Friday, 31 March 2017

NEW! Limited Edition Caramel Cookie Doughnut (Greggs)

It's doughnut change week at Greggs and whilst I was sad to say goodbye to their fabulous chocolate orange doughnut, the bakery chain more than made up for the loss with their new creation. Well, actually there's two new doughnuts which Greggs kings @macrodad & @notyouraveragejoe_89 kindly alerted me to via their morning food porn over the past couple of days.

The first new doughnut was a lemon sherbert ring which appeared on Wednesday. It sounded tasty but I wasn't desperate to have it. Then yesterday morning Joe discovered the caramel cookie doughnut. Now that I had to have, quick smart!

It just so happened that I was in Hereford city centre at the time, so popped into Greggs on the way home. Alas! No cookie doughnuts in sight. Do I continue back home or detour back to the other Greggs? Silly question really.

"Sweet biscuit flavoured filling, topped with caramel flavour fondant with spiced biscuit crumb and white decoration."

Remind you of anything? Krispy Kreme's Biscoff doughnut perhaps? Talking of which, I don't believe that the 're-branding' to Krispy Cream is real, I think it's a publicity stunt (remember the 'leaked email'?) otherwise they're effectively declaring the U.K as stupid.

Anyway, let's not take the limelight away from Greggs here. The doughnut was lighter than expected and looked every part the luxury doughnut. At £1 (also part of a £2 deal with a hot drink) it's not badly priced either.

The dough itself was what I've come to expect from Greggs: less sweet, more bready. This was easily the freshest doughnut I'd had from the chain though, and despite the fact it had been bought at 10am and not eaten until 9pm (yes, my self restraint is commendable) it was still perfectly soft, even at the edges.


Slicing it in half revealed a pale whipped centre. It was a sight for sore eyes given that it was much more generously filled than any high street doughnut I've ever had*. Flavour wise the creme was super sweet with a mild cookie flavour. Perhaps it could've done with more spiced biscuit, but it was still absolutely delicious.

The Caramel fondant was thick and gooey, adding yet more sweetness. This is where Greggs have gained the upper hand with their less sugary doughnut however; the flavours balanced out, managing to stop my teeth from jarring.

Atop the icing was the biscuit crumbs, which miraculously had remained crisp and crunchy, adding in extra crunch. I often wonder why the chains don't include crunchy biscuit pieces in the filling itself though -after all crunchy Biscoff is better than smooth.

If you've managed to read this far without stopping what you're doing and immediately making your way to Greggs I both applaud you and wonder what on earth you're playing at. Don't miss out any longer, go and get yourself a Caramel Cookie Doughnut straightaway!

9/10

*Just check out this shockingly filled Greggsnut I bought recently...


...and it certainly doesn't beat the filling ratio in the Black Forest doughnut I had a couple of weeks ago from The Tandem Bakery (which is well worth a visit if you're in Hereford)!


Thursday, 30 March 2017

NEW! Warrior Crunch Salted Caramel Bar (CNSport)

A few weeks ago I was in my favourite sports nutrition shop, CNSport, talking to owner Conor who told me about a new bar that I had to try. He said that it was the best bar he'd ever tried -given his job, he knows what he's talking about- and gave me a couple to review. Salted caramel sounded good to me, and although I had never heard of Warrior before, I was more than happy to give it a go. Lo and behold, within a few days the bar started popping up all over instagram, with plenty of positive comments. Shall we see what the fuss is about? Oh go on then...

"Warrior CRUNCH bars are the result of over 12 months of research and development, working 24 hour days to blend a high protein, low carb, healthy nutritional profile into something that gives you the true "candy bar" experience. 
CRUNCH bars are packed with 20 grams of healthy protein, encased in a layer of gorgeously gooey caramel, and wrapped in delicious chocolate."

At 64g, they're a good size bar with a low sugar content. Macro-wise they stand at:
Fat - 11g/ of which saturates - 6.1g
Carbohydrates - 24g/ of which sugars - 2.3g/ of which polyols - 20g
Protein - 20g

But lets be honest, the taste needs to be good in the ever-evolving world of protein bars! 



It looked like a standard chocolate bar, although the caramel had escaped through the bottom and seeped everywhere. I'm glad I was eating the Warrior Crunch bar at home, it would have made a right mess otherwise.




Cutting into the bar revealed the distinctive tiers of filling. Don't they look good?


It tasted damn good too. In fact I'd liken it to a Toffee Crisp! Warrior have you really unwrapped the iconic chocolate bar and repackaged it with your branding? The caramel was as gooey as my sticky hands suggested, with a good salinity to it. The chocolate casing was also fairly good too, and whilst it might not be up to Cote D'or's standards, it certainly hit the spot. The crisps that studded the outside were plentiful and added the promised crunch. As for the central protein nougat, it was chewy but soft enough to avoid the dreaded jaw-ache. 

But, could and would the bar be improved by a short blast in the microwave?


video

I hope that answers your question. Of course it was. If you've ever microwaved a Carb Killa (and if you haven't, why on earth not?) then you'll know what to expect. The bar becomes more like a dessert than a sports supplement -and please, lets not forget that's what this is.

Warrior, I salute you.

9/10

Thank you to Conor for the samples!


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

NEW! Spiced Carrot Muffins (M&S)

So we've established that the Tesco carrot cake muffins are a bit pathetic and that the M&S carrot cake hot cross buns are the biz*. The carrot cake trend looks set to continue (&/or Marks' bakery team are running out of ideas) as they've recently launched carrot cake muffins into their four pack range. Now their muffins have been hit and miss of late; the banana chocolate chip four packs were decidedly disappointing, as were the rhubarb, strawberry & custard filled affairs,  but let's not forget how good their chocolate oranges were -there's hope yet.


"Light and delicately spiced carrot muffin studded with plump sultanas, a cooling cream cheese centre topped wth granola and pumpkin seeds."

We can even pretend that they're healthy too, what with their fruit and vegetable content and granola & seed topping and all! At £1.50 per pack they're not likely to break the bank either.


Ok, so I might've squished them on the cycle home. I could've cried when I opened my backpack, what a clutz I am. I promise you they looked rustic to begin with, just maybe not this rustic. 


A corner broke off as I sliced the muffin in two, but as I'm not sure whose fault that was, I won't mark M&S down for that. I do remember that before I mistreated the muffins the topping was scattered everywhere though. Once bisected, the pale pocket of filling was visible, and it was a pleasing sight -central and adequately proportionate- just as it should be.


The warming notes of cinnamon were well balanced, not overshadowing the earthiness from the carrot, but instead complimenting it. An abundance of plump, juicy sultanas added extra little bursts of flavour. The cake was a little on the dry side, and more like a country cake, but strangely this didn't detract from the enjoyment given the wet filling within.

The topping was ingenious too. The crunchy seeds offered a joyous textural contrast against the cake combined with a welcome gentle nuttiness. If I was being pernickety I'd point out that the 'granola' was really just oats given its lack of cluster formation, but I enjoyed it so lets forget that.  

The make or break moment comes with the filling though surely. I found the cream cheese to be more akin to traditional frosting than the centre of M&S' carrot cake hot cross buns. That is to say that it's sweeter and fluffier. I'm not sure if the gooeier, sauce like innards used within the buns would've worked better against the sweetness of the cake, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

Please don't bother buying Tesco's carrot cake muffins, pay the extra 50p and treat yourself to Marks & Sparks' spiced carrot muffins instead.

9/10

* I'm going to re-score the buns as a 10 given my 'currant' 😉 addiction to them and the amount of cream cheese I've had in every bun since writing the review.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

NEW! Red Velvet, S'mores, Salted Caramel & Cookie Dough Cheesecakes (ASDA)

I walked into ASDA the other night to pick up some bread rolls and came away with four cheesecakes. How did that happen?! Please tell me I'm not the only one. Believe it or not, that was me holding back, there were many more new ones (take a look at the bottom of this post for photos of just some of the others I spotted). Anyway, I bought 4 of the 5 new individual ones for £1 each -key lime pie didn't appeal I'm afraid, even enough to take a photo. 




Cookie Dough
I really hoped this would be better than the last ASDA cookie dough cheesecake I reviewed just over a year ago. It certainly looked appealing, with a more substantial base this time around.


"Chocolate biscuit base with chocolate chip and chocolate cheesecake batters, with cookie dough, topped with chocolate sauce, milk chocolate chips and white chocolate buttons."

The cheesecake itself was pretty pants. It had that wobbly jelly like consistency that I find so off-putting in most supermarket cheesecakes. Flavour-wise neither the chocolate or chocolate chip batter cut the mustard either. The paler of the two didn't have many chocolate chips, neither did it taste of vanilla, or soured cream, just plain. Humf. The chocolate cheesecake wasn't much better either. 
As for the cookie dough, that was a bit lost too. In fact I only realised when I finished my slice that I hadn't even tasted it! Oops. Fortunately the chocolate bottom was ok, although a little on the dry and crumbly side.

5/10 

Salted Caramel 
"Digestive biscuit base topped with caramel cheesecake batter and salted caramel sauce, topped with milk chocolate malt balls and chocolate crispies."

At least the cheesecake itself was actually flavoured. Whilst it still wobbled, I enjoyed the treacly flavour (although I'm not sure how salted it truly was). 
The honeycomb balls on top were crisp, although admittedly they weren't up to Malteser standards.

I also enjoyed the base of this one. Sometimes you can't beat the original, and I greedily hoovered up every last crumb of digestive biscuit. 

7/10

Red Velvet Secret Centre 
"Red velvet base with vanilla cheesecake batter and a chocolate sauce centre, with red velvet topping."

Boy this was messy to retrieve from its pot, the cake crumb scattered everywhere! Also, can you call a cheesecake a cheesecake without a biscuit bottom? 



Another sub-standard cheesecake. I think ASDA must've used the same batter in this and the cookie dough flavour, for it had a similar a similar taste and consistency. The cake crumb was ok, but there wasn't much of it, and without the crunchy base there was a distinct lack of textural contrast. Not good. The 'secret centre' constituted a measly teaspoonful of runny chocolate sauce, the sort of stuff you'd use to top ice cream -again it wasn't particularly enjoyable. 

I'd give this one a miss if I were you.

4/10  

S'mores 
I really hoped that this cheesecake would fare better than the other new ASDA cheesecakes and the Tesco freezer burnt S'mores cheesecake I reviewed last year.



"Chocolate biscuit base with chocolate cheesecake batter topped and a chocolate sauce centre topped with a chocolate sauce and marshmallows."


This cheesecake was at least easier to remove from its case, revealing three distinct layers beneath the marshmallow topping.

The top layer was meant to be chocolate sauce, but it was set and tasted a bit like the odd wobbly chocolate puddings you find in all inclusive hotels on the continent -please tell me you know what I mean? I really wish that ASDA had used ganache instead.



The chocolate cheesecake was far from the best I've had; it was gelatinous and mild in flavour. As for the secret centre, I uncovered the same sorry state of affairs as I found in the Red Velvet. Gah, ASDA, you can do so much better than this.

I was grateful that the base was crunchy and actually made from biscuits! The chocolate flavour was rather good too, with a dark bourbon-esque element. C'mon guys, I'm looking for the silver lining here. 

6/10


Summary
What a disappointment ASDA, especially having bought and thoroughly enjoyed your outstanding White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecakes the weekend before. 

Just some of the other new cheesecakes spotted at ASDA..






I like the sound of the Banana Bonanza, but I fear it'll be just as bad as their other new cheesecakes. Please let me know what you think if you try any of ASDA's new dessert range!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Creative Nature Superfoods Bars (WHSmith)

Creative Nature got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would mind reviewing some of their products. I didn't know much about the company but had seen (and been tempted by!) their bars in WHSmith. Of course I agreed and a few days later received a parcel containing one of each of their bars, as well as a bag of their award winning brownie mix -which will be reviewed in the coming weeks.


For those of you who aren't aware of Creative Nature, they're a brand who specialise in healthfoods. Their current range encompasses their raw flapjack bars as well as items such as goji berries, maca powder, cacao powder and muffin mixes to name just a few.

It's their bars that are the name of the game today though! They're all raw, gluten free, vegan, and (bar the peanut one) contain one of your five a day. Creative Nature only use natural and raw ingredients in their products too.

Ginger Teatox
Now I have to admit that the name of this bar grated on me a bit. I'm not a believer in the whole fad diet/clean eating approach, and certainly don't agree with teatoxes. I do, however, like ginger.


“I’m the ginger one, packed with natural detox ingredients like Organic Barley Grass, Yerba Mate Tea, Ginger and Coconut”

I decided to break up the bar and serve it on top of some Greek yogurt mixed with honey and topped with plums.

Crikey. I was surprised at the power behind the taste of this bar. The boldness is a brave mood by Creative Nature, but it's delicious too. The pineapple, coconut and papaya counteracted the zingy ginger with enough sweetness to bring the flavours into balance. It's soft and squidgy too,  meaning that it's comforting to eat.

The Ginger Teatox is also one of the few raw bars I've tried that doesn't contain dates, which enables the flavours to remain pure. A great tasting bar

9/10

Goji Goodness
I'm not sure I can tell you what the flavour of Goji is because I don't think I've ever eaten them on their own before! Still I love my berries so looked forward to this fruity bar in the middle of a dull afternoon lecture.


“I’m the fruity one, packed with raw superfood ingredients like Goji Berries, Cranberries and Gluten Free Oats”

Weirdly I thought this bar tasted of dates, which I must've imagined because there's none listed in the ingredients. I didn't find the flavour as punchy as the ginger teatox though; it just had a mild but sweet berry taste. I thought that the texture was as soft as the other bar until I came across something that I thought was a stone, but in reality was a reaglly hard bit of dried fruit.

I'd happily eat this bar again but didn't enjoy it as much as the Ginger Teatox.

6/10

Peanut Protein
I think it's hard to ignore how much I love peanut butter on this blog. It gives me life and I can't go a day without it, so this was the bar that excites me most. It contains 7g of protein from pea protein powder, as well as a mixture of dates, sunflower seeds, sultanas and vegetable glycerine.


“I’m the protein one, giving you a vegan, dairy free alternative to whey protein snacks!”

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of chopped peanuts, it was literally chock full! They were crunchy too, adding texture to the otherwise smooth bar. Flavour-wise it was sweeter than I expected, and I felt like it could do with a touch of sea salt. I warmed the second half of my bar in the microwave and can definitely recommend doing so for an extra comforting, healthy, peanutty snack.

7/10

Raw Cacao
Chocolate anything? I'm all over it. But could a healthy cacao bar at 125kcals that counts as one fruit portion cut the mustard?


“I’m the chocolate one, packed with raw superfood ingredients like Cacao, Goji Berries and Maca“

Again despite the lack of dates I'm sure I could taste them! The bar had a sweet chocolate taste that reminded me of Trek's Cocoa Chaos bar (no bad thing). Texturally it's much softer than Trek though. I topped my Raw Cacao bar with M&S' Maple & Pecan peanut butter -the perfect match.



8/10.

The Creative Nature Superfoods bars are great lunchbox staples. They're full of goodness, and help towards hitting your 5 (or 10!) a day. They have also just launched a new line of high protein flapjacks that sound rather good...

Photo courtesy of Creative Nature's Instagram

Creative Nature is stocked in ASDA, WHSmith, Ocado, Revital and Lloyds Pharmacy, or alternatively check your nearest supplier here.


Thank you to Creative Nature for the samples!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

NEW! Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns (Morrisons)

It's time for the last in the chocolate orange hot cross bun trilogy* today. Perhaps you'd think that M&S or Waitrose would sell the stock that would be most difficult to track down (sincerest apologies to those of you still hunting for M&S' carrot cake hot x buns) but in this case it was Morrisons who had me running round in circles -or at least in and out of our local store. I first spotted them way back in January, and made a mental note to come back and buy some once I'd got through my initial Easter hoard, but then they disappeared! Poof. 

Gone. Weeks went by when there was no non-bakery buns on Morrisons' shelves. Then the apple & cinnamon flavour started to make a reappearance, eventually followed by these chocolate orange buns. 


"Hot cross buns with chocolate chips and orange oil."

At 82p for 6 they're the cheapest I've bought so far. The buns are also part of a 2 for £1.50 deal and are freezable to boot.

They're soft and fluffy too! After all of the brioche style hot crosses it's a welcome surprise to slice open one with the same sort of texture as a classic iced bun. There were plenty of large chocolate chips to be found hiding within the pale brown dough, although the orange wasn't as aromatic as I had hoped.



The bun's texture was good, but the flavour wasn't much to shout about. I could taste a mild amount of cocoa but the orange oil was all but lost again. Why can't any of the companies deliver a really citrussy bun?

As before I tried all manner of toppings: naked it was too dry, both jam and peanut butter were a bit odd, chocolate was good but overpowered the flavour completely, so butter was the best bet.



Back to the carrot cake buns for me 🙈

6/10

*My review of Waitrose's Mini Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns can be found here and M&S' one here


Saturday, 25 March 2017

NEW! Muscle Moose Protein Pancakes & 1 Minute Mug Cakes (Online)

A couple of weeks ago I received a message from Muscle Moose who said that they would really like to send me some goodies. I certainly wasn't going to turn down an offer like that, especially given how much I enjoyed their peanut butter cup protein mousse. I then heard through the grapevine that MM were launching mug cake and pancake mixes. Hmm. I've tried a few protein cakes and pancake mixes over the past few months (including my homemade versions) and so it felt a little like they were late to the game. I found myself wondering what MM could add to the market.

When the delivery arrived early this week I was pleased though on a few accounts:



1. It was the first time I'd come across a large multipack bag of cake mix
2. The macros for both pancakes and cakes were pretty damn good
3. They're GOLDEN SYRUP flavoured!

Good shout MM. Golden syrup is so under appreciated! If by any chance you've read my rant in the Weetabix Additions post you'll know how much we value the golden syrup in my house. Also the flavour makes for a very good base for adding toppings and/or fillings.

Protein Pancakes

"Muscle Moose Protein Pancakes are what breakfast was invented for. These extra fluffy, easy to make pancakes are a taste sensation. The world is your oyster when it comes to toppings – fresh berries, banana, peanut butter and more (not oyster though, no one wants that for breakfast!) – a perfect way to start your day!"

With over 26g of protein in every 50g (dry mix weight) serving and only 194kCal, these pancakes are little powerhouses. Instructions are similar to those on the Flapjacked pack: simply add 75ml water and mix.



The pancakes aerated as they cooked, turning a lovely tan colour. They didn't stick to the pan either and were easy to flip. I made 6 scotch sized pancakes from one serving and topped them with sugar free maple syrup and fresh raspberries.



The pancakes were soft and fluffy, with a good texture and gentle syrupy sweetness. I could taste the protein powder but it wasn't off-putting.

Good macros, easy to make and a decent flavour. They're more expensive than flapjacked but contain more protein and much lower carbs. My only complaint is that they didn't fill me up for very long (flapjacked was better for that due to the oat content) but MM's protein pancake mix is good as a snack.

8/10
Macros per 50g serving: kCal:184 P:26.2 /C: 13.1 / F: 3.7

1 minute mug cakes

"Muscle Moose Mug Cakes are your high protein, gluten free daily treat of fluffy cakey goodness! There’s no need to wait for after dinner to enjoy this cake mix – it’s a great snack any time of day. Even better, no baking is required so you’ll be saving time and increasing your protein intake – everyone wins!"

It's a shame that the old school puddings have fallen out of favour really. Golden syrup sponges and treacle tarts are desserts of beauty but often fall by the wayside in favour of salted caramel everything. I was therefore thrilled when I opened the bag of cake mix and was greeted with the most delicious nostalgic hit of syrup. Mmm.

Each cake serving contains just 186kCal, with 20g of protein. The instructions suggest adding 50-60ml of water to 50g of the mix, whisk, and microwave for 60 seconds. Simple.


Except of course I decided to be fancy and full my first cake with sliced banana and Hershey's caramel sauce.

The smell that emanated was almost unbearable in its in-toxicity. Fortunately I didn't have to wait long to dig in. 60 seconds wasn't quite long enough in my paltry little microwave, but 70 did the trick.



Mmm. The gooey cake was simply scrummy. I was at once transported back to the days of cold winters evenings and comforting puds, and I instantly wished I'd got some Ambrosia to go with it. The texture was soft and squidgy and the flavour was powerful. It was everything I hoped for and more.

9/10
Macros per serving: 186kCal P:20.1 /C:16.1 /F: 3.8

Summary
Bravo Muscle Moose. The pancakes are good but the cakes are even better. I can't wait for more flavours to come out. Both 500g packs contain 10 servings and are now available to buy from Muscle Moose's website.

Thank you for the samples Muscle Moose!











Friday, 24 March 2017

NEW! Jaffa Cake Ice Cream (Tesco)

I'm in the middle of a chocolate orange frenzy at the moment, despite claiming not to be the biggest fan of the combination. This was the last of the four new Tesco luxury pint ice cream tubs that I fancied trying though, and despite the failure of both the Red Velvet & Jammy Ring flavours, I just couldn't help myself. After all there's no quality chocolate orange ice creams on the mass market is there? Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

"Chocolate ice cream with an orange ripple, sponge cake pieces and dark chocolate curls."

Removing the lid didn't reveal much appearance-wise, however I could smell the classically Christmas aroma of Terry's chocolate orange. Mmm.

Digging down into the soft but scoopable tub I soon uncovered a plentitude of sponge cake pieces, orange sauce and chocolate curls. Could this be Tesco's redeeming ice cream?


Yes! Comparatively the ice cream wasn't anywhere near as indulgently rich as Jude's but it was chocolatey! I was pleased that Tesco chose to use plain sponge pieces, and they were fluffy & soft -breaking up the texture nicely.


The orange sauce was a winner too, it was bold and zingy, providing a wonderful fusion of flavours with the chocolate. It really did taste just as it smelt- it's the Terry's ice cream!

The chocolate curls were an equally thoughtful touch and made a welcome change from the standard chocolate chips that are nearly always used instead. They cracked as you ate, offering an unexpected crunchiness to the ice cream.


Finally! A Tesco tub that's worth the £2! A better quality ice cream base would have heralded higher marks, but I'll happily buy Tesco's Jaffa Cake tub again. 

8/10

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Skinny Bakery: Less Calories, Fat & Sugar Product Review (Online)

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by The Skinny Bakery who asked me to review their products. This was a very welcome request seeing as I've been pawing over images of their range on Instagram for quite some time. Haven't heard of The Skinny Bakery? Let me fill you in...

The Skinny Bakery is the brainchild of baker Mariella Forte, who set up the company in 2013 with a vision to create delicious baked treats containing a fraction of the calories of their traditional counterparts. Think flapjacks, cookies, tarts, and cakes that even dieters can enjoy. Salivating yet? You should be.

A couple of days later a box arrived. Well it arrived at my neighbour's house actually, who came out running as soon as she saw me return home from uni. 

"Amy! Amy! There's a parcel here for you, and it says to refrigerate it! But there's no room in my fridge!" She cried (she's a good egg).

Luckily it was a cold day and the cakes still all looked in perfect nick. The parcel contained 8 individual packs of treats, each of which contained less than 212kcals or less.


Skinny Beetroot Pearls (169kcals)
There's two flavours in this world that I really can't stomach, and those are beetroot and liquorice. I almost gave these to a friend, but then my curiosity got the better of me.

"Pack of beetroot sponges piped with a quark based low fat cream cheese frosting"

Blow me down. I'm sure I grimaced as I prepared to take my first mouthful, but my expression soon took a change for the better. The cake was unbelievably moist, with a very mild beetroot flavour. I tasted the delicate balance between earthiness and dark cocoa, contrasted with the slight tang from the quark centres. I'm not a beetroot convert by any means, but I can honestly say that this is the first beetroot product I've ever truly enjoyed.

7/10

Skinny Chocolate Pearls (208kcals)
Given the success of the beetroot Pearls, I was very much looking forward to their chocolatey sibling.

"Pack of chocolate sponges piped with our signature tofu-chocolate frosting. Low fat and a good source of protein. 21% tofu, 25% low fat yoghurt."

I was right to be excited. They tasted exactly like a very fudgy chocolate cake. The flavour was rich and dark whilst texturally they were moist and squidgy. I might've double checked the packaging to make sure I hadn't misunderstood and that they were 208kcal per cube. I wasn't, they were 208kcals for all 6 Pearls. Incredible.

10/10

Skinny Coconut Bites (212kcals)

 "Pack of 5 vegan coconut balls with only 5 ingredients. No added sugar and wheat free."

I was looking forward to these because they're made with peanut butter! However, whilst they were soft I found that none of the flavours really stood out and they were a little on the bland side.

5/10

Skinny Sweet Potato Brownies (189kcal)

"Pack of sweet potato brownie bites, gluten and dairy free recipe, made with 46% sweet potato and sweetened with dates – only 38 calories each!"

It's a shame I'd tried the Pearls first really! These were yummy, but they weren't as chocolatey as the Pearls. They are a good treat if you're gluten and/or dairy free though!

7/10

Skinny Carrot Cake Pearls
"Pack of carrot cake sponges piped with a quark based low fat cream cheese frosting."

These are a new addition to the Skinny Bakery collection, and boy are they good! They're moist, yet fluffy and well spiced. The ratio of cake:filling was spot on and the mini morsels contained currants -Tesco take note. These surpass most of the full fat/sugar carrot cakes I've had. Delicious!

10/10

Skinny Choc Chip Cookies (187kcal)


"Pack of soft dairy-free chocolate chip biscuits – only 37Kcal each"

My pack contained a mixture of mushroom,star and heart shaped cookies, which were texturally somewhere between a biscuit and a cookie. In fact they reminded me of rusks! They were less sweet than I'm used to, and I could barely taste the chocolate. Tasty, but not outstanding.

6/10

Skinny Choc & Orange Cookies (181kcal)

"Pack of soft dairy-free chocolate chip and orange biscuits – only 36Kcal each"

I couldn't really taste very much difference between these and their standard choc chip cookies. Both the chocolate and the orange could've done with being bolder.

6/10

Skinny Double Chocolate Meringue Cookies (141kcal)
The pack contained 7 rather splendid looking cookies. Instead of eating them on their own I decided to make a wicked dessert with them and sandwiches them between Jude's Chocolate with a touch of sea salt ice cream.

"Pack of chocolate cookies made with egg whites and dairy-free chocolate. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. 30 calories per average cookie."

Genius. The cookies were exactly as promised. They were crispy, crunchy, chewy and chocolatey! My decision to pair them with the indulgently dark ice cream was a good one, and the added creaminess added a wonderful additional layer of flavour and texture. The double chocolate Meringue cookies are definite winners!

9/10

Summary

I love the idea of The Skinny Bakery, and many of their products are simply scrummy. I'm sure I could live off the chocolate and carrot cake pearls as well as their double chocolate meringue cookies. The packaging is cute and a lot of their products are suitable for those requiring dairy free and/or gluten free diets. The cakes have a short shelf-life but can be frozen for up to 6 months -if you can wait that long! If you love the sound of them and fancy giving them a go please check out their website, where you can receive 10% off your order by using the code STARTER10 at checkout.

**A huge thank you to the team at The Skinny Bakery for sending me the samples**