Monday, 30 September 2013

Nestlé Wonka Crème Brûlée Bar Review

nestle's wonka creme brulee bar contains milk chocolate and vanilla creme with a caramel crunch.

At last, all the new Wonka bars are out in shops! This Crème Brûlée variety is unfortunately only available in large 100g blocks, but I found one in Tesco recently for £1.40.

After my disappointment with the Millionaires Shortbread and Chocolate Nice Cream varieties I was hoping this bar would be the one gem of the three. And although it was much better than the other two, it's still not exciting enough to do the Willy Wonka name proud.

It's described as simply "Vanilla creme with a caramel crunch" and has an eye-rolling rhyme on the pack: "This isn't the only Wonka bar, you'll find the others near and far; Millionaires Shortbread and Chocolate Nice Cream, they came to Wonka in a dream".

The packaging has a rather cool resealing mechanism, with a Wonka tophat "peel here" sticker on the end:

It can be peeled off, then the wrapper can the be folded over and resealed. This is handy for keeping the chocolate fresh should you wish to save some for later, which you'll probably want to considering the calorie content - the bar contains 555 Calories and 32.6g Fat per bar! (I can kind of understand the fuss The Daily Mail made about these now!)

The blocks look quite interesting; they have a rounded shape with the Wonka "W" symbol on every other piece:

Cutting the bar in half revealed the vanilla creme and crunchy caramel:

The chocolate tasted like standard Nestlé stuff - sweet and milky, whilst the vanilla creme was very smooth and had a fairly realistic vanilla flavour. This is due to containing real vanilla seeds in the ingredients. The caramel pieces added a nice burnt caramel crunch, similar to what you get in real Crème Brûlée. All of these flavours combined together for a chocolatey, creamy, crunchy and sweet treat, which was simple but tasty. It reminded me somewhat of Lindt's Swiss Classic Double Milk chocolate, but with crunchy caramel.

As tasty as it was, the chocolate became too sweet after just a few pieces. Whilst many people will enjoy this and its perfect for sharing, personally I prefer something a bit richer and less sweet!

Overall, this is a tasty bar for sure and definitely the best of the three new Wonka bars, but I think it may be a bit too sweet for some.

I do think Nestlé UK missed a chance to bring out some truly interesting and innovative new chocolate varieties with this Wonka range. Cadbury have already been very successful with their Marvellous Creations bars so it's surprising Nestlé haven't taken the opportunity to do the same. I think it'll be interesting to see how these bars sell - I've heard many comments from people expressing disappointment with them, which surely isn't a good sign for longterm success.

More Wonka Reviews:
Wonka Chocolate Nice Cream
Wonka Millionaire's Shortbread

Price: £1.40 per 100g bar at Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated on packaging.
Allergy Information: Contains milk. May contain nuts, soya and gluten traces.
Nutrition Information (per 2 pieces): 111 Calories,  11.8g Carbs (11.6g Sugars), 6.5g Fat (3.9g Saturates).

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews Review

Fruit flavoured Jolly Rancher sweets in green apple, cherry, watermelon and blue raspberry flavour

When I saw these Jolly Rancher fruit chews reduced to 50p in a local department store I couldn't resist buying a pack. They usually cost a lot more in import stores so this was a real bargain indeed! They were only just past their best before date, but this didn't bother me since sugary sweets usually keep for ages.

Fruit flavoured Jolly Rancher sweets in green apple, cherry, watermelon and blue raspberry flavour

There were 4 different flavours in the box: Green Apple, Cherry, Watermelon and Blue Raspberry. They contain both natural and artificial flavourings. Here are my thoughts on each flavour -

Green Apple: This had a good strong sour apple flavour. It was nice, but a tad artificial.
Cherry: This was my favourite flavour, it had a nice sour cherry tang that didn't taste too artificial and was very refreshing.
Watermelon: This was my second favourite flavour, it had a nice subtle watermelon taste that wasn't too harsh or artificial, just mild and subtle.
Blue Raspberry: This was the worst flavour - it tasted completely artificial and rather unpleasant!

All in all, these Jolly Rancher sweets were a mixed bag. Some of the flavours were nice whilst others were spoilt by the artificial flavourings. The blue raspberry one is just awful and I don't get why they had to include such a flavour - raspberries aren't meant to be blue!

All that said, on the plus side I will say that these are much more strongly flavoured than most UK chewy sweets. This is probably due to the artificial flavourings, but sometimes that's what you want from sweets like this!

Price: 50p (reduced)
Suitable for vegetarians?: No - contains gelatin.
Nutrition (per package): 200 Calories, 20g Fat, 46g Carbohydrate.
Made by: Jolly Rancher are made by The Hershey Company.

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Hello Kitty Milk Chocolate Bar Review

I must admit, I don't really know what Hello Kitty is all about. It's a cultural thing that has completely passed me by, despite seeing the products in most shops. I know it's very popular though, so when I spotted this Hello Kitty milk chocolate bar for just 17p I thought I'd give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.

Turns out this wasn't the best introduction to a Hello Kitty product. It's just cheap-tasting calender milk chocolate with a Hello Kitty wrapper! I wasn't expecting much for 17p, but I still expected better than this. If Cadbury can produce Freddos for 20p then it can't be that hard to make a small bar of decent quality chocolate, surely? These are made by Kinnerton Confectionery who specialize in "Calender chocolate", though, so I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised!

Overall, this is a poor quality chocolate that I would recommend avoiding - even if you have kids. Go for a Freddo, Cadbury Fudge or Chomp instead!

Price: 17p per 11g bar at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Nutrition: 58 Calories, 3.1g Fat.

RATING: 3 out of 10.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

New! Butterkist Productions Toffee Popcorn Ice Cream Review

A tub of popcorn flavoured ice cream with popcorn and crunchy toffee pieces plus toffee sauce

I was really excited to find this new Butterkist Toffee Popcorn flavour ice cream in Tesco recently. I've never tried a popcorn flavoured ice cream before, despite always being curious about the Heston Blumenthal Salted Caramel Popcorn version from Waitrose.

The description on the tub reads "Butterkist Productions are proud to present to you our delicious toffee popcorn flavour ice cream, made using our safely guarded popcorn recipe combined with soft ice cream, smooth toffee sauce and crunchy toffee pieces." It cost £3 - I'm not sure if this is an introductory price or the regular price, but I would recommend grabbing some ASAP regardless, because this is a fantastic ice cream flavour and just as good as anything from Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Daz! 

The Butterkist logo really intrigued me - it says Butterkist Productions Estd 1914 Indianpolis. A little research (thanks, wikipedia!) revealed that the Butterkist name originates from a Kentucky-based popcorn machine business which started in 1914. The machines made their way into the UK via an unknown route and the brand went on to become established as the UK's most popular popcorn.

Interesting huh? Ok, history lesson over...onto the ice cream!

A tub of popcorn flavoured ice cream with toffee sauce, popcorn and crunchy caramel pieces

Opening the tub revealed a beige-coloured ice cream with some toffee sauce on one side:

A tub of popcorn flavoured ice cream with toffee sauce, popcorn and crunchy toffee pieces

Scooping some into a bowl revealed pieces of popcorn and toffee chips immersed in the icecream, as well as several swirls of toffee sauce. It was a bit melted from my trip home from Tesco but this didn't bother me, in fact I prefer icecream slightly melted as the flavour is better plus it avoids the horrible "brain freeze" phenomenom!

A tub of popcorn flavoured ice cream with toffee sauce, popcorn and crunchy toffee pieces

The ice cream tasted fantastic; it was very creamy and had a realistic buttery popcorn flavour. This surprised me because I wouldn't have imagined popcorn working as an ice cream flavouring, but Butterkist have recreated the flavour fantastically. It gave me all the warm happy feelings of cinema popcorn but with the added bonus of creamy ice cream. It's the best of both worlds really, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to take a tub of this to the cinema instead of real popcorn!

A tub of popcorn flavoured ice cream with toffee sauce, popcorn and crunchy toffee pieces

The actual popcorn pieces were nice, although there weren't many of them and they were a bit soft, which I guess is inevitable since they're mixed with ice cream. The toffee pieces added a nice crunch which went well with the other components. The toffee sauce was sweet and buttery but there wasn't nearly enough of it for my liking...just a few swirls which kind of got lost in the ice cream.

A tub of popcorn flavoured ice cream with toffee sauce, popcorn and crunchy toffee pieces
A whole piece of popcorn!
Minor complaints aside, I thought this was a delicious ice cream that recreates the flavour of toffee popcorn surprisngly well. It brings you the best of both worlds - the comforting flavour of cinema popcorn combined with the creaminess of icecream. It does make me wonder though what Butterkist's "secret" recipe is if they can use their popcorn as a legitimate flavouring. Maybe we'll see a whole array of popcorn-flavoured goodies from them in the future? I certainly hope so!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Other Butterkist reviews:
Butterkist Toffee Apple Flavour Popcorn (Limited Edition).

Price: £3 per 480ml tub at Tesco.
Suitable for vegeterians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, soya. May contain nuts.
Nutrition Information (per 100ml): 177 Calories, 8g Fat.
Made by: Fredericks Dairies under license from Butterkist.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Koko Dairy Free Original + Calcium Coconut Alternative to Milk Review

For a while now I've been experimenting with gluten and dairy-free products. I feel much better using them, and usually go for gluten or dairy free options if they're available in cafes. One product I've been buying regularly is Koko (formerly Kara) Dairy Free, so I thought it about time I give it the review treatment!

Koko is a dairy free alternative to milk, and I've found that it goes well with cereal in particular, but it's also good for drinking by itself or making smoothies with. It's good in tea and coffee although it can be a bit watery, so you need to use more of it to get the same effect as regular milk. It doesn't curdle though, unlike some milk substitutes.

I much prefer Koko over soya or rice milk, as the taste is "cleaner" and it actually tastes refreshing to drink. For anyone who's been put off coconut drinks by trying the likes of Vita Coco, Koko is very different as it doesn't have that weird sour taste that coconut water does.

According to the pack coconut has many health benefits, for example it is said to boost metabolism, and the fat is easily digested rather than being stored in the body like other fats. I'm not sure how true those claims are but I certainly feel much healthier drinking it.

Koko contains the same amount of calcium as cows milk, plus added Vitamin D2 and B12 and is sweetened with grape juice concentrate. It's made with freshly pressed coconut milk from Koko's farm in Indonesia, and is Vegan, Vegetarian Society Approved and is certified gluten-free.

Overall, this is a very healthy drink which I would recommend as a refreshing alternative to cow's milk or soya milk. It also makes a nice Bubble Smoothie when blended with mango and ice!:

Smoothie with Koko, mango, ice and tapioca pearls
Koko is also available in chocolate and strawberry flavour milk drinks, and comes in a chilled version which is available at Tesco.

Price: £1.39 at most supermarkets, plus Holland & Barrett.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes, and vegans.
Allergy Information: Dairy, Lactose, Soya and Gluten free.
Nutrition Information (per 100ml): 27 Calories, 1.9g Carbohydrates, 2g Fat.
For more info and recipes

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Options Belgian Choc Butterscotch Hot Chocolate (Limited Edition) Review

Options low calorie limited edition belgian chocolate butterscotch flavour

Just a quick review for this new Options flavour today as there's not really much to say about it!

I found this in Tesco along with the other Options varieties, but nearly passed it by as the packaging looks quite similar to the Toffee flavour that Options used to do (anyone know if they still make it?).

It tasted pretty much like regular Options hot chocolate but with an extra hit of butterscotch flavour. It was very pleasant and sweet, and of course low calorie which is the point of Options. It's a nice limited edition, but personally I think I'll stick with Options white hot chocolate which is my personal favourite!

I tried to make this without lumps by stirring the powder with a splash of milk before adding hot water, but unfortunately still ended up with some lumps as you can see here:

Options low calorie limited edition belgian chocolate butterscotch flavour

It's not the first time I've had lumpy hot chocolate from Options...anyone else have this problem?

Price: 32p per 11g sachet or 4 for £1.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated on packaging.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, whey and soya. Gluten free. Contains artificial sweeteners.
Nutrition Information (per cup made with water): 39 Calories, 0.9g Fat.

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland: Tree-shaped Milk & White Chocolate Bar Review

New limited edition white and milk chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

As well as the new "Dairy Milk Snowy Delight", I was pleased to find this limited edition Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland bar in Tesco recently. It's one of the few Christmas products I've been truly excited about and that's only because of the unique tree-shaped blocks! They look fanatstic; I don't think I've ever seen a chocolate bar that looks quite this cool before!

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

The blocks break off fairly easily and cleanly, which is quite a feat considering their unique shape. They can be split into diagonal rows:

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

 ...or individual chunks:

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

 ...or even three-chunk triangles!

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

The bar comprises mostly of Dairy Milk, with the white pieces containing a layer of white on top of milk chocolate. The white chocolate amounts to 12% of the bar in total.

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

The chocolate tasted delicious; it was exactly as you'd expect from Dairy Milk, but with an extra hit of creaminess from the white chocolate. The flavours blended together perfectly for a creamy, sweet treat.

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

It reminded me of the somewhat similar Milka Happy Cows, which also contains white on milk chocolate, however I think this bar is far superior thanks to the tree-shaped chunks!

New limited edition milk and white chocolate Dairy Milk bar for Christmas with tree shaped chunks

Overall, this is a fantastic limited edition from Cadbury and one I really can't fault. The tree-shaped chunks are a unique idea and really festive - they'd make a great decoration for cookies, cupcakes...or even mince pies!

Price: £1.40 for a 100g bar at Tesco. Also spotted for £1 at Sainsbury's and The Co-Op.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya. May contain nuts and wheat.
Nutrition Information (per quarter of bar): 133 Calories, 7.7g Fat (4.8g Saturates), 14g Carbohydrates (14g Sugars).

RATING: 9 out of 10.

*Apologies for the overload of photos...I thought this bar looked so nice it really deserved showing off!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Barr Strawberry Sours Limited Edition Pop Review

This "Strawberry Sours" pop from Barr has been calling me for a while now. I kept seeing it in a local discount store and thinking "ooh, that looks interesting", but the cheap price made me think it would be a bit rubbish. After seeing Foodstuff Find's post on Barr's Limited Edition Bubblegum flavour pop though I decided to finally give it a go in the hope it would be as good.

Of course, the most famous pop Barr are known for is the Scottish delicacy Iron Brew, or "Irn Bru". Being a big Iron Brew fan I hoped this would be similarly as good.

Unfortunately it wasn't, but it was still a pretty tasty pop drink for 39p. It was strongly fizzy, moreso than a lot of carbonated drinks these days which have a rather weak fizz. The strawberry taste had a nice sour tang but it was quite artificial and certainly didn't taste anything much like a strawberry I've ever eaten. But I suppose that's the joy of pop isn't it - artificial flavours ahoy!

Overall, this is a nice enough fizzy drink for the price, and certainly worth trying once if you like interesting pop flavours.

Apparently this is a limited edition that was brought out last Summer, so I'm not sure if the can I bought is old stock or if it's one of those limited editions that lasts for ages. If you've tried this drink yourself please do get in touch via the comments!

Price: 39p from local discount store.

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Maltesers Merryteaser Chocolate Reindeer Review

After my disappointment over the lack of detail on the Cadbury Mousse Snowman, I was hoping this Maltesers Merryteaser would be an improvement. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten about the Malteaster Bunny from my Easter Bunny Beauty Contest earlier in the year. That guy didn't have a it was no surprise to find his reindeer cousin didn't either! At least he has a nose, I guess:

Come on Mars, you can do better than this! He looks like he was made using a Poundland cookie cutter! (I have nothing against Poundland, but still...)

Luckily, he tasted a lot better than he looked. The chocolate was creamy as with most Mars branded chocolates, and the filling was super smooth. There were crunchy Malteser pieces embedded within the filling, similar to those in the new "Maltesers Teasers" bars. In other words, this is the Malteaster Bunny but disguised as a reindeer!

Overall, this is a delicious Christmas snack which you really can't go wrong with. In my opinion it's a lot nicer than some of the other offerings this year (*cough* Dairy Milk Snowman *cough*) and would make a great stocking filler.

Price: 65p at Tesco. Currently 2 for £1.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and gluten. May contain egg.
Nutrition Information (per 29g): 156 Calories.

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Cadbury Dairy Milk Snowy Delight (Limited Edition) Bar Review

Whilst looking for the new Cadbury Winter Wonderland bar in Tesco recently I was surprised to come across this limited edition Dairy Milk "Snowy Delight". I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised though, since there's been an almost never-ending stream of new product releases from Cadbury this year!

The description of "Milk chocolate with a vanilla flavour filling" made me yawn a little bit, as it means this is basically just a repackaged version of the now-discontinued Dairy Milk Bliss bar (which also made a limited edition resurgence for the 2012 Olympics as Dairy Milk Silvery Creme).

Grumbles aside, I have to say I did like the packaging - the picture of the Dairy Milk block on a sledge is a fun, festive touch which really made me smile!

Taste-wise the bar was very nice; the chocolate was typical Dairy Milk, and the filling was very smooth and creamy with a nice vanilla flavour.

Whilst it was all very pleasant and tasty, for a Christmas limited edition I felt this bar was a bit uninspired. Why not add some cinnamon or gingerbread to the filling and make it truly Christmassy? Vanilla isn't much of a Christmas flavour!

Overall, this isn't a bad bar of chocolate by any means but for a Christmas limited edition it's a bit of a letdown. It fails to bring anything exciting or festive to the table, which is surely what a Christmas limited edition should be all about?

Luckily, Cadbury have also brought out a limited edition bar with tree-shaped blocks that is far more interesting - please stay tuned for my review of the Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland!

Price: £1.40 per 120g bar at Tesco.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya, may contain wheat and nuts.
Nutrition Information (per 3 chunks): 87 Calories, 5.8g Fat (3.4g Saturates), 7.6g Carbohydrates (7.6g Sugars).

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Lindt Lindor My Melting Moment Chocolate Snowflake Review

Amongst all the new Christmas chocolates in Sainsbury's recently I spotted this one from Lindt. Being a fan of all things Lindt I had high expectations, and it sure didn't let me down!

It's basically a snowflake-shaped piece of chocolate containing a melting Lindor filling, which can be split in half. I love the snowflake design, it's simple but I think it looks really cool. The chocolate smelled very creamy and had a distinctive Lindt aroma. Splitting it open revealed the smooth filling:

It tasted as delicious as you would expect from Lindor: the chocolate was creamy and rich, whilst the filling was smooth and melt-in-the-mouth. It was quite full-on and maybe a bit too rich to eat all at once, so it's probably good that it can be split in half!

Overall, this Lindor Snowflake is a nice little treat and far better quality than some of the Christmas offerings from other mainstream companies this year. It's a bit rich so you might want to eat only half at once, or perhaps share it with a (very good) friend!

Price: 65p per piece at Sainsbury's. Also available at Tesco, 2 for £1.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, soya and barley malt extract. May contain nuts.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Lucozade Melonade (Limited Edition) Review

In recent months I've noticed that Lucozade now comes in a dizzying array of different flavours. I'm not sure what's behind this trend, because Lucozade never really struck me as a drink suited to different flavours. The original Lucozade has it's own distinctive, unique taste, which surely gets lost when you start adding berry or apple flavourings to it?

So yes, call me old fashioned but to me proper Lucozade has just one flavour, although the orange version is a nice one-off. Nowadays though there's blackcurrant, cherry, apple, tropical, lemon, berry...and now this limited edition "Melonade" variety too. I found this in a local newsagent but it's also available at Asda in large bottles, plus I've spotted it in WH Smiths. It's described as "Sparkling melon and lime flavour glucose drink with tropical fruit juices" and contains caffeine.

It's fizzy pop that tastes of melon, basically. It has that full-on "glucose" kind of taste that Lucozade is known for, but with the slight fruity taste of watermelon. It was quite mild and I didn't think it really worked as a flavour, to be honest.

Overall, I wasn't a fan of this flavour, but for a more positive review check out Jwwwrestling's Video Review on Youtube who was a lot more positive about it than me.

If you've tried any of the fruity Lucozade spinoffs such as tropical, cherry, strawberry, apple, blackcurrant etc, please let me know your thoughts in the comments...

In other news, both the Lucozade and Ribena brands were recently sold to a Japanese company, according to this article. It'll be interesting to see if they decide to keep these fruity Lucozade varieties.

Price: 95p at newsagents. Larger bottles are also available at Asda.

RATING: 4 out of 10.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Butterkist Toffee Apple Flavour Popcorn (Limited Edition) Review

Well, this is a first - a new product on shelves that isn't Christmas-themed! Yes, Butterkist have bucked the trend and released a limited edition flavour more suited to the Autumn months instead - Toffee Apple!

I found this popcorn in B&M Bargains of all places, for 99p. It's described as "Popcorn coated with Apple flavour Toffee (65%)". There's a blurb on the pack that says "A taste that transports you to a land of ferris wheels, helter skelters and horse carousels". I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think of any of those when I think of toffee apples - I think of Bonfire Night and Halloween!

I was expecting the popcorn to have a buttery toffee taste, but instead was met with a strong, sweet apple flavour. Infact I couldn't really taste much toffee at all - the coating was just sweet and crunchy. The apple was most dominant, and in that respect I guess this popcorn replicates the flavour of toffee apple quite well, since real toffee apples contain a greater ratio of apple to toffee.

Overall, I thought this popcorn was okay but I would've preferred a stronger toffee flavour. It's nice to see a limited edition specifically for autumn though, so kudos to Butterkist for this attempt!

For an interesting read on the history of Toffee Apples (or Candy Apples as they're called in North America), check out the wikipedia page here.

Price: 99p at B&M Bargains (RRP £1.49).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya.

RATING: 6 out of 10.