitter darkness of the cookie pulled the balance of flavours back into harmony. 

The new strawberry cheesecake Oreos are undeniably delicious and utterly moreish. I would even go as far as to say that they're my second favourite flavour ever (the top spot remains with the American Reese's filled versions) and they're definitely my new favourite British Oreo. Now ASDA, please stock them pronto!  


P.S If you're still not convinced.. pop on over to Nibbles'N'Scribbles' review.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

NEW! Mars Dessert Bar (Iceland)

I was so impressed with the new Twix cheesecake at Iceland that it was only going to be a matter of time before I ventured back into my local branch for the Mars Dessert Bar. I still think that the £3 non offer price is a tad on the pricey side, but for £2 it wasn't so bad. As with the cheesecake, the dessert bar is also actually made by specialists Coppenrath & Wiese.

"Layers of delicious chocolate sponge, mousse and caramel, smothered in milk chocolate."

The child in me was delighted when I removed the bar from it's box and saw that the inner wrapper made it look like a whopping great big Mars Bar (the pen is there to give you an indication of its size)! Surely that means I could eat it all? Sorry guys, no sharesies! Pah, I don't think my other half or sister would have agreed. Although it wasn't quite as preposterous as the cheesecake, 6 servings did seem a bit meagre and I decided that fifths would be more reasonable.

The serving suggestion warned me to defrost it inside its wrapper for the first hour and then naked for the last 1.5 -what a faff! There was also 3 of us for dinner, and I wanted to keep the remaining 2 portions for another day, so I ignored the destructions and unwrapped the bar straight away -slicing into it whilst still frozen. My defiance meant that the chocolate casing shattered upon impact, but I wasn't too bothered by the aesthetics as long as it tasted good. 
Whilst we're on the subject of prettiness, I did appreciate the distinct layers of cake and mousse, but was somewhat disgruntled when I realised that the caramel sauce only ran through one tier (unlike the picture on the box, humf). 

Meh, my disappointment didn't stop there. The Mars Dessert Bar is yet another case of style over substance. Where was the rich chocolate flavour? The mousse was light and airy, sure, but what's the point when it doesn't taste of much? The same went for the cake, which fortunately wasn't dry or stale, but was so non-descript that I wasn't savouring every morsel as I expected to. What made matters worse was that the caramel was the best bit, and the only nod to the chocolate bar that it's supposed to resemble.. If only there was more of it. Pants. 

Gah. I don't really think I need to tell you that I won't be buying another Mars Dessert Bar. There are far tastier chocolate gateaux on the market -Tesco's own for example.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

NEW! BPI Best Protein Bars (Cardiff Sports Nutrition)

A few Fridays ago I visited my sister in the Welsh Capital, and was fortunate enough to have the afternoon off. I used the opportunity to head down early so that I could make the pilgrimage to the famous wall of peanut butter -AKA Cardiff Sports Nutrition. As you all know by now, peanut butter pretty much pumps through my veins -I've had it every single day in 2016, and that's absolutely true- so CSN is my idea of absolute heaven, I've never seen so much PB in one place. The last time I visited I was on a mission to buy a jar of PB Crave Coco Bananas, and wasn't working out, so forewent the massive array of sports supplements. This time, I had a good look at what was on offer, and was lucky enough to receive some samples of a new range of bar that CSN has recently started stocking: BPI's 'Best Protein Bars'.

With so many protein bars, flapjacks and shakes on the market, how do BPI compare? They say... 

"Tired of eating protein bars that taste like cardboard? Those days are a thing of the past! BPI Sports’ BEST PROTEIN BAR™ is not only packed with nutrition, but it tastes amazing! With four delicious flavors to choose from, like Cookies and Cream, S'mores, or Cinnamon Crunch, you're sure to find your new favorite protein bar, for the best snacking experience, anytime, anywhere!"

I had been given two sample size bars: one cookies and cream and the other S'mores. I've tried both of the same flavours in the Quest range so I was keen so see how they compared. The guys promised me that they tasted good -and also agreed that the B-Up bars are vile.

Looks wise, they looked very similar to Quest, and nutritionally they're close too with 20g of protein per full size bar, whilst being low carb and gluten free. 

Cookies & Cream
This flavour was good, and even better once warmed in the microwave. In fact it was darn similar to Quest's bar, and contained lots of chunks too (after all, we all want a bit of chunkporn!)

Wow, now this was a bar that was very different to Quest. There was a strong scent of cinnamon, which also came through in the taste too. There was harder, biscuity like chunks dotted about which gave it a lovely textural edge. If you're a fan of the Combat Crunch Cinnamon flavour, I definitely suggest that you give this bar a whirl. One of the best protein bars I've had. 

If you want to try some of your own, please head over to CSN's website where they'll even give you free shopping on orders over £19.99. Thanks to Matt & Marc at CSN for the samples! 

Monday, 15 August 2016

NEW! KitKat Chunky Cookie Dough (ASDA)

It was only last week that I was wondering when a new chocolate bar would come out, and what it could possibly be. 2016 has already heralded some fantastic new entries to the market (Cadbury Tiffin and M&S' The Nutty One get in my belly!), some pretty damn good contenders (Galaxy Duet Toffee & Popcorn I'm looking at you), and others best relegated to the bargain bin (never again Cadbury Dairy Milk Fudge Medley). 

Of course there were also two new KitKats released in January too -the extra chocolatey chunky and vanilla stirred four finger- but, I was so uninspired by them that I still haven't bothered with them. The trouble with KitKats you see, as I've pointed out before, is that there's just not enough chocolate. Even the extra chocolatey seemed too wafery to me. Still, when I saw OneTreat's photo* pop up on instagram of this new cookie dough edition chunky, I just knew would have to track one down. Two trips to ASDA later, and I finally found them nestled in front of the tobacco kiosk -where else?!

 "Crisp wafer with a creamed cookie dough topping, covered with milk chocolate"

As usual, the chunky was split into two separate sections. I sliced one of the halves in two to have a good peek at the cookie dough filling. There it was: a creamy coloured paste with darker flecks. So far so good.

I realised that I had fallen into my usual pattern of  nibbling off the thicker chocolate round the edges -anyone else do this? Of course, we all know that Nestle doesn't make the best quality chocolate, but it wasn't bad by any means. The wafers were as crisp as usual, but that's not what you want to know is it? Oh. The cookie dough. How did that taste? Well, despite my efforts to dissect the KitKat, the cookie dough was a let down. I couldn't really taste it against the chocolate and wafer -probably because it made up less than a fifth of the bar. 

Indeed I was so disgruntled that I let my other half take a bite (just in case my taste buds had gone into hiding) but he couldn't tell the difference between the cookie dough and standard KitKat chunky. Perhaps if Nestle had used a white chocolate casing then it would have stood out more? Who knows. I'll be sticking to peanut butter and double caramel KitKat chunkys when my (rare) cravings arise in future. If neither of those flavours are your bag, then I suggest you buy the cookies & cream KitKat 2 fingers instead, they're far more noteworthy. 


*Please pop along to One Treat's blog and see what she has to say about the new KitKat! 

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Chocolate Swirl Topped Waffle Cones (Co-Op)

As you should know by now, I'm a sucker for ice cream and a sucker for chocolate. I'm also easily swayed by anything that looks pretty. So when I spotted these Chocolate Swirl Topped Waffle Cones in the larger Co-Op -that I purposely visited to buy the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Monkeys Ice Cream- I just *had* to have them. The box cost £1.50 for four, which I din't think was too bad considering that each cone was substantially bigger than your normal supermarket versions (140ml compared to 110ml).

"Chocolate and vanilla flavour ice creams with a chocolate sauce topped with chocolate coated puff rice balls in a waffle cone."

Congratulations Co-Op for the smart packaging- there was no smooshed tops here thanks to their plastic crowns. For once, the treats actually looked as good as the photo too -mine had loads of little chocolatey balls on top. My other half had less however, but then I always somehow come up trumps with the ice cream toppings!

Unfortunately, the Co-Op have opted for style over substance. The chocolate flavour was insipid; mild to begin with it blended with the vanilla and became somewhat lost. The sauce was fairly standard, and added a little flavour boost -particularly the large pocket of it nestled right at the bottom of the cone. I actually found I preferred the vanilla ice cream, which didn't taste luxurious but did remind me of Mr Whippy. The waffle caused further disappointment as it had lost its crunch and become soft. Cone failure of the almost* worst kind.

I'm sure the kids would be impressed by these ice creams, if only for their generous size! Me? I won't bother with them again, there's far nicer cones out there.


*the top spot remains with the cones I once had from Tesco, where every single one was snapped in two!

Friday, 12 August 2016

NEW! Macabella Crunchy Choc Macadamia Spread (Sainsbury's)

There's a new chocolate spread on the block, well new to British Supermakets at least, made by  Australian manufacturers Macabella who specialise in luxury chocolate spread infused with Macadamia Nuts. To be honest, I wouldn't have given the product a second thought was it not for some spectacular food porn photographs on Instagram (you know who you are). Every morning I felt the familiar pang of envy as I saw each image of the delightfully glossy looking spread atop a slice of wholemeal toast -and I knew I would have to try it for myself pronto. So off to Sainsbury's I trotted, forking out the £2.50 introductory offer price for the 375g. But what's so special about Macabella? They say...

"Macabella Choc Macadamia Spread is infused with the unique flavour of diced and gently ground macadamias, allowing your taste buds to experience a true delight with one of the worlds finest nuts.Macadamias are a nutrition powerhouse and contain many nutrients including heart-friendly monosaturated fatty acids.Macabella is heavenly all on its own by the spoonful, but you can also enjoy the smooth velvety texture with extra crunch, spread thick onto your favourite bread or croissant. However you choose to indulge with Macabella one spoonful is never enough."
I loved the luxury design on the packaging, in fact somehow the jar looked out of place next to my jar of much loved Skippy peanut butter. My joy was set to continue once I unscrewed the golden lid too, for the spread was shiny, with lots of visible finely chopped nuts. For those interested there is a 'velvet' smooth version of Macabella too. I surprised myself for opting for the crunchy version seeing as I'm a smooth peanut butter* kind of girl -but I thought the nuts might get lost amongst the chocolate flavour if they were fully blended. 

Tastewise, the spread was rich, with devilishly naughty chocolate flavour. This was slightly unexpected considering that the only chocolatey ingredient is 6.5% of fat reduced cocoa powder. Don't get me wrong though -this certainly isn't a diet product! There was a creaminess to it that surpassed the likes of Nutella, and it melted better when slathered onto my warm soft oatcake (new obsession alert). The macadamia flavour perhaps wasn't as strong as I expected -but then the nut is known for its mild, creamy taste anyway. I also found that it made for a yummy treat used as a dip for pink lady apples; the tangy-sweet combination works extraordinarily well! 

I'm not sure I'll always buy Macabella in favour of Nutella, but it makes for a welcome change -especially as Tesco don't seem to make their fabulous Dark Chocolate & Almond spread anymore, boo. 


*But weirdly crunchy Biscoff gets my vote! 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

NEW! Twix Cheesecake (Iceland)

Does the idea of a Twix cheesecake excite you as much as it did me? Seriously now, can you think of anything yummier? 

I just didn't expect it to originate from Iceland (the store not the country), and I felt myself wishing that M&S or Waitrose had thought of it first -not that they would pay for the branding I'm sure. Whilst I am certainly no food snob, I somehow baulked at the idea of spending £3 on a frozen cheesecake from the discount retailer when it first made its way into stores a few weeks ago. To make matters worse, I then read a-review-a-day's dispassionate review and decided to give it a miss for a while. Like a sign from the gods it came on offer last week, and I gave myself a good kick up the bum -£2 for 8 servings of cheesecake is surely a veritable bargain! 

"Creamy cheesecake & caramel, topped with chocolate sauce and chocolate covered biscuits"

I realised when I picked it up that in fact the cheesecake was made by frozen dessert specialists Coppenrath & Wiese, which reassured me as their treats are normally pretty good. I also came to the conclusion that one eighth of a 450g dessert would equate to a spoonful sized portion -I'm not sure why they even suggest such ridiculousness!

I cut into the cheesecake whilst still frozen so that the two of us could save the rest for another day. It  turned out to be a pretty hard and messy job, during which my other half received an earful for watching over me do it and telling me not to cut my fingers off -thanks for that dear.

The bumpy chocolate top was chock-full of biscuity balls, and I was happy to find that it was adequately thick and not just a paltry smattering on top. In the middle sat the cheesecake -complete with plenty of visible caramel sauce pockets- and right at the bottom was (of course) the biscuit base. Annoyingly, said bottom was on the loose side, which meant that was too crumbly to plate up neatly.

Yum yum yum. The chocolate was silky, and although certainly not up to Gu ganache standards, was deliciously comforting. There's nothing worse than a soggy biscuit (no giggling lads!), and fortunately Coppenrath & Wiese have managed to keep their balls intact (!) thereby offering a satisfying crunch and injection of Twix-ness. The cheesecake in the middle was exactly what I expected from the frozen variety -slightly stodgier than fresh but still creamy and rich. I welcomed the ample pockets of caramel sauce which were also tasty and added an extra element of both flavour and texture into the dessert. The only real problem came from that pesky base; which refused to stay together and meant I was left with what looked like a beach scene in my bowl -yes I ended up licking the crumbs, don't judge me! 

This frozen Twix cheesecake will never beat a fresh version -or of course homemade- but Coppenrath & Weise have nevertheless made a pretty decent attempt at translating one of my favourite chocolate bars into a dessert. I'm left wondering what the new Mars Dessert Bar and Maltesers Pavlova taste like... 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Monkeys Ice Cream (Co-Op)

Given my bitter (but yet too sweet) disappointment with the new peanut bar from Nakd, I felt the need to try another peanut buttery product that was less likely to disappoint. Having just finished my tub of their peanut butter & jelly ice cream, I returned to the Co-Op on a mission for the other frozen treat that I've been eyeing up for a few weeks...

"Peanut butter ice cream rippled with salted caramel sauce and chocolate monkeys."

The 500ml pot cost £2, and -like the pb&j tub- seems to be only available in larger stores. Boo. 

As soon as the lid was off, I could see the swirls of sauce and chocolate monkeys cheekily peeking out of the top. Fortunately it wasn't just beginners luck but in fact it was a true an indication of how the tub was set to continue. The easily scoopable ice cream was generously adorned with both the glossy caramel and dark chocolate coloured chunks.  

Hurrah! The peanut butter ice cream was every bit as delicious as the pb&j version -utterly creamy with a rich roasted nut flavour. Considering it was twice the price, I perhaps thought that it would be even more luxurious, but I hoped the caramel sauce and chocolate monkeys would cover that...

Unfortunately not. I found the caramel sauce to be too sickly against the sweet ice cream, and ended up longing for the tart raspberry sauce that added a refreshing zing to the pb&j tub. As for the chocolate monkeys? Well they're not actually chocolate... After I finished my cone I read the official product title on the back and found that they're 'chocolate flavoured monkeys' and are instead a composite of sugar, coconut oil, fat-reduced cocoa powder and butter oil. Oh dear. Those imposters wouldn't pass through Ben & Jerry's quality contol. They weren't awful, but they were a let down -especially considering how generous the Co-Op had been with them.

I'll take my moaning minnie pants back off now because in reality the peanut butter & chocolate monkeys ice cream is a novel and tasty product -it just isn't as good as their pb&j ice cream


Friday, 5 August 2016

NEW! Nakd Peanut Delight & Carrot Cake (ASDA)

If you follow me on Instagram you'll already know that Nakd bars are one of my diet staples, and are regularly taken to work for a mid morning snack. I love them because they're bold in flavour, despite being relatively saintly. I've learned that heating the bars for 20 seconds in the microwave somehow further unlocks their boldness further and turns them squidgy at the same time -double bonus. So, it's needless to say that addition of not one, but THREE new Nakd bars got me more than a little excited. The line up now includes carrot cake, peanut delight and an apricot crunch bar. I found the first two in ASDA for 75p each, but I'm yet to spot the apricot flavour -have you seen it yet?

Peanut Delight
Out of the newbie trio, Peanut Delight was -of course- the bar I was most excited to try. I'm pretty much fuelled by peanut butter these days, and love the peanut trek bar, so I expected this bar to become my new favourite Nakd.

"Go nuts for peanuts with our splendid new Peanut Delight bar, packed with all the goodness you’ve come to know and love from Nākd.  Perfect as a pick-me up between meals or just when you feel like treating yourself, this lovely bar has a deep, rich peanut taste from chunky peanut pieces and of course, they’re smooshed together with delicious dates. Made with nothing but natural ingredients, this guilt-free delight is sure to satisfy any snack-hankerings."

Get in my belly. Now.

Somehow the bar looked different to what I expected, I thought that it would just be a mini Trek, but instead it was dark and glossy with a strong date scent.  

Taste-wise it was disappointing. I regularly stuff dates with peanut butter as one of my favourite healthy evening snacks (utterly delicious if you've never tried it) and therefore usually love the combination. Nakd seem to have got the proportions all wrong though: there's far too much date and not nearly enough peanut. In fact the only nod to peanuts were the occasional soggy chopped nut that cropped up every now and then. The resulting flavour lands the bar a long way into the sweet camp, and I found it to be longing for a good sprinkling of salt -and preferably a coating of peanut butter too. Not even warming it through could save it. I'm afraid it's not one I'll buy again.


Carrot Cake
I've mentioned a good few times over these past few months that I'm partial to a good slice of carrot cake. I was a bit dubious about this carrot cake flavoured raw, vegan and gluten free bar. After all surely nothing could compare to an indulgent homemade affair, adorned with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.

"Feeling the need for something desserty without the guilt? Presenting a special guest treat, this is a crave-busting carrot cake bar that tastes just like the real thing, but with the added bonus of being super-healthy too! This Carrot Cake bar is unique and special which is why it’ll only be around for a short time, it’s bound to be snapped up quick so you’ll want to get involved as soon as you can to avoid disappointment! With the warming spice of cinnamon accompanied by soft walnuts, raisins and dates this one really takes the cake."

Can you see the flecks of carrot dotted about the bar? I could smell the cinnamon the moment I peeled back the wrapper..

Hurrah Nakd! This is what I've come to expect from you! The bar was soft and chewy, whilst packing some serious punch. They have worked their magic and absolutely nailed the flavours of one of my favourite cakes. Moveover Rhubarb & Custard, the new Carrot Cake bar might just have claimed the top spot. I microwaved the second half of my bar and found -for the first time ever- that it wasn't any better warm... which makes it perfect for eating on the go. I'm gutted that this is a limited edition flavour, so I'll be sure to stock up whilst they're still around!


Have you tried any of the new bars yet? Are you in agreement with me and Kev (find his review of both bars here) or do you like the Peanut Delight bar like the lovely Erin (read her review here).

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sticks (Tesco)

I get through a huge amount of ice cream. I mean seriously, at least 5 days out of 7 I have it as an after dinner treat. Fortunately for me, I can't be the only addict out there. A quick glance down any of the supermarket's frozen aisles will prove just how large the market is -and there's no room for losers any more. Even better, many of the supermarket's own brand offerings are just as good -if not better- than the premium brands. Take ASDA's Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel Sticks or LIDL's Tiramisu & Cream tubs for example! Tesco are at it too, with a range of indulgent ice creams including the Cookie Crumble ice creams that I reviewed a few weeks ago. One of my lovely readers (yes you LJ) has been imploring me to try Tesco's Salted Caramel lollies for months now, and I've finally got around to it at long last....

"Salted caramel dairy ice cream, covered with salted caramel sauce, coated in Belgian milk chocolate with caramel pieces."

Yay for decent portion sizes, the sticks are 100ml (far better vfm than Magnum). Boo for the hot weather/Tesco stores/soft ice cream. Every single one of the chocolate casings had split in the box, bearing the golden ice cream within. Whilst the aesthetics didn't bother me, it did mean that I ended up having to finish my hand-held dessert from a bowl. 

I quickly forgave Tesco for the packaging issues because the flavour was exquisite -LJ you're right! The caramel ice cream was as salted as it should be, resulting in a perfect saline-sweet harmony that danced on my tastebuds. Personally, I prefer a slightly more solid number so that I can relish the flavour for longer -but that's only quibbles. The chocolate that surrounded it wasn't half bad either; not the best I've ever tasted but damn good -especially for a 'non-luxury' brand. Perhaps the caramel sauce wasn't required as there was enough going on already, but I wasn't about to complain about its inclusion, particularly as it didn't detract from the other flavours.

A mighty contender from Tesco. If the ice cream was firmer I would happily give it full marks.