Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Years Revolution

I hinted a few posts back that I had an announcement to make on New Years Day. Some of you I hope were eagerly anticipating what I have to announce, although in reality I bet not many of you remembered. Why would you? what with the Christmas carnage we have all been experiencing of late, seriously this year has been one of the most hectic I believe, for me personally.

So what could I possibly be wanting to say. Well it's a confession of sorts, and a look at the future of this blog. Let's start with my confession, I'm sorry to say that all this time I have been lying to you. My name is not in fact Roy Saxon! I know a right shocker. No my name is Joshua Francis, I am a creative writing and law student currently in my second year at university.

Why the fake name? Initially it was a protection instinct thing, I had no idea of what my blog would be and was reluctant to put my real name to it. Also I liked the anonymity it afforded me and felt exciting to use another personae. Another reason is that I once made a promise to a friend to use the name Roy if I ever started writing. Don't worry this wasn't a dramatic deathbed promise so nothing important has been broken. No the friend is alive and well and I believe living in Brighton.

Moving on now let's talk about the New Year. What an exciting one I'm sure it will be. As today is a time for looking ahead and making plans for the coming year I want to make a blog resolution. There is going to be a bit of a change in what I blog about from now on. As I have been posting I've found that I get more enjoyment out of writing the preamble and description of how I found products rather then the actual reviewing. This could possibly be down to the fact that there are only so many ways I can describe the taste of chocolate.

For this reason from now on my posts will probably become more about my thoughts and general musings. Don't worry I'm sure there will be some reviews at time. I hope that my regular readers will continue to support me and enjoy whatever it is I end up posting about. I'm not sure what my first new article will be about as of yet probably whatever is on my mind at the time. I'm not going to lie though it will probably be a rant of some sorts. Christmas and the resulting onslaught has been slightly stressful and a good rant will vent some pressure.

I fear this post has become a tad serious and egotistical, don't worry though this isn't a sign of things to come. I'm not a very serious person so most of the time the posts will probably about some kind of madness that's happened to me on the day. Believe me I get through a lot of madness, just the other day I had an argument about the face of an elephant. Perhaps someday I'll tell you about it!

Well I'll love you and leave you with that tid bit and with this picture of an elephant I have drawn!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Glad Yuletidings everyone, it's finally here. The day we have all (maybe not all but certainly a majority) been waiting for. The day when we forget all our issues and grievances with each other and get along. The cynic in me would like to question why humanity needs a special day in order to unite. However I usher him out the living room for at least today. Pretty sure that makes me both a miserable person and a hypocrite not sure which is worse.

Anyway yes it's Christmas and I truly wish everyone an amazing day. Even if it is only a day I hope you get what you want even if it's just a break. If you don't celebrate Christmas well then I wish you a Merry day in general and hope you have a great time.

So it's the last day of my advent challenge what could I possibly be reviewing? Well I still have a bag full of Christmas themed stuff so the possibilities are vast and I'll be doing festive products for a while I fear. But not today, no festive sweets will be reviewed. Today I will review Christmas Lunch after all what else would be appropriate?

Now this won't be a specific review of any one lunch I've had, firstly as every lunch is a massive effort on whomever is cooking and they always do an amazing job. Secondly the last lunch I had wasn't in too recent memory and as of writing I haven't had this years. So instead I will review the idea of Christmas Lunch in general!

I was going to go through traditional items you would find on your plate and talk about them, but that doesn't seem like such a cool plan now. So instead I'll wing it and type as I think. This is probably not a great idea but lets see what happens! Every meal consists of those traditional staples, love o hate the you've got to have them. That's especially true of the polarizing Parsnips and Sprouts. Why these two veg separate us as a species baffles me, it's as bad as the marmite vs vegimite vs neither argument. Yet even the most ardent of haters will on this special occasion humor the idea of eating them. Even if it is just to chew them then spit them out. Myself I love them both although a few years ago I hated them.

There always meat unless your a vegetarian, the old traditional meat was of course Goose, at one point because it was a cheap and plentiful bird so even poor families had a special meat. Ironically now it is a bird with the highest price an barely anyone has it. To me it has to be turkey although not many others agree. Usually the go to meat now is either chicken or pork.

The highlight for many is the infamous "pigs in blankets" a weird combination of bacon wrapped around sausage (so meat with more meat) that people go crazy for. Why do we only feel like we can eat these at Christmas yet mourn their passing so much. Surely if we did away with their time constrants we would all be happier as a species. A quick shout out now for the potatoes who should be roasted till they re burnt to a near crisp but not blackened.

But what makes Christmas lunch really special is sharing it with family and friends. Yes by the end of the night you'll be sick of them (and indeed divorce rates are highest around January as people realize they can't stand each other in large doses), but for a few hours we sit round a table and talk. We talk without the distractions we often have like TV or walls. We joke, we share stories, we pull a few crackers and wear the silly hats and generally enjoy each others company. However we must spare a thought for those who don't have the opportunity of friends and family, those alone or without Christmas. We should remember how lucky we are even if it's just for today and tomorrow.

Not wanting to end on a sombre thought I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Thank You for reading my post today and any other day you may have. It means a lot to me that you would take time out of your day for me. I have a big announcement coming in a week on New Years day about the future of this blog. Until then I'l keep posting when I can and hopefully get through all my festive items finally.

Overall have a great day and hope the build up was worth the pay off.

Christmas dinner 9 out of 11

On the plate in front of you on the 25th of December

Final Thoughts
Have a wondrous day

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Frantic Festivities!

Well I hope that like me by now you have Christmas pretty much wrapped up! Sorry about that pun but I have just literally finished my wrapping and quite proud of the parcels beneath the tree. I know it seems like I've left it to the last minute but have no fear I spread my workload over the last week. Meaning no rushing and panicking at the last minute, in theory.

In reality I was having to frantically finish a few of them due to running out of paper and doing a mad dash down town before they shut. Seems I wasn't the only one too as I had a hard time finding any suitable paper. Luckily I found a few Disney themed rolls that were just about gender neutral enough to do for everyone. But at least now it's done and I can relax indoors and take shelter until the boxing day sales are well underway. Much safer especially when you factor in the town shaking weather we had last night.
Festive feces... I mean faces, festive faces
Now I am safely inside I can curl up eat some treats and tell you about them. I have a fair few too. We have biscuits, chocolates, bread and pies. I know a hectic post for you today, but it is the festive season and I thought I'd make the effort. So without further ado the first item is a McVitie's festive face. The reason for this is that on returning I was in desperate need for Tea and therefore a biscuit too. I wasn't expecting much from these if I'm honest, really I only bought them because they scared/amused me. They are pretty much BN's (if you remember those!) I think but with the shape of a jammy dodger. Basically a double copycat and fiend then. They taste like the old BN biscuits too, the biscuit base and lid is a vanilla tasting rich tea type affair and the jam and cream taste sweet and chewy. They aren't bad just a bit boring, to me at least. Let's face it the only reason people liked the BN biscuits was because of the advert and the chocolate version. These have neither and their expressions are terrifying!
This will forever haunt my dreams!
Next American chocolate with a Reeces snowman and Christmas tree and a Butter fingers coin. The tree and snowman are the same as the Pumpkin version I reviewed for Halloween. Delicious Reeces milk chocolate covering a beautiful peanut butter paste. A perfect mix of sweet and salty as always. The Snowman is a beast too, I had expected him to be like a hollow Easter egg but no it is all chocolate and paste no air at all. By the time I finish this I'll be so full I won't have room for turkey. Seriously though this thing weighs 141 grams and is nice to see dedication from a company. The Butterfinger coin achieves a similar balance but the milk chocolate isn't quite so sweet. The peanut in this is also small crispy flakes of peanut paste that creates the effect similar to a chocolate bar with cereal pieces like crunch. But with a great nutty taste to it.
All looking rather... cool
Now we visit Italy in the form of a traditional festive treat called Pannetone. Which is a fruity bread similar to Brioche or a hot cross bun. As I bit into it I found it a bit hard and dry but this soon changed as I began to detect the fruit that was mixed in. The taste as I say is very similar to other fruit breads with orange seeming to be the dominant flavour. The combination of fruit peel and raisins gives it a nice texture mix. It goes really nicely with some tea and coated in butter.

Lastly as you can see this has been a long post, it has been a bit of work for me and I now need something to fortify my nerves. Which calls for alcohol and in particular a festive liquor, Brandy. Thankfully MrKipling was kind enough to oblige in these deep fill Brandy mince pies. Now as I have mentioned I'm not a fan of mince pies, especially when they arn't homemade. But these are different enough to peak my interest. They arn't too bad but still suffer from the soft waxy pastry problem that mass produced pies have. Aside from that though they taste pretty good. The Brandy isn't too sharp and the filling isn't too sweet. The flvours mix to some extent not amazingly however.

Overall it's been a hectic day and a hectic challenge. With one final post before completion I'll be glad when I ca stop eating tinsel!

Festive Faces - 4 out of 11
Reeces - 9 out of 11 plus 1 for effort
Butterfingerz - 8 out of 11
Brandy Mince pie - 6 out of 11

Festive faces in Poundland
Reeces and Butterfingerz in American import stor (although the snowman was Tesco)
Brandy mince pies in Sainsburys

Final Thoughts
I'm so full of merriment it hurts, damn yuletide!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Peep's tree mallows and Cadbury Praline Fingers

I hate humanity, there I said it!  I know that sounds rather depressing but if you knew what I have just been through you would understand. For prior to writing these very words I was knee deep in Christmas carnage. Worse still I did nothing to warrant the treatment I experienced.

Picture the scene, me innocently realizing that I needed milk and deciding I'd just pop to the shops for a pint. Then at said shop I became involved in the hell and madness that is pre-Christmas food shoppers. How could I have been so foolish to not realize the world and his wife would be out today getting their trimmings before Christmas Eve. I really don't know what was worse the fight I had to reach the milk aisle or the time i took to que for the till. By the time I was ready to pay I went straight for the self service to avoid the personal touch of humanity.

As much as I love times like these when we all come together as society to celebrate, I do wish we hadn't come together in my local Sainsbury's. The holidays have a nasty habit of bringing out a nasty side to us in the last few weeks when we panic and descend upon food stores like locusts. Sadly this makes us tired and fed up with each other around an event with the purpose of doing the exact opposite. I believe they call it irony.
So these look plain but taste nice...
Anyway whilst there I took the opportunity to grab some last minute deals in the confectionery aisle and thought I may as well blog them whilst I attempt to relax. Now I know these are Christmassy themselves but the idea that you buy a box to share is, so in my eyes they count. They are Cadbury Fabulous Praline Fingers, part of their fabulous range which are meant to be up-market chocolate digits. I've had the honey comb versionand enjoyed them. They were really crunchy and had a great burnt honey taste to them. These are somewhat disappointing. The praline taste is just too subtle and barely comes through over the chocolate. They taste just like a slightly nutty plain finger and to be fair I love them so it's not really that disappointing. Except these tend to cost double the regulars so I do feel a little short changed.

Next I bring two appropriately themed and linked marshmallow items. One I picked up whilst visiting Macarons and more and another from an American import shop. I'll give you three guesses as to which one I prefer. The first one is a beautifully light and fluffy marshmallow with some mince pie filling mixed in. It tastes literally like eating a mince pie cloud. It melts practically before it enters your mouth a bit like candy floss.
and these look nice but taste plain. What is life?
The second mallow is a Christmas tree shaped Peep's marshmallow. Now I had heard of peeps before and have been eager to track down a box. So upon finding a few and some that fit my current challenge at that was a godsend. However this doesn't extent to the product itself as they are horrible. With an unpleasant chewy, cheap texture and literally no taste. I was really disappointed as you can imagine never has there been such build up for such dis bare since a tried a Twinky bar. I've had pound town mallows that are leagues ahead of these.

Overall it was a rather somber post today lets hope it gets better. For tomorrow is Christmas Eve itself, if I don't perk up I run the risk of being visited by three ghosts as is tradition.

Fingers - 6 out of 11
Mince pie mallow  8 out of 11
Peep's mallow - 2 out of 11

Tim's macarons and more
American import shop

Final Thoughts
How have Americans allowed Peep's and Twinkies to continue existing? 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Late night snacking!

You may have noticed yesterdays post was rather short and a bit late. Once again don't get ahead of yourself and think I have some kind of hectic social life, I wish I did. No the post was slightly postponed due to having to travel halfway down the country. Despite asserting they provide a good (one that comes at a good price) it wasn't until I got home until I could post.

Was it worth it? In one way yes in another no, I am glad to be in my hometown for the holidays but considering I left my special someone behind I'm not. Still mustn't dwell on down thoughts, I had a great time visiting her and her family. A quick Christmas week before Christmas week, who doesn't want to celebrate the day twice? I got to get some last minute late night shopping done in Norwich too. Including getting to go to castle Mall a shopping center built beneath a friggin castle! Of course I took the chance to purchase many sweet things for myself and the blog. The highlight of such was a look in at Macaroons and more where I found their mince pie flavour.

But before we get to that lets look at some bread. No don't worry I haven't gone mad again and purchased something that may be savory and worse still possibly healthy. No, don't be foolish dear reader of course this isn't going to be good for me. Well I could argue that whilst it may not be good health wise it is beneficial for my well being. This bread is Morrison's Rudolph bread, a orange brioche type bread with chocolate chips baked in for love. The result a lovely breakfast feeling bread with a festive chocolate orange taste. The bread isn't soft which is my only issue. Texture wise its more like a giant hot cross bun, but reindeer shape. Still it is nice and goes lovely slightly toasted and smothered in butter.
Kind of looks like he is struggling to wink... worrying.
Then we get to the climax of today's tale the aforementioned Macaron (the French kind not the coconut monstrosity). Specifically one made by Tim, the guy who won Master chef and started a chain of biscuit shops, so much respect. I had been in last time I was in Norwich at which time I was a Macaron virgin, that soon changed with a salted caramel offering and since I have been a bit obsessed! Unfortunately I did start with the best and since nothing has quite lived up to it. So when I saw they had a festive edition in wild horses or rather donkeys (beach donkeys are provided on tap in Gt Yarmouth!) couldn't keep me away.

Sadly it was not a happy tasting as once again it paled in comparison to my first time. The quality was still there, the top and bottom shell is crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The paste in the middle melts wonderfully releasing the flavour and generally it was amazing as biscuits go. It didn't quite taste of mince pie to me, the almond flavour over powered all other flavour somewhat. But seen as how I love the taste of almonds I can't exactly complain. Have no fear though I also purchased my one and only, my muse, my obsession, my salted caramel. Which lived up once again to all my needs and more. With a beautifully sweet caramel and subtly salty combination that takes you to sickly sweet before bringing you back down. A real treat  and I was smitten once more.
So sorry for misjudgment!
Before I end there I want to mention something I found the other day that isn't quite so special.  A super Mario Noel selection box, yeah you already know this isn't going to be good. But after seeing it I could hardly not purchase it just to revel in it's terribleness. And after all it does contain a whole NINE items (that's like one more than eight). You could just tell by the box this screamed cheap calendar chocolate. But I was wrong and whilst it doesn't taste of what you'd call quality it does taste pretty good. nice and milky and not overly sweetened. At the price it was being sold at nine items suddenly looks good. I feel rather bad for mocking it.

I felt as guilty as Donkey Kong here does!
Overall it was a great mini holiday and all the goodies I gathered were pretty decent, I'm sorry Mario I misjudged you.. again!

Rudolph bread - 7 out of 11
Mince pie Macaron - 6 out of 11
Salted Caramel macaron - 10 out of 11
Mario - 5 out of 11

Rudolphe - Morrison's
Macaron's - Tim's Macarons and More
Mario Box - Toys'R'Us

Final Thoughts
Only three more excitement disturbed sleeps till XMAS.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Disney Dismay

I know I probably come off as a bit of a cynical person and that's probably because in general I am. Some point around the time I turned six I bypassed all other ages and became a forty year old. So in spite of this it may surprise you to hear that yesterday I went and watched a Disney film. Completely voluntarily I might add.

I enjoyed it too and thoroughly recommend all of you try and see Frozen at some point. I was surprised at just how much I liked it. I loved the songs, the characters, the story just not the snowman. Though I hear that's what everyone is agreeing upon, he doesn't even serve a purpose. I truly hope that even children hate him and that his plushy sells worse than a guinea pig walking leash (believe me they exist). I could go so far as hoping that the lack of sales of such bankrupt Disney, but then I would never get Kingdom hearts 3. Plus as I say the film was good.

Why am I talking about a film though, well for one I enjoyed it. Two it's festive themed... is, Three I consumed candy as is tradition in a film. Lastly this is my blog so I'll talk about it if I want! Thank you very much. I’ll just say that it is worth seeing and whilst there are quite a few problems with it on many levels it doesn't matter when you hear some of the songs.

Anyway let's look at some candy. First I had some Co-op chocolate orange segments, oh-oh cheap knockoff rant is what you’re expecting, right? Wrong these were really nice and actually indistinguishable from Terry's name brand alternative. They melt beautifully with a creamy sweet orange taste as you would expect. Plus for a single shilling (well pound) you get quite a few segments. Only thing is they are pre-separated and you don't get the satisfaction of whacking an egg on a table.

Next I had a bag of salted caramel pretzels; this represented the savory and therefore healthy aspect of my meal. Sweet pretzels are an odd concept to me so when I saw these in Morrison’s I just had to pick one up. They kind of work much like how the festive pringles work. If you can get over the fact that the plain salted snacking pretzels are the norm you'll enjoy these. Nice and crunchy with a great sweet and salty caramel taste that fades leaving behind a dougie aftertaste.

Overall it was a nice day out complete with some nice sweets. Not much else to say just a bit of a chilled review really!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Mince Pie Madness

The big days but five more days away, and despite yesterdays post suggesting slight disdain at blogging here I am again. Today however in order to preserve my sanity (if that’s at all possible) I thought I would do something different. Instead of reviewing some product or another instead I will do a top of the pops style list feature. But what on you ask, especially if you haven't bothered to read the title. Well Mince pies of course.

This year I have seen a multi-tude of these pastry pals some with some cool topping ideas. Before this year in fact mince pies barely registered with me, unless they are homemade I never got too excited before. Shop bought ones always crumble away and have an odd greasy texture to the pastry. Even without the bad texture I find the pastry shells a bit boring anyway and unfortunately make up the majority of the pie. That's why I like these varieties that I have tried this year as they all have a rather pleasing substitute.
I was tasked with eating all these...
In last place we have no topping, an open tart concept. The only reason I like this one really is because the lack of topping means less pastry and if you’re lucky more filling. Even better is if the pastry base is thin and slightly burnt giving it a crisp rather than crumbly texture.

What about those those use a different kind of pastry? That question was well timed as now I turn to puff pastry mince pies. I don't mind these if I'm honest they are crispy and often sprinkled in sugar that if cooked right has begun to caramelize on top. The only problem is often these can be rather flakey and you end up with most of it down your jumper.
And these
Next is a hazelnut topped pie I tried. Very similar to the tart version this has shredded hazelnut on top which creates a crunchy nut topping. Not as exciting as I had hoped when I saw it but still definitely preferable from the usual pastry. Joint at this position is a Viennese topped pie. With a soft and crumbly biscuit top that was a bit too similar to the normal version but had a nice buttery taste that boosted its ranking.

Now we are somewhat into the elite territory folks. These were my top three that I have seen so far this year. A meringue topped pie was a cool idea and one that worked quite nicely, at first at least. The first few bites were great with the meringue offering a slightly sweet taste and an interesting texture combination. The trouble was it soon fell apart quite literally as the top fell on the floor and I was left with the basic tart.
Challenge accepted and completed!
In second place is a Cherry Bake well type display. Instead of pastry it had a nice iced top with a delightful cherry at its center. This was great as I'm not fond of Bake well’s in general but do enjoy the iced topping and combined with the mincemeat filling I got the best of both worlds. The version I tried was baked to perfect too with the icing cooked into a nicely solid state of being.

My favorite however with no comparison has to be a frangipani mince pie. These are quite frankly amazing. With a sweet almond cake mixture top that has a light and fluffy texture and a sweet flavor. This combines beautifully with the crumbly solid base and gives the whole pie a new feel.

Overall I have found a new lease on mince pies this year by reveling in non-traditional variations.

Mince pies - 7 out of 11

Various places

Final Thoughts
So full no room for thoughts!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Bored Blogging?

I’m starting to regret this challenge a bit if I’m honest. Posting everyday isn’t as easy as you would think believe me. Not only do I have to find time to write each post but there’s also the editing and uploading. Now I’m not really complaining, after all I get to try chocolate as I do them. The problem is that there is a growing sense of resentment.

By imposing a deadline upon myself I’ve begun to feel like the blogs become a job rather than a hobby. I think once the twenty fifth has passed I’ll need a bit of a break. For this reason and because of how similar each of today’s products are this post is going to be a bit short.
He hath no eyes!
First up we have Cadbury’s snowy delight bar, a vanilla crème filled milk chocolate slab especially for Christmas. It tastes as you would expect of the usual milk chocolate but the crème adds another level of sweetness. The crème filling is very similar to the strawberries and crème bar in texture a bit waxy but not too off putting. It gets close to becoming sickly but isn’t unpleasant. Both melt well and combine nicely so it is a good mixture. It’s very similar to product number two.

A Cadburys snowman is at number two, and pretty much the same product but in a different shape… Is what I thought. Yes whilst this is the same milk chocolate outside shell the inside crème isn’t the same. For a start it’s a vanilla mousse and not a crème. This may not seem much change there is as the filling is not only very waxy but also very tasteless. This product just doesn’t work, and is rather disappointing. Even the moulding is lazy and the snowman has no facial features or detail at all. It seems they went for a cheerful and cheap approach with this one, the sort of product you leave by the till for impulse buyers like me to find.
Little disappointed the white chocolate was only a topping
MARS also had this in their sights I’m sure with these Malteasers reindeers, but in this example I wouldn’t regret my buy. I really like these, the chocolate on the outside has a smooth milky taste. The inside is a beautifully crunchy malt middle that counters the sweetness of the outside well. The mixture has little burnt bits in it too that add even more texture. I find these teaser bars and the single Malteasers you get in Celebrations are much nicer than the actual Malteasers. I can’t see why this is so.

Lastly we have a Cadburys winter wonderland bar, these look rather cool. Made of tiny chocolate trees, of both milk and white chocolate. I was a bit disappointed by the fact that the white chocolate is only the top layer but still the taste is there. The chocolate tastes nice not too sweet, though this could be because it’s overpowered slightly by the plain milk chocolate.

Overall there’s not much to say really except that possibly there is too many products released just for one holiday. Or rather too many of the same ideas especially from Cadbury corner.

Snowy Delight - 5 out of 11
Snowman - 2 out of 11
Winter Wonderland - 7 out of 11
Malteaser - 8 out of 11

Any supermarket

Final Thoughts
Hopefully part of my New Years announcement will cure this dwell in my blog enthusiasm. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Right before you call me dull, boring or worse still a liar, let me have a chance to defend myself. Yes these are basically ginger biscuits and I did indeed suggest I'd at least take a break from such things; however I have reasons (or excuses). Firstly these are technically Lebkuchen and very traditional. Secondly they are more cakey and iced in chocolate. Lastly they are German and as I mentioned before makes them even more festive.

But before we get to them let us go nuts for well... Nuts! Caramelized almonds to be exact. In the last few months I've discovered a lifelong hatred of nuts was rather unfounded and have since been obsessed with making up for lost time. These things are one of those times that make me weep for such missed opportunities, what’s better than a roasted almond? One coated in sugar and then cooked that’s what.
More cake than biscuit
These really are great the outside is crispy and tastes of caramelized sugar, hardly a surprise really considering their name. The nut inside has been cooked and roasted well too. The combination created between sweet and savory is great with an epic crunch too for good measure. Now I have had these freshly roasted at a market and that was an experience I can tell you. These are the supermarket equivalent and despite being slightly smaller and not warm are still a delicious and probably dangerous for your health treat.

Next we have the main event, Lebkuchen. Whilst I started by saying these are more gingerbread cookies I think they are much more like a cake, true even more when you consider they usually come coated in icing. These that I have don't, instead these are covered in dark chocolate and have a rice paper base. All the layers have something in common, the fact that they all melt in the mouth nicely. The dark chocolate isn't the usual plain and bitter taste; instead it tastes nicely sweet and works well. This probably means it isn't a good quality example but that doesn't matter all the time.

Like little pebbles of joy

The cake itself isn't very gingery at all, and at this point I would start complaining. I would that is if it mattered which it doesn't. These are meant to taste fruitier than fiery I think which with the fruit peel mixed in definitely delivers. The peel itself mixes well with the chocolate topping and at times creates a Chocolate orange type of taste. These are great all round and such a shame they will soon be much missed from the shelves. They go well with a cup of tea too, multi-talented guys these.

Lastly is an odd concept, hot chocolate kit for two. Yes, on the face of it that seems a good idea right? It is a season for couples to conspire beneath the fire ECT. I would agree too, except this range comes from Toys'R'Us. Yeah things just got weird.

Overall Lebkuchen is amazing and the nuts too and make me realize I'm going to miss some of these fleeting festive treats. But then if we had them all year round they wouldn't be special.

Lebkuchen - 8 out of 11
Caramelized Almonds - 7.5 out 11

Both were found in Lidl

Final Thoughts
Germany really have this Christmas thing down to a T.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Curious Christmas combination

I know what you’re wondering, what could possibly have STOLLEN my attention today? Well I have a plethora of pleasantries for pursuing. I know that alliteration there was so good right, it really took the CAKE. Okay I’m going to stop with the terrible hint puns before you think me a right PUDDING. I must be driving you NUTS.
Definitely stopping after that one as in all honesty the one the nuts pun refers to isn’t too nut centric. Moving swiftly on for we have a few to get through today I’ll begin with the Stollen. Probably the most traditional of the four as not only is it festive but it is also German. As I have talked about before Germany is where most of our holiday hang ups originate from. Surely that makes this cake about as festive as you can get.
Thankfully it was only a small slice

 It’s an odd one too the cakes themselves are an amalgamation of soft pastry, fruit and marzipan. An odd combination that actually tastes rather nice, and like this one if made well creates an interesting cooling sensation in the mouth befitting of the season. The pastry is soft and moist and melts nicely on the tongue. The marzipan tastes of sweetened almonds and gives the pastry a nice sugary kick. Then the fruit and spice mixture brings the usual festive tastes that are ever present on our tongues right now. Altogether it creates a great Christmas treat that in my opinion I nicer than what we have adopted.
 Over here in England we have Christmas cake, not as fun to say and nowhere near as nice to eat. A combination of fruit, suit and breadcrumbs creating an often dry fruit cake base topped with marzipan and the royal icing. I’m really not a fan, usually when presented with these cakes I tend to eat the icing and marzipan and little else. I find it too dry and dull for my likings. To me, cake has to be sweet, moist and mostly chocolate. The version I tried is from Costa and whilst quite nice and more importantly very small still had the dryness and lack of interesting flavours for me.
Puddings in disguise
Next we have a deceiver in our midst for this may look like the traditional festive pud topped with sauce and holly, but take a closer look and that holly looks a bit too perfect. Another give away is that it is clearly made from Rice Krispys and chocolate. It’s a cool little thing I saw in local bakery and had to try, after all it is festively themed. However when I got home I was a little worried. The Krispys were falling off a rapid rate and they seemed a bit dull in colour. I realized that the chocolate in the mixture may have been lacking in aid of a batch bake. Undeterred however I tried a chunk and was pleasantly surprised. The cereal at first tasted a bit stale, but that was to be expected. The surprise was how the chocolate mixture tasted rather chocolaty and quite buttery. The combination worked well and tasted of sweet chocolate butter. I can tell you it didn’t last much longer and crumbled away to nothing.
With these Raffaellos I am really being spoiled
Lastly we have some snowball like Ferrero Roche’s, or rather their white chocolate coconut brother Raffaello. I never really eat Ferrero Roche’s that much; they aren’t the sort of thing you buy when you want a quick chocolate fix. I also don’t get invited to many Ambassador Balls and so don’t see many of the pyramid offerings of them either. Yet the fact that these versions only appear this time of year made me eager to buy a box just to try. Am I glad I did? Yes, Yes I am. These taste great with a crispy coconut outside a creamy nutty inside and a whole Almond all offered in one hit. They taste very luxurious without being too rich and filling as the regular ones have in the past. These have a great coconut and milky chocolate taste that ends with a great nutty crunch.

Overall I love most of today’s products except ironically the one we hold dearest to our hearts in this country. I say we adopt more German traditions and take on the Stollen.

Christmas Stollen -  8 out of 11
Christmas cake - 4 out of 11
Rice Krispy pudding - 6 out of 11
Raffaelo - 9 out of 11

Final Thoughts
Only eight more days left, I can't believe it!

Monday, 16 December 2013

McVitie's gineger bread biscuits

Ok I know you guys are probably fed up of me reviewing ginger biscuits but lets face it gingers pretty abundant this season. I wonder why certain spices have become known as festive. I'm guessing because they each create a warming feeling. They all do really, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and ginger, to be honest I'm clutching at straws on that one. I was going to mention allspice in that list but as the name suggests it's not really a spice more an amalgamation.

I'M going to move on as I fear I'm rather out of my depth here. Clearly my spice knowledge is rather lacking. I'm fine on the practical side (as in tasting) but the theory sides above me. Anyway I have three ginger based biscuits for your reading pleasure. One is a Costa coffee ginger bread man, one a Mcvities gingerman and one is a locally made red robin cookie.
Ohhhh Shiny
First let’s look at the Costa Coffee offering. I know what you’re thinking, why aren’t I reviewing the gingerbread latte that comes served with this drink? Well you see I didn't need to purchase the drink in order to get this guy. All I did was walk in the store say I was the one and only Roy Saxon and was offered anything I wished. Ok so that’s not true, although I was rather crafty in my procurement of it. I did the age old technique of flirting with the server. I wasn't even the initiator of said measures, so I got both a biscuit and an ego boost all in one visit. I know what you’re thinking again, Roy shame on you for flirting back. You have a stunning and beautiful girlfriend don't you? Well yes I do, she was with me and got half the gingerbread man.

Not that it was very gingery and yes I know I always say this. Also I realize I am rather harsh on any biscuit that doesn't meet my standards. But this time not only was it lacking in ginger fiery-ness, it was also rather stale. They do rather worryingly keep these in an airtight container but often they keep the lid off for easy access. Seems a bit futile in the long run. Then again I doubt many of their customers complain about the free addition with their drinks. Well I do, except mine was just free.

Next we have a very similar looking McVitie version the only difference being a layer of chocolate on the bottom. So similar in look is it similar in taste (or lack thereof). No, not at all, in fact these little guys pack a bit of a kick to them. Finally a ginger biscuit that's got a decent amount of fire to them. The chocolate is quite nice too but the spice is where the actions at. They have a nice solid crunch to them too. They even dunk well in coffee and their sweetness really comes through especially with the chocolate underbelly. I was really surprised how nice these were considering the usual mass produced cookies that are themed for holidays.

Lastly we have the red robin, the design on this thing is really nice and the sparkling red belly is the icing on the... well ginger biscuit. This has a weird very soft texture to it, not crumbly and not solid a bit like cold but not quite solid icing. In contrast the icing on top is hard and creates the crunch to this biscuit. It has a nice ginger taste to it but really the taste of icing is the prevalent flavor. It actually works quite nicely. I'm willing to overlook the lack of ginger because of how nice these look.

Overall only the Costa one was a disappointment and that's mainly down to how they are stored. I hope if any Costa people are reading, hell if anyone even reads, they start leaving the lid on. Remember please the customer and all that.

Costa Gingerbread man - 2 out of 11
McVitie's ginger man - 7 out of 11
Red Robin Biscuit - 6 out of 11

Costa (surprisingly)
Local cafe

Final Thoughts
 I will try and steer clear of ginger biscuits for a while, for your sanity and mine!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Holland & Barret mincemeat Flapjack

Wow, day fifteen already. I can’t quite believe it if I’m honest, only ten days left now until the big nights finally upon us. All this build up and excitement leading to a single day. Problem is once you pass that day all you have left are the remnants. Quite literally on Boxing Day, the day we now observe basically for the purposes of eating leftovers and not feeling lazy. At one time Boxing day was a time to leave a festive tip for your post or milk man. Now who even has a milkman? And the postman’s always late anyway.
Still another day brings another festive item in line with my advent challenge. I’m doing well so far and despite a rather hectic schedule (that doesn’t mean I have a social life, believe me) I have posted each and every day. Today of course is no different and I have two traditional treats for you today, well not amazingly traditional. Not at all really apart from the fact that contain festive iconology (fancy word right?), really I just like the phrase traditional treats.
Why would he need a wand, he has teeth
First up we have something that doesn’t exactly pop into one’s mind when I think yuletide and that’s a jelly lolly pop. These things are great for seasonal holidays however as you can pretty much put any form of icing on top and deem it appropriate. This time in light of the holiday they have chosen a stocking and Polar bear motif. Polar bear seems to be an odd choice, odder still is he seems to have a fairy wand. Truly this embodies the spirit of the season perfectly, No I’m not buying it either.
It has a nice solid jelly texture to it with a nice dusting of sugar; the icing is rock solid royal icing and definitely has teeth shattering potential. The jelly tastes really nice actually, which is a nice change from the usual quality of the bargain jelly pops you get near the counters. Even more surprising is when you consider there is no sign of a company name on the product. It has a nice sweet strawberry taste to it that tastes rather fruity. The icing of course just tastes of sugar but really its only purpose is to differentiate the product from the Easter version that comes out next week. Possibly a Triceratops with some kind of diving rod, if this one’s decoration is anything to go by.
Doesn't look it but it is nice

 Next up we have a festive flapjack from Holland and Barret. Again flapjack isn’t really what I picture this time of year. But like the jelly pop you can pretty much add anything to a flapjack to make it current.  Quite a good unintentional pun was made there when you consider this bar has currents in it. Basically it is a normal oaty flapjack with some mincemeat added for Xmas measures.
That isn’t to say it’s not nice, it is and indeed since finding these I’ve taken advantage of the stores two for one mix and match policy while these are around. The flapjack has a soft and crumbly texture to it. Maybe a bit too sticky but that’s thanks to the syrup. Which is needed as it makes it taste beautiful, honestly these melt in your mouth first with the taste of a mince pie and then with a syrupy aftertaste. There is a nice dusting of icing sugar on top too, invoking a sense of snow… or dandruff.  

Overall both of these products whilst not exactly quintessential for Christmas are a nice little passing attraction.
Polar bear jelly pop - 7 out of 11
Mincemeat Flapjack - 9 out of 11

Polar bear pop came from Superdrug and the Mincemeat Flapjack can be found in Holland and Barrets

Final Thoughts
Why were the company too ashamed to put the name on it?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Cadbury's Make A Wish and Lindt's Stars

So yes I survived yesterday, the infamous Friday the Thirteenth. I think the worst thing that happened was a slight scolding from not waiting long enough for my coffee to cool down. Even then I think I almost got a free coffee as the staff immediately saw a possible lawsuit. Though seeing as it was my own impatience I can't really complain, plus it was a coffee.

I have four items for you today so I'll get this prelude out the way. We have linked items so it shouldn't be too hard, we have two Christmas biscuits and two Christmas stars. First up the two festive biscuits, before you jump to conclusions, no I didn't have it with the aforementioned burner beverage. These two are great looking versions of the old favourite shortbread topped with marshmallow. One as a Snowman and one as a Reindeer, they are rather cute.
Damn it isn't really Rudolph
The chocolate button hat looks nice, tasted waxy and cheap

First we have Rudolph, the mallow is slightly unique as it tastes a lot of brown sugar. It's a pleasant change from the usual vanilla varieties which is on the snowman. Although it does come across as a bit sickly, both bases are a bit lacking in flavour apart from the sugar dusting. The real show comes when you reach the centre of these two and you hit a nice slab of raspberry jam. The combination created in both is great and the biscuits lack of flavour doesn't matter because it adds texture and crunch.

Next we have a Cadbury wish star, a returning product from yule tides gone past. It's a solid milk chocolate star filled with a bubbly milk chocolate mousse centre. My first impression was surprise really. The outside shell is pretty beefy which is a lovely surprise considering most hollow type items have a shell thinner than tissue paper. It does rather then overshadow the inside a bit and I didn't notice that I'd hit the middle without looking. It does melt perfectly as good aerated chocolate should, however they still don't actually give Aero a run for their money. One nice point is that a percentage of the sale of these stars goes to the Make a Wish Foundation. Written on each star is a message too saying 'Together we can make wishes come true'. A nice sentiment and one befitting of this time of year.
These are pretty big for a treat
The we have Lindors Lindt star, which while lacking in charity certainly makes up for it in decadence. With the usual Lindor feeling of extravagance and luxury, which while they are nice often feel a bit too indulgent. So luckily this star comes ready to be divided and easily split apart. Clearly they know that it is the season for sharing or that no one person can eat too much Lindor and not feel floaty.

The outside shell is again milk chocolate and inside is the signature Lindor filling. This filling rather conflicts with me somewhat it tastes so nice, so rich and so creamy that I love it and the fact that it melts with such ease helps too. Yet this also brings the problem with Lindor, this filling is often too rich, too sweet and ends up being a bit too sickly. Unfortunately that's how I feel about this product it's too indulgent for me and I did indeed share the other half, mainly for my own safety.
A lovely snowflake

Overall these products were nice although none felt that special, I think my favourite has to be the snowman. The charity side of the Cadbury's wish was a nice sentiment.

Biscuits - 5 out of 11
Wishing star - 6 out of 11
Lindt - 5 out of 11

Biscuit in a local shop, stars can be found anywhere pretty much.

Final Thoughts
Have any of you had an unlucky experience on the 13th I haven't. Comment below

Friday, 13 December 2013

Serge Premium Eggnog

Thinking back to this time last year I realize I was a very different person. Quite literally if you know a certain secret about this blog (which will be revealed to all on the New Year’s Eve). But yes, thinking back I remember as usual my mind was rather taken up by an obsession. One that didn't last that long mainly as it was rather seasonal. That obsession was hunting down and trying some eggnog.

This drink I had heard so much about was all I could think of. I knew that in America during this season there is an abundance of the drink, yet over here we had no such thing. Days were spent entering shops and asking rather perplexed staff if they sold the festive beverage. Often they had never even heard of it let alone stock it. The closest I ever found was Avoca which many may see as essentially the same. The difference is that Avoca is alcoholic eggnog and tastes more of liquor than anything else.
Weirdly I think it comes from a European company.

My obsession got to a point where I started looking into making my own. This was rather dangerous and daring considering it involves raw egg and me. The result was, ok. It tasted like crème Brule but that may have been because I had used too much sugar and nutmeg. The main thing was that it wasn't deadly and I'm still here to tell this tale. Although I didn't allow anyone else to try it for fear of killing them.

The festive season soon faded into but a memory and with it the obsession too. Then one day weirdly in the summer I found eggnog... In Tesco, in the foreign food section, where I've been able to find it ever since. Turns out too that they had it when I was searching yet no one seemed to know it existed. So I waited until now, the next festive season to finally try some.

The result of which is here, on a side note I now find an American version in Tesco that’s five pounds. That seems a bit expensive considering these cartons are less than a quid about four aisles down. Anyway I broke the straw off and plunged it into the silver hole all cartons have.

The leading American Rip off, I mean product
Taking a sip I find it to be really nice, definitely worth the wait. It is thick and creamy but in a way that's still refreshing. It's like milk rather than milkshakes. Like I said in my Frijj review if it's too thick it doesn't taste like a drink and is too thin to be yoghurt. Taste wise it's nice too being both milky, vanillary and slightly spiced all at once. It definitely tastes like the holiday season in a carton. Obviously very similar to Avoca but without the warming sensation of the alcohol.

Overall I wish these things would be more popular over here. I think in the US have it right with their tradition on this one, I definitely recommend.

8 out of 11

Finally found in Tesco

Final Thoughts
I may not have killed myself with my concoction but I haven't been the same since!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Tesco's finest Belgian Chocolate Salted Caramels and Mr Kipling's Frosty Fancies

One thing that occurs a lot in this season is a curious increase in social gatherings. Especially of the house party variety, not the Facebook kind of loose morals and clothing. No, the type I'm talking about is the wholesome friendly get together. A time of catching up, finger foods and forced party games.

It is lovely to see friends from far away come together to catch up and share an evening. Weird how no matter how much time has past, often you immediately start from when you last left it. The old jokes and anecdotes re-emerge, of the time John tripped over that sheep, remember that one? You get that nice table spread filled with sandwiches, cakes and small meat items that you wouldn't usually eat. On that very table is where you expect to see today's items. Although by the look of the two they probably wouldn't share.
They look a bit off putting with the odd lump on top.
There is one bad thing about these social get togethers, they can breed a sense of one-up man ship. You put out those really fancy cakes from Tesco's finest range because Cindy bought Salisbury's taste the difference. Really the whole concept of premium food is built upon a bit of pettiness on our parts. But then if we didn't have that I wouldn't have polarising items today, one from the finest range and one, well from Poundland.

So first up Poundland, although not like Poundlands own stuff (wouldn't want to poison anyone, would we?). These are Mr Kipling's at least so still recognisable. Mr Kipling's Festive Fancies. Another shameless display of a product re-skin for the yule tidings. Then again they were only a pound so can't complain.
Screaming both luxury and over indulgent at once
Plus I kinda like them. The fairy cake base is delightfully light and fluffy with a nice subtle vanilla taste. Now I know that wasn't anywhere near a manly description but then there is not much manliness about this product. The icing combines well, it's got an odd soggy but solid texture that creates a cooling sensation in my mouth. Frosty Fancies indeed. All was going well until I hit the cream, tasting of very little and an unpleasant waxy texture. I ended up scraping it off and enjoying the rest separately.

Next up we have Tesco's finest Belgian Chocolate Salted Caramel Petit Fours. Basically Millionaires Shortbread. They look soooo cool the top Belgian chocolate has gold sparkly glitter finish. It may not add anything to taste but it definitely looks premium.
The glitter doesn't sparkle in pictures quite the same.
Believe me the impressiveness extends to the taste, mostly. The top layer wasn't that great not much taste and I didn't notice it too much. But that could be it was overshadowed somewhat by the AMAZING salted caramel. Seriously the sweetness of the caramel mixed with the perfect amount of salt create bliss in my mouth. Plus its kinda crunchy too, The paste alone would have been enough to keep me happy. Though admittedly it is a bit overly sweet and that's where the base comes in. Providing a crumbly texture and a subtle butter taste that keeps these from being sickly.

Overall screw impressing people, get these finest range Petit fours and these Frosty Fancies. Then sit in a corner and eat them all flicking the cream topping at the walls. For the guests I dunno flies or something.

Frosty Fancies - 7 out of 11
Petit Fours - 10 out of 11


Final Thoughts
I need to find me some salted caramel paste, grow old and die happy!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Nestle Snowcaps and Cadbury Snow Bites

‘Snow is falling, all around… simply having a wonderful Christmas time’. Except it isn’t snowing and let’s face it, it definitely won’t be on the twenty fifth. I think the nearest I’ve ever got to a white Christmas was the year I knocked over a bottle of talcum powder. Anyway why would we want snow on Christmas day?

I’m not a kid anymore and snow doesn’t hold endless possibilities for me. No I know what will happen, I’ve seen it before. I could attempt to build a snowman, but I’ll probably give up have way through and that’s not fair on either of us. I could have a snowball fight, and then I end up cold, damp and probably having a stone lodged in my eye.  Then there’s sledding which is always rather short-sighted really. Yes, it is fun to slide down the hill, but remember you then must walk back up it, in the snow, when it’s cold… and possibly icy.
What exactly is a Nonparcil?
Nope, if it snows this year I’m going to hunker down, make some soup and wait for it to blow over. Worse still is it doesn’t even just send the kids crazier than a blue Smarties. Adults suddenly have the urge to go out and purchase half of Sainsbury’s or Tesco. Then I’m stuck not being able to buy my essentials for hunkering. Essentials of the food variety, specifically sweetened ones. Luckily I have a solution to this as my cupboard is a Dragons horde of confectionary.

Why all this talk of snow before even a fleck passes my nose? Well it’s a good way to start my post containing two snow type items. We have Cadbury Milk chocolate snowballs to try and some Nestle Snow caps. Starting with the Dairy Milks I must say the white dusting on these whilst a nice touch does rather get everywhere. When I opened the bag a ploom of the stuff erupted out and coated my room.  Still as I say it’s quite nice and I have fond memories of these from last year.

They are essentially Christmas themed mini eggs, with Dairy Milk chocolate being encased in a sugar shell. Except as I pointed out they are dusted too, which in product logic makes them completely unique. You can fool my but you can’t fool my tongue. I pop one in my mouth and allow the outside coating to melt to the point of brittleness that makes it fall apart. Leaving the chocolate exposed and slightly warmed. It tastes, well rather disappointing, as I say I had these last year and got through many a bag I can tell you. This year they taste a bit stale if I’m honest, I don’t know if they’ve changed or if I have a bad bag, but something’s different.
Look how proud he looks of his skills!
Well with that disappointment I moved onto the Snowcaps, something I truly haven’t seen before (brand wise). They are small chocolate chip drops sprinkled with tiny white candy balls. A bit like very small jazzles. This should worry me, after even a single jazzle my stomach usually feels like I’m punishing it. These though are different, for a start they are dark chocolate, so the bitterness alone should in theory off set the sweet sugar pieces. Which it does each drop is actually quite bitter but in a rich way that’s not unpleasant. They don’t melt very well, which is a shame, but they are still rather moreish.

Overall I much prefer both of these to the real cold thing itself, much more useful. Wait. I know this year I’ll make a snow angel! Probably won’t snow at all now.

Snow Bites - 5 out of 11
Snowcaps - 7 out of 11

Snowbites are in most stores like Tesco, the Snowcaps I found in an American candy store in Southampton. 

Final Thoughts
I may put a bet on it being a white Christmas after all!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Cider and Apple Christmas Pudding

So after yesterday’s rather spectacular display of shoddiness, (both in respect to the product and if I’m honest my review) today I vow to be better. Bringing something that isn’t just festively themed but also rather special. In fact a lot about this product is special to me.

Firstly I placed this item at the Christmas market that I mentioned a few posts ago, from a wooden chalet selling nothing but Christmas puddings. Not just one varieties though, oh no, these were specialists boasting four different ones. That in itself was rather special, as someone who isn’t a massive fan of Christmas puds I don’t pay much attention to developments in the field. As far as I know there’s normal and the other one (literally basing this on the coloured bowls differences you see in the supermarkets). These deserved my attention however so I took a peek and as my housemates and I wanted to we purchased a cider and apple pudding lump.
I do love the name of the company very rhythmic! 
If I’m honest things were looking rather bleak for me. It was a majority vote on the one we wanted and I was in the minority. I don’t particularly like cider; I find it a bit too sweet although I do like apples, odd to say the least. Still it was one we bought together so I would endeavour to try it anyway. Plus in doing so I get to review something slightly different from the usual mix of chocolate and biscuit.

It was also special because the pudding was the way to round off our house Christmas dinner which I was making. I’m pretty proud of my cooking prowess and of my dishes mu stew is one of the Supremes (second only perhaps to my spag bol or French onion soup). The stew tasted amazing and the dumplings some of the best I have ever produced I believe. Everyone seemed to agree though they may have slipped it in the plant pot when I turned around. Having said that our plant has been looking a bit ill lately. Then came the piece de pudding for everyone which I prepared traditionally by steaming. I didn’t follow through with the other tradition where you put a coin in it for some lucky bugger. I didn’t want to kill anyone for Christmas after all.
Why do so many look forward to this sight every year?
The pudding didn’t look as I had imagined and was much darker than I remember puddings to be. It didn’t seem to be so currant filled and breadcrumy as I am used to. The pudding tasted ok, sadly not amazing but not bad. A bit too much cider for my liking, which overpowered all the other flavour somewhat. It was a bit stodgier too and felt rather heavy. The cream went well with it though but not as nice as the regular puddings. Still the meal was great, we pulled crackers, shared jokes and almost offended each other to the point of breaking down. Basically it was what Christmas meals are meant to be.

I know it may seem to you guys as though we celebrated a tad too early but our household isn’t the most organised and soon we all leave for our respective families. We tend to plan big events a week in advance as often something arises. This kind of backfired in that we managed to keep our plans this time. Still it was Christmassy and everyone else loved the pudding.

Overall the stew was great, the pudding meh but the evening was magical. Wow I feel soppy, how much more festive can you get?

Christmas pudding - 5 out of 11
Evening - 10 out of 11

'German' Christmas market

Final Thoughts
Amazing friends are amazing.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

German Christmas market sweets!

            I'm going to admit outright one of today’s products isn't technically Christmas themed. Wait though dear reader, don't pick up your pitchfork just yet let me at least explain. You never know once you have heard of its origins you may well forgive me. You see I bought both of today’s products at a rather festive event.
            Much like the fete phenomena I talked about the other day another increase in social gathers occur at this time of year. Markets, specifically German markets. Now I know that technically most of the traditions we hold dear and sacred (the tree especially) does come from Germany and other European countries. But really why every Christmas market is desperate to make sure you know its German themed. It's not like once you’re in the market everyone acts German, No in fact your lucky if you get a sausage stall at all.
It looks rather luxurious 
 But this market did just that called itself German in pretty much name alone, though there is Bratwurst on offer. I'm not complaining, I loved my time at the market and I'm a bit afraid this may turn into another rant rather than a review so let’s move on.
First up the non- Christmas item, chocolate coated marzipan. Thinking about it however marzipan and almonds do have a bit of resurgence in this festive time, so we're not so far away. This item looks amazing with the marbled multi-chocolate look. The chocolate shell is mostly dark chocolate and is surprisingly thick. Which is great as the bitter chocolate offsets the marzipans sweetness. The only problem is it didn’t melt very well in my mouth but the quality really made up for it.
Doesn't look too appealing but it is.
            The next items definitely more festively themed, its Christmas pudding fudge. A nice mixture of traditional pudding and an item I don't necessary with this time of year. Yet it really worked well. Cleverly the fudge itself was great tasting rum fudge. It was soft and crumbly and melted on my tongue. It was rather potent in the alcohol taste and was worried I may slur the rest of this post if I have anymore. In the fudge it is little pieces of fruit cake and raisins. The combination is very similar to having a Christmas pudding more than liberally covered in Brandy sauce. Basically the stuff the 25th is made of.
Either a shepherd or a nun
Overall both of these items were great and Christmas markets in general are lovely. My trip almost sent me back in time to the Victorian era seeing simple crafts and gifts on sale. I even went ice-skating!

Marzipan Chocolate - 6 out of 11
Christmas Fudge - 7 out of 11

Local 'German' Christmas market.

Final Thoughts

I'm being rather ranty lately.

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