Friday, 18 April 2014

Review: New Cadbury Marvellous Creations Banana Caramel Crisp

Cadbury have released some innovative flavours under their Marvellous Creations range. Starting with the Jelly Popping Candy Shells and Cookie Nut Crunch, and who can forget their madcap Cola Pretzel Honeycomb? I'm not sure how I feel about this Marvellous Creations range. On the one hand I applaud Cadbury for bringing adventurous flavours to the confectionery mainstream market. On the other hand, even though I excitedly bought one of each of the original flavours when they first came out (almost a year ago now), I have never purchased another since. Of course the release of the new Banana Caramel Crisp Marvellous Creations was enough to rekindle my interest!

The Banana Caramel Crisp is a combination of Dairy Milk chocolate with Banana Flavour Candy Pieces (8%), Caramel Pieces (5%), and Malted Cereal Balls (3%). The bright yellow of the banana candy pieces are visible through the milk chocolate (see above), but disappointingly, the chocolate did not have a banana scent when I opened the wrapper.

The large white pieces in the photo above are the banana candy, and there are also visible caramel and malted cereal pieces. 

Below is a close up of the banana candy pieces as I'm sure most people will be most curious about these. The photo makes them look really big but actually they seem quite small within the chocolate itself and it's possible to eat whole chunks of the chocolate without tasting any banana pieces at all.

Even though the banana pieces look very chewy, they lean more towards a soft crumbly texture. The banana itself has an artificial candy like flavour, which I enjoyed, but this flavour is limited to any chocolate chunks with actual banana pieces in it. The caramel pieces didn't have much flavour at all, but do contribute to making this chocolate bar super sweet, much sweeter than the other Cadbury Marvellous Creations. Luckily the malted cereal pieces are delicious, a bit like even maltier Maltesers and were my favourite part of this bar - I'd love Cadbury to do a bar with just these in it! 

The combination of all these elements in one bar is interesting but quite separate from each other; sometimes a crispy malty bite, sometimes a sweet banana, sometimes the Dairy Milk chocolate itself. I personally would have preferred there to be a more consistent banana and buttery caramel flavour throughout the whole chocolate. Overall, it's a tasty enough chocolate and it's definitely worth a try - but probably more for novelty value than anything else. Let me know in the comments if you've tried the Cadbury Marvellous Creations Banana Caramel Crisp and whether you think it's one you would buy again! 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Cadbury Marvellous Creations Banana Caramel Crisp

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy them again?: I doubt it.
Nutrition (25g)
128 calories.
Vegetarian: Suitable for Vegetarians.
Purchased: Asda.
Price: £1.50p for 200g bar (offer price).

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Juvenate Revive Body Butter Review

Many thanks to Kev from Kev's Snack Review who kindly nominated me to receive this Hotel Chocolate Cocoa Juvenate Revive Body Butter as part of their Mother's Day campaign last month. I was so excited when the Revive Body Butter arrived last week, all perfectly packaged in an elegant gift bag. It's part of a luscious range of premium beauty gifts which are available from Hotel Chocolat.

The Cocoa Juvenate range uses cocoa to create beauty products that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The Revive Body Butter combines the Hotel Chocolate fine cocoa with premium natural ingredients, such as organic West Indian cocoa butter and Morroccan argan oil.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the tub was the wonderfully zesty floral fragrance. It's a scent inspired by freshly cut cocoa pods with notes of bergamot, green tea, lime, exotic florals and warm sandalwood. For me, the citrus notes of the lime come through strongly with a lovely sweet edge from the floral background. It's a unique fragrance which leaves a light scent that lingers on the skin. The actual body butter itself looked luxuriously thick but was actually very velvety and easily absorbed into the skin. There was no heaviness at all, just a wonderfully silky smooth feeling. I have very dry skin and I've already noticed a difference, my skin is much softer without any dry patches.

Overall this is an indulgent treat and a gorgeous gift idea, one that I'm sure any mum would be thrilled to receive. It would definitely make a very special alternative Easter gift, and one that would last a lot longer than an Easter egg! 

A big thanks again to Kev for nominating me - check out his original review here:

Grocery Gems Verdict: Hotel Chocolat Revive Body Butter

Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition: Not edible! :)
Purchased: Available from Hotel Chocolat online HERE
Price: £21.00.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

New Cornetto Chocolate Intense

The frozen aisles in the supermarkets are full of new ice cream products at the moment. The latest flavours from Cornetto caught my eye, and as I'm a complete chocoholic I was especially interested in the Chocolate Intense flavour. It's described as a dark chocolate ice cream, with a cocoa wafer cone and white chocolate curls to decorate. 

And these Chocolate Intense cones really were delicious, definitely the best Cornetto cone I've tried in a long time. The chocolate ice cream has such a gorgeously intense and rich chocolate flavour, whilst still being sweet and creamy. It's chocolatey heaven! The cone itself has a light flavour in comparison, but it's still tasty enough for this chocolate treat. I even loved the little white chocolate curls on top as they added a little extra sweetness to the initial experience. My husband and two kids also absolutely loved these so I doubt I will get a look in for the rest of the box!

I also spotted another new flavour, the Cornetto Cheesecake Glory, instore. My family were not so interested in trying this one but it looks really good to me! I'm sure I'll pick up a box at some point but if you've tried them I'd love to know what you thought in the comments below :)

Grocery Gems Verdict: Cornetto Chocolate Intense

Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition: 200 calories per cone.
Purchased: Asda.
Price: £1.99 for a box of 5.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Ritter Sport Cookies & Cream and Meringue Nuts

I've been getting my chocolate fix a bit early this year thanks to Steffi and our recent Grocery Exchange. As a fan of Ritter Sport I was excited to try these two varieties from the Spring 2014 range; Cookies & Cream and Baiser Nuss (Meringue Nuts).

First up, the Cookies & Cream which is a flavour that was released as a Spring limited edition last year, and that I somehow failed to try. I'm always drawn to "cookies & cream" chocolates so I was keen to put that to amends this year!

The Ritter Sport Cookies & Cream is identical to most chocolate bars of this type in having a vanilla cream centre with chocolate cookie pieces. The textures were all excellent, with a smooth chocolate and vanilla cream, coupled with plenty of crunch from the biscuits. The vanilla flavour is quite strong and reminiscent of a vanilla milkshake, whilst the cookie pieces were sweet, but in comparison didn't really add much flavour. It's still an enjoyable chocolate, but more of a crunchy vanilla flavoured bar rather than a cookies & cream one. 

Next up is the new Baiser Nuss which provides the unusual combination of meringue pieces and roasted hazelnuts in a milk chocolate. 

The chocolate is packed full of crumbly meringue and crunchy nut pieces. Steffi had described this bar as a love it or hate it type of chocolate, and luckily enough we all enjoyed it. I can understand why some might not like it as the meringue pieces make this a very sugary sweet chocolate bar. However, I found that the robust flavour of the roasted hazelnuts more than made up for the sweetness of the meringue, creating an unusual but tasty harmony of flavours. 

Many thanks again to Steffi for sending these out! If you'd like to find these bars in the UK then I highly recommend Monster Sweets for all your Ritter Sport needs here:

Grocery Gems Verdict: Ritter Sport Cookies & Cream and Baiser Nuss

RATING: Cookies & Cream: 7 out of 10, Baiser Nuss 7.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: New Toffee Crisp Cereal

I was recently sent a box of the new Nestlé Toffee Crisp Cereal as part of a Bzzagent campaign. I had been meaning to buy this cereal for a weeks now so I was pleased to be asked to give it a try. It's described simply as a crispy toffee and chocolate cereal, and has been released partly due to the success of the Lion Cereal (still haven't tried that one!). 

I'm not a big eater of this type of cereal myself, I tend to stick to porridge or muesli in the morning. However, I have been known to snack on chocolate cereal from time to time (without milk in a bowl), and this Toffee Crisp cereal is perfect for that! I enjoyed the larger crispy cereal pieces that are coated in a caramel flavoured chocolate. The caramel flavour here is very sweet but with a lovely creamy edge. The smaller toffee balls are quite unusual for a cereal as they are coated in a soft caramel paste layer. 

Overall, it's a tasty snack and one that successfully recreates the flavours of a Toffee Crisp chocolate bar in cereal form. I don't know how they managed that but they really did - genius! Personally I wouldn't want to eat it with milk, but my eldest son does enjoy it this way and gives it a thumbs up! It's interesting to note that Nestlé are marketing this as the first chocolate cereal for adults, as it was equally popular with the junior members of Grocery Gems. 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Toffee Crisp Cereal

Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition: 187 calories (per 30g with semi-skimmed milk). 
Purchased: Available at most supermarkets.
Price: £2.49p.

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