Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Popchips Multipack

This will be very brief as the title pretty sums up everything about this product. I absolutely love Popchips - they have such a light, crunchy texture that really does pop in the mouth. Deliciously savoury with a good salty kick and yet under 100 calories a bag for something that feels substantial and not too airy.

I've always thought they should do a multipack and now they do. There's nothing new here but it means I can keep a supply of healthier snacks in the house or stock up on them to take to work. Buying them like this also makes the cost of individual bags cheaper. I also love how they come in a card box rather than the bags you usually get for multipack crisps. Not only does it look so much cooler and really makes them stand out, it also protects the individual bags inside much better - keeping my precious Popchips intact!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Balocco Cacao Snack Wafers

I'm a complete coffee nut. I'm not someone who drinks loads or thrives off it but I love coffee house experiences. Rather than drinking multiple cups of instant a day, I prefer to just have one really authentic proper coffee and enjoy it as a relaxing moment.

Products like this Balocco Snack Wafer are perfect for relaxing with a creamy capuccino at home as they help create an even more authentic coffee house experience. Having made a nice capuccino using properly steamed milk with my coffee maker, this seemed a natural accompaniment - I could have been at Caffe Nero or somewhere similar.

I absolutely also love continental products - amaretti, cantuccini and all those lovely little morsels seem so sophisticated and perfect for taking a break. These again just look so right paired with a cappuccino and they taste so right too!

In each pack, there is 8 petite little wafers so are the right size for sharing or as the whole pack is 45g perfect for one as well. I went for four.

The biscuits are three crispy, airy wafers sandwiching a chocolate filling. Although the chocolate layer looks quite thin, it is so creamy you get a real cocoa hit. The wafers are dreamily light and their delicate texture complements the filling. They're utterly delicious whether eaten on their own or dipped in a coffee.

When dipped the chocolate becomes just that extra bit smoother and sublime and the wafers are meltingly soft. They still keep their shape and crispiness but just become that extra bit treaty. I absolutely loved these - perfect for recreating continental coffee moments.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Arla Protein Snack Pot

I was lucky enough to get a free sample of the new Arla Protein Snack pots via BzzAgent. Snacks and foods high in protein seems to be the big trend at the moment and with good reason. I always find myself particularly satiated after eating foods high in protein - they're filling and therefore help to reduce cravings and bingeing.

With a whopping 20g of protein per pot, these are aimed as a pre or post gym snack with all this protein helping to repair muscles. What I really liked about these pots is that they're a more casual and mainstream way of getting additional protein into your diet. Most gym snacks aimed at hardcore gym goers are pumped full of weird things like whey powder or come in weird pills. Whilst I like protein, I don't want to eat artificial substances to bulk up. I prefer natural things.

Luckily there's no fake nasties in this. Essentially, it's just quark - a low fat, high protein dairy product with a bit of fruit, a bit of sugar and some rosehip. The only thing you wouldn't find in a kitchen is some stevia for a sweetener and this is obviously better than things like aspartame. It's also low in sugar at 6g per 100g. Other high protein yoghurts like Danio are higher than this.

It's not quite as thick as Danio but the texture is still rich and creamy - albeit slightly airier. In a way it reminds me of the texture of Angel Delight or a mousse rather being Greek yoghurt consistency. It tastes a bit like raspberry angel delight as well -which is nice! It's slightly sweet but not overly so but still thick and delicious. The fruit flavour can be tasted and I did find that after eating this I didn't want to eat again until dinner.

They're also currently half price at 62p at Tesco at the moment so now is a good time to try them.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Aero Mousse Limited Edition Hazelnut Flavour

After reading such a glowing review at 1treat about this new limited edition, I just had to seek it out and give it  try. I absolutely adore hazelnut and chocolate - it's the winning combination that Nutella has perfected - so although I don't normally buy this kind of product, I really wanted to give this a try.

I haven't really eaten a fake mousse from a supermarket since I was a child - myabe occasionally I'd eat a genuine homemade mousse au chocolat or order one in a nice restaurant but usually this kind of very aerated, slightly fake stuff isn't really for me so I was interested to see what I'd make of it.

It's packaged nicely enough although unless I'd read about it and proactively gone to find it, I don't think I would have noticed it on shelf. Even the fact it's hazelnut isn't really overtly advertised. However, the pots feel nice to hold and are a pretty decent size. One thing which was a bonus is that each tub is only 85 calories and yes, although there's some pretty unnatural ingredients in there, it's not overly horrendous. It's not too suagry either really as the bulk of the mousse (68%) is milk. Just over a fifth of the product is sugar, which translates to 11.8g per pot, which for a dessert is really quite good. There are many cereal bars, which are over a third sugar and mainstream chocolate is well over 50%.

Opening up each pot, it looks pretty inviting and there is a nice faint chocolatey aroma, which is quite pleasant. However, upon my first taste, I'm afraid to say I was disappointed. Sorry!

I just couldn't get the hazelnut hit I was after. It is there but it is way too subtle. The main taste is just sweet and, although chocolatey, not very satisfying. As I've said, I don't really eat this kind of product and I remember why now. It's so airy and light you don't get any satisfaction and still want something else to eat afterwards. Yes, it's only 85 calories but I would have enjoyed just one indulgent biscuit instead. If you like mousse, you'll probably like this but it wasn't a proper treat in my eyes.

Score: 5.5/10

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Kanpur Garden Deluxe Madras Cooking Sauce

I'm not a massive Lidl or Aldi shopper but every now and then make a little trip to them for a change and am usually pleasantly surprised by a couple of items and this madras cooking sauce from Lidl was another winner.

This was bought at an absolute steal of just 64p as part of a half price weekend offer to coincide with their Asian week but even at £1.29 it would still be a bargain for something that creates a fairly authentic curry in your own home.

I usually don't even buy curry sauces or even Indian ready meals as they're never as good as a proper takeaway. Of course, I would still choose a takeaway over this for a really great Madras but this really is very, very good and puts all other ready sauces to shame. As well as the jar of sauce, there's a pouch of dry powder for extra flavour. You cook your meat or veg in is first and then add the sauce and simmer. This packs in so much flavour and is a lot tastier, quicker and easier than trying to make an Indian from scratch.

And unusually it's got a decent bite for a little bit of lip tingling chilli heat. It's no vindaloo but it is pretty spicy (this jar has a 3 chilli rating but there's are more milder curries in the range too).

I made a simple sweet potato, cauliflower, pepper and lentil Madras and it was so simple but more importantly utterly delicious. It was nearly as good as a real takeaway but ridiculously cheap. I would 100% buy this again.

Two minor setbacks is that it's fairly high in salt and sugar (although arguably less so than a takeaway) and trying to get the snice mix out of the top is a nightmare. Lidl need to sort this out as it was ridiculous how difficult this was and I ended up having to use a chef's knife.

Bar this toil, the curry was super easy and as said will probably become a regular go too.

Score: 8.5/10