Friday, 9 December 2016
We've had quite a few Christmassy snacks from M&S and Tesco so far for Kev's Christmassy reviews, so I thought I'd break the cycle and try something a bit more classic that everyone will recognise. It's a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, only shaped like a Christmas tree! Or at least it is in theory...this is what the reality looks like:
Not very Christmas tree like is it? I can't say I'm surprised because the Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin from Halloween didn't look much like a pumpkin either, so it's a given that Reese's are pretty terrible at moulding their chocolates. What's left then? Well the classic peanut butter taste of course...
Thankfully it tastes just as good as any Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, maybe better thanks to the larger amount of filing. There was less chocolate to spoil it with (which, lets be honest isn't the best quality chocolate around), and it ended up being quite a delightful peanut buttery hit. Perfect for snacking on whilst doing the Chrimbo shopping!
Overall, I'm not going to grumble about the fact this looks nothing much like a Christmas tree...I'll leave that to the Huffington Post whose article is linked if you wish to check it out. If you're a peanut butter lover, you're not going to get much better Christmas themed snacks than this for Christmas. Well unless you invest in the Reese's Peanut Butter Snowman which costs £4-£3 (from Morrisons and Tesco, respectively) that is.
7.5 out of 10.
Do stay tuned for lots more Kev's Christmassy Reviews!
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
No Christmas snacking selection would be complete without a Terry's Chocolate Orange, but what about their ice creams? Should we be indulging in those over the festive season too? Let's find out!
These are out for a limited period for the Winter. Tesco and Morrisons sell them, but I'm not sure about other supermarkets. I got these from Morrisons on special offer: £1.50 for 3 ice creams, working out at 50p each. Not too bad! They're gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, and described as "vanilla flavour ice cream with chocolate orange sauce covered in milk chocolate with orange oil".
I like that they've shaped them after the traditional Chocolate Orange segments, it's a bit different from your regular Magnum-shaped ice cream sticks.
I wasn't expecting a lot from them, but they're actually very tasty! There's small ripples of sauce running through, which bring some sweet chocolate orange flavours to the party, combining well with the vanilla ice cream. The star of the show is of course the chocolate coating; it's Chocolate Orange, what more can I say!
If these were just plain vanilla ice creams I'd be disappointed but the ripples of chocolate orange sauce give it that special factor that makes them a worthy purchase. I actually preferred these over real Chocolate Orange, as I find them rather sickly and greasy tasting these days.
Overall, these are definitely worth trying this festive season. If you love Chocolate Orange you will no doubt enjoy these just as much, if not more!
Now, I wonder how long it'll be before Creme Egg Ice Creams hit the shelves...
8.5 out of 10.
Hope you're all enjoying Kev's Christmassy Reviews, do let me know if you've tried any of these snacks in the comments!
There's some pretty "out there" Christmas snacks this year, from various alcoholic crisps (like Marks & Spencer Bucks Fizz Crisps) to Salted Caramel Pretzels, Dark Chocolate Chilli Tortillas, and now joining the table are these: Tesco Finest Limited Edition Cocoa & Spiced Rum hand cooked potato crisps. These cost £1 in Tesco's Christmas aisle, are suitable for vegetarians and gluten free, but contain milk.
I was expecting these to taste awful, if I'm honest. I only bought them because they're so unusual!
Turns out they're actually weirdly quite yummy! There's a definite chocolatey cocoa flavour coating the crisps, with only a slight hint of rum in the background - blink and you'll miss it. The crisps are quite sweet and have that moreish "sweet and salty" thing going on, that will keep you reaching for more. These may not taste much of rum (which is probably a good thing!) but they're unusual enough to become a talking point over parties this festive season.
Overall, would I recommend these? Well only if you want to get people talking...if you're a genuine fan of rum flavour crisps for some odd reason, you won't get them here, but if you're a novelty crisp lover, tuck right in!
8 out of 10.
I hope everyone's enjoying Kevs Christmassy Reviews so far...if you've tried any of these snacks please do share your thoughts in the comments and as always: there's more to come!
Monday, 5 December 2016
M&S have really upped their game this festive season, and one on-trend food item their Christmas range wouldn't be complete without is salted caramel. When I spotted this "Liquid gold salted caramel sauce" there was no way I could pass on trying it...it contains edible glitter. You can't get more festive than that!
I must admit, on reading the instructions I was a bit puzzled what to actually use it for. They advise that it's not suitable for heating, which is a bit odd for a sauce. On the plus side, it's gluten free and vegetarian friendly.
Opening the lid, it had a lovely buttery aroma and the edible glitter was clearly visible giving it a lovely gold shimmer. The texture was rather thick, so I dug in with a spoon and tried some straight away...it would've been rude not to!
It tasted heavenly, the perfect sweet, buttery and slightly salty combination that makes salted caramel the best of all worlds. I felt a bit naughty eating it by the spoonful though, so I decided to use it as intended: by slathering it over a dessert!
I'd bought a reduced price gluten free Apple Pie from M&S the same day, so baked it as instructed, although had a lot of trouble getting it out of the tin. It ended up a gloopy, broken pastry mess. I poured over the salted caramel hoping to improve it:
It looked much nicer with the glittery shimmer, but was still a mess of apples and pastry - so I dug right in. The sauce goes well with the apple pie, but to be honest I preferred eating it solo. I'm not sure what you can actually use this with in practice, maybe it'd be nice cheekily plopped inside a mince pie to give it a caramel surprise?
Overall, however you use it this salted caramel sauce is really good stuff. I'm not sure it justifies the price tag of £2.50, but if you don't have the time to make your own, this is the best quality you're going to get ready made. Plus it's glittery!
8 out of 10.
If you've tried this sauce do let me know your thoughts in the comments - what treats did you pair it with?
Christmas can be a bit depressing if you have to avoid gluten, there's not many interesting options for cakes or pies out there, but thankfully the tide is turning. Tesco are one supermarket bucking the trend by bringing out these Spiced Pear Pies, described as "crumbly shortcrust pastry filled with rich fruity spiced pears". The pack encourages you to heat them up for a "melt in the mouth moment". Yum!
There's 4 pies per pack and they cost £2 at Tesco. They're gluten free and dairy free as well as being suitable for vegetarians. However they do contain egg, so aren't suitable for vegans.
The pies looked pretty good with a nice thick pastry and a sprinkling of sugar over the top.
They tasted pretty scrummy too, with the pastry being light and crumbly, and the pear filling complimenting it beautifully. It was very sweet but with that unmistakable comforting pear flavour, with the delicate spices enhancing but not overpowering it. These are some pretty tasty pies, a step above your average apple pie!
Overall, I'm glad Tesco have brought out something a bit different for the gluten free folk this Christmas, because as nice as Mince Pies are, sometimes you fancy something lighter. These fit the bill perfectly and are a great addition to the growing Free From market. If you have to avoid gluten they're a must-try!
8.5 out of 10.
If you've tried these please do let me know your thoughts in the comments, and as always stay tuned for more of Kev's Christmassy Reviews. I'll be featuring more Gluten Free festive snacks, including cookies, mince pies and puddings!
Sunday, 4 December 2016
I haven't explored Costa's 2016 Festive Menu this year so far, but since it's December and officially the festive season, it was the perfect excuse to try the new Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate.
Apparently it's replaced Costa's White Hot Chocolate and has upset a lot of people in the process - the horror of it! It's a traditional Costa hot chocolate blended with toasted marshmallow syrup, topped off with glittery mini marshmallows. According to the barista I asked, it's also gluten free, hurrah!
I ordered a medium size which seemed the perfect amount, topped off with cream because I love me some cream on a hot choccy! I started by spooning it off and nibbling the marshmallows, they were chewy and sweet and pretty lovely all round. The edible glitter makes them feel uber special.
The hot chocolate tasted lovely; the marshmallow flavour is sweet and very comforting, tasting authentically of marshmallow. This is sweeter than a regular hot chocolate so if you've got a sweet tooth you'll love it, however if you're more adverse to sweeter flavours it might be overkill for you. To me this is the perfect flavour for the festive season, just what's needed for soothing away the stress of a Christmas shopping trip!
All that said, I also really want to try the Mint Hot Chocolate with an Elf-sized Candy Cane, as well as the Honeycomb Latte and Salted Caramel Cappuccino. Basically the whole range! I'll no doubt be trying those over the next month so do stay tuned for more Costa Festive Menu reviews.
8.5 out of 10.
As always, let me know your thoughts on any of the treats I've tried and do stay tuned for more of Kev's Christmassy Reviews! :)
Saturday, 3 December 2016
The weather may be cold outside, but at least you can warm up by reading some of Kev's Christmassy Reviews :) Yes, all this month I'm having a festive bonanza and reviewing all manner of Christmas snackstuffs. Enjoy!
Today we are back with M&S, who have quite a fantastic range of stuff out; everything from Prosecco and Bucks Fizz Flavoured Crisps, Salted Caramel Pretzels, Prosecco Caramels, White Chocolate Angel Wings...and this interesting snacks hybrid; Belgian Dark Chocolate Coated Chilli Tortilla Chips.
When I put these in my basket I didn't actually realize they contained Chilli, I just saw chocolate coated tortillas and they had me sold right away. These cost £2 and are gluten free as well as suitable for vegetarians. They're described as "dark chocolate coated corn tortilla chips with red pepper and chilli pieces".
I tipped the box out onto a plate, the tortillas are rather thick and chunky thanks to the generous coating of dark chocolate and looked very appetizing.
...and dark chocolate coated side.
At first I was worried the chillis and peppers would spoil the flavour, but the tortillas are extremely moreish! There was just a slight hint of warmth in the background as I crunched. The dark chocolate is the perfect percentange to give the totillas a nice contrast without overpowering them. The two work together perfectly, creating an addictive sweet and savoury flavour combination. It didn't take me long to scoff half the pack.
Overall, these are a great Christmas snacking novelty and pretty darn tasty too. Don't let the chilli put you off...you can barely taste it! These will make the perfect talking point for any festive parties or family get togethers you may have planned this month.
8.5 out of 10.
As always, if you've tried these let me know your thoughts in the comments, and do stick around for more of Kev's Christmassy Reviews!