Friday, 12 January 2018
I never thought the day would come but at last, Smarties have not only made their mini eggs gluten free for this Easter, they have also launched their much-loved Orange Smarties in mini egg form. Hurrah!!!
I had vowed not to touch any sweets after New Year's but I just couldn't resist the temptation of these, everyone knows the orange Smarties were the best (hence why Nestle did an Orange Smarties Sharing Tube last Christmas).
The eggs are described as "milk chocolate mini eggs in a crisp orange flavoured sugar shell" and the bag weighs in at 90g. I found them for £1 in WH Smiths. Opening the bag, the eggs looked all shiny and glossy with a sweet orangey aroma.
Crunching into one I was met with the orange shell, which was strongly flavoured and very yummy indeed. It seemed more prominent than in regular Orange Smarties, probably because of the different proportions, but I'm sure regular Orange Smarties have orange flavoured chocolate rather than shell? Anyone know? (I can't eat regular Smarties to do a comparison since they contain gluten).
The chocolate is standard milky Nestle chocolate, very sweet and non descript but it goes perfectly with the orange shells and makes for a delicious, if not super sugary, treat.
Overall, as far as Mini Eggs go these are a lot of fun and a great novelty, provided you like orange chocolate of course! I would buy these over Cadbury Mini Eggs any day since those just aren't so great anymore.
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, dried whole milk, whey powder, butterfat, glazing agents (gum arabic, carnauba wax), emulsifier soya lecithin, flavourings, colours (curcumin, beta carotene).
Nutrition Information (per 5 mini eggs): 85 calories, 3.1g fat, 13.3g carbohydrates, 12.2g sugars, 0.8g protein.
8.5 out of 10.
Monday, 8 January 2018
After the disappointing Loving Earth Coconut Mylk Bar, I thought I'd review something a bit tastier for #veganuary, this time it's Chocolate Tree's Coconut Milk & Sugar 55% cocoa bar. I found this in the same vegan store as Loving Earth Coconut Mylk, and it's priced higher at £4.65 for 80g, but boy is it worth the extra money.
I've tried a few coconut milk chocolate bars now in the search for something tasty, the best one so far being the Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Coconut Dark Chocolate (which isn't really dark chocolate - it's far too creamy!). If you're vegan or dairy free I would recommend seeking that one out for sure.
Back to today's bar, the chocolate is actually split into two plastic foil wrapped bars within the main box, each containing 40g. They have a patterned design and interesting shaped blocks.
The pack description reads "An alternative to milk chocolate made with coconut milk and coconut blossom sugar. The cacao we use for the chocolate is from the community of Chililique in Piura, Northern Peru". The chocolate is made in Scotland.
Snapping the bar in half, it has quite a soft snap which I wasn't expecting. Taking a bite, it's definitely soft and smooth in texture, very melt in the mouth. And I really enjoyed it! It's creamy thanks to the coconut and coconut sugar but with a rich cocoa aftertaste, somewhat acidic and very flavoursome. I really enjoyed this, and am happy to pay the higher price for it. You can tell it's much better quality than cheaper chocolates.
Compared to the Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Coconut Chocolate I wouldn't say this is superior, but it certainly gives it a run for its money. The Waitrose 1 bar will always be my favourite coconutty chocolate; such a shame they are always out of stock!
8 out of 10.
Sunday, 7 January 2018
Today's review in honour of #veganuary is for something I hoped would be a bit of a treat for someone avoiding dairy. This bar, or rather heart is made in Australia by Loving Earth with coconut "mylk" as well as coconut nectar to make it somewhat of a vegan milk chocolate. I reviewed the Loving Earth Salted Caramel last year and enjoyed it, so was curious how this would compare to that bar.
Coconut nectar is the first ingredient, followed by virgin cacao butter, coconut, and finally raw cacao beans. The bar cost me £1.75 from a local vegan store. The ingredients are certified organic and fairtrade.
Opening the wrapper, I have to say I wasn't too excited by the dusty looking chocolate. I don't know if it's a "blooming" effect or caused by being transported from the other side of the world but it didn't look great. Still, the heart shape is a nice touch so I'll let them off.
Sadly, I can't say I enjoyed the taste. The texture is rather greasy and fatty, probably because cacao butter is so high in the ingredients list, which would usually be a good thing but it's just too overwhelming. The coconut nectar isn't sweet enough to compete with it, and the overall flavour leaves something to be desired. Compared to the delicious Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Coconut Dark Chocolate this is nowhere near as good.
Overall, I have to say this was a disappointment for me, but hopefully it's an anomaly in Loving Earth's range because I do like that they use high quality ingredients, and they do some interesting varieties such as Turkish Delight.
6 out of 10.
Saturday, 6 January 2018
Now that the Christmas festivities are over with and everyone will (hopefully) be focusing on healthier ways of eating for 2018, I thought I should review these Marks and Spencer cocktail Avocados, which are available for a limited period I believe. They are stoneless, so if you're one of those unfortunate people to sustain injuries cutting into the regular variety (I know people this has actually happened to!) these may be the avocadoes for you. The skin is also edible (apparently - I haven't tried!) and they look somewhat like large gherkins. You get around five or six per pack and they cost £2.
I chose not to eat the skin, it just seems wrong. Just because you "can" doesn't mean you should! So I used a potato peeler and peeled it all off.
They tasted pretty nice; creamy and comforting, although there isn't quite as much of the creamy flesh part as in a regular avocado so it's more of a firmer chewy texture for most of the eat. They're still nice though and make for a handy healthy snack.
Overall, I have to say I would actually buy and eat these again thanks to how convenient they are, plus they're reasonably priced too. Definitely worth looking out for in this healthier snacking season - and perfect for #veganuary!
8 out of 10.