31 Jul 2012

New Haribo Games Mix

Haribo are one of those ranges that seem to come out with new editions constantly. It's February? Here, have some new heart shaped Haribo. It's Easter? Here's some egg and/or bunny shaped Haribo. It's time for a football tournament? Have some football shaped Haribo. A sporting event which gives out gold medals but which cannot be named if you are not an official sponsor? Here's some Gold Medal Haribo. Brilliant stuff.

Not content with the Gold Medal Haribo alone, there are two further Haribo sweet mixes themed around this summer's sporting events. These are the Games Mix and the Fizzlecles Mix. I bought the Haribo Games Mix which is a selection of sporting shapes in some classic Haribo fruity flavours.

The sweets feature actual sporting apparatus such as yachts, bikes, footballs and shuttlecocks but also the Haribo Bear indulging in some weightlifting and running. All very cute and perfectly themed. The Haribo Fizzlecles mix has the same shapes but with a fizzy sugar coating.

I wonder what Haribo will come up with next?

30 Jul 2012

Limited Edition Superfruity Shredded Wheat Mango, Passion Fruit & Peach

Shredded Wheat has an image of being one of the healthiest cereals about but I have to admit it's not one that I buy very often. I prefer cereals which can be eaten as a snack without milk as well as the typical breakfast fare. I was lured into purchasing these new Superfruity Shredded Wheat because of the magic words "Limited Edition" on the front of the box! I also loved the sound of the flavours in the "Real Fruit" filling of Mango, Passion Fruit & Peach.

From the outside they look like regular mini Shredded Wheat. The difference is the orange coloured, almost jam like, fruit filling in the centre.

The centre is quite tart tasting and not as sweet as I was expecting. At first I was quite surprised by the lack of sweetness and the almost sour taste but after a few bites it started to grow on me. It's like eating dried fruit but with a crunchy coating. My eldest son who loves peaches and mangoes really likes this cereal as a snack without milk. I like the fact that this is a high fibre cereal, with one bowl providing two whole grain servings. This Mango, Passion Fruit & Peach variety also has the antioxidant Selenium added for extra health benefits.

There are already two other varieties in the Shredded Wheat Superfruity range "Raspberry, Strawberry & Cranberry" and "Blackberry, Blackcurrant, & Blueberry" which also sound quite tasty and I'm sure I will be giving those a try at some point too.

29 Jul 2012

Milky Bar Milk & Cookies - King Size (Cybercandy)

Why do Oreo cookies take on such magical qualities and become completely irresistible when they are added to chocolate bars? OK, so this Milkybar Milk & Cookies does not actually mention the word "Oreo" but there is no question as to the type of "cookies" being emulated here. The bar consists of a large slab of white chocolate generously filled with dark brown (almost black) cookie pieces. The combination unfortunately gives the chocolate a slightly grey look!

This is no ordinary chocolate bar that you can find in any local shop. This is a US exclusive (I bought mine from CyberCandy for £2.99). I love the idea of white chocolate with cookies, it reminds me of the filling inside the Kit Kat Chunky Cookies & Cream. The Milky Bar white chocolate is very sweet and sugary and it's definitely not the best white chocolate out there. I like my white chocolate to have quite a strong vanilla kick to it which this chocolate does not have at all. But the good news is that the cookie pieces are just like Oreo's and add a lovely crunchy texture to the chocolate.

My test of how much my family likes a chocolate bar is how quickly it disappears. We often have chocolate bars which are languishing at the bottom of our chocolate tin (yes it's true I keep a large tin just for chocolate bars in various stages of completion - from new to half eaten to one bite left!). I'm pleased to say that this Milky Bar Milk & Cookies did not make it into the chocolate tin, it was eaten up very quickly. Even though the white chocolate itself is a bit bland, my kids enjoyed it and I certainly did not hold back either! I don't think I will buy it again, but it was nice as a one-off treat.

I'm saving my next chocolate/Oreo kick for the new Milka & Oreo bar. Review coming soon!

27 Jul 2012

London 2012 Logo Tin with Union Jack Biscuits (Marks & Spencer)

Do you remember when the London 2012 logo was first revealed and universally panned? Back in 2007 Seb Coe described it as "ambitious, interactive and youth-friendly" focusing on it's bright yellow and pink neon colours and bold design. Most of the media's and public reaction was overwhelming negative. But it seems that 5 years is just about enough time for the UK to get used to the logo and to actually like it!

This tin of biscuits from M&S takes the London 2012 logo and adds a Union Jack twist to the colours and pattern.

The theme is perfectly matched by the biscuits inside which are all shaped like the Union Jack flag. They are described as all-butter biscuits and I was quite surprised by how dark they were in colour. They are quite hard biscuits, the type that is perfect for dunking in a cup of tea or coffee. The flavour is very buttery with caramel undertones but I was a bit disappointed in them. I was expecting them to be more like shortbread all-butter biscuits which they are clearly not.

The best thing about these biscuits is how they look and I can't wait to serve them up whilst watching this evening's Opening Ceremony. They look wonderful on these Union Jack plates that I had leftover from the Jubilee celebrations! The tin makes a great keepsake too and my sons are already using it to store their Olympic drawings and small toys.

The tin costs £5 from Marks & Spencer's stores and contains 255g of biscuits in two sealed bags. There are 130 calories in each biscuit.

26 Jul 2012

12 Mini Medals Ice Creams (Sainsbury's)

Finally the sun has come out! For a while there it looked like most of the athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games would be performing under torrential rain and constant grey skies. This pack of 12 Mini Medals from Sainsbury's is an absolutely perfect way to celebrate both the good weather and the upcoming sporting events. What better way to celebrate the athletic prowess and physical fitness of others then sitting down with some ice cream?

Obviously these are not an officially licensed product and make no mention of the O word whatsoever. In fact these have been around for a few months now and I decided to buy them as they are on special offer for £2.50 at the moment.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how bright the metallic colours of these lollies actually were. There are four each of the Gold, Silver and Bronze coloured lollies in the pack. Of course everyone wanted to try the Gold ones first so they disappeared quite quickly! These reminded me of the recent Magnum Gold in terms of the colour coating the chocolate. It is definitely a gold colour not just yellow! The silver and bronze lollies are also bright and metallic looking. They are very well done for an own-brand product and much better than I was expecting.

However don't expect these to taste the same as a mini Magnum. These are quite different but still very good. The chocolate coating is thinner than on a Magnum but that is not a bad thing for me. The chocolate was still great tasting. The inner ice cream is a decent vanilla ice cream, similar to what you may get in a large tub.

I also like the fact that these are mini sized as they don't leave you feeling queasy or over full. They are perfect for a quick cold treat and with only 134 calories per lolly they are not going to break the calorie bank!

They look great and taste very good too. I'm sure these will be selling out fast this week so grab them while you can. What do you think of the Mini Medals ice creams?

24 Jul 2012

Limited Edition Cherry & Vanilla Crusha

Let me get straight to the point with this review: I don't drink Crusha with milk EVER. In fact I always thought this wasn't a product for me, since I don't like milkshakes or milk very much. Then one day last year I saw the Limited Edition Vanilla Ice Cream Crusha and an idea hit me.

You see I love this drink:

The awesome and US only Coca-Cola Vanilla and I wondered whether I could recreate the same drink at home by adding a splash of Vanilla Ice Cream Crusha to coke. The answer was a resounding yes! It makes the most gorgeous drink ever and best of all you can cater it to your own taste - add more vanilla or less and also use it in diet coke rather than the full fat variety. You can even use a different brand of cola altogether. It all works.

I was genuinely upset when Vanilla Ice Cream Crusha disappeared from the shelves but I have to admit that I still have a few bottles stashed away. When they run out I will have to start a Bring Back Vanilla Ice Cream Crusha Campaign!

Earlier this year Crusha announced that they would be releasing a new Limited Edition flavour and I was hoping for something that could replace the above Vanilla Ice Cream Crusha. I was not disappointed with the release of the new Limited Edition Cherry & Vanilla Crusha.

Even though I like cherry flavoured sodas, such as Cherry 7UP, I was worried that this new Crusha might taste medicinal or too artificial. Cherry is just one of those flavours that can go either way - taste great or taste yuk. But this Cherry & Vanilla Crusha is just perfect. It's fruity but not too overpowering and the inclusion of vanilla softens and sweetens the whole flavour. So far I've added some to coke and 7UP and it's been gorgeous, creating a whole new amazing drink each time. Make sure you play around with the quanities, my husband adds quite a lot of Crusha whereas I like a smaller amount. I've got most of my friends and family hooked on this drink now (well the odd glass at the weekend doesn't hurt!).

A few days ago Pepsi announced a new US range called Pepsi Next which includes a Cherry & Vanilla variety, but who needs to wait for that - just get some Cherry & Vanilla Crusha and add it to some Pepsi yourself!

Some of you may be wondering what this Cherry & Vanilla Crusha actually tastes like in milk. I haven't tried it as a milkshake myself but I can tell you that my eldest son did not like it at all - one sip and the milkshake had to be thrown away.

Let me know if you've tried it in milk and enjoyed it. I'm saving mine for making my own Cherry & Vanilla cola and lemonade!

23 Jul 2012

Kit Kat Chunky 3 Cookies & Cream Review (Cybercandy)

I was so excited when I found out about this Kit Kat Chunky 3 Cookies & Cream. One of my favourite (and now discontinued) Kit Kat Chunky's ever was the US Cookies & Cream version. It was a fantastic combination of oreo style biscuits and a creamy filling, all encased in the super thick chocolate of a Kit Kat Chunky.

This new Kit Kat Chunky 3 Cookies & Cream is surprisingly not from the US, it's an Australian exclusive. I got mine from CyberCandy. The number "3" in the name comes from the three completely different sections of the chocolate bar, which are 'Triple The Texture'. These are described as Smooth Vanilla Fudge, Crunchy Cookie Pieces and Gooey Vanilla Sauce.

The bar breaks down into 3 generous sized pieces which are almost individual chocolate bars in their own right. I did my best to dissect the bar to show you all the different fillings in the middle. I wasn't entirely successful in this and I ended up crushing half of the chocolate, but hopefully you can still get the general idea!

The Smooth Vanilla Fudge segment is a creamy white colour inside. The taste reminded me of the inside of a Kinder Maxi, very sweet and creamy with a hint of vanilla. It has a very smooth texture but this is somewhat overshadowed by the crunchy wafer of the Kit Kat Chunky itself.

The Crunchy Cookie Pieces segment was easily my favourite of the bunch. It is almost identical to the US Kit Kat Chunky Cookies & Cream, with it's gorgeous layer of white creamy filling and dark biscuit pieces.

The Gooey Vanilla Sauce segment lives up to it's name. The filling is completely different to the other two and is definitely gooey but in quite a thick way, it is not like a soft centred caramel. You can bite into this without it leaving a messy trail! There is a subtle vanilla taste but I found this to be the least flavourful of the bunch.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed with this chocolate bar but only because it's not the same as the US Kit Kat Chunky version which was fantastic. I loved the middle Crunchy Cookie Pieces segment but the other two segments didn't have any cookie bits at all, which is a bit confusing given that it's called Cookies & Cream.

The three different segments are a great idea though and this bar feels much more substantial than a normal Kit Kat Chunky. I could only eat one segment at a go, they are very sweet and heavy. You need to have a serious sweet tooth to tackle this one on your own but the good news is that it's great for sharing!

20 Jul 2012

M&M's Mega Post: Coconut, Peanut Butter, Pretzel and Mint

I promised a post on the M&M's part of my CyberCandy haul and here it is! My lovely family bought me this huge bunch of goodies which included four different flavours of US M&M's, Pretzel, Mint, Coconut and Peanut Butter.

Pretzel M&M's. The Pretzel variety is the newest release out of this bunch. I've always admired Americans for their love of sweet and savoury combinations. Bacon pancakes covered in syrup? - yes please! So you can see why I would find these Pretzel M&M's very appealing. I was actually surprised by just how pretzely they were. There is a massive chunk of crunchy pretzel in the centre which dominates the whole flavour. The first bite is a bit odd but after that I decided that I absolutely loved them! Hubby wasn't as sure but he still managed to eat most of the pack.

Mint Dark Chocolate M&M's. I love the bright colours of the Mint variety, they are all different shades of green which really suits the flavour. The flavour is exactly what you would want from a mint M&M - sweetly minty but with a refreshing kick. The chocolate centre may be called a "dark chocolate" but it doesn't have the intense flavour of a dark chocolate.

Peanut Butter M&M's. I love these Peanut Butter M&M's as the flavours are just so American and different from the usual chocolates we get in the UK. They come in bright primary colours and taste just as you would expect. The chocolate in the centre is quite pale in colour and the peanut butter is definitely the dominant flavour. I love the fact that the peanut butter is slightly salty and combines with the chocolate to create a great tasting treat. My kids liked these a lot too, but then they are partial to the odd peanut butter and chocolate spread sandwiches!

Coconut M&M's. I've saved my favourite for last, the awesome Coconut M&M's. They come in three colours; white, brown and green, which just suit the coconut flavour perfectly. A few of them are even stamped with a little beach umbrella or palm tree image alongside the usual "M". Some people might be disappointed that these do not contain any real coconut pieces but I like the fact that the coconut flavour is not overpowering. It's still unmistakably coconut but in a subtle and sweet way.

Let me know if you have tried any of these flavours and what you thought of them. :)

You might also be interested in:

M&M's Intense 65% Cacao
M&M's Limited Edition Red, White & Blue

19 Jul 2012

Sainsbury's New Wholegrain Cinnamon Malties

I was never a big cereal eater or buyer when I was younger but with two ravenous young children that has all changed. I often find myself loitering in the cereal aisles of the supermarket desperately trying to find some new cereal that will keep their taste buds happy. Luckily for me there have been a lot of new and interesting cereals released recently.

Sainsbury's and Tesco have both overhauled their range of children's cereals. The supermarket own-brands are no longer just copies of the basic rice-krispies and cornflakes. They now have some more original flavours and copies of the more expensive cereals. Tesco's cereals have been revamped with a cast of cute animal characters whilst Sainsbury's children cereal features super hero type images. They are both bright and different.

My children have always been big fans of cinnamon flavoured cereal, but the choice of these has been limited to Curiously Cinnamon. I always lamented the fact that there were not more Cinnamon cereals about. (I need to get my hands on this US Cinnabon Cereal!). But I'm pleased to say that I have recently found three new cinnamon cereals in UK supermarkets, all made by supermarket own-brands: Sainsbury's Wholegrain Cinnamon Malties, Tesco Cinnamon Squares and Aldi American Style Cinnamon Chips.

First up are the new Sainsbury's Wholegrain Cinnamon Malties.

They look exactly like Nestle Shreddies in shape and size, and even have the same criss-cross pattern. I was expecting them to be covered in cinnamon sugar as that seems to be the main feature of cinnamon cereals. However these don't have any sugar coating at all. The cinnamon flavour has been included into the cereal itself which means the cinnamon flavour won't get washed away by the milk. The flavour is strong and really holds it's own. It's not as sweet as other cereals, and the whole thing just tastes healthier.

My kids enjoyed these and I will be buying them again. They are high in fibre and contain added vitamins and minerals. There is also a voucher on the back of the box for 50p off any Sainsbury's Reading Scheme book.

Other interesting NEW cereals in the Sainsbury's kids range that I have seen are:
Strawberry Squares
Choco Caramel Duo
Mini Crunch Cookies (similar to Cookie Crisp)
Choco-Hazelnut Squares (similar to Krave)

Let me know if you have tried any of these. I'll be blogging about the other cinnamon cereals soon, so please check back!

18 Jul 2012

Peanut M&M's Intense 65% Cacao

Imagine my surprise when I spotted these new Peanut M&M's Intense 65% Cacao on the shelves of a Poundland store for the bargain price of 3 packets for £1. I had never seen this variety of M&M's before so I quickly snapped them up. A quick search on Google revealed that these had been released earlier this year in France. Who knew Poundland could be a treasure trove of imported chocolates!

I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate myself but my husband is quite keen on it and he also loves Peanut M&M's so I was extremely pleased with my bargain.

These M&M's have 5 main colours; red, orange, purple, yellow and a lovely turquoise. My pack had quite an uneven selection of these colours and I would have liked more of the turquoise ones. 

Inside the colourful shell, the chocolate is a very dark brown in colour, almost black. The chocolate flavour is just as I expected, rich and intense but sweetened by the sugary coating covering the chocolate. The peanut inside perfectly suits the dark chocolate flavour and helps to break up the intensity. Even though I don't usually go for dark chocolate I did enjoy these and would definitely buy them again.

Let me know if you find any interesting imports in your local discount stores!

You may also be interested in:
Limited Edition M&Ms: Red, White & Blue 

17 Jul 2012

London 2012 Caramel Shortcakes

Let's all ignore the headline's about bungled security contracts and focus on what is really important... merchandise. A few weeks ago I wrote about the London 2012 Mini Cupcakes with their cute Olympic Mascot themed cases but strange so-called "compound topping".  I still couldn't resist buying the other product from this London 2012 bakery range, the pack of 9 Caramel Shortcakes.

This time the theme imprinted onto each square cake is the infamous London 2012 logo (remember the outcry when that was first revealed!). The cakes are very small, each one is about 2cm in width, which makes them great for kids or for a bite-sized treat. These cakes are obviously modelled on millionaire's shortbread, which usually has a biscuit base, caramel filling and is topped off with a thick layer of chocolate. These are not the best tasting millionaire's shortbread I have ever had by a long shot. The chocolate is quite thin, the caramel is more of a fudge and the biscuit base is quite bland. Having said that, they were still perfectly fine with a cup of tea.

The best thing about them is undoubtedly the way they look, I loved the design on the chocolate. Any child (or adult!) with Olympic fever would love to tuck into these cakes and because they are so small it is easy to tuck into a whole pack in one go, especially when shared with the family.

I bought these cakes in Tesco for £1 for the pack of 9. They also come in a rather fetching London 2012 tin which contains 24 of these cakes for £4.50.

16 Jul 2012

CyberCandy Haul!

My favourite birthday present from my husband... a huge parcel of CyberCandy goodies!

Included are Lucky Charms cereal, four (yes four!) different kinds of M&Ms, Twix Peanut Butter, Kit Kat Chunky Cookies & Cream, Kit Kat Chunky Caramel, Boost Stix, Milky Bar Milk & Cookies, Angry Birds Sweets, Vanilla Coke, Jelly Belly Vanilla drink and three kinds of Olde Brooklyn Soda.

I also received Cookies & Cream Pop Tarts but they didn't make it into the photo because they were toasted and eaten within minutes!

We're eating our way through, one delicious treat at a time, so I'm sure I'll be blogging again about some of these goodies.

Aero Boci Strawberry

There are some unusual chocolate bars hiding on the shelves or your local newsagents or small grocery store. I like this video called 10 Foreign Chocolate Bars 001 from @chocitout because it highlights some of the gems out there. It was on this video that I first saw this strawberry Aero bar (or is that Boci?), which originates from Hungary.

I couldn't quite believe it when I found this very chocolate bar in a local corner shop for 69p. Why had I never noticed this before?! The packaging looks very distinctive with it's green fields and blue skies. I love the picture with the strawberries and pink bubbles too, it's all so girly.

Inside the bar looks just like a regular Aero Bubble bar, with 7 large segments. It has a sweet strawberry smell which struck me as soon as I took off the wrapper. The bubbly chocolate inside each segment was a very satisfying pale pink colour which I just loved.

The strawberry flavour is actually not that strong or overpowering. It's quite a delicate sweet milky strawberry flavour. It's different to the usual strawberry taste you get from selection box chocolates. I enjoyed this bar a lot, but it was probably because of the pink colour and the cute wrapper. No one else in my family liked this chocolate bar at all, they all thought it was horrible. Oh well, more for me!

Let me know if you have spotted any unusual chocolate in your local shops.

12 Jul 2012

Mr. Men & Little Miss Chocolate Characters and Lollipops (Tesco Exclusive)

I love the Mr. Men... I know I've mentioned this fact many times before! No wonder then that I adore this selection box of white & milk chocolate Mr. Men & Little Miss characters. It's part of a wider range of Mr. Men themed products exclusive to Tesco.

In the box you get 12 Mr.Men shaped chocolates. There are 6 different characters featured and you get 2 of each of these, one made of milk chocolate and one made of white chocolate. The characters are Mr Happy, Mr Strong, Mr Greedy (of course!), Little Miss Giggles, Little Miss Naughty and Little Miss Scatterbrain. The chocolates are quite detailed and look just like the classic characters.

The chocolate itself is quite tasty too. The milk chocolates have a minimum of 30% cocoa solids. They are not as sweet and cloying as some cheaper chocolate out there.  My children loved them and were absolutely delighted with these chocolates! At only £1.00 for the box they are great value and make a wonderful gift.

I also bought this 4 pack of Mr. Men & Little Miss chocolate lollies, which feature the characters Mr. Tickle, Mr. Bump, Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Chatterbox. There really is something for everyone. The foil wrappings are very cheerful and would brighten up any child's day. The chocolate is similar to the chocolate above, again with a minimum 30% cocoa solid content.



The only negative point is that they do not have the Mr. Men on the actual chocolate lollipop, it is quite plain with a stripy pattern. My children were expecting it to look like the character featured on the wrapping! Despite this, they would make great party bag fillers. I hope that Tesco continues to add products to this great range.

You may also be interested in:
Mr. Men Ice Lollies
Mr. Men Yogurt Drinks

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