Friday, 25 July 2014

Cadbury Roses: Pots of joy (hazel whirl)



Product name: Cadbury Roses: Pots of joy (hazel whirl)
Purchase details:
£1.29 for a pack of four desserts (tesco.com)
Calories:
155 per 70g dessert
Country of origin:
UK

Although I’ve only reviewed the Creme Egg version so far, I love trying Cadbury’s Pots of joy, so I was really pleased when they released two new Roses varieties that are based on the popular selection box chocolates. First up, for me, was the hazel whirl.


The cardboard packaging contained the usual bright blue and rose flowers that feature on real boxes of Roses. However, there was also a large brown section to reflect the flavour, with the background leaves tying in with the flower heads above.


The hazel whirl is one of my favourite Roses since it features a whole nut encased in milk chocolate. I was really intrigued by the product illustration, for that reason, since it seemed to show a bitty, nutty section in the centre of the dessert. The description confirmed this, with the ‘smooth’ and ‘creamy’ treat (containing melted chocolate) having ‘a centre with chopped hazelnuts on a smooth hazelnut flavour fondant’. This nutty centre made up 14% of the product and also contained caramel syrup – sounded interesting! 


Made by Müller Dairy, this Mondelez product looked outwardly identical to the Creme Egg: Pots of joy. Unfortunately, the reality of the centre was that the chopped hazelnuts weren’t really visible, although a bumpiness could be seen through the thick topping that contained 7% milk chocolate. There was no nutty scent, either, but the chocolate mousse aroma was still pleasant.


The chocolate layer was the same as the Creme Egg version so tasted just as good. Beneath this, the beige hazelnut section didn’t have the strongest nutty taste ever, but it did have a mild icing sugar-like sweetness which I enjoyed. Combined, these layers remained smooth and still tasted creamy, with cream contributing to 6% of each pot.


As for the chopped nuts, these were soft but chunky and, with the other layers, did a pretty good job of replicating the original hazelnut whirl. Understandably, though, the texture was completely different. It would have strayed from the initial idea further but I did think this layer would have been nicer if the hazelnuts had been caramelised so they provided a crispy texture instead. That’s just me, though!

I found these Cadbury Roses: Pots of joy (hazel whirl) to be another great addition to the range of desserts. I can’t wait to try the strawberry dream next!

Appearance: 7.5/10
Aroma:
7/10
Taste:
7.5/10
Texture:
8.5/10
Overall score:
7.63/10

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nestlé Aero: Bubbly white



Product name: Nestlé Aero: Bubbly white
Purchase details:
Two 41g bars for £1.00 (Martin’s)
Calories:
221 per bar

I have big confession to make but, at the risk of all other food bloggers turning against me, I have to stick to my honesty policy...I was one of the people who voted for Nestlé to release a white chocolate version of the Aero bar when there was a Facebook campaign a few months ago. I’m really sorry, guys – I just love white chocolate so much so, for me, the idea didn’t seem ‘boring’ at all!


As it happened, I nearly missed out altogether on trying this limited edition White bubbly that was produced for the UK and Ireland. I searched high and low and, in the end, my Dad came to the rescue when he found it in Martin’s. Since he took advantage of the multibuy offer, I don’t know how much a single bar would have cost, and he couldn’t remember!

The ‘smooth milk chocolate filled with vanilla flavoured bubbles’ featured cream-coloured bubbles on the wrapper but I was a little confused by the description – it didn’t particularly sound like white chocolate. I am a vanilla fan too, though, so I hoped it would still be delicious.

The bar was part of Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan and contained chocolate as the main ingredient – presumably as the centre was largely air! The chocolate contained a minimum of 14% milk solids and produced the same aroma as a standard Aero which, I think, is quite an unusual chocolatey scent.


The shape of the bar was identical to the orange version but the filling was pale rather than orange in colour. Due to the general concept being unchanged, the bar also had the same enjoyable texture where the centre almost collapsed and became chewy under pressure.


Unfortunately, I did feel let down by the taste. The milk chocolate coating had the usual, slightly bitter cocoa taste that Aeros have, but the centre just tasted a bit weird. The first thing I thought of when I took a bite was that it reminded me of margarine – not really the kind of comparison I was hoping to make! However, it did improve greatly as I went on, with this unusual flavour being overpowered by the chocolate itself, although it was still much less chocolatey than a normal Aero. Guttingly (yeah, that’s a word!), it just didn’t taste like white chocolate or vanilla. However, it did taste better when allowing the thick melt to take control, and I actually preferred the mellowed chocolate flavour on offer here to a plain Aero.

I can’t pretend this bar didn’t disappoint me. It was fine but that’s pretty much all it was. Fair play to Nestlé, though, for letting the customer choose the variety. Maybe next time they should go down the ‘choose a Chunky champion’ route that Kit Kat used, allowing people to try before they vote. If this had been real and solid white chocolate, my views would probably be different, but if I’d know this would be the execution before I voted, I probably would have opted for the cappuccino or strawberry versions instead!

Appearance: 7.5/10
Aroma:
6.5/10
Taste:
7/10
Texture:
8/10
Overall score:
7.25/10

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Milky Way Bar: French vanilla and caramel



Product name: Milky Way Bar: French vanilla and caramel
Purchase details:
£1.50 for a 48.8g bar (A Quarter of Sweets)
Calories:
220 per bar
Country of origin:
USA

I always have to remind myself that American Milky Ways are the equivalent of UK Mars bars. Bearing that in mind, this limited edition French vanilla and caramel variety, with its ‘rich chocolate’, ‘creamy caramel’ and ‘smooth nougat’ didn’t seem quite as unusual a concept as it would have done if compared to a British Milky Way!

 
Still made by Mars, I really liked this Milky Way Bar’s packaging, with the colour scheme reminding me of the Nakd Banana Bread, as I’ve previously mentioned. The product image’s luscious caramel topping, and the vanilla flower, were also easy on the eye.


I’ve only reviewed the UK Mars bar in miniature form as part of my Celebrations post, but I’ve eaten a lot of them in my time! As a result, I knew that the Milky Way, on the outside, looked very similar. It was slimmer, and a bit scuffed, but the inside looked incredible. The white nougat was really clean and fresh, whilst the amber caramel layer looked silky smooth.


As for the scent, there was a milky chocolate element to this, but it also smelt recognisably American in terms of the chocolate itself. Unfortunately, the vanilla aspect wasn’t incorporated into the aroma.


For me, the chocolate used on this bar wasn’t as nice as the British version – I can only assume that it was a different recipe! Aside from that, the vanilla nougat tasted immediately of ice cream and was almost floral. Whilst the bar was very sweet, it wasn’t as chocolatey as I would have liked. I did feel that the caramel was improved, though – it remained thick and incredibly gooey, but it was also as smooth as it had looked.

The combination of the chocolate and nougat ended up reminding me of the Charleston Chew Vanilla, although the Milky Way Bar: French vanilla and caramel was definitely a superior product – aside from the very inclusion of the caramel, I loved the way the chocolate shell cracked against the fantastically squidgy centre with every bite.

I’m certainly glad I tried this product but, to be perfectly honest, I much prefer the traditional, rugged and more chocolatey Mars bar!

Appearance: 8/10
Aroma:
7/10
Taste:
7/10
Texture:
8.5/10
Overall score:
7.63/10

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Walkers Pops: Sour cream & onion



Product name: Walkers Pops: Sour cream & onion
Purchase details:
£0.79 for a 23g bag (Tesco)
Calories:
102 per bag

Tonight’s my final review of the Walkers Pops range. These Sour cream & onion crisps cost a little more than the Melted cheese & crispy bacon and Original versions since they’d sold out when I went to buy them and, by the time I found them again, they were no longer on offer!

 
The majority of the information for this UK and Ireland-marketed snack remained unchanged so I won’t go into much detail.


The Pops came in a bag that was the kind of shade of green that’s often associated with the flavour on offer, and the potato discs had visible green flecks which made me think of chives. Their scent was slightly vinegary with a hint of herbs.


Rightly or wrongly, I think of sour cream and onion as being intrinsically linked with Pringles, so I can’t help but draw comparisons here in terms of taste. The flavour was very similar to the ‘green’ Pringles but not quite as strong. I quite liked this, though, as it allowed the potato’s own flavour to come through. Overall, the powdered seasoning tingled the tongue a little, and mixed onion, herbs and salt into a very enjoyable whole.


These Walkers Pops: Sour cream & onion were definitely my favourite of the lot so I’m glad they’re the ones I ended up paying more for!

Appearance: 7.5/10
Aroma:
7/10
Taste:
8/10
Texture:
9/10
Overall score:
7.88/10

Monday, 21 July 2014

Soek Baby Koala (milk)



Product name: Soek Baby Koala (milk)
Purchase details:
£1.00 for a 60g box (tesco.com)
Calories:
47 per 10g bag (282 per box)
Country of origin:
China

I spotted this box of Soek Baby Koala milk flavoured biscuits online and, despite never having seen or heard of them before, I really wanted to see what they were like. They were clearly aimed at kids (if not older babies!) but I’m not going to lie...I loved the cute koala cartoon and pictures of the filled biscuit pillows on the box.


Having purchased the product, I realised they were going to be pretty much identical to Meiji Hello Panda (milk) that I tried at some point before I started my blog. I enjoyed these, though, so this wasn’t a problem. However, after yesterday’s realisation with Glico Pocky: Milk flavour that milk itself isn’t exactly the most exciting flavouring in the world, I wasn’t sure just how good these would be.


The biscuits were made by Jiangmen City Yolan Foods Co. Ltd and imported by J K Foods. On opening the box, I realised that the snacks were actually split across six 10g bags, each containing five biscuits. Since I couldn’t be bothered recalculating my calories, and these were clearly childlike portions, I decided to go for it and eat the lot! I must say, though, that the inner packaging was really good quality – it was just a shame that the quantity of it wasn’t particularly environmentally friendly.


Each pillow had a cute drawing of different koalas on the front and were filled with a solidified yet soft centre that contained milk powder (contributing to 6% of overall product). I did think the corners of each biscuit looked close to being burnt but this wasn’t really the case.


The Baby Koalas had a really similar scent to Glico Pocky: Milk flavour but with an additional input from the very crispy biscuits. The filling was quite moist but I felt, in proportion to the biscuit shells, there wasn’t much of it. However, I didn’t find any of the mouthfuls I had became too dry either.

The biscuit had a nice, sweet flavour, but the filling didn’t quite match up to this in terms of enjoyment. I think the reality was that, once again, milk just wasn’t the most interesting flavour inspiration. However, pushing that aside, I really enjoyed the overall taste which was like an innocent and lighter version of a custard cream.

At the risk of never properly growing up, I really want to buy these again!

Appearance: 9/10
Aroma:
8.5/10
Taste:
7.5/10
Texture:
8/10
Overall score:
8.25/10
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