Sunday, 30 August 2015

Haagen Dazs Vanilla & Florentine Almond Orange Caramel (limited edition)


Recently I broke my "sugar free" diet and went on a mini snacks binge, so since Heron Frozen Foods were selling these limited edition Haagen Dazs I couldn't resist giving them a try. I loooove Haagen Dazs ice cream, it's probably even nicer than Ben and Jerrys for quality. This limited edition is one I've only seen in Waitrose before; I'm not sure if it was meant to be a Summer Edition, but it seems it's now being discontinued so these probably won't be in shops again for a while.


It's basically regular vanilla Haagen Dazs with chunks of almond florentine and swirls of orange flavoured caramel.


The combination is very interesting and naturally very tasty thanks to the delicious Haagen Dazs ice cream, but I'm not sure it works perfectly as a combination. It's not something I would choose over other Haagen Dazs flavours, but it's something that's nice to try as a one-off. I can see why they're only limited edition. 

Overall, this is a nice change from the regular Haagen Dazs flavours but it's not the best. I wouldn't miss it if it never makes a return...I hope they try something different for their next limited edition, perhaps they could try cinnamon or something like that.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Cadbury Bubbles of Joy Duo Mint


Cadbury have recently added a few new products to their Bubbles of Joy mousse range: a limited edition white chocolate variety, an orange variety and also this Mint Duo. It looks suspiciously similar to the Aero Mint Mousse already produced by Nestle...there seems to be a bit of copying going on in the snacks world lately!

I found these for only 50p in Heron Foods, they were still in date so I'm not sure why they were being sold so cheap.


There didn't seem to be much in each pot, they're very dinky so I'm glad I didn't pay too much. There's a section of green-coloured mint mousse and regular chocolate mousse.


It's basically just light mousse that tastes somewhat minty and chocolatey. I didn't like them to be honest, the texture wasn't airy enough and was rather gelatinous. If you're a fan of Aero Mint mousse I would stick with those instead!

RATING: 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Cadbury Milk Tray New Flavours: Apple Crunch, Salted Caramel & Truffle Heart


Recently, Cadbury's PR sent me a huge box of the new Cadbury Milk Tray flavours to review, I wasn't too excited about the prospect to be honest because as we all know Cadbury's stuff just isn't what it used to be. The new flavours are Salted Caramel Charm, Apple Crunch and Chocolate Truffle. Not the most inspiring flavours, but at least Apple is a flavour not often used in chocolate!




Unfortunately all three were pretty rubbish.


The Apple Crunch is described as "Apple flavour white chocolate truffle with a cinnamon crunch" and has been "specially crafted to celebrate 100 years of delicious Milk Tray moments". Cutting into it didn't excite me much...no crunch to speak of, it just looked like a pale cream filling. And that's how it tasted...very mild, not much flavour, pretty boring really. It's unfortunate because it did have potential to be nice, what flavour there is was quite mild and subtly pleasant, you can taste the cinnamon, but it just doesn't stand out much. This could have been so much nicer! 6 out of 10.


The Salted Caramel surely couldn't go wrong...could it? Well yes, when it's not even a "proper" gooey caramel but just a hard toffee! That's exactly what this was; a regular hard chewy toffee disguised as something special. I couldn't taste the salt at all, although I hate hard toffee so I probably didn't chew long enough to taste any. Very disappointing. 4 out of 10.


Last and definitely least, was the Chocolate Truffle Heart, which I already knew was going to be rubbish. It tasted exactly as I expected...like nothing in particular. There was hardly any distinction between the outer waxy Cadbury (*cough* Mondelez! *cough*) chocolate and the inner truffle. It was just an amalgamation of sweet waxiness that was so boring I spat it out on principle.

The rest of the selection was the usual Milk Tray stuff...fudges, caramels, hazelnut, orange, strawberry, praline etc.

I'm sad to say that Milk Tray, like many formerly great Cadbury products, has gone to the dogs. The selection is uninspiring, overly sweet and with poor quality chocolate. Spend your hard earned cash on Lindt, Hotel Chocolat or Green & Blacks instead. Your other half will thank you for it!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

New Nestlé Caramac Giant Buttons


Last week, Nestlé UK announced the launch of new Caramac Giant Buttons, apparently the first product extension in the brands history (although they've strangely glossed over the fact that they produced a Kitkat Caramac in the mid 2000's, as well as a Caramac Breakaway).

The Caramac name apparently comes from an amalgamation of the word caramel and Mackintosh - the company that originally produced Caramac before being taken over by Nestlé. The bar has been a staple of newsagents for a long time indeed, and as many will know it has a buttery, almost fudgey caramel flavour, although unfortunately it's gotten a lot sweeter over the years. The original bar actually used to contain butter, treacle and condensed milk, but unfortunately these new giant buttons don't contain any of those ingredients...boo! :(


Apparently 10 buttons equals one serving, which doesn't seem too bad an amount compared to some products (*cough* half a tiny Aero Mousse! *cough*)


The buttons are very substantial in size indeed, and have a somewhat chalky appearance. They smelled strongly of butterscotch. 


They were very, very moreish, I found it easy to munch through loads at once, although they are quite sickly in excess. Theyr're definitely ones you'll want to share, even if sharing is an alien concept to you! They'd be a particularly good snack to take to the cinema. 

Overall, although the ingredients have changed a bit and these aren't as glorious as the original Caramac bar used to be, they're still a good snack and bring something different and tasty to the snacks world. I have a feeling they're going to be very popular. 

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Francois Pralus Le 100% Cacao Criollo Review


Continuing on with my journey into the sugar free side of life, I've decided to invest in some good quality 100% cacao chocolate bars to keep me sane when cravings hit. As much as I love Hotel Chocolat's 100% cacao bars, they're a bit pricey for the amount you get so I decided to go one better and get the good stuff from websites like chocolatiers.co.uk (I highly recommend them for quality chocolate!) and cocoarunners.co.uk.

I found this bar of Francois Pralus 100% cacao on cocoarunners.co.uk, and for a very reasonable £4.50 (when you consider that Hotel Chocolat charge around £7 for similar bars that contain less grams) I decided to order one. I've tried similar bars from The Grenada Chocolate Company before but fancied something perhaps a little milder and less acidic. The reviews for this suggested it might be what I was looking for.


Well, I can say that it's certainly milder than some 100% cacao bars but it still packs a strong, acidic cocoa punch. It's very flavoursome indeed, more like a fine wine than something to munch on mindlessly. It certainly gave me a much needed chocolate kick to help me cope with my new sugar free diet! A few small squares were enough, there's no way I could eat more than that without it feeling like overkill. This is something I'll savour with a cup of quality coffee in future. In fact it gives a hefty caffeine kick all by itself so it's not a bar to eat late at night! 

Overall, this is great quality bar from Pralus and if you're tempted by "the dark side" of chocolate it's definitely worth a try! Now I'd like to hear from my followers...have you tried any 100% cacao bars you've enjoyed? I wecome any recommendations!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Friday, 7 August 2015

Joe Delucci's Coconut and Berries & Cream Italian Gelato Ice Creams


Before I started my sugar free health kick, I went out in style and bought loads of these Joe Delucci ice creams while they were on offer for £2.99 at Tesco. I heard about them thanks to my fellow snacks buddy over at Reaching For Refreshment (check out her review here), and they sounded so good I just had to track them down!

Joe Delucci's do lots of interesting flavours such as rum and raisin, tiramisu, mascarpone, apricot, hazelnut etc...sounds good eh?! Check out their website for more info and where to buy. Tesco currently only stock the Pistachio, Berries & Cream and Coconut varieties, but hopefully they'll include more flavours in future! 


Berries & Cream:

I wasn't expecting to love this one to be honest, I've had fruity ice creams before and they usually don't do much for me. However this one was divine! The ice cream tasted extremely fresh and creamy, with the berry ice cream being extremely fruity and also very fresh tasting. It's one of the most realistic tasting fruit ice creams I've ever had, in fact. Simply delightful! 9 out of 10.

Coconut:

This was the one I was looking forward to most and boy was it worth it. Again the ice cream was extremely creamy, not too heavy but light, with the delicious coconut giving it the most amazing flavour. I couldn't stop eating! It tasted fresh, light and creamy, and is a perfect summer ice cream. Dare I say it might even be good mixed with the berries and cream variety! 10 out of 10.

Overall, these are some fantastic ice creams from Joe Delucci's and hopefully Tesco will stock more flavours from them in future. Just a shame I can't have any right now since I'm avoiding sugar!

Have you tried these delicious ice creams yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Tesco Crunchy Sweet Potato Slices Review


As part of my healthy eating drive recently, I've been trying some healthier snacks from the supermarkets. Luckily, it's getting easier to find healthy stuff thanks to a stream of new products from the various new paleo/raw/vegan companies that are constantly springing up. It seems Tesco are getting in on the act too, not only have they recently ditched a lot of sugary drinks from their shelves, they've also increased their range of fruits and nuts for snacking. They're also promoting their new vegetable crisps, which you'll find near the checkouts in many Express stores. They include Beetroot slices, which sounded horrible to me so I went for these sweet potato slices...ahem...crisps instead.


They're basically slices of sweet potato that have been baked until crunchy. There's no salt or oil added, just pure dehydrated sweet potato. I guess they thought these don't need any flavourings since the natural sweetness of the potato is flavour enough.

I enjoyed them, they certainly make a decent crunchy alternative to unhealthy crisps, but they were a bit flavourless. They were filling enough and certainly good if you crave a bit of crunch, I just think they could have done with a little salt or some herbs to make them more interesting.

Overall, I think these crisps have scope to be improved upon and maybe we'll see other varieties from Tesco in future. For now they're simply a carb snack only for the health conscious, certainly not crisps worth cheating on Pringles for!

RATING: 7 out of 10.