Showing posts from July, 2013

Kingdom Rhubarb & Vanilla Centre Milk Chocolate Review

A big thankyou to Kingdom Chocolates who kindly sent me some samples from their new range to review recently! Kingdom are a company aiming to add some "British creativity" to the chocolate world. Amongst the bars they sent me, this Rhubarb & Vanilla variety intrigued me most as I've never really seen or tried a rhubarb flavour chocolate before.

According to their leaflet, Kingdom are a brand new British-owned chocolate company launching a range of bars focused entirely on innovation and quality. Their cocoa is ethically sourced from Uganda, and their bars contain no artificial ingredients.

This bar is described as "Milk chocolate with a white chocolate rhubarb & vanilla centre", and contains 34% cocoa solids. Opening the wrapper I was very impressed by the thick, chunky feel of the blocks. Each one has the Kingdom crown logo imprinted on it:

Cutting into one of the blocks revealed the white chocolate rhubarb centre:

Biting into a piece I was first met …

One Direction Milk Chocolate Bar Review

When I spotted this One Direction branded chocolate bar in Discount UK recently, I thought I'd give it a try in the name of curiosity. "Could it possibly be as bad as their music...?", I thought. Let's find out!

The bar cost 99p and is made by a company called Bon Bon Buddies Ltd. Opening the wrapper the chocolate smelled a little stale and unappetizing. Turning it over revealed a One Direction sticker. I have no idea who this guy is but I'm sure the sticker would make many teenage girls happy.

The chocolate itself comes in blocks with uneven waves on top:

Taste-wise, it was pretty bad. It tasted like calender chocolate - cheap, flavourless, and without any creaminess or strong cocoa flavours. It had an odd woody aftertaste too which was very off-putting. The chocolate contains vegetable fat - a filler often used in cheap confectionery - which might explain the poor quality.

Overall, I don't get why companies produce such rubbish chocolate and plaster the la…

Tesco Jam Roly Poly Toffees Review

Tesco have been adding some interesting new products to their snacks range recently, but what caught my eye the most were these "Jam Roly Poly Toffees", which also come in a Summer Fruits variety. I will admit, I chose them based purely on their name. Who wouldn't?

I suspected they wouldn't resemble anything like the classic British dessert that is Jam Roly Poly Pudding (which, by the way, was also known as "Shirt-sleeve pudding" because it was often served in an old shirt sleave - crazy or what?!). Reading the description confirmed my suspicions: "Toffees filled with raspberry flavoured apple jam". No pudding to be had here then! Still, who ever really expects products like these to resemble their namesakes? Presumably, the toffee portion is supposed to stand in for the "Roly Poly" part of the pudding.

Cutting into one of the toffees revealed the jam centre, which was slightly sticky:

Popping one in my mouth, I chewed down and as I did…

New! Cadbury Crispello Vanilla Velvet

Not being a huge fan of the original Crispello launched last year, I was a tad skeptical when I heard about the launch of this new Vanilla Velvet variety. However, it really surprised me!

Like the original Crispello it comes with three pieces of filled chocolate-coated wafers. They're described as "Thin crispy shells with a creamy vanilla filling, covered in Cadbury milk chocolate".

Opening the wrapper the chocolates had that unmistakable Cadbury chocolate aroma. Cutting into one revealed the creamy vanilla centre, which was very plentiful. It reminded me somewhat of a Kinder Bueno.

Taste-wise, the filling was very creamy and went perfectly with the light wafer and milk chocolate. The flavours were a lot more subtle and creamy than a regular Double Choc Crispello, and I much preferred this combination. I think vanilla is the perfect pairing for a "lighter" chocolate such as this - it allows the other constituents such as the wafer to shine through much better.

Summer Special: Homemade Bubble Tea Experiments

After becoming addicted to the phenomenom that is Taiwanese Bubble Tea recently, I decided I wanted to recreate the unique experience for myself at home. Thanks to this article on how to make homemade bubble tea I went on a mission to my local Asian store in search of tapioca pearls. There was a coloured variety, a black pearl variety and a purple "new sago" variety. Since my initial visit I have now tried all three types, but here's the packaging for the coloured tapioca pearls. The colours are achieved through the use of e-numbers.

Having aquired the tapioca pearls I then bought some Lift Instant peach flavour tea. Not the tastiest of flavoured teas by a longhsot, but considering this heatwave we've been having it did the job nicely when mixed with lots of cold water.

I cooked the tapioca pearls in boiling water as instructed for about 5 minutes, and made a simple sugar syrup to keep them fresh.

Once the instant tea had cooled, I scooped some tapioca pearls into a…

Morrisons Kopp Kops - Retro Liquorice Classics

When I saw this bag of Kopp Kops sweets at Morrisons recently the name had me intrigued. I've never heard of a Kopp Kop before, but according to the packaging they are a liquorice flavoured classic retro sweet. I put them in my basket not knowing quite what to expect.

They're described as "Herbal flavour sweets with a soft centre" and contain treacle and liquorice powder in the ingredients. There's a blurb on the pack which says "Did you know...The first "sweets" were made by apothecaries who used sugar combined with herbs and spices to "cure" people". Despite being a snacks geek, I didn't know that actually!

Opening the pack the sweets smelled very familiar - they reminded me of those herbal cough mixture sweets that newsagents used to sell when I was a kid.

Tasting one, it instantly brought back memories of the 90's, when I would buy a bag of herbal cough mixture before school. The only difference with Kopp Kops is that th…

Skittles Milkshake Review (Tesco)

Skittles is a flavour you would never expect to see in milkshake form - infact it sounds like a downright odd proposition - so when I saw this Skittles Shake in Tesco recently I just had to give it a try. It was on offer of 2 for £2 along with other flavours such as Snickers and Mars milkshakes. It's described as a "Fruit flavour milk drink" and has the slogan "Drink the Rainbow. Taste the rainbow".

Taste-wise it did actually taste like Skittles! It had that almost citrusy, zingy, fizzy fruit flavour that Skittles have, balanced with the creaminess of the milk. It was quite odd, but it somehow worked because the flavour wasn't too overpowering. It was subtle and allowed the creaminess of the milk to lead the way.

Overall, I liked this Skittles milkshake but I'm not sure I would buy it again. The flavour of Skittles isn't something I really look for in a milkshake, but it's an interesting novelty for sure. I think it will be quite popular with c…

Kev's Pick & Mix: an assortment of mini snack reviews!

I've had a lot of snacks reviews building up for a while now - things that get left by the wayside as newer, more interesting snacks get released. In light of Grocery Gem's fantastic Random Reviews posts I thought I'd do something similar, so here's introducing Kev's Pick & Mix: an assortment of mini snacks and drinks reviews!

Barratt British Mix:

I don't think these are available in shops anymore, I found them several months ago in Discount UK and they were a month out of date at the time. They tasted slightly stale but came in some interesting "British themed" shapes, such as teapots, red telephone boxes, Queen's guards, Bulldogs and Big Bens:

They appear to have been a limited edition release to co-incide with the olympics and Royal Wedding last year.

Bloc Candy Jelly Bean Lovehearts:

"Bloc" branded sweets are available from Asda stores, but I've also seen a lot of their range in discount stores such as B&M Bargains and Poun…

Choc Affair Peach & Raspberry White Chocolate

Whilst in a health foods store recently I spotted the words "peach and raspberry white chocolate" on this bar and was instantly sold. I'm a big fan of white chocolate combined with fruity ingredients and couldn't say no, despite the rather hefty price tag of £2.50.

The chocolate comes in a simple but cool-looking paper sleeve. I liked the Andy Warhol-ish images of peaches and raspberries on it.

Opening the wrapper the chocolate looked great; it had a pink speckled colour with a clean, glossy finish:

Unforunately it didn't taste quite as I expected. The peach flavour was absent - I couldn't taste any peach at all. Looking at the ingredients list I couldn't find peach listed apart from as a "flavour", which I think is a bit misleading considering it's the first word on the front of the wrapper. The flavour was completely dominated by the freeze-dried raspberry powder, which was very delicious, but not what I wanted in a bar labelled "pea…

Cadbury Dairy Milk Pebbles Review

When I heard about these Dairy Milk Pebbles I couldn't quite believe that Cadbury were releasing yet another new product. Their releases this year have been never-ending, with Freddo Faces, Strawberries & Creme Dairy Milk, Marvellous Creations, Crunchums, Vanilla Velvet Crispello plus new flavours of Cadbury Eclairs being far!

Now they're adding to that list with the release of these new Dairy Milk Pebbles. They're simply described as "Delicious milk chocolate in a crispy shell" and contain all natural colours.

They look a bit like flattened mini eggs and come in three different colours - dark brown, purple and yellow. I'm not sure what the thinking behind this was, but it's a random set of colours for sure.

Taste-wise they reminded me a lot of Smarties, but with the creamier, more delicious taste of Dairy Milk chocolate. The shells were a lot crunchier than Smarties however, and more akin to Galaxy Minstrels. I really enjoyed them, the…

ChocoMe Dark Chocolate with Fruit & Nuts

I was sent this chocolate from ChocoMe a few months ago and have been meaning to review it for ages; my apologies to ChocoMe for taking so long. They were very generous and sent me this massive slab which was beautifully presented - it put a massive smile on my face when I received it!

The bar was was so crammed full of fruit and nuts that some were dropping off. The chocolate was a dark 65% cocoa solids, containing honey-roasted peanuts, pistachios from Bronte, freeze-dried strawberries and freeze-dried blackcurrants.

Taste-wise the chocolate was very rich and good quality, whilst the dried strawberries were tart, zingy and crunchy. The peanuts were sweet and brought a lovely nutty crunch to the bar. Whilst I enjoyed the textures of the fruit and nuts, I felt the chocolate was a little too bitter for my tastes. Maybe I'm just not much of a chocolate connoisseur but it tasted a little harsh with the ingredients, and I would have preferred white or milk chocolate. Still, I'm n…