Tuesday, 15 April 2014

New! Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Banana Caramel Crisp Review

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

The new Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations bar is finally out in time for Easter, and what a marvellous creation it is indeed! This bar seems to be replacing the Cookie Nut Crunch variety introduced last year, which can now be found in Poundland and other discount stores.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

The 200g bar is on introductory offer at Asda for £1.50 at the moment but the RRP will be £2.50. It's described as "Milk chocolate with banana flavoured candy pieces (8%), caramel pieces (5%) and malted cereal balls (3%)", and like the other Marvellous Creations bars comes in a "crazy paving" style slab. This made it a little awkward to break into pieces, but I managed to find some chunks with bits of banana candy sticking out:

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

The aroma of the bar had me salivating - it reminded me of the (now discontinued) Dairy Milk with Shortcake Biscuit I used to love, as the cereal pieces had a similar biscuity aroma.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

I was fully expecting the chocolate to taste weird due to the banana candy but it was actually pretty normal and tasty! It had a banana, toffee and biscuit synergy that was reminiscent of banoffee pie, but combined with the comforting taste of Dairy Milk. All these familiar elements worked together perfectly. The malt balls reminded me of Maltesers but were more denser and biscuity, providing a lovely crunch together with the caramel pieces. The banana candy wasn't like the foam bananas I remember from childhood, but more of a chewier sweet with a glazed shell.

cadbury dairy milk marvellous creations banana caramel crisp

Overall, although this bar may sound a bit weird since banana isn't a flavour often paired with chocolate (though Gnaw did it well with Go Bananas!), it's actually a rather tasty combination. If it's meant to replace the Cookie Nut Crunch then I think Cadbury made a wise choice, as this bar is a bit more exciting and keeps with the Marvellous Creations theme much better. If you like banoffee pie or banana & chocolate combinations I would recommend giving this a try!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Price: 200g blocks are currently £1.50 at Asda (introductory offer), RRP is £2.50.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, wheat, gluten. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per 25g serving): 6.7g Fat, 15g Sugar, 128 Calories.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Hershey's Milk Duds Candy Review

hersheys milk duds candy

Many thanks to Monster Sweets for sending me these Milk Duds to review recently. I must admit I had never heard of them before but it seems like they're rather popular in the US. They're basically hard chewy caramels coated in chocolate, or rather, a "chocolate coating" made up of vegetable fat and cocoa powder. Like a lot of US confectionery the caramels contain corn syrup and vegetable fat, as opposed to butter and condensed milk like UK caramels. According to Wikipedia Hershey changed the recipe in 2008 to retain the price of Milk Duds due to rising cocoa butter costs. Personally I think they should have just increased the cost, because in this form they taste a bit rubbish!

hersheys milk duds candy

Opening the pack I knew something was wrong because they only had a vague chocolatey smell. There were no strong notes of caramel like you usually get with most hard caramels.

Tasting one, I found it to be very chewy and pretty flavourless. It had a very vague hint of caramel but mostly tasted non-descript, whilst the chocolate coating had only a mild cocoa flavour.

I actually didn't bother finishing the pack which is very unusual for me. They tasted so chewy, bland and boring that I would rather make up my daily calorie allowance from elsewhere!

If you've tried Milk Duds please let me know your thoughts in the comments! Did they taste as bad as this before the recipe change?

RATING: 3 out of 10. 

Do check out Monster Sweets Online for some much better European and American snacks than these - they have some fantastic stuff like Reese's Cups, different Skittles and M&M's varieties plus Milka and Ritter Sport bars! 

http://www.monstersweets.co.uk/

*This product was sent for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rococo 100% Cocoa Dark Chocolate - Plus Noir Que Noir Review


I've become a major convert to 100% cacao dark chocolate bars recently after attempting to clean-up my diet and reduce my sugar intake. Because of this, I've been trying out different types of 100% cocoa bars from the likes of Hotel Chocolat (I previously reviewed their Saint Lucia 100% Bar) and various brands available from Chocolatiers.co.uk.

After reading this article on high cocoa chocolates by the lovely Zoe Perrett of Foodepedia recently, I decided to make it my mission to try every 100% cocoa bar I could get my hands on, and luckily Rococo were kind enough to send me one of theirs!

As usual with Rococo chocolates the packaging looks very nice indeed, with a rustic paper wrapper with various animal designs printed on it. Opening it revealed a green foil-wrapped bar, which is a rather unique colour for chocolate that works very well. So far so good - Rococo get top marks for presentation!


Removing the foil revealed a dark slab with Rococo imprinted in the centre and a lovely block design around it. The bar looked glossy and smooth, and had a strong rich aroma. I could tell this was going to be an intense chocolate bar!


Snapping a piece off, I carefully placed a block in my mouth. I wasn't sure what to expect since many 100% chocolates can be bitter and dry, whilst others are rich and smooth. Initially I was met with an intense cocoa hit, and it took a few chews until my palate became acclimatized to the taste. Then I could detect a wonderful richness from the chocolate; it tasted intense yet smooth, rich and slightly fruity. In fact it was the perfect balance - not so smooth that there was no flavour, but not so rich that it was too intense. It skirted both lines perfectly and brought out the best of both.


Whether that's a good thing or not will depend on your personal tastes. If you're new to 100% cocoa chocolate you may prefer something milder such as The Grenada Chocolate Company's 100% Bar. If you prefer something a bit richer then this is the bar for you! In my opinion both are excellent, but this Rococo bar is more of a "treat" whereas the Grenada bar is more of an "everyday" 100% bar (if such a thing exists!)

I'm by no means an expert on 100% cacao chocolates and don't pretend to be, but as someone who's eaten plenty of cheap stuff from the likes of Nestlé, Cadbury etc over the years I can certainly appreciate how fantastic this bar is in comparison!

Overall, I love all Rococo chocolate bars I've tried so far but this 100% Noir really is the bees knees! (speaking of which, they also make some cute "bee bars" - see my review here).

To peruse Rococo's range of award winning chocolates check out their website here:

http://www.rococochocolates.com/

Allergy Information: Produced in a factory that handles nuts, gluten & soya.

*This bar was sent for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Caramel Butter Biscuits Review


As well as the Bahlsen Pick Up! biscuits I reviewed recently I was also sent some of these Choco Leibniz Caramel to review. I've been wanting to try these for a while since seeing them in shops so am glad to have finally gotten my hands on some!

Choco Leibniz are basically German style butter biscuits...or Kekse as they're called in Germany...with a thick layer of milk chocolate on top. In fact they're advertised as having "more chocolate than biscuit" and this is their unique selling point. Eating these biscuits you get the satisfaction of nibbling on a hefty amount of chocolate as well as the delicious buttery biscuit below. Added to that is the luxury of caramel...what better way to enjoy a biscuit?!


The pack contains 9 biscuits, and on opening it I was met with a strong delicious chocolatey aroma. It was quite potent compared to the chocolate we usually get on biscuits here in the UK - a lot richer, thanks to the higher percentage of cocoa solids usually found in European chocolates.


I cut one of the biscuits in half to get a picture of the caramel layer...which proved rather difficult! It's a fairly thin layer so it got a bit lost in the chocolate and biscuit elements. I attempted to scrape some of the chocolate away so you can see it here:


Although the caramel layer is quite thin I think this is to stop it oozing out of the biscuit, but thankfully it was full of flavour - rich, buttery and smooth, as caramel should be!


Combined with the thick milk chocolate and buttery biscuit, the caramel made these extremely indulgent and they're the perfect treat to go with a cuppa. I enjoyed dunking mine in tea and allowing the chocolate and caramel to go all gooey, whilst also softening up the biscuit base. They tasted amazing, and let's just say I didn't stop at eating the one! ;)

Overall, these are very luxurious and tasty biscuits that I would highly recommend. They're a lot more satisfying than the average Hobnob or Bourbon Cream and perfect for those times when you want something that's a bit of a treat.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Price: £1.79, although I've seen them for just 89p at Home Bargains!
Suitable for vegetarians?: All Bahlsen biscuits are suitable for vegetarians.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, milk, soya, egg. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per 2 biscuits): 149 Calories, 18g Carbs, 13g Sugar, 7.4g Fat.

*These biscuits were sent for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bahlsen Pick Up! Milk Chocolate Biscuit Bars Review


Bahlsen recently got in touch with me to review some of their Pick Up! biscuits, and of course I couldn't say no to that. I've always been curious about Pick Up! but never bothered trying it since I assumed it was just a plain biscuit bar with a cream filling...but boy was I wrong! Pick Up! actually contains a layer of solid milk chocolate sandwiched in-between the biscuits!

I was sent a multipack which contains 5x28g bars. The usual price for the multipacks is £1.69.


They're quite similar to the new Dairy Milk with LU & Ritz bars, the difference being that these contain a greater ratio of biscuit, and so will be situated in the biscuit aisle rather than confectionery.


Opening the wrapper I was met with a delicious wheaty, chocolatey aroma. It smelled fantastic and had my mouth watering!


There's a section in the middle of the biscuit to split in half, and doing so revealed the thick milk chocolate centre. The chocolate smelled very creamy and "European"...which is a good thing because European chocolate is superior to UK chocolate in my opinion, as they tend to use a much higher percentage of cocoa solids. Bahlsen biscuits are made in Hannover in Germany, which perhaps explains the higher quality here.


Taking a bite I was met with a crunchy, golden, buttery biscuit and a firm layer of solid milk chocolate. It tasted delicious! The thickness of the chocolate meant these were more like eating a chocolate bar coated in biscuit rather than vice-versa, which was a new experience for me. The chunky chocolate is lovely and these biscuits are perfect dunked in a cup of tea (or coffee!).

I'm so glad I finally got to try Bahlsen Pick Up! and can't believe I've missed out on trying them for so long. They're delicious biscuits and the thick layer of chocolate really makes them something special. They're far nicer than Dairy Milk with LU & Ritz, and I hope they become just as popular!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Price: £1.69 for a pack of 5 bars.
Suitable for vegetarians?: All of Bahlsen's biscuits are suitable for vegetarians.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, milk, egg, soya. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per bar): 143 Calories, 9.9g Sugar, 17g Carbs, 7.3g Fat.

*These biscuits were sent for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Cadbury Dairy Milk Hoppy Bunny Bar - Limited Edition Review


When this bar came out initially I wasn't going to bother trying it as I knew it was pretty much the same thing as the Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland bar from Christmas. However since it was staring at me near the tills in WH Smith recently and I was hungry, I thought why not? Dairy Milk chocolate is always good after all!


Opening the wrapper it looked as I expected - a slab of Dairy Milk with the addition of white chocolate bunny shapes on each block. Unfortunately they don't make up much of the bar and are mostly for decoration rather than taste.


The bar is quite thin, and reminded me of a Milka bar rather than the traditional "chunky" blocks we are used to from Cadbury.


Taste-wise it was pretty much what you'd expect; creamy, delicious Dairy Milk with an additional sweetness and slight milkiness from the white chocolate. It's barely perceptible but it's there. The bar is satisfying but I did miss the usually chunkiness you get from regular Dairy Milk blocks.

Overall, this bar is a nice novelty and I suppose many will find the bunny shapes cute...but I think it's a bit unimaginative. It's just a way to recycle the same idea as the Winter Wonderland bar and they could do this with any seasonal chocolate bar. In fact it wouldn't surprised me if they have one planned for Halloween already...

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Price: £1 at WH Smiths and Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk & soya. May contain nuts & wheat.
Nutrition (per quarter bar): 133 Calories, 7.6g Fat, 14g Sugar.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Peanut Butter Oreo Wafer (Chinese) Review


Many thanks to Bring Back Banjo Bar for sending me this Oreo Peanut Butter wafer recently - she's quite the wafer expert thanks to her campaign to bring back the long lost Banjo bar, and has sent me some great wafer bars recently. Please do sign the petition to bring back Banjo HERE!

At first I wasn't sure what this bar was as the writing is all in Chinese but the blue design just screamed "Oreo!" at me. I gathered that the logo in the corner was Kraft and the images of peanuts suggested it contained peanut butter. A quick google revealed that Grocery Gems reviewed this bar back in January - I must have missed it!


Opening the wrapper revealed a crumbly chocolate wafer with a beige-coloured peanut butter cream filling.


The wafer had a nice rich cocoa flavour whilst the peanut butter cream provided a hit of nutty, salty creaminess. The cream was a little sparse and got lost in the dryness of the wafer, but despite this the bar still made for a decent snack with a cup of coffee. Overall this wafer is an interesting novelty; definitely worth a try if you see it!

Please sign the Banjo Petition here and like Bring Back Banjo on Facebook - every bit of support is much appreciated!