Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review: Hartley's Fruit Whips

Hartley's Fruit Whips are a range of fruit flavoured desserts that are made by simply adding milk, whisking, and leaving to thicken for 5 minutes. It's got to be said from the outset that these are very similar to classic Angel Delight desserts. There are three Hartley's Fruit Whips flavours available, Strawberry, Banana and Apricot - I bought all three on a 3 for £1.00p offer at Asda. 

I wasn't going to buy these at first because I'm not a fan of Angel Delight type desserts but I was impressed enough with the other new recent from Hartley's (What's Your Flavour Jelly and Glitter Jelly) to give the Fruit Whips a try.

I decided to make the Banana flavoured Fruit Whip first, and just as expected it was very easy to make and was ready in less than 10 minutes. The consistency thickens up quickly and has a light and foamy texture. The banana flavour is very sweet and strong, and becomes quite overpowering, although it does go well with the creamy dessert base. I've since tried the Apricot flavoured Fruit Whip, and by contrast, found that it had very little apricot flavour. The fruity flavour was so weak that the dessert tasted far too milky for me to enjoy. 

There is still the Strawberry flavour waiting for me to try and I don't think I will use it to make this type of dessert again - they're just not for me. I've seen suggestions to try them for milkshakes or smoothies so I might give that a try instead.

Grocery Gems Verdict: Hartley's Fruit Whips

RATING: 5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: No.
Nutrition: 103 calories (per 92g serving).
Vegetarian: Suitable for Vegetarians.
Purchased: Asda.
Price: 3 for £1.00p.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Review: Chocolate Mega M&M's - Limited Edition

We don't really see the release of many new M&M's products in the UK, and usually the difference is simply to do with the colours involved (like the recent M&M's Red, White & Blue limited edition), so I was pleased to find these limited edition Mega M&M's instore at Asda. Unsurprisingly these are just bigger versions of regular M&M's - three times bigger by weight in fact.

The Mega M&M's colour mix is exactly the same as standard Chocolate M&M's - yellow, blue, green, red, orange and brown. The larger size of these Mega M&M's are very similar to Galaxy Minstrels (which are also made by Mars), but the flavour of the inner chocolate is considerably different. Whereas Galaxy Minstrels has a very caramel-leaning, creamy flavoured chocolate, the Mega M&M's feature the familiar extra sweet, and less smooth M&M's chocolate, that is nonetheless still very tasty. Personally I prefer the sweeter Mega M&M's flavour to Minstrels, but then I'm not a huge fan of Galaxy chocolate.

For comparison, above are the exact same number (and colour) of Mega M&Ms and standard chocolate M&M's side by side to show the size difference. I think the Mega M&M's would make great fairy cake or cupcake decorations - just one chocolate on top of the icing of each cake would be really cute. 

Have you tried the new Mega M&M's? Let me know what you thought in the comments below. 

Grocery Gems Review: Mega M&M's Limited Edition (UK)

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
208 calories (per 43.6g portion - 1/3 of the bag).
Purchased: Asda.
Price: £1.00p (128g bag).

Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: Cornetto Caramel - Limited Edition Retro Pack

In the summer months I usually keep a box or two of Cornetto ice creams (or the supermarket own brand equivalents) in my freezer and I always look out for any new flavours. The Cornetto Caramel Limited Edition Retro Pack caught my eye on a recent trip to Asda. From the "retro" inspired packaging I assume it's not a new variety but it's still not one that I've tried before. I know there is a Cornetto Enigma Caramel and also a Caramel flavour in the Mini Cornetto packs, but they are both quite different to this one. 

The Cornetto Caramel is a combination of vanilla and caramel ice creams, with a caramel core centre, topped with a chocolate coating and decorated with caramel flavour white chocolate curls. The flavours are all fairly simple but I immediately liked the caramel curls on top alongside the vanilla ice cream and solid chocolate coating.

However, it was only when the inner caramel core and caramel ice cream were revealed that the Cornetto Caramel became more interesting. I really enjoyed the thick and gooey caramel centre with it's sweet and buttery flavour. It doesn't run all the way through but there's enough of the caramel sauce to make an impact. When it comes to the ice cream, I was pleased to find that the caramel ice cream actually has a distinctive caramel flavour that contrasts nicely with the vanilla ice cream. Overall, it's still a simple flavour combination but one that provides a satisfying caramel hit. 

Grocery Gems Review: Cornetto Caramel

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
215 calories.
Purchased: Asda.
Price: £1.89p (box of 6).

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Review: Steve's Leaves - Persian Cress & Herby Baby Leaves

I was recently sent a few packs of Steve's Leaves - Persian Cress & Herby Baby Leaves salad mix to review. I hadn't heard of Persian Cress before but apparently it's being hailed as 'the new salad rocket' thanks to it's distinctive sweet and mild peppery flavour. It's a distant cousin of watercress and has been popular in Persian cuisine for centuries. 

The new salad mix is the creation of Dr Steve Rothwell, the man behind Steve's Leaves, who just so happens to be the first person in the UK to have a PhD in watercress!

The Persian Cress & Herby Baby Leaves salad has a lovely fresh appearance, with the small, delicate, frilly leaves of the Persian Cress making an appealing addition. The Herby Baby Leaves are a combination of Baby Green Batavia, Baby Red Cos and Wild Rocket. 

I enjoyed mine with simply with cous-cous and added baby plum tomatoes, cucumber curls and yellow peppers. The combination of the peppery Persian Cress and the sweeter baby leaves is really tasty and moreish. Apparently these leaves also make a great partner for spicy foods - I'll have to try that next time! There is lots of recipe inspiration on the Steve's Leaves website too:

Steve's Leaves are available at Waitrose, online at Ocado and other foodie retailers.

Friday, 17 July 2015

New Instore: Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Rocky Mallow Road

The latest addition to the Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations range is the fun sounding Rocky Mallow Road. It's a combination of pink marshmallows, strawberry jellies and shortcake biscuit pieces. This new variety was announced in July but I haven't been able to track it down in stores yet. However,  Richard W. managed to find the new bars today in the Co-Op and sent me the fab photo above via Twitter.

I had no joy in my local Co-Op but do let me know in the comments below if you've spotted the new Cadbury Rocky Mallow Road instore anywhere. I'll have a review as soon as I find it! 

Many thanks to Richard W. For the great find!
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