Friday, 29 August 2014

Nestlé Baby Ruth Bar Review


Following on from my review of the Hershey's Symphony bar, I also found this Nestlé Baby Ruth at B&M Bargains. It's a bar I've never tried before as I generally avoid most American snacks...the inclusion of ingredients like "high fructose corn syrup" and such usually has me running for the hills! But for once I thought I would give one a try if only to prove myself wrong.


Baby Ruth is described as "Bursting with peanuts, rich caramel and chewy nougat" which sounded like a tasty and unique combination. We don't get many peanut butter products in the UK so I was pretty excited. Sadly, like many US candies it was a bit of a letdown. Firstly the chocolate isn't even real chocolate...it's "compound" chocolate, meaning that it's a mixture of sugar, cocoa and vegetable fat. This was evident in the taste - I couldn't taste any real chocolate influences at all. The main bulk of the bar was a slightly buttery flavoured chewy mass of peanuts. There was no real defining flavour; it was all very weak and tasted of just sugar and peanuts. It was pleasant enough if only because of the nuts, but the caramel was anything but "rich".

Overall, I found this Baby Ruth bar disappointing, but I'm not really surprised. Like many US candies it's mostly a mix of sugar, corn syrup and vegetable fat in varying proportions, which seems to be a continuing trend. It's even happening with mainstream UK chocolates now, although thankfully corn syrup hasn't started to infiltrate our products...yet. My apologies for being so negative with this review but it's something that really annoys me!

Found at B&M Bargains for 59p. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Coca Cola Life (UK) - Guest Review by William


Hello everyone! It's me William from “William's Blog” and before any of you think I've hacked into Kev's Snack Reviews I haven't. Myself and Kev have been talking quite a lot over on Twitter recently and he asked me if I'd like to write guest reviews on his blog and I could not possibly refuse! I'm still unsure how often I'll be writing on here as it is yet to be discussed but I hope you enjoy my upcoming reviews. Before I ramble on, let's get straight to the review...

Coca-Cola GB announced back in June the launch of “Coca-Cola Life”, a lower calorie soft drink sweetened from natural sources with a third less sugar than the original Coca-Cola. This is the first new Coke to be launched in the UK since the arrival of Coke Zero in 2006 and to be quite honest, I really don't see what the big deal is?


It's essentially Coke with a little less sugar and a fancy new green label. The packaging is visually appealing and very eye catching on the shelf though. Taste-wise, it's only very slightly different to the original Coke; it has a more fresh taste with a few minty notes. What I like best about this cola is that it isn't as overwhelmingly sweet like the original Coke, it has quite a mild sweetness. This cola beverage is for the sort of people that want the great taste of the original Coke but don't want to be consuming as much sugar. But overall, I am quite disappointed with Coca-Cola Life as it's not enormously different to the other Coke brands although it's a nice new addition to the Coke range and I'm sure over the next few months this will become quite popular.

Since trying Coca-Cola Zero Raspberry from the Coke machines in Burger King I've been wanting Coke to launch it in bottles!? Now that's something I'd like to see! I just think there needs to be more flavour variants of Coke on the shelves like Cinnamon, Peppermint, Blueberry or even Pineapple? Coke Life is available now and it is currently sold in 500ml bottles, 330ml cans, 1.75l bottles and 330ml can multipacks.

If you would like to see more posts from me, head over to my blog abitofwilliam.blogspot.co.uk, but otherwise, I'll still be writing guest snack reviews on here every now and then!

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.

From: Morrisons Local.
Price: £1.25.
Recommend?: Not really, unless you want a lower calorie Coke that isn't completely sugar free.

TWITTER: @abitofwilliam
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/abitofwilliam
BLOG: www.abitofwilliam.blogspot.co.uk

Monday, 18 August 2014

Mentos Choco & Mint and Choco & Caramel Toffees Review (Asda)


Whilst in Asda recently I spotted these new Choco Caramels from Mentos and thought they sounded rather odd, since Mentos are usually known for chewy mints and fruity sweets. It seems they want to expand into toffees now.

They're actually very similar to something I reviewed briefly in one of my Pick & Mix reviews...Meller toffees, by Perfetti Van Melle. Perfetti make both Mentos and Meller so it seems they've just re-branded them. Clever! 

They reminded me of Toffo (which, according to Nestlé, are never coming back - boo!) I used to love those as a kid! (Here's a Facebook petition for their return)


Back to the Mentos...I was surprised to find I enjoyed the "Choco & Mint" version the most. The caramel was buttery, with a nice firm chewiness, and the chocolate centre had a nice rich minty flavour. I haven't eaten minty toffees in ages (probably since Toffo were axed, in fact) so it was a nostalgic experience. The ingredients list is a bit worrying...the caramels contain hydrogenated fats which I thought weren't even allowed in confectionery any more. Still, I tried to overlook this considering how moreish they were!


The "Choco & Caramel" version was also very nice, but a little boring compared to the mint variety.

Overall, these Mentos toffees are pretty tasty and at 3 tubes for £1 you really can't grumble. If you were a fan of Toffo as a kid you might just enjoy these more than the average person - they're definitely worth a try!

RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

Price: 3 packs for £1 at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated.
Allergy Information: Contains milk & soya.
Nutrition (per 100g): 411 Calories, 8.8g Fat, 79g Carbs, 60g Sugars. 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Peanut M&M's - Orange Edition (99p Stores)


When I saw these Peanut M&M's in 99p Stores recently I got rather excited...they were in an orange wrapper, contained orange-colored M&M's...and the packet said "Oranje Editie" on it! So of course I assumed they must be an orange-flavoured edition. "How exciting...a new M&M flavour!", I thought.

I should've known better. Because for some annoying reason M&M's constantly repackage their products based on various colour combinations, but never change up the actual flavours...and these are no exception. They're simply a bag of peanut M&M's with orange-coloured shells. Pointless really.


They tasted as moreish and addictive as you would expect from M&M's....but without any traces of orange flavour. Why they couldn't have added some is beyond me...it can't be all that difficult, and I'm sure they would fly off the shelves!

They're made by the Polish arm of Mars, so who knows what this "orange edition" is in aid of...if any of my Polish readers can enlighten me please do leave a comment!

RATING: 6 out of 10.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hershey's Symphony Creamy Milk Chocolate Almonds & Toffee Chips - Review


Whilst in B&M Bargains today I spotted this bar of Hershey's Symphony chocolate. I've never seen or heard of this bar before so thought I'd give it a try out of curiosity. It's described as "Creamy milk chocolate, almonds and toffee chips", which sounded like a simple but tasty proposition.


Sadly, the chocolate was far from the deliciousness (yes that is a word!) I was expecting...in fact it was rather sickly, and had that faint taste of "vomit" that many have used to describe Hershey's chocolate as having. It was very weird indeed. Despite the odd flavour, there was something compelling about the chocolate....the thinness of the bar, combined with the crunchy almonds and toffee pieces was strangely moreish. That said, the constant undertone of weird-tasting chocolate ruined it somewhat!

Overall, I wouldn't really recommend this bar unless you're really curious or a fan of Hershey's Chocolate. If you've tried it yourself please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

RATING: 5.5 out of 10.

Found at B&M Bargains - £1 for a 120g bar. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Terry's Chocolate Orange Pots of Joy Review

terry's chocolate orange pots of joy

Mondelez are cranking out new products at alarming speed right now, and the latest to join their ever-swelling range are these Terry's Chocolate Orange Pots of Joy. "Pots of Joy" are usually associated with Cadbury's, but since Mondelez also own Terry's it seems they've deemed it OK to add these to the range too.

They're described as "Smooth and creamy desserts made with melted milk chocolate with a rich orange flavour under-layer" and are currently on offer for £1 at Asda.

terry's chocolate orange pots of joy

Like all Pots of Joy they're rather dinky little pots, so it's likely most people will eat two at once. Unless you're a hamster I suppose...

terry's chocolate orange pots of joy

The chocolate upper layer tasted creamy and very smooth, although I would've liked more chocolate flavour. The orange layer however was a letdown...it just didn't taste right. It was too citrusy and sickly, and as a layer by itself just doesn't work. I don't really get why it's seperated from the chocolate layer as it kind of defeats the point of  "chocolate orange"... ie. chocolate AND orange blended together! It was almost like eating orange yogurt with a layer of chocolate on top. It just doesn't work.

Overall, I found these Terry's Chocolate Orange Pots of Joy disappointing. I was expecting to love them but they're rather sickly and don't work that well in practice.

Have you tried Chocolate Orange Pots of Joy? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments!

RATING: 5 out of 10. 

Price: £1 per 4-pack at Asda (introductory offer).
Suitable for vegetarians?: No.
Allergy Information: Contains milk & maize starch. May contain nuts.
Nutrition (per pot): 150 Calories, 7.4g Fat, 18.2g Carbs, 17.6g Sugar.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Beech's Fine Chocolates Bar Range - Review & Discount Code!


Many thanks to Beech's Fine Chocolates who recently sent me some bars from their new bar range to review. I was excited to receive them as I've been curious about Beech's Chocolates for ages now...I always see them in local department stores and wonder what they're like. Seems I was missing out!

Beech's Fine Chocolates have been making quality Traditional British Chocolates from their factory in the centre of Preston, Lancashire since 1920. Their chocolates are made using only natural colours and flavours, all are suitable for vegetarians, and their dark chocolates are suitable for vegans too. As well as that, all Beech's products are gluten-free!

To receive a 15% discount from Beech's Chocolates this month enter code ‘BFC11J1415’ at checkout. 


Their bar range consists of Lime & Chilli Dark Chocolate, Natural Ginger Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Anglesey Sea Salt Milk Chocolate. Each 60g bar costs £1.50 which I think is very reasonable considering the high quality. Below are my thoughts on each bar...

Milk Chocolate:

A rich and creamy 30% cocoa milk chocolate with a smooth melt. I couldn't fault this at all...it's definitely up there with the higher quality milk chocolates I've tried. Much tastier than the leading UK chocolate brand that is made with palm oil, and I think we all know what I'm talking about. I'd rather have this any day! 8.5 out of 10.

Anglesey Sea Salt Milk Chocolate:

Chocolate and salt combinations are very in vogue at the moment, and it's easy to see why: it's such a moreish combination! This version from Beech's was amazing; beautifully soft and creamy milk chocolate, with the delicious sea salt giving it a moreish kick. If you haven't tried salted milk chocolate yet this is definitely one you have to try! I will admit...I ate this bar far too quickly. 10 out of 10.

White Chocolate:

Smooth, deliciously creamy, melt-in-the-mouth...just what you'd expect from a good white chocolate. It contains plenty of cocoa butter and isn't overly sweet like mainstream white chocolates. Forget what the snobs say...there's always a place for white chocolate in the chocolate world, and this one will no doubt bring back many comforting childhood memories! 8 out of 10.

Dark Chocolate:

This dark chocolate contains 55% cocoa solids so it's more of a bittersweet chocolate. It was very tasty but personally I prefer darker chocolates (I regularly buy 100% cocoa bars now!). If your'e a fan of milder, sweeter dark chocolates you can't go wrong with this though - there's no harshness or bitterness and it has a nice rich flavour. 7 out of 10.

Lime & Chilli Dark Chocolate:

I'm not the greatest fan of chilli with chocolate so wasn't sure about this one. Luckily, the chilli flavour wasn't all that strong and it was the lime that really stood out in the flavour. It tasted very light and refreshing and complimented the dark chocolate perfectly. 8 out of 10.

Natural Ginger Dark Chocolate:

I'm not a great fan of ginger and chocolate either, so wasn't expecting to love this bar. Luckily the ginger wasn't too overpowering and simply added a subtle spicy kick to the rich dark chocolate. Not something I would buy again personally, but definitely one for those who love chocolate and ginger. 7 out of 10.

Overall:
I have to say I was surprised and delighted by these bars; all are excellent quality and the Anglesey Se Salt Milk Chocolate is one I could see myself purchasing regularly. I hope to see Beech's Chocolates more widely available...I'd love to pop into my corner shop and purchase one, but alas, we don't live in such a world. I'm more likely to find 50p Euro Shopper chocolate instead. Sad times :(

Luckily these chocolates are available online, and Beech's do an excellent range of traditional British favourites such as Turkish Delights, Thins, Fruit Cremes, Chocolate Brazils, and even the "marmite" of the chocolate world...Coffee Creams!

Beech's Website: http://www.beechsfinechocolates.com/

To receive a 15% discount from Beech's Chocolates this month enter code ‘BFC11J1415’ at checkout. 

*Products sent for an honest review. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Wawel Peanut Butter Bar & Fin Carré Gianduja Milk Chocolate Review

Many thanks to Bring Back Banjo Chocolate Bar for once again sending some lovely chocolates my way! I've been sitting on these for a while and unfortunately they melted somewhat. Not because of me sitting on them... but because of the heat-wave we had recently! So my apologies that I can't do these justice...they were definitely intact when I received them.

First up is this Peanut Butter bar from Wawel...that Polish company I'm not best friends with, since I've had a few duff chocolates from them in the past! Maybe they could woo me back with their peanut butter chocolate...?


Opening the wrapper I wasn't too excited...not only because of the melted chocolate, but because it had that distinctly "cheap" aroma that Wawel chocolate is known for. Still, I was hoping the peanut butter filling might save it.


Looking at the ingredients list didn't offer me much hope...the bar contains vegetable fat, sunflower oil and other nasties.


Biting into a piece, I was first met with the waxy chocolate...if it can be called chocolate. It tasted rather greasy and flavourless, I couldn't detect much cocoa at all. Luckily the peanut butter filling was much better - it had a nice salty, savoury flavour and was very moreish and creamy thanks to the vegetable fat. I didn't feel it was all that healthy though so didn't eat too much at once.

Overall, despite the poor quality chocolate this was still a tasty bar, but it doesn't compare to Reese's at all!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Fin Carré Gianduja Milk Chocolate (Lidl):


I was surprised to find this bar was actually much tastier and better quality than the Wawel bar; the chocolate had a decent cocoa flavour and was very creamy, with the gianduja hazelnut giving it a deliciously moreish Nutella flavour!


Despite the fact it was all melted, I still scoffed it down pretty quickly! For cheap chocolate from Lidl it was pretty great quality, and far nicer than most cheap hazelnut milk chocolates I've tried.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

Thankyou as always to the lovely Bring Back Banjo Bar for sending me these chocolates - she always finds cool chocolates in Polish shops that I have never come across before! Please do take a moment to sign her petition to bring back the much-missed Banjo Wafer bar :)

Bring Back Banjo Petition
Bring Back Banjo Facebook

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Nestlé Le Chocolat Lime Bar - Greek Chocolate Review


When I found this bar of Nestlé Le Chocolat Lime on a local market stall recently I just had to give it a try...it's not often you see lime-flavoured chocolates!

When I opened the wrapper though, I felt rather disappointed. Not only because of the dusty bloomed appearance of the chocolate, but also because I've tried the same bar before but in different packaging - the Czech Nestlé Orion Lime Cream Bar I reviewed last year.


Basically this bar tasted exactly the same, although a little on the stale side due to the bloomed chocolate. It's a tasty bar with a unique tangy lime flavour, but a little sickly in excess. This version is made by the Greek arm of Nestlé and there appears to be quite a few other flavours in the range too.

Overall, an interesting bar and if you happen to see one I would recommend giving them a whirl if only for the sake of novelty.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Cadbury Wispa Biscuits Review


Whilst in Asda recently I spotted these new Wispa biscuits so of course I couldn't resist giving them a try. Wispa is such an iconic British brand and it's only made a resurgence in recent years, but now Mondelez are pushing it into new territories; Hot Chocolate, Ice Creams, Bite-Size...and now biscuits! Of course bubbly chocolate combined with biscuit isn't really such a new concept - Fox's did it for a while with their discontinued Echo bars, and Aero also do their own range of bubbly biscuits. How do these Wispa biscuits compare?


Firstly they're very differently shaped; they're in the same round shape as the Caramel, Turkish, Creme Egg etc biscuits made by Burton's for Cadbury. They contain a shortcake base with a layer of Wispa chocolate, fully coated in milk chocolate.


If it wasn't for the layer of bubbly chocolate these would be pretty bland, but luckily it saved the day. It provided a nice familiar bubbly Wispa hit, making the biscuits extra chocolatey. Other than that the shortcake base and milk chocolate coating were nice enough - for £1 these are a decent bargain but I would never pay much more than that.

Overall these are nice, but could've been much better. If they were oblong-shaped like Aero Biscuits I think they'd be more exciting, plus, why didn't they do a Wispa Gold version?! That would surely be the best biscuit ever!

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Price: £1 at Asda, £1.89 at Morrisons.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, wheat, gluten. May contain nuts, soya.
Nutrition (per biscuit): 78 Calories, 4g Fat, 9.2g Carbs, 5.9g Sugars.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Cadbury Roses Favourites Bags: Golden Barrel & Strawberry Dream (Limited Edition)


Cadbury have been releasing a lot of new products recently, and the latest to join their ever-expanding range are these bagged versions of Cadbury Roses. I'm sure we've all wished we could get our favourites from Roses all by themselves at some point, so this is partly a genius idea. On the other hand, it requires little effort and innovation on Cadbury's part, so it's also a bit lazy. Luckily these are only limited editions so they won't be bothering us for too long...


The varieties are Strawberry Dreams and Golden Barrels; I don't know if they're doing any other flavours but these are the only ones I saw in my local Co-Op. They're currently on offer for £1 alongside Marvellous Mix-Ups and Terry's Chocolate Orange Minis.

I'm glad I didn't pay more than £1 because when I opened the bag there weren't many chocolates in at all...literally just a handful! The Strawberry Dreams clocked in at 93g in weight and the Golden Barrels at 86g...so you're not getting much for your money. Still at least it's better than buying a full box of Roses to get your favourites!


There's not much to say about them really...The Golden Barrels tasted like the sweet caramels we all know from Roses, with a decent buttery flavour. They were a bit sickly in excess so it's probably just as well there weren't too many of them!


The Strawberry Dreams were equally as sweet and sickly, although being a long-time fan of strawberry chocolates I did get a kick from them. They're not as nice as the strawberry chocolates from Quality Street, but nevertheless they brought back nostalgic memories.

Overall, whether these Roses Favourites bags are a good thing will depend on how much you love Cadbury Roses, I guess. Personally I'm not a fan of them any more, they taste too sweet and sickly and I don't think they're "special" like they used to be. Still, I imagine these will sell like hot cakes...

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Price: Both £1 at CO-OP.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Both are suitable.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, may contain nuts (both).

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Bassett's Jelly Babies Berry Mix (Tesco Exclusive) Review


Whilst at Tesco recently I found these new Jelly Babies Berry Mix, and like the Cadbury Eclairs Velvets Coffee Flavour they're a Tesco Exclusive. They're basically the berry flavours from regular Jelly Babies in their own bag...nothing all that new or exciting really.


The babies have some odd names..."Brilliant", "Big Heart" and "Baby Bonny" and the flavours are blackcurrant, raspberry and what seems to be strawberry, although the ingredients also list apple so it's hard to tell.


They tasted pleasant enough but not particularly "berry-ish", if there is such a word...just very sweet. To be honest I wasn't that enamoured with them, they were a bit one-dimensional without the green, yellow, orange etc jelly babies. I wanted some citrus flavours to liven things up a bit!

Overall I felt these were a bit of a letdown, and a lazy way for Mondelez to repackage an existing product (which seems to be happening a lot recently...). If you like just the berry flavours from regular Jelly Babies you might enjoy these...but I'm not sure anyone will care all that much!

RATING: 6 out of 10.

Price: £1 (Tesco Exclusive).
Suitable for vegetarians?: No.
Allergy Information: Contains sulphites. May contain wheat.
Nutrition (per 4 sweets): 89 Calories, 0g Fat, 21g Carbs, 20g Sugar.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cadbury Eclairs Velvets Coffee Flavour Review


Another day, another new Cadbury product...I'm starting to sense a pattern here. I can't grumble though because it's always exciting to unexpectedly find new chocolate varieties on shelves!

This one should please fans of coffee chocolates, of which there is an unfortunate lack of in the UK. Most brands have done coffee variations at some point, of course; such as Kitkat, Aero, Wispaccino, Twix, Maltesers, Galaxy etc, but they never seem to stick around. I guess the flavour just isn't popular enough. Luckily Cadbury's have come to the rescue!

Cadbury Eclairs Velvets Coffee Flavour are exclusive to Tesco, and they're described as "Coffee flavour soft caramel with a choclatey centre, enrobed in delicious Cadbury milk chocolate". They're currently on offer for £1.


The Eclairs are all individually wrapped, although I could still detect a whiff of chocolate and coffee permeating through the bag.


I cut one in half, which proved a little messy as the gooey filling oozed out everywhere! After a few attempts I finally managed to get a decent picture...


The toffees tasted very nice; sweet and buttery, although not quite as "soft" as I would have liked. They're chewy, and thankfully softer than regular Cadbury Eclairs. The coffee flavour is definitely present, and somewhat akin to a mild cappuccino. The gooey centre was sweet and chocolatey and gave a nice textural contrast to the toffee. They were very moreish, and I'll admit I ended up eating a few too many!

Overall, these Eclairs Velvets are pretty tasty, and if you like coffee-flavoured sweets you definitely need to give them a try. Now, I'm still waiting for mint-flavoured Eclairs...come on Cadbury, you know it makes sense!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £1 at Tesco (Exclusive).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk & soya. May contain nuts & wheat.
Nutrition (per sweet): 31 Calories, 1.3g Fat, 4.7g Carbs, 3.5g Sugar.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Creighton's Chocolates: Cafe Latte, Peanut Nutter & Sanguinello Orange Review

Recently I was sent some chocolates from the lovely folk at Creighton's Chocolaterie, and so far I've reviewed their Lemon Bonbon bar which turned out to be very nice indeed...so here's the rest!

First up, is the intriguing Cafe Latte White Chocolate Bar:

This is a high quality white chocolate blended with freshly ground espresso.


It tasted lovely! The white chocolate was exceptionally creamy, very good quality and with a decent amount of cocoa butter. The espresso speckles gave it a lovely coffee-tinged flavour that is pleasant but not overpowering - it's tempered perfectly with the creaminess of the white chocolate. A very indulgent bar...I naturally enjoyed it with a cup of coffee!

Peanut Nutter:

Despite the name this bar doesn't contain peanut butter - just roasted peanuts and seasalt. Which isn't really a problem because it's so tasty and moreish you would never guess! The combination of salty peanuts and creamy milk chocolate were made for each other - one bite of this and I soon gobbled the whole bar. It was delicious; perfectly creamy milk chocolate, crunchy fresh peanuts and a moreish lick of salt. Nothing else needed!


Sanguinello Orange Dark Chocolate:

This bar consists of Belgian dark chocolate flavoured with sanguinello (blood orange) oil.


Having tried many different orange flavoured bars over the years I wasn't expecting much different from this, but was surprised to find it's a very tasty orange chocolate...more so even than other dark orange bars such as Lindt's Orange Intense. It tasted particularly fresh and zingy thanks to the blood orange oil, perfectly balanced by the flavoursome dark chocolate. A refreshing surprise! I also liked the thinness of the bar, the chunks were just the right size for savouring each piece.

Overall
Creighton's certainly produce some interesting chocolates, and good quality ones at that! I was surprised by how nice some of these were and they're certainly ones I would buy again. Their range is very interesting - flavours include liquorice whip, fizzy cola, peach and even pineapple souffle - Creighton's certainly aren't your run-of-the-mill everyday chocolate company!

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10.

For more info on Creighton's visithttp://www.wearecreightons.com/

*Products sent for an honest review.