Friday, 22 May 2015

Hotel Chocolat Carrot Cake Chocolates Review


Whilst in Hotel Chocolat recently I noticed they had several new products as part of their summer range. As always I wanted to try them all, but with the selector offer I limited myself to three (very difficult!) The most unique were these carrot cake chocolates, described as "carrot ganache layered with a walnut, hazelnut, cinnamon and nutmeg praline sealed in a milk and white chocolate vanilla seed shell, decorated with naturally coloured white chocolate". At this point everyone's probably thinking "carrot ganache?!"....surely vegetables and chocolate don't mix? Well, they actually do and very successfully!

According to the pack, Britain first embraced the carrot cake during wartime rationing, and it's now loved more than ever. I have to say I'm very partial to a good carrot cake...it's the one cake I'd break any diet for. Do these chocolates live up to the much-loved British treat? Well, yes and no. They're a different beast and lack the cream cheese icing that makes carrot cake so tasty, but they do have the lovely flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg carrot cake is so well known for. 


I couldn't really taste the carrot in these to be honest, which isn't bad as I don't think a strong carrot flavour would work with chocolate. The ganache just  tasted sweet (it contains 4% carrot concentrate) and blended well with the spiced praline, complimented beautifully with the vanilla chocolate. The flavours all combined to make a spicy, creamy chocolate that is very pleasing on the palate. I ate some of these in caffe Nero washed down with a chai latte, which was the perfect accompaniment.


Overall, these are very tasty and unique. I'd recommend everyone who likes spiced chocolates try them!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Now, as good as these were, there were other flavours in Hotel Chocolat's summer range I liked even more. Stay tuned for a review of the Rhubarb and Custard chocolates!...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Magnum Signature White Chocolate Review


Whilst perusing B&Ms range of imported snacks recently I spotted some new guys on the (chocolate) block (har har!). Magnum have now launched their signature chocolate in white, milk and dark varieties. By signature chocolate, they of course mean the chocolate used on their Magnum ice cream sticks.



Initially I couldn't decide which one to go for - I wanted to try all three but that'd be greedy! - so I went for the White since it's always been my favourite Magnum. Like the sticks, the chocolate contains Madagascan vanilla extract and vanilla bean pieces.


Opening the wrapper, I was surprised to find the chocolate split into two huge blocks. Which is probably just about right...one block is the perfect size for a creamy sweet hit! Both had the signature "M" stamp printed on. 


The chocolate tasted delightful, it's that same creamy, vanilla flavoured chocolate you get on a white Magnum, but in a more intense and concentrated form. The vanilla makes it more moreish than it probably should be, but it's intensely sweet. The creaminess is very soothing, and after scoffing one large block I felt very satisfied, so much so that I saved the other one for later...something I rarely do!

Overall, this is great chocolate and tastes the same as that on a Magnum, so if you've always loved the chocolate on Magnums you may want to give this a try! That said, with it being nearly summer I think it'd be better to buy the real thing!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Price. 99p at B&M bargains (90g bar). Suitable for vegetarians. 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Chai Tea Latte (Tesco) Review


I've been curious about this chai tea latte for a while now. I've seen it in tesco for ages, so when it was reduced to 50p recently I decided it was about time I gave it a try!

It's a basic milky chai tea, but cold of course. And to be honest it doesn't work very well as a latte drink. Chai tea should be warm and comforting, the spices just aren't as tasty with cold milk. There was a notable lack of tea flavour too.

Overall, a pleasant milky drink but a bit lacking in the chai department. I would recommend spending your money on a Costa or Caffe Nero chai instead!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Chupa Chups Air Heads Fruit Candy (UK)


Recently it was announced that the U.S "Air Heads" sweets brand would be launching in the UK by Chupa Chups. U.S. brands launching here can often be hit or miss, so I was curious to see if these were just hype or if they're actually any good.


Well, I can say that they're certainly very tasty sweets. They're like Skittles with a similar chewy texture, but taste a little more fruity and tangy. I really enjoyed them, but would I buy them over Skittles? Probably not to be honest, as they're not different or unique enough.

Overall, as nice as these are I'm not sure I can see them lasting. We already have Skittles and other similar chewy sweets on shelves, so I don't think there's a gap in the market for these. Time will tell I guess!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Not suitable for vegetarians. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Coconut Collaborative Coconut & Vanilla "Snowconut" Frozen Yogurt


Whilst in Sainsbury's recently I fancied something a bit different to a regular ice cream, something light and refreshing. So instead of the usual Ben and Jerrys or Haagen Dazs (which are always on special offer making it hard to break my addiction to them!) I went for this dairy free frozen yogurt alternative. It's dairy free because it's made with coconut yogurt instead of regular milk yogurt. Yes...for those who may be unaware you can now get yogurt made from coconut milk!

I sneakily ate some at the Sainsbury's cafe, which I know is strictly verboten but I had paid for a coffee so I wasn't totally taking the Mick! Anyway, I can report that the ice cream...er...frozen yogurt was very tasty indeed! It's definitely not as full on as a tub of Ben and Jerry's, it tasted light and refreshing, and not overly sweet either. It didn't feel "heavy" like regular ice cream, which is no doubt due to it being dairy-free. It doesn't contain sugar and is sweetened with grape juice, so if you're trying to cut down on sugar that's another bonus.

Overall, this is a tasty and refreshing frozen yogurt, and would probably make a perfect partner to fresh raspberries. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!

RATING8 out of 10.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Heidi Espresso Dark Chocolate (Asda) Review


When a new range of Heidi branded chocolates popped up in Asda recently I was very keen to try them. There's some interesting flavors in the range such as cranberry, lemon and mint, pistachio etc. However as I'm slightly addicted to coffee I thought this Espresso flavor would be the best to try first.

Unfortunately, I can't say I was all that impressed with it. The dark chocolate tasted quite mild and cheap - this is certainly not good quality chocolate! It contains only 50% cocoa which may partly explain it, but as well as that the coffee flavor wasn't all that nice either. It tasted like cheap instant coffee. 

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with Heidi chocolates. Since this is my first taste of the brand I'm not too excited to try the rest of the flavours in the range. If you've tried any yourself please do get in touch via the comments! 

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Betty Bakes Toffee Crisp Gluten Free Slice


Whilst on a long train trip recently I needed a decent snack to keep me going. As well as a huge bag of Pick & Mix, I got one of these Betty Bakes Toffee Crisp slices from the Ikea cafe.


It's a similar concept to Millionaire's Shortbread but with a base layer of crisped rice and chocolate instead. Above this sits a layer of buttery toffee, topped off with milk chocolate. The combination of all three is of course very, very delicious! The toffee layer is very buttery and great quality, giving a really luxurious feel to the bar. The chocolate is delicious and finishes everything off perfectly.

Overall, this is a tasty snack whether you are gluten free or not, and I hope to see Betty Bakes slices become more widely available!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.