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Saturday, 25 June 2011

MAGIC CHOC

Remember the horrible "Cheestringz" adverts from a few years ago? The ones where the kids were squidging the cheese strings into balls and throwing them at each other THEN EATING THEM?
That was disgusting. But here is new MAGIC CHOC. It's like "Cheestringz" but chocolate - basically it's edible plasticine. But unlike the unhygenic nazis at "Cheestringz" HQ, the makers of Magic-Choc have included a handy antibactrial wipe to use before you begin.

As the pack says, there are only three simple instructions:

1. SQUISH IT
2. SHAPE IT
3. EAT IT!

EASY! LET'S GO! The instructions show how to make two things, a dog and a spaceship. Here's the spaceship.

Squished it, shaped it, ate it. TOO EASY! So then I made this:

COULD YOU MAKE THAT OUT OF CHEESE? No.
By the way, the chocolate tastes slightly chewy, but it's surprisingly moreish.

Magic Choc, The In Thing, Starter Pack £4.99
Gobble Monkey says: 6 out of
7

Monday, 20 June 2011

Flake: Allure

I find it sad that the global recession has made it difficult for chocolate companies to launch brand new products. Instead, it's less risky to piggyback a new concept onto an existing popular brand, like KitKat Senses, Cadbury's Bliss or Mars Delight.

While it is annoying when hippies from the Seventies bang on about Spangles for half an hour, there is a certain joy in recalling the classic sweets of yesteryear. And I can't imagine in 30 years people saying 'Oh Janet, remember the limited edition dark chocolate Boost that was around for about three months in the summer of 2009?'

The latest old bar to have a make-over is this: The Flake Allure. A flake dipped in truffle flavoured chocolate.

Look how Alluring it is! But then i spotted this on the wrapper:


Yeah yeah we've all heard the song, we all know it's the flakiest, crumbliest whatever, but what's this about "enrobing"? I thought they'd just got a machine to plonk a load of chocolate over a Flake, but no I was wrong - they've enrobed it! (Only half enrobed it though - fully enrobed would be ridiculous.)

It seems there's a simple formula to these variants. All you have to do is take an existing popular chocolate bar, plonk some 'truffle' or 'caramel' or 'vanilla' on top of it, add a slightly saucy sounding word on to the end of it to make it appeal to a female demographic, then write some nonsense to describe how sensuous it is.

So here are some new concepts for chocolate bars i will give for free to confectionary companies:

Yorkie: Boudoir - sexy milk chocolate oiled down with a moist truffle overcoat

Malteasers: Cheeky! - honeycomb balls, cheekily stripped naked of their chocolate covering.

Snickers: Erogenous - not sure what this is

Club: Bastard - a hardcore solid chocolate Club with the finest layer of marmite

I look forward to seeing these on the shelves soon.

ANYWAY, aside from its silly name, the Flake: Allure has nice flowery packaging and tastes better than a normal Flake (WHICH I HATE). Also the 'half enrobing' actually prevents the stupid flakey chocolate from crumbling all down your cardigan. So well done.

Flake: Allure, Cadbury 59p
Gobble Monkey says: 4 out of 7

McDonald's DOUBLE TASTE SHAKES

EXCITING NEW McDONALD'S MILKSHAKES ALERT!
Look! 'Double Taste' Shakes! They look exciting don't they? There are two 'Double Taste' flavours: Double Taste Tropical & Vanilla and Double Taste Double Choc. (They even doubled the word double in that one).


Basically these are your regular McDonald's vanilla and chocolate shakes, with extra flavoured syrup. But in their wisdom, McDonalds have decided that rather than putting the syrup on the top like any normal milkshake emporium would do, they've squirted it all round the insides of the cup. This means that after sucking up all the milkshake, you're left with the syrup stuck around the cup and have to scoop it up with the straw like this:


So it's not a 'Double Taste' shake, it's a normal boring shake followed by some flavoured syrup eaten off a straw. It's actually really difficult + messy to eat up the syrup with the straw, and not worth the effort either. I could easily just buy a bottle of chocolate syrup and a straw from the supermarket, then squidge it all round a mug if I wanted to do that. In fact, I did:


And it was miles better.
Alright, while we're in McDonald's, let's talk about the McFlurry for a minute. Remember the legend of how Banoffee pies were invented when a cook accidentally knocked a tin of condensed milk into a pan of water, and discovered it turned to caramel? Well McFlurrys were apparently invented when Ronald McDonald accidentally knocked skimmed milk, cream, sugar, whey powder, glucose syrup, stabilisers (E412 guar gum, E471 mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, E407 carrageenan (standardised with sugars) and some Smarties into a dustbin.

ANYWAY we all know the top three McFlurries are thus:

3) Oreo Caramel
2) Oreo
1) Toffee Crisp


(Why has there never been a TWIX McFlurry? Twix would be the ULTIMATE McFlurry. Why not email Ronald McDonald directly HERE with the Subject Heading: TWIX MCFLURRY IMMEDIATELY PLEASE)

But what chocolate bar would you LEAST like to see in a McFlurry? What is the one that NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would ask for? That's right a *&@$ing Drifter. I haven't even SEEN a Drifter for sale in a shop for about 6 years. But Ronald McDonald obviously has, and he thought it would be a good idea to put one in a McFlurry. Now take a look the Drifter McFlurry I got compared to the promotional image:

Is there actually ANY Drifter in this McFlurry? Maybe one piece of chocolate and one piece of wafer that tasted like a soggy cornflake. Well you did me a favour Ronald McDonald, cos this McFlurry is 3x better for NOT having any @&*@%^&ing Drifter in it.

McDonald's Double Taste Shakes, McDonalds £1.89
Gobble Monkey says: 2 out of 7

Sunday, 12 June 2011

PLOUGHMAN'S LUNCH SNACK PACK

Look at this:


That's right, you're not dreaming - a complete Ploughman's lunch in a bag! That's quite a feat considering wikipedia describes a Ploughman's Lunch as:

composed of cheese (usually a thick piece of Cheddar, Stilton or other local cheese), often cooked ham slices, pickle, apples, pickled onions, salad leaves, bread (especially crusty bread, which may be a chunk from a loaf or a bap) and butter. It is usually served with beer.

Sounds delicious! Let's compare that to the Ploughman's Lunch Snack Pack ingredients:

Processed Cheese Portions (43%) Cream Crackers (41%) and Pickled Silverskin Onions (16%)

OK only two out of eight, but don't worry because the packet proudly boasts: 'DELICIOUS ANY TIME'. Quite a promise! Would the Ploughman's Lunch Snack Pack really be delicious at ANY TIME? What about for breakfast? Or at 1.30am? Gobble Monkey didn't want to find out, but was willing to give it a try at quarter to four on a sunday.

Once opened, you can see the loving attention to detail - they've even included a plastic knife with which to spread the cheese. (You can keep this knife or throw it away.)


Like a Kinder Egg, half the fun is putting together the individual pieces to make this:


Classic Ploughman's right? I can imagine any hard working ploughman being well chuffed if he came home to that after a long, hard day ploughing things. Let's try a bite.

Mmmmm the crispiness of the crackers really compliments the cheesiness of the cheese and the pickliness of the onions. So "delicious" that I was beginning to think I may have miscalculated the percentages when i said 'half' the fun was putting it together...

But then I looked on the back of the packet and saw this:
uh oh.

I can only confirm that the Ploughman's Lunch Snack Pack was not delicious at quarter to four on a sunday. (but it is very possible i will be reliving the deliciousness at half one this morning...)

Freshers Pub Original Ploughman's Lunch Snack Pack, £6.99 for 12
Gobble Monkey says: Ungraded due to B.B.D.

KitKat Caramel Cream Senses

For years, idiots have been wasting at least 40p daily on KitKats, which are basically chocolate-covered cardboard.

It seems Nestle must have known how boring KitKats were because a few years ago they started plonking other stuff on top of them and calling them 'KitKat Senses' - as if the KitKat itself had come to its senses and realised how pathetic it was.

The 'Senses' revolution kicked off with a 'creamy hazelnut flavour', which must have been mega-successful as it's been replaced with this Caramel Cream version:
The 'caramel cream' itself is an incredibly sweet beige-coloured paste - nice, it's just a shame that it's on top of a KitKat.

To see if it would be even nicer if it wasn't on top of a KitKat, I delicately removed the lower wafer section using a sharp knife, leaving just the chocolate covered caramel sections. THEN I ATE THEM.
I can confirm, yes, they were tastier with out the cardboard under-carriage. However, then i just lost my temper and did this:
and put it all in a yogurt.

KitKat Caramel Cream Senses, Nestle 49p
Gobble Monkey says: 5 out of 7

Sunday, 5 June 2011

TWIX CARAMEL SLICES

Do you like Twix?
Do you like Millionaire's Shortcakes?
Well, then imagine the expression on YOUR face when you see THESE on the supermarket shelf:
WOWZERS. A Twix version of the Millionaire's Shortcake biscuit. The most exiting biscuit event in 2011 right? Surely everyone is going mental over the new Twix Caramel Slice - RIGHT? I bet Mike Benton, Marketing Controller at McVitie’s Cake Company, especially is going crazy over these babies.

Well let's see just how excited Mike Benton, Marketing Controller at McVitie’s Cake Company is:




“With a younger range of consumers buying into the Twix brand than the current Slice segment and with incredibly high brand awareness in the UK, Twix Caramel Slices will drive incremental sales for retailers by attracting more consumers into the Slices category.”




CALM DOWN MIKE! I mean, we're all thrilled that AT LAST there's going to be more incremental sales in the Slices category! But wait, hang on, there's a 'Slice SEGMENT' and a 'Slice CATERGORY'? I'm confused, Mike. You didn't explain it well enough. I'm less excited now. You've spoiled it.

Sadly, they taste as though they've been in the cupboard for 18mths. The 'shortcake base' is soft and damp, letting down the whole biscuit. Perhaps they were trying to get away from the crunchy shortcake on the traditional Twix, but it's the crumbly texture of the biscuit base that defines the Millionaire Shortcake. These slices taste like you've just eaten one of your nan's sweaty flapjacks that you've taken on a long car journey on a very hot day.

Alright so that's Twix Caramel Slices. But while we're here, let's take a quick look at the new TOFFEE DODGERS - these counterparts to Burton's more traditional Jammie Dodgers look like they will BE DISGUSTING.

But before we judge, lets listen to what David Costello, Burton’s Foods’ Category and Activation Controller, had to say:

'Toffee Dodgers are the UK’s only biscuits with exposed toffee. They retain the gooey texture that’s synonymous with Jammie Dodgers but provide a fantastic new taste experience."

Exposed toffee! I love exposed toffee! Why hasn't anyone exposed toffee sooner?! Anyway, he goes on:

“Growth will come not only from Jammie Dodgers’ loyalists adding toffee to their repertoire, but more importantly, from consumers who are new to the Dodgers brand trading up from everyday biscuits."

For a start, 'Jammie Dodgers loyalists' sound well dodgy. Does anyone like Jammie Dodgers that much? Secondly - even if they did exist, i would imagine a Jammie Dodger Loyalist would have a very small biscuit 'repertoire' probably consisting PURELY of Jammie Dodgers. I'm not sure messing about with their precious Jammie Dodger is going to go down well. If anything, David, I think the Jammie Dodger Loyalists are going to completely reject the Toffee Dodger, overthrow your evil Burton Foods empire and burn your office down. Luckily THEY DON'T EXIST YOU WALLY.

However, Toffee Dodgers are actually quite nice - they not only trump their jammy brothers, but they are twice as tasty the Twix Caramel Slice. The biscuits are incredibly hard and crunchy and the toffee is stiff and chewy, meaning the whole thing is satisfyingly tough, perfect for dunking. 5 out of 7.

Twix Caramel Slices, pack of six for £1.49
Interestingly vague ingredient: Milk Fat
Sour Level: zero
Gobble Money says: 1 out of 7