Saturday, 30 November 2013

Rococo Bee Bars: Raspberry Fizz, Basil & Lime, Moroccan Mint & Honeycomb Crunch - Review


I was delighted when Rococo Chocolates sent me some of their mini "Bee bars" to review recently. I'd heard good things about the company online for ages but never got to try any of their stuff so was very excited...even more so because of the varieties they sent! :-

Raspberry Fizz: a white chocolate bar containing dried rasberry pieces and popping candy, Basil & Persian Lime: basil and lime flavoured dark chocolate,
Moroccan Mint: mint-flavoured organic dark chocolate,
Honeycomb Crunch: milk chocolate containing crunchy honeycomb pieces.

The first two flavours in particular had me very intrigued!

A bit of background: Rococo are a small British chocolatier based in London, who grow their own cocoa in Grenada in partnership with The Grenada Chocolate Company. They were founded in 1983 by a young woman called Chantal Coady who became bored with the stuffy, commercial norms of chocolate retailing and decided to follow her passion and set up her own company. For more on Rococo's background you can check out their website HERE.

So how does their chocolate taste? Pretty amazing, as it turns out! Below are my thoughts on each "Bee bar":

Raspberry Fizz:

Unfortunately this bar had broken apart in the post, which is a shame because it's really quite beautiful - very clean and glossy, with a fantastically moulded bee shape on each piece. The chocolate tasted very light and creamy, and melted in the mouth with ease. The raspberry pieces added a lovely fruity zing whilst the popping candy gave a gentle crackle in the mouth. It wasn't particularly strong - just a light, pleasant fizzing sensastion, which I imagine is welcome news to those who hate popping candy! Overall, a good quality and fun white chocolate bar - highly recommend! 9 out of 10.


Basil & Persian Lime:

This bar was also unfortunately damaged in the post, and on smelling the faint aroma of basil coming from it I was worried I wouldn't enjoy this at all. Placing a piece in my mouth I was met with a rich dark chocolate with a subtle basil flavour, and at first couldn't decide whether I liked it or not. Then the flavour of lime kicked in, tempering the herby flavour and giving it a refreshing fruitiness. After getting over the shock of eating herb flavoured chocolate I actually rather enjoyed it...the flavours work together surprisingly well! Overall, as weird as this bar sounds it was a revelation to me - highly recommended! 9 out of 10.


Moroccan Mint:

I kind of expected this one to taste of a generic minty chocolate, but it turned out to be a lot nicer than that! The dark chocolate very rich and flavoursome, and the peppermint added a soothing, subtle mint flavour. Overall, a nice balance of richness and mintiness. 9 out of 10.

Honeycomb Crunch:

Last but not least is this Honeycomb Crunch bar. It tasted delicious, with creamy melt-in-the mouth milk chocolate that was rich and flavoursome, with the sweet bits of honeycomb giving it a lovely crunch. It's a simple but moreish combination. 9 out of 10.

Overall:
Well I have to say Rococo really surprised me with these bars; each and every one of them was delicious in its own right and all were excellent quality. The Basil and Lime and Raspberry Fizz stood out most thanks to their interesting flavour combinations - they're very unique bars, and I think Chantal Coady has kept true to her vision of producing exciting chocolates that are anything but "stuffy"!

You can check out Rococo's Bee Bars online HERE, plus many other interesting chocolates from their range.

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

Friday, 29 November 2013

Terry's White Chocolate Orange Review


This white chocolate version of Terry's Chocolate Orange isn't new as far as I'm aware...it's been around intermittently since the early 2000's with names such as "Snowball", but nevertheless it's again being billed as "new" on most confectionery news websites. It's made by Kraft, who now have larger distribution power to sell their goods in the UK thanks to buying out Cadbury - so expect to see a lot more Chocolate Oranges in the future!

Although this isn't really "new", it's technicaly new this year since for the last few Christmases Terry's did the White Chocolate Orange Smasher instead, which contained tutti frutti sugar pieces. Personally I thought that was a lot more fun than this plain white chocolate version...the fruity pieces looked really cool and were a nice change!


Still, I can't complain too much because this White Chocolate Orange tastes great. It's a lot milkier and of course sweeter than the Milk Chocolate version, but it's still very moreish and I'm sure kids will love it. Infact, I actually preferred it over the Milk version...just goes to show I'm really a big kid at heart!


Overall, this isn't really anything all that "new", infact I think Kraft have taken a back-step by replacing the Chocolate Orange Smasher with this...but nevertheless it's still a tasty variation of Chocolate Orange and all fans of white chocolate should give it a try!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Price: 99p at Morrisons (also available at Asda).
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Nestlé Big Turk - Canadian Turkish Delight Bar Review


Amongst the goodies The Canada Shop recently sent me was this "Big Turk" bar, a turkish delight bar made by the Canadian arm of Nestlé. Being a fan of turkish delight chocolates ever since I was a kid I was very excited to try it, more so because it looked like a pretty substantial bar in comparison to the small bars of Fry's Turkish Delight we get here in the UK.

The bar has a rather interesting curved shape, and is perfectly portioned to bite off into small chunks:


The wrapper advertises the fact that this bar contains 60% less fat than an average chocolate bar, although I'm not sure what they're comparing it to, and besides... "less fat" doesn't mean anything if it doesn't taste any good!


Taste-wise the milk chocolate coating is standard Nestlé milk chocolate - slightly milky but nothing amazing. The turkish delight filling, which as you can hopefully see from my pics has a bright pink colour, is very thick and chewy, with a vague hint of rose flavouring. It's very sweet, and tastes more like a hard gummy candy than turkish delight. It was far too chewy...I felt like I was like eating gummy bears coated in chocolate (not as nice as it sounds!)


Overall, as interesting as this bar is in appearance it let me down in taste. It's just far too chewy; if they had made the texture slightly softer and added a stronger turkish delight flavour I think I'd have enjoyed it a lot more. Still, it's an interesting novelty for sure and don't let me put you off trying one - I'm notoriously fussy!

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.

Do take a moment to check out The Canada Shop's range of groceries and snacks. They have a particularly nice looking selection of maple syrups, as well as various Cadbury and Nestlé bars we can't get here in the UK! 

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

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gnaw Mint Choc Chip (White Chocolate & Mint) Bar Review


It's been ages now since I bought this Gnaw Mint Choc Chip bar; it somehow managed to get stuck beneath the landslide of other products I have waiting in the wings for review! But as we're getting closer to Christmas I think it's the perfect time to show it off, with mint being a flavour often associated with the season.


I bought this bar not long after trying the Gnaw Go Bananas variety, and chose it because of the cool-looking green-coloured white chocolate. It really does look fantastic and I can see why Gnaw use clear packaging - their chocolate looks so funky it deserves showing off!

Of course, it tasted just as delicious as it looked. The mintiness was perfectly complimented by the creamy white chocolate - it tasted fresh, clean and light...that's the best way I can describe it! It was a breath of fresh air (excuse the pun) in terms of mint chocolate, because sometimes I find the combination of dark chocolate and mint to be a little harsh. I wasn't sure that white chocolate and mint would work, but it really really does! There were bits of dark chocolate chips studded throughout the bar too that added some bursts of richer chocolate flavour, which was very welcome and complimented the sweeter white chocolate perfectly.


Overall, this is a tasty bar from Gnaw and one I can't praise highly enough. Not only is it great quality, it looks funky too and if that's not enough it's hand made in Britain! There's not many companies left in the UK doing fun chocolates like this so I can't commend Gnaw enough.

I'm still on the lookout for the peanut butter variety but no luck so far! I do hope Gnaw get better distribution for their bars in the future as they're quite hard to find - they deserve to be a big hit!

RATING: 9 out of 10. 

For a list of UK Gnaw stockists you check out the page on their website HERE. Their bars are also available in America and Europe.

Allan's Sour Watermelon Slices Review (Canadian sweets)


As well as the Cadbury Pep chocolate I reviewed yesterday, The Canada Shop also sent me a bag of these Allen's Sour Watermelon Slices to review. They instantly reminded me of some jelly sweets I've tried before...the Limited Edition Haribo Tangfastics with Sour Watermelon Slices I reviewed earlier in the year.

The main difference between these and the Haribo Watermelon Slices is that they're brighter and more artificial in colour:


They tasted nice enough - they were pleasantly sour and very chewy, although the flavour was a little on the artificial side. If you're a fan of watermelon flavoured sweets you'll probably get a kick out of these, but personally I much preferred the Tangfastics with Watermelon Slices.


Overall, these are definitely a nice novelty and great for anyone who likes watermelon flavour sweets, but they're not really to my taste.

RATING: 6 out of 10.

You can purchase these sweets as well as many other Canadian goodies from The Canada Shop's Online Store.

*I was sent these sweets for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Cadbury Pep - Canadian Peppermint Patty Review


When The Canada Shop got in touch with me to review some snacks from their site recently I jumped at the chance. I've always viewed Canadian snacks longingly online but rarely bought any as they're so hard to find in the UK...so I was very excited!

One of the snacks I was sent was this Cadbury Pep, a round of peppermint fondant patty coated in milk chocolate. I've never seen this product before from Cadbury so it was a completely new one on me! And considering Cadbury in the UK don't currently make any minty chocolate bars this seemed very novel indeed.


It's basically a large, thick round of After Eight-style fondant coated with milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate, and is very tasty! It had a creamy peppermint flavour that wasn't too overwpowering, and surprisingly the level of sweetness was just about right. I don't know how they managed it but this was nowhere near as sickly sweet as I had expected it to be. That said, it's probably best to share one with a friend just out of generosity!


Overall, Cadbury Pep is a surprisingly tasty snack which I would recommend to anyone who likes After Eights or Kendal Mint Cakes.

Cadbury Pep is available from The Canadian Store HERE along with many other Canadian snacks goodies!

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

Price: 95p.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and egg, may contain nuts.

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Kinder Schoko-Bons Milky Bites


Today I'm reviewing one of the most moreish chocolate snacks I've tried in a long time...Kinder Schoko-Bons Milky Bites! Whilst this bag of chocolates may look like it's only for kids, the contents are very adult-friendly, infact I think Kinder are missing a trick by not marketing these at adults as well as children!

I bought a pack for £2 from Tesco but they're also on a special offer of 2 packs for £3. I found them in the Christmas section and the bag has a fun Christmassy design with a hungry cow - or is it reindeer? - on the front as well as an angry robin. The reindeer appears to be carrying a sledge and looking for schoko-bons...and I can't say I blame him! I'm not sure why the robin looks so angry though...maybe the reindeer stole his schoko-bons? 


The chocolates are described as "Fine milk chocolate bonbons with a milky hazelnut filling". Each one is individually wrapped, and looks a bit like a mini chocolate egg:


Taste-wise they're almost exactly like the creamy part in a Kinder Bueno and are very rich and hazelnutty! They're a little firmer in texture but melt in the mouth beautifully, and they reminded me of a creamier, nuttier version of Lindor truffles. They were extremely moreish and I popped one after another in my mouth nonstop...they were so nice! 


Overall, I can't praise these Kinder Schoko-Bons enough and would put them on the level of Lindor truffles in terms of indulgence - they're that good! I'm surprised I've never tried them before, they're like an indulgent chocolate secret disguised as a children's product! Very moreish and highly recommended.

RATING: 9 out of 10. 

Price: £2 at Tesco, or 2 bags for £3.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and nuts. 
Suitable for vegetarians?: Doesn't state.
Nutrition (per 5.8g piece): 33 Calories, 2.1g Fat, 3g Sugar.
Made by: Ferrero. 

Hershey's Mint Candy Cane Bar with Candy Bits Review


When I saw this new seasonal Hershey bar in a local department store recently I just had to give it a try, despite the fact I'm not really a fan of Hershey's chocolate in general. It's a white chocolate candy bar that also contains mint candy cane "bits", which sounded like a tasty combination!

Opening the wrapper revealed a thin white bar split into sections with the Hershey's name printed on. There were speckles of red candy cane visible throughout the chocolate, which I thought looked really pretty against the white background:


The "white candy" is basically a concoction of vegetable fat, milk fat and corn starch which tasted quite mild and milky, with a pleasant sweet peppermint flavour. It wasn't quite as good as "real" white chocolate but it was a nice carrier for the candy cane bits. They had a pleasant minty crunch to them, and all the flavours worked together really well to make a creamy, minty bar that was very moreish!


Overall, this is a tasty seasonal bar which fits the Christmas theme perfectly, and if you're a fan of white chocolate you should definitely give it a try! I don't know it's been out before in the US; it was recently featured on The Impulsive Buy but it's not clear if it's new or not. If anyone has more info please do get in touch via the comments!


RATING: 8 out of 10.

Price: £1.50 for a 43g bar (also available in a larger bar).
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Doesn't state on packaging.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Brain Blasterz Mega Sour Candy Review


When I was sent these Brain Blasterz sour sweets from Bon Bon Buddies recently I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I've tried Toxic Waste sour sweets in the past which were extremely sour indeed, but I wasn't sure if these would be milder or more sour in comparison. Turns out theyre insanely sour!


The sweets come in 4 different flavours: watermelon, apple, blueberry and lemon. Each one is individually wrapped.


Popping one in my mouth I wasn't quite prepared for the crazy sourness that was unleashed...I practically had a fit it was so sour! It had an almost salty edge to it too, which was extremely weird. After a while the sourness died away and left a sweeter, more pleasant-tasting fruity lemon sweet in my mouth. It was quite a roller coaster ride but I'm glad I stuck it out, rather than spat it out! (as my friend did...)

Since my first "brain blast" I've been using Brain Blasterz to prank unsuspecting friends and family by telling them they're regular fruit sweets, and the results have been very amusing indeed - most people screwed up their faces and couldn't handle them at all! It's made for some very funny moments!

Once again a big thankyou to Brain Blasterz for sending me these sweets - they're a lot of fun!

RRP: 99p.

RATING: 8 out of 10 for novelty and fun.

WARNING: Not for babies, wimps or adults! (from BrainBlasterz.com)

Have you tried Brain Blasterz? Were they too much for you?! Let me know in the comments!

*I was sent these sweets for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

White Chocolate Twix - Limited Edition Review


Many thanks to Monster Sweets for sending me some fantastic snacks to review recently; I've already reviewed the Ritter Sport Winter Caramel Orange Bar but this time it's the turn of the White Chocolate Twix, a bar that was available in the UK in the mid-2000's but unfortunately discontinued. It's still available over in Europe though, so many thanks to Monster Sweets for bringing them to the UK!

This bar is a limited edition and weighs 50 grams in total. Opening the wrapper revealed two familiarly shaped Twix fingers coated in white chocolate:


They smelled creamy and enticing. Cutting a finger in half revealed a layer of firm caramel above a shortbread biscuit base:


Biting into a piece I was first met with a creamy, milky sweetness from the white chocolate, and then the chewy buttery caramel and crunchy shortbread base. It's the perfect combination of flavours and textures, and I thought it somehow tasted even nicer than a regular milk chocolate Twix. The white chocolate brings a creaminess to the caramel and shortbread that makes it very moreish indeed! It didn't take me long to scoff both fingers, although I dipped the second one in coffee which made it all melted and gooey - yum!

Overall, this is a delicious variation on the Twix bar and I think it's much nicer than the milk chocolate version - highly recommended!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

This bar is available from the Monster Sweets Online Store HERE.

Price: £1.09.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not sure.

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

Friday, 22 November 2013

Mr Kipling Raspberry Candy Cane Slices Review


Whilst in Morrisons the other day I spotted these new slices amongst the rest of Mr Kipling's festive range. I don't usually bother with christmas-themed cakes, but the idea of a cake with candy cane in sounded really appealing to me. I was in a rush so I put a box in my basket without reading the description.

Unfortunately when I got home I was a bit disappointed to find these cakes don't contain pieces of candy cane as I had initially thought. Instead they are "Raspberry and vanilla flavour sponge baked with pieces of raspberry (1%), finished with a decorated vanilla flavour topping". No mention of candy cane at all! It turns out they're meant to taste like raspberry flavoured candy canes...so basically of sugar and raspberry.

The slices are twin wrapped in plastic trays, which is a nice idea but it does mean you're more likely to eat both at once! Which is no bad thing if they're tasty...and luckily they were!


Despite my disappointment over the lack of candy cane, I thought the slices looked really pretty with their pink and white icing and raspberry pieces dispersed throughout the cake:


Biting into one I was met with a very sweet raspberry flavour and a pleasant vanilla undertone. It was a little on the artificial side but very nice nonetheless. The cakes were very soft in texture which made them very easy to eat, and they went perfectly with a cup of coffee. Of course, I ate two because once the pack was open I couldn't allow the second one to go stale! ;)


Overall, these are definitely some tasty cake slices, but it's disappointing they don't contain anything resembling candy cane.

RATING: 6.5 out of 10. 

Price: £1 at Morrisons.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Doesn't state.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, eggs, wheat, gluten, soya. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per slice): 115 Calories, 4.8g Fat, 11.3g Sugars.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Nestlé Quality Street Fruit Cremes Carton Review (with new Lemon Creme!)


When I discovered that Nestlé had brought out this new assortment box of Quality Street Fruit Cremes I got very excited, probably more than anyone should be over chocolates! That's because I've always been a fan of the fruit cremes in tins of Quality Street, ever since I as a kid, and have very fond memories of them. There's just something about biting into the rich, dark chocolate to find the soft, sweet fruity creme underneath that has always appealed to me. I even remember when they introduced a "Fruits of the Forest" flavour one year, which I've mourned the loss of ever since!


Sadly, like many of the sweets from my youth I now think Quality Street taste too sweet. This is true of most chocolates I used to love - Milkybar, Kitkat, Dairy Milk, Rolos, Mars Bars...the list goes on. I'm not sure if manufacturers are adding more sugar nowadays or if I've just developed better taste (I seriously doubt it's the latter! ;) )


When I heard these were reduced to £2 at Tesco recently I sought them out straightaway. My sense of "Fruit Creme nostalgia" was just too strong to ignore!

dark chocolate with orange flavoured fondant
Orange Creme
When I bought them I was excited to find they contained a new flavour, one that's never been done by Quality Street before - a lemon creme! This made the big kid in me all giddy and excited. A new variety of Quality Street is always something to celebrate, or at least it was when I was younger...

dark chocolate with lemon flavoured fondant
Lemon Creme
Unfortunately, my excitement was shattered when I tasted them. They're not awful, but they were just too sweet, boring and one-dimensioanl. I couldn't really taste anything other than sugar with a hint of fruit flavouring.

The Orange Creme was a lot sweeter than I remember it used to be, so much so I couldn't eat more than one.

The Strawberry Cream was my favourite as it still retained some of its original charm and had a decent strawberry flavour, although again; it was very sweet.

The Lemon Creme was the big disappointment though...rather than providing a zingy, citrusy hit, it just had a faint whiff of lemon flavour. It was also very sweet, which dominated any faint lemon flavours that might have been there.

dark chocolate with a strawberry flavour fondant
Strawberry Creme
Overall, as someone who used to be a huge fan of the Fruit Cremes in Quality Street, this assortment was a big disappointment. Not only was the new lemon variety a letdown, but the other flavours I used to enjoy seem to have gone downhill in quality too. I will now have to find my fruity chocolate fixes elsewhere... (probably in the direction of Hotel Chocolat!)

For those who prefer the toffees and fudges in Quality Street, they're now available in their very own box too.

Price: I paid £2 on special offer, RRP is £4.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: May contain milk and nuts.
Nutrition (per 3 sweets): 124 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 24.3g Carbs.

RATING: 5 out of 10. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nestlé Quality Street Honeycomb Matchmakers (New Flavour!) - Review


When I first saw this new flavour of Yummy Honeycomb Matchmakers in my local Premier store I wasn't all that excited. Mainly because they've already been out years ago, but also because my experience with Nestlé's Honeycomb Yorkie was so disappointing. Luckily these Matchmakers turned out to be very tasty in comparison, and surprised me by tasting of actual honeycomb!

They're described on the box as "Honeycomb flavour chocolates with skimmed milk chocolate, dark chocolate and boiled sugar pieces" and weigh 130g.


Opening the box revealed a paper lid with a Matchmakers game that involves spotting various things on TV. I quickly disposed of it though as I was only interested in the chocolates! They smelled very rich and chocolatey, with a strong honeycomb aroma.


Biting into a stick I was met with a very sweet honeycomb flavour, which had a nice crunch from the boiled sugar pieces. The chocolates were very sweet, yet also quite rich tasting thanks to the dark chocolate. Needless to say they were extremely moreish! Once I started eating I couldn't stop; one stick led to another, which led to another...and so on! Luckily there were plenty in the box!


Overall, these may not be the poshest or most sophisticated chocolates around, but when you want something crunchy to nibble on whilst watching TV they fit the bill perfectly! They're also a nice alternative for those who don't like the Orange and Mint Matchmakers varieties.


Price: £1.25 at Premier Stores on promotional offer. They're also £1.25 at Tesco until 26th November. RRP is £2.50.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk.
Nutrition (per 4 sticks): 72 Calories, 3.1g Fat, 10.2g Carbs.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Did you know?
Matchmakers have done lots of different varieties over the years, such as Blackcurrant (they tasted awful!), Strawberry (which contained black pepper flavoured sugar pieces), Lemon, Cappuccino, Christmas Orange Spice, Nutty, Coffee, Irish Cream, Brandysnap and White Chocolate!