Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Whilst in Tesco recently I spotted these new Gluten Free puds from Glamour Puds. I'd heard about them on Twitter recently and that Tesco were threatening to de-list them, so I grabbed some whilst I still could. I prefer gluten-free products as I am somewhat gluten-sensitive and always love to see how they compare to gluten-containing products. As well as being gluten-free, these ones are also soya and dairy free.
The first pud I tried was this Treacle Sponge. It was rather small compared to some treacle sponges I've tried before, but still the perfect size for one person. Once I microwaved it it developed a lovely sweet aroma and smelled no different to a regular treacle pudding. I couldn't just eat it by itself so I made some custard to go with it!
It tasted delicious; the sponge was very rich and had a lovely buttery treacle flavour. The extra treacle on top added to the luxurious taste, and being honest I couldn't tell the difference between this and a regular "gluten" treacle sponge. The custard of course was the perfect acompaninment and enhanced the experience even more!
Overall, this is a delicious gluten-free dessert, and best of all you would never tell it's gluten-free! My only complaint is that I'd have liked more treacle on top of the sponge...although I suppose it's a good excuse to add some extra of your own!
RATING: 8 out of 10.
Passionfruit Chiffon Pie:
Next up I tried this Passionfruit Chiffon Pie...yes, right after trying the Treacle Sponge! My justification for this is that the puds were rather small...or maybe I just have a big mouth! The pie consists of shortcrust pastry with a passionfruit mousse filling, and is gluten, dairy & soya free. If you're wondering what a chiffon pie is there's a blurb on the pack which explains: "Chiffon pies are absolutely wonderful, rather like elegant Victorian ladies, often quivery or trembly, always delicate, but with a sound, well bred constitution."
Elegant or not...I decided to go straight in with a spoon and break it into pieces...but only so I could eat it delicately and elegantly, of course!
Whilst I enjoyed the zingy fresh passionfruit flavour, I have to say I wasn't enamoured with the pastry. I think because it's dairy free and they used vegetable margraine, which I'm not a huge fan of. I think coconut oil might've been a better choice, taste-wise. Despite that though I still very much enjoyed the pie as the filling was delicious!
Overall, despite my issues with the pastry I still thought this was a very good dessert and would recommend it to anyone avoiding gluten, dairy or soya!
RATING: 7.5 out of 10.
Overall, I'm very impressed with Glamour Puds. Whilst many free-from desserts are inferior versions of the real thing these stand on their own as tasty desserts and don't compromise on taste. I do think the Chiffon Pie would be nicer with an alternative fat for the pastry, but I realize it's difficult to make a dessert that is not only gluten free, but dairy and soya free too. Kudos to Glamour Puds for their efforts...I just wish I'd picked up the chocolate sponge pudding now!
I hope they stick around in Tesco stores and don't get de-listed, because there needs to be more variety of desserts for those who cannot eat gluten, dairy or soya (plus, according to research one in three UK households have food allergies, so there is clearly a market for such products!).
To learn more about Glamour Puds, check out their website: http://www.glamourpuds.com/
Glamour Puds are available from Tesco Stores (at least for now!)
Monday, 15 September 2014
I first mentioned these Hazel Whirl Pots of Joy in a Spotted In Shops feature and initially wasnt too fussed on trying them. But as I saw them discounted in the Co-Op recently I thought "why not give them a (hazel) whirl?" (har har). I'm not usually a fan of hazelnut desserts or yoghurts, so wasn't expecting to love these from the get-go.
Like all Pots of Joy they contain a layer made with melted Cadbury chocolate, as well as hazelnut fondant and a centre of chopped hazelnuts.
Like the other Pots of Joy they also come in dinky little pots, which I find rather frustrating as once you've eaten one you immediately want to eat the next! Anyone who believes in "portion control" is kidding themselves ;)
I didn't really enjoy them to be honest. The smooth chocolate layer was nice, and they had a decent amount of chopped hazelnuts, but the whole thing turned into a kind of gloopy mess and the hazelnut flavour wasn't strong enough for my liking. If you imagine these taste anything like Nutella you'd be wrong...the flavour is weaker and more artificial. I think they'd be much nicer with a proper gianduja praline centre, and maybe a layer of caramel too.
Overall, these desserts aren't bad but they're not something I would buy again. I can't see them lasting in shops for long and predict Cadbury will be launching a Daim Pots of Joy before long...just a hunch!
RATING: 6 out of 10.
Price: 69p at Co-Op (reduced). Usually £1.29. Also available at Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: No.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, nuts & maize.
Nutrition (per pot): 155 Calories, 8g Fat, 17.7g Carbs, 17.7g Sugars.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Whilst in Asda recently I spotted these new Tangfastics flavoured Chamallows. I love regular Haribo Chamallows, but was intrigued by how they would taste with a sour coating...
Turns out they were extremely moreish...I couldn't get enough of them! The sour coating is the same one used in Haribo Tangfastics jellies, and made them even more addictive than regular marshmallows. I will admit, I ate a few too many at once!
Overall, these Tangfastics Chamallows are extremely moreish and I'd highly recommend giving them a try if you like the softness of marshmallows and the sour tang of Tangfastics. They're a great match!
RATING: 8.5 out of 10.
Price: £1 at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: No.
Allergy Information: Contains maize.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Whilst in an import candy store recently I noticed they were selling Australian sweets, which excited me greatly! There were lots of interesting things on sale but this Whittaker's Peanut Slab (which is actually from New Zealand) caught my eye, since I remember reading about Whittaker's chocolates on Jim's Chocoate Mission years ago. They're a company I've always had on my list of chocolates to try.
The bar was a small 50g block with the Whittaker logo imprinted on it. Simple and no fuss...I like it! It reminded me of a bar of gold boullion thanks to the gold wrapper.
Splitting the block in half (which was rather difficult - it's so chunky!) revealed plenty of whole roasted peanuts embedded in the chocolate. I couldn't wait to take a bite!
The chocolate tasted rich and milky, with a good smooth melt. It tasted slightly different to what I'm used to from UK milk chocolate, presumably because it's imported or because the chocolate has a different melting point in New Zealand? I'm not sure, but it was different - not bad, just different. The peanuts were the star of the show...they were fantastically crunchy and moreish, and went perfectly with the sweet chocolate. It's a simple combination but one that works beautifully.
Overall, my first introduction to Whittkar's Chocolate was a very positive one, and I'd like to see their bars more widely available in the UK. They do quite an extensive and interesting range, including a bar containing peanut butter. If I ever spot that one in import stores I'll be sure to give it a review!
For more info on Whittaker's check out their website: http://www.whittakersworldwide.com/
RATING: 8 out of 10.
Friday, 12 September 2014
Whilst in a local import food store recently I spotted this new Vanilla Cream Milka variety. I'm not sure if it's just for the Polish market but I haven't seen it anywhere else. Being a fan of both vanilla and Milka chocolates in general I just had to give it a try!
The chocolate contained a layer of vanilla cream topped with a layer of gooey yellow vanilla "sauce". It looked very intriguing; I don't think I've ever had a chocolate bar with a gooey vanilla layer before! There were speckles of vanilla seeds dispersed throughout the cream.
It tasted very nice indeed...the creme filling was very smooth and creamy, whilst the gooey sauce was very sweet and further added to the vanilla flavour. It was a bit on the excessively sweet side, but still very nice, especially if you like vanilla flavored chocolates!
Overall, this isn't something to rush out and track down, but it's still a very tasty bar of Milka which I'd recommend trying if you happen to find one.
Have you tried/seen this bar? If so let me know in the comments!
RATING: 7.5 out of 10.
Price: 99p in local import store. Made by Mondelez.
Thursday, 11 September 2014
I was surprised when I first heard about this new "Double Caramel" Kitkat from Nestlé UK. They've done caramel Kitkats several times in the past, of course; from the Kitkat Editions Caramel that were topped with runny caramel...to the Chunky Caramel filled with a caramel flavour paste in 2009...and even the legendary Kitkat Caramac! But now they've opted for this double version which brings you the best of two worlds: a section of caramel fudge paste with crunchy caramel, and a section with a layer of smooth caramel. Hurrah for innovation!
Combining two different textures is a genius idea from Nestlé...what other chocolates can you say that do anything similiar?! You'd never get a Bounty bar with two different layers, for example!
The description on the wrapper reads "crispy wafer finger in 2 chunks topped with contrasting fillings: 1 smooth caramel & 1 crunchy side with caramel pieces, both topped with milk chocolate". Unlike a regular Kitkat Chunky it's split into just two portions.
Biting into the crunchy layer first I was met with the creamy, fudge-like paste with the crunchy caramel. It tasted somewhat similar to Daim, but with a more butterscotch like flavour. This section tasted fantastic...the combination of textures from the crunchy wafer, fudgy paste and crunchy caramel was lovely.
Biting into the soft caramel layer it tasted pretty much as I remember the Kitkat Editions Caramel from 10 years ago...sweet, buttery and very delicious. It makes me wonder why they ever stopped making them in the first place?!
Overall, this Kitkat is a fantastic idea from Nestlé - combining different textures in the same bar is a great novelty and it wouldn't surprise me if other companies start copying this idea too. I hope to see more varieties in future...maybe an Aero/Kitkat hybrid? Or one with After Eight creme? You know it makes sense Nestlé! ;)
RATING: 8.5 out of 10.
Price: 65p or 2 for £1.20 at WH Smith.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, glutren & milk. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per half bar): 109 Calories.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
I was recently sent a selection of Fruit Bowl snacks to review, and the first I tried were these "Fruit Peelers". I'm always trying to reduce my sugar intake and eat healthier so these were a very welcome snack! They're currently available from most supermarkets, I believe, plus Poundland sells most of the range too.
The peelers contain fruit concentrates including strawberry and apple, and no refined sugar. They look kind of like fruity liqorice sticks that can be pulled apart...hence the name!
I took some out with me for a quick snack and they did the job perfectly. They had a strong flavour of strawberry and gave me a nice boost of energy, although I will admit, as soon as I ate one I immediately wanted another! That said, they didn't give me a massive sugar rush like chocolate usually does.
Overall, these are a tasty, sweet snack that is far healthier than chocolate. I imagine they would make a good addition to children's lunchboxes.
RATING: 7.5 out of 10.
Fruit Peelers are gluten-free, dairy-free and suitable for vegetarians. For more info: http://www.fruit-bowl.com/peelers/
*Product sent for an honest review.