Monday, 30 December 2013

Niederegger Marzipan Flavour Hot Chocolate Review


Niederegger hot chocolate and cappuccino mixes have been available from TK Maxx stores over the festive period, and luckily there was still a box left when I nipped in there for a spot of post-xmas shopping recently. They were out of the cappuccino version but I found the hot chocolate variety for £2.99 for a box of 10 sachets.

Niedereggar is a famous German marzipan producer, which you may or may not have heard of before. They produce lots of different flavours and spinoff marzipan products, and even have their own marzipan cafe and museum! I had never heard of a marzipan flavour hot chocolate before though...this must surely be a first for Niederegger.


The sachets were gold in colour and had instructions in German as well as English. I made a cup using hot water which produced a decently frothy drink, which almost looked like it does on the picture on the box!


It tasted as you would expect, really - like hot chocolate with a strong marzipan almond flavour. It wasn't unpleasant, but not being the greatest lover of marzipan I found it kind of... boring. The actual hot chocolate wasn't the best quality I've ever tried, although the instructions stated it can be made with hot milk as well as water; so perhaps using milk would've improved it somewhat. Overall, this is a good drink for marzipan lovers, but it's not really for me.

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Price: £2.99 per box.
Available at: May still be available at TK Maxx. Also available in cappuccino, lattes and teas!
For more info check out Niederegger's Online Shop

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Kev's Christmas Pick & Miss

As a quick last-minute post before taking a blogging break over Christmas I thought I'd do a little round-up of the gifts I would recommend and the ones I would avoid this year...enjoy!

Kev's Picks:

Hotel Chocolat Xmas Sleekster:



The Hotel Chocolat Christmas Sleekser is delicious and an absolute must for anyone who likes a variety of tasty chocolates! Available from hotelchocolat.co.uk.

Artisan Du Chocolat Magic Wands:


These are pricey but oh so tasty! I can't imagine anyone being disappointed at receiving a beautiful box of these for Christmas!

Paul Wayne Gregory Christmas Collection:



Ok, I haven't actually tried these yet, in fact they will be shared out with my family over Xmas...but don't they look amazing?! The flavours are xmas pudding, passionfruit and salted caramel. Available from paulwaynegregory.com.

Honeycomb Matchmakers:



These are cheap but oh-so moreish! I would highly recommend picking up a pack of these from Tesco or Premier Stores!

Morrisons Belgian Chocolate Turkeys:



These look very cute and are perfect for kids, so I can forgive them for their cheapo chocolate!

Ritter Sport Caramel Orange:



Available from monstersweets.co.uk, this is a fantastic chocolate bar for all the Chocolate Orange lovers out there!

Ritter Sport Kokosmakrone:



And for the coconut chocolate lovers, this bar is just as good! Also available from monstersweets.co.uk.

Kev's Misses:

Cadbury Roses:


One of the worst things you could do this year is bother with Cadbury Roses - see my rant about them HERE.

Quality Street Fruit Cremes:


I was looking forward to trying these Quality Street Fruit Cremes especially as they contain a new lemon flavour, but they were a huge disappointment. Just don't bother with them - even with their inevitable post-xmas price reductions!

Cadbury Snow Bites:


I haven't reviewed these Cadbury Snow Bites yet, but they're so sickly sweet and pointless I don't see the point. They're basically Cadbury Mini Eggs rolled in icing sugar.

Well, that's it for a while...I look forward to getting back to blogging after the festive period and hopefully finding more fun new snacks worth writing about! 

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my followers and fellow bloggers!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Swedish Marabou Chocolate Bars - Frukt & Mandel/Schweizer nöt


As I'm going to be away over the Christmas period this will be my last review for a little while (I know... boo hoo, right!), but hopefully you'll be seeing these bars featured in a new Youtube video from a certain Mr Choc It Out! over the festive period...

They're Swedish in origin - Marabou is a very well-known brand over there and I'm guessing it's the equivalent of our Cadbury's Dairy Milk, in fact it's owned by Kraft Foods who own all the big brands nowadays so there you go! Marabou bars were available in the UK from Ikea up until 2011, who unfortunately stopped selling them. You can still buy them online but they're not cheap!

So when I found these bars on offer at two for a pound in a discount store, I couldn't believe it! I suspect not many people in the store realized their significance and quickly snapped up several bars. Below are my thoughts on each variety...

Frukt & Mandel (Fruit and Almond):

This bar is a simple combination of creamy Marabou milk chocolate with dried fruit and almonds. The chocolate tasted very creamy and rich, and actually nicer than most mainstream milk chocolate we get here in the UK. I thought it was much better quality than Dairy Milk in fact. The cocoa solids clock in at 30% which is certainly higher than Dairy Milk, which may explain the nicer taste. The chocolate melted in the mouth smoothly and the raisins and nuts added a lovely chewiness and crunch; they tasted surprisingly fresh despite being imported. Overall, a very tasty bar which I would recommend snapping up if you see it on the cheap!

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Schweizer nöt: 

I couldn't find a translation for this bar online but I'm assuming it means Hazelnut. Unfortunately it didn't taste as nice as the Frukt and Mandel version, in fact the chopped hazelnuts tasted somewhat "off" and would probably have been nicer as whole pieces. I didn't enjoy this much, but would give it another chance if I found a fresher bar.

RATING: 6 out of 10.

Overall:
Although these two bars were a mixed bag - one was lovely whilst the other was a bit rubbish - I am so pleased I discovered them, being a fan of different types of chocolate from around the world. It's a rarity to find Swedish chocolates in the UK, especially considering Ikea unwisely chose to stop stocking Marabou (tut tut!).

Some of these bars are still available from discount stores and market stalls - they're definitely worth a try if you happen to come across them!

For other Marabou reviews check out: 
Marabou M's (like M&M's)
Marabou Black Saltlakrits (salty licorice bar)

Have you tried Marabou chocolate? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments...and here's wishing a very Merry Christmas to all my followers and fellow bloggers! :)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Costa's Salted Caramel and Cream Latte Review

Today's review is for yet another coffee (I'm seriously thinking of rebranding as Kev's Coffee Reviews at this rate!) and it is the awesomeness that is Costa's Salted Caramel Latte! I've already reviewed Costa's White Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Latte and Spiced Apple drinks and now it's now my mission to try the rest of their Christmas Menu before it disappears in January...


The drink is described by Costa as "A true taste of Christmas: our Salted Caramel Latte is made up of Costa Espresso with steamed milk served with salted caramel flavoured syrup, topped with cream and caramel sauce".

When mine arrived it was exactly as advertised (hurrah!), and contained a hefty drizzle of salted caramel sauce above a thick layer of cream. Taking a sip I was met with a strong salted, butterscotch flavour - it was very moreish and tasty - more so than regular caramel in fact - proving that "salted caramel" isn't just a marketing gimmick...it's actually better than regular caramel! The rest of the latte was as expected - very milky and with a hint of caramel flavour, but nothing so strong it distracted from the espresso.

Overall, a lovely drink with a touch of luxury that is worth buying just for the salted caramel and cream. I hope these stick around well into the new year!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

What is your favourite drink from Costa's Christmas Menu for 2013? Let me know in the comments! :)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Nestlé Nesquik Chocolate Wafer Bar


Whilst in a local Turkish store recently I spotted this Nesquik wafer bar. I'd never seen it before and it wasn't long after I bought it that Marcus posted a new "10 Foreign Chocolate Bars 003" video which included this amongst them that I realized it was anything special! So in honour of his video I decided to pull it out of the review cupboard and give it a try...


Opening the wrapper it looked like a pretty regular puffed wafer bar coated in milk chocolate, but had a stronger, more pleasant chocolatey smell than the average Nestlé chocolate bar. I could tell this was going to be a bit more special as it had that distinctive, sweet "Nesquik" aroma, if there is such a thing!


Splitting it in half revealed a regular puffed wafer with a pale cream filling. Biting into it I was met with the expected sweetness as well as a nice milky cream, which I would say recreated the flavour of Nesquik cereal fairly accurately. It was a very pleasant wafer and if you're a fan of Nesquik you're sure to enjoy this a lot. It's definitely aimed at children and if you like chocolate sweet and milky then this is for you! Overall, a rather tasty wafer bar that surprised me by just how nice it was.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Check out this bar on the "10 Foreign Chocolate Bars 003" video from Marcus of the Choc It Out! Youtube Channel.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Caffè Nero Roasted Chestnut Latte Review


When I saw this new Roasted Chestnut Latte advertised in Caffè Nero recently I just had to give it a try. As much as I've been enjoying Costa's 2013 Christmas Menu recently, they don't do anything quite as quirky as this! The description on Caffè Nero's website reads:
"The new Roasted Chestnut latte will be sure to bring you joy this festive season. The unique flavour of our roasted chestnut syrup has been developed exclusively for our customers by the mixologists at Monin. It is then blended with our signature espresso, topped with warm milk and a dash of foam. Finally, it is served with a Gianduja chocolate on the side, for an extra slice of heaven".


Unfortunately mine didn't come with the gianduja chocolate as promised but it was nicely presented and otherwise as described. It had a lovely chestnut flavour - nutty yet sweet, and the flavour complimented the milky latte perfectly. It tasted very comforting, and made for a perfect festive drink. I was actually surprised by how realistically it captured the flavour of chestnut considering it's made from syrup - those guys at Monin really know their stuff!

I'll definitely be buying these again throughout the festive season and hope they stick around well into January. Bravo Caffè Nero - you've matched Costa's Christmas efforts with just one drink here! I can't wait to see what other delights await us in future...

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Caffè Nero also do Praline and Amaretto Lattes - click HERE to view their Xmas Menu.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Morrisons Belgian Chocolate Turkeys with Cranberry Stuffing - Review


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... or at least, the long drawn-out sales opportunity that gives us odd limited editions such as Mint Chocolate Pringles, Mince Pie Flavour Crisps, Christmas Dinner Pot Noodles, and now these - Turkey-shaped chocolates with a cranberry truffle filling! Why bother with Christmas dinner when you can get it in chocolate form, I hear you ask?! Read on to find out...

I spotted these in Morrisons alongside some popping candy christmas cracker chocolates, but these looked much more fun. They're described as "Milk chocolates filled with a white chocolate and cranberry truffle filling" and the pack boasts them as being a "gold star product", although I'm not sure who is awarding these gold stars...Morrisons themselves perhaps? It's a misleading claim as they aren't great quality chocolates by any means.

They look cool though. Opening the pack revealed 5 turkey-shaped chocolates with a somewhat grumpy expression, almost as if they knew their fate. They were packaged in a shiny, rather religious-looking gold tray (some sort of social commentary, perhaps...?):


Since they'd probably been kept in cramped, dark conditions for the last 6 months I decided to put them out of their misery.


I cut the head off one, which didn't reveal much in the way of filling so I went for the belly instead, which exposed a thin layer of white truffle "stuffing". No sign of cranberries though!


Basically, they tasted like cheap supermarket chocolates. Nothing amazing, but not too bad either - just sugary, milky and with no real cocoa depth. The white truffle had a vague fruity flavour and tasted like the filling in Jammy Dodger's - sweet and pleasant, but in an artificial kind of way.

Overall, although these are distinctively cheap chocolates despite Morrisons' claims of them being "gold star", they're definitely a bit of fun and a nice novelty product. I wouldn't buy them again personally but I'm sure kids will enjoy them.

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Price: £2 per pack or 2 packs for £3 (includes Christmas Cracker Chocolates).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated on packaging.
Allergy Informaton: Contains milk and soya. May contain traces of egg, gluten and nuts.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

New Mr Kipling Winter Whirls Review


Today's review is for the new Winter Whirls, a festive spinoff of Mr Kipling's Viennese Whirls. I've always been a fan of Viennese Whirls and enjoyed the different varieties they've brought out over the years - lemon, chocolate, toffee, and now even Black Forest Whirls, too. This Christmas version intrigued me more though, as it's almost like Mr Kipling have decided to re-invent the humble mince pie in the image of their Viennese Whirls!

They're described as "Winter Whirls with buttercream and mince pie flavour filling". Removing one from the pack it certainly looked like a mince pie, albeit a posh one with a layer of cream and extra pastry underneath!

Posh mince pie?
Cutting it in half revealed a thick layer of buttercream and the thinner layer of mince pie flavoured filling. It was quite sticky and jam-like.


The Whirl tasted very nice, with that distinctive crumbly, buttery texture that Viennese Whirls are known for, and the filling gave it a familiar mince pie flavour whilst the buttercream added an extra touch of indulgence...but being honest, it wasn't as exciting as it could have been. Mr Kipling could have created a viable alternative to the humble mince pie here if they'd played their cards right, but as it stands these Winter Whirls are just a nice limited edition - worth picking up a pack if you see them, but definitely not as good as a real mince pie!

RATING: 7 out of 10. 

Price: £1 at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Poundland.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains wheat, gluten, milk. May contain nuts.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Costa's Gingerbread and Cream Latte Review

In my bid to try all of Costa's new Christmas Menu for 2013 so far I've sampled the White Hot Chocolate and Spiced Apple drinks. I fancied trying this Gingerbread Latte next, purely because I thought the mini gingerbread man on top looked really cool!


When my drink arrived it really did look as cool as promised with the cute gingerbread man perched on top of the cream...happily unaware he was about to be devoured!

Taste-wise it was...well, gingery and buttery - pretty much what you would expect from a gingerbread biscuit, really! The cream as always was delightful, and the latte itself had a subtle spicy ginger kick, although wasn't quite as strong in flavour as I had hoped. Still, it was a nice addition to an otherwise regular latte, and made this drink feel just that extra bit special.

Overall, a lovely drink - the mini gingerbread man on top is a really cool idea and sure to bring a smile to any scrooge's face this festive season!

RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

Please stay tuned for my review of Costa's Salted Caramel Latte!

Lidl's Bellarom White Chocolate With Strawberry Crisp Review


Today's review is for a white chocolate bar you may never have heard of thanks to its exclusivity to Lidl. Lidl tends to get a bad rap as being a lower class supermarket, however their range of chocolates is fantastic quality and a lot better than many mainstream UK chocolate bars, as well as being cheaper!

This bar is described as "White Chocolate with Sweetened Strawberry Flavoured Pieces" and contains 28% cocoa solids plus 22% milk solids. It reminded me of Cadbury Dream with Strawberries from years ago - here's a pic from chocolatereview.co.uk. Anyone else remember it?


Opening the box revealed a fairly thick slab with the Bellarom logo imprinted on each square. It looked very classy for a "cheap" chocolate bar!


Splitting it in half revealed lots of speckled dried strawberry pieces embedded within - there was definitely no shortage of strawberry!


Placing a square in my mouth I was met with a delightfully strong cream flavour. The chocolate was extremely full on with its creaminess, and all the better for of it. Compared to other white chocolates like Milkybar it tasted a lot richer, probably because it contains actual cream powder in the ingredients. The strawberry pieces made it even more luxurious and brought a lovely fresh fruitiness - it tasted like strawberries and cream in bar form! I felt very satisfied after just 2 chunks, and although the chocolate was very sweet I didn't get the "throat burn" feeling like I do with other white chocolates.


Overall, I thought this Strawberry Crisp bar was fantastic and it's one I now buy regularly from Lidl. It's an absolute bargain considering the quality, and if you're a white chocolate fan or miss the Cadbury Dream with Strawberries I would strongly recommend heading to Lidl to try a bar! They also do a fantastic fruit and nut milk chocolate, which dare I say is even better than Cadbury's Fruit & Nut (no kidding!).

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Price: £1.09p per 200g bar.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated on packaging.
Allergy Information: Contains milk and soya. May contain traces of nuts or gluten.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ritter Sport Kokosmakrone (Coconut Macaroon) - Winter Kreation 2013 Review


A big thankyou to Monster Sweets for sending me this Ritter Sport Kokos-makrone bar to review recently! Like the Ritter Sport Caramel-Orange bar I've reviewed previously it's part of the Ritter Sport Winter Kreations 2013 range, which also includes a Caramelized Almonds variety.

Basically, if you're a fan of coconut chocolates then this is the chocolate for you! Ritter Sport's UK Website describe the bar as combining  "freshly baked coconut macaroons with the best Ritter Sport milk chocolate and crispy rice flakes". This sounded absolutely delicious and rather unique to me, especially as there's currently no other coconut macaroon filled bars on the market.


As far as coconut chocolates go, this is right up there with the Ritter Sport Kokos on the deliciousness scale! The milk chocolate is Ritters usual standard - creamy and with a good cocoa flavour, and a lot nicer than the average UK mass-produced chocolate bar. The filling, as always, is where it truly shines though: its exceptionally smooth and creamy with a subtle vanilla flavour, and melts in the mouth like butter. The coconut macaroon biscuit pieces are very crunchy and provide a good strong coconut hit. Overall the bar tasted very biscuity, yet at the same time very creamy, making it the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy textures.


Overall, this is the perfect Christmas chocolate bar (well, except for Ritter Sport's Caramel-Orange Winter Kreation, perhaps!) and I would highly recommend stocking up while they're still around! They'd make the perfect gift for fans of coconut chocolates, in fact Monster Sweets are including them in their new "Coconut Gift Box" Hamper:

The hamper is available HERE, along with a White Chocolate Gift Box and a Ritter Sport Gift Box!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

Price: £1.75 per 100g bar.
Available: Monster Sweets Online Store.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, soya, egg & barley malt.

*This bar was sent to me for an honest review by Monster Sweets and all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Easter Eggs in December?! - Mini rant


Whilst in WH Smiths recently I spotted a display containing mini Easter Eggs. At first I thought I was imagining things but on taking a closer look I realized they were indeed real... I couldn't believe it! We haven't even made it to Christmas yet and I'm still debating over what presents to buy for family... how on earth am I supposed to think about Easter?! And why would I want to buy a Malteaster Bunny when the Maltesers Merryteaser Reindeer is still on shelves? Madness!


The varieties stocked were Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cadbury Caramel Eggs, Lindor eggs, Lindt Chocolate Carrot Treats and of course the Malteaster Bunny. So if you really can't wait until Xmas is over for your chocolate egg fix head on down to WH Smiths!


Personally I'll stick to nomming on mince pies and White Chocolate Orange for the time being...

Have you seen any Easter Eggs in shops yet? Do you think it's too early? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Krüger Green Tea Chai Latte Drink with Ginger & Lemongrass Review


Just a quick review for this drink today - I've had it in the snacks archives for so long my memory of it is slightly hazy, but I certainly haven't forgotten how unique it was!

I found it in a discount store for 99p, and regrettably didn't stock up on more of them at the time. I haven't seen any since, although my local Sainsbury's sells regular Krüger branded chai lattes for quite a high price.

Basically the box contains 10 sachets of chai latte mix, with the twist being that it's made from green tea! This might be nothing to some people, but for me it was a revelation! I've only ever tried regular chai lattes before and didn't know it was even possible to make one with green tea.

The latte is made by German company Krüger, and the description on the box awkwardly reads: "Chai Latte Type Fresh India - Instant preparation for tea drinks, flavoured with a ginger-lemon grass taste". So basically it's a green tea latte with a lemongrass and ginger flavour.


Making it up as directed produced a milky, frothy latte with a slight tinge of green:


It tasted...interesting. It was extremely milky, and with a spicy, gingery, herby flavour. I was a bit unsure of what to think initially because of the pale green colour, but the flavour actually worked really well and I ended up loving it! The creaminess of the milk balanced out the slight sharpness of green tea, and the lemongrass and ginger flavour just worked with it perfectly. It made for a unique and tasty drink that felt really special.

Overall, this is such a unique drink that I'm kicking myself for not stocking up while it was cheap. If you happen to see these anywhere I would highly recommend giving them a try!

After a bit of online research it seems Krüger have their own UK website although there's no indication of where to buy these drinks from.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

Have you tried Krüger Green Tea Latte? If so please leave a comment!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Snickers Dark Chocolate (American version) Review


Earlier in the year I reviewed a Polish version of Snickers Dark. I wasn't too impressed with that bar, so I was a little skeptical when I received this American version from Monster Sweets to review recently. Would it be an improvement on the Polish version? Well yes, luckily it was!

The bar weighs in at 51.9g (such a weird amount...why couldn't they just make it 60g?) and comes in a funky dark purple wrapper. It really stands out compared to a regular Snickers wrapper although you'd be forgiven for thinking it was some kind of berry flavoured Snickers (now there's an idea!) It's described by Mars as "Just like Snickers Original, but with a higher percentage of cocoa".


Unwrapping it revealed a pretty regular looking Snickers. It didn't look much different from a UK milk chocolate Snickers although it was perhaps a tad darker in colour.


Luckily the dark chocolate was very noticeable in the taste and the bar tasted much richer than the milk chocolate version. It tempers the overall sweetness of the bar somewhat, and the combination of chewy nougat, sweet caramel and crunchy peanuts is as tasty as ever, and dare I say it this bar tastes even better than the original!

Overall, this is a great Snickers bar and an improvement on the regular version in my opinion. Whether or not you like it though will depend on your preferences for richer or sweeter chocolates.

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Snickers Dark is available from Monster Sweets Online Store, along with many other American snacks goodies!

*This bar was sent to me for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.