Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Paul A Young Salted Caramel Cream Tea

I was lucky enough recently to get the chance to try out Paul A Young's Salted Caramel Cream Tea that he has just launched at his store at Heal's off Tottenham Court Road; after being deprived of being able to try many of Paul's delights living up north it was safe to say I couldn't wait to try this out!

Paul A Young Salted Caramel Cream Tea

Paul has baked a brown sugar scone that he serves with Rodda's Clotted Cream and his own Salted Caramel Sauce complete with a wide selection of teas for you to choose from and one of his world famous Salted Caramel chocolates.

Paul A Young Salted Caramel Cream Tea

If I go for Afternoon Tea, yes I'll eat the scone but it's always the pastries that I most look forward to  - however this twist on it combines the best of both for me; it's sweet and different enough with the addition of the salted caramel sauce as opposed to jam that it appeals to my inner pastry/cake lover but yet the actually texture and flavour of the scone is still there to appeal to those who crave a good scone.



Paul A Young Salted Caramel Cream Tea

 The Salted Caramel sauce is rich, thick and sumptuous with that slight hint of salt; the cream thick, indulgent and delicious and the freshly baked scones baked directly at Paul's Heal store just top the whole thing off - oh and let's not forget the tea; although I opted for a classic green you can also get a cocoa nib tea if you're fancying something a bit more "chocolate-y"; although of course you do have Paul's delicious Sea Salted Caramel chocolate to finish things off.

Paul A Young Salted Caramel Cream Tea

Priced at £12.50 it is slightly expensive for a scone/tea/chocolate but there's no doubt that the products are high quality and offers a nice middle ground for those who don't want the full Afternoon Tea experience but fancy something on the lighter side.


Taste - 8.4/10
- An alternative take on the classic scone/jam/cream.
Texture - 8.4/10 - Lovely light, fluffy scone, thick indulgent caramel sauce and a lovely clotted cream to mellow things out.
Appearance - 7/10 - Not really much to comment on in terms of appearance. Presented nicely.
Price - 6/10 - At £12.50 it is on the tad expensive side but for a nice treat it's great.
Overall - 7.5/10  - I much preferred this to the usual take on an Afternoon Tea scone.
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WHO FOR?
If you're in the area and fancy a bit of a snack after a busy day shopping then this is great.

WHERE TO BUY?
Paul A Young's store in Heal's off Tottenham Court Road.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Discover Chocolate Blueberry & Vanilla White Chocolate Bar

As you may remember we recently reviewed one of Discover's chocolate bars - Milk Chocolate with Salted Popcorn & Peanut; now we have one of the white chocolate offerings they are producing. However instead of being sweetened with Stevia this bar is sweetened with Maltitol; for those of you that don't know malitol is a sugar alcohol subsitute; however unlike Stevia it isn't "natural" and does contain some calories. I think it would have been great to have seen this bar sweetened with Stevia as in the milk chocolate bar; maybe that's something that will be worked on by Discover in the future.

Discover Chocolates Blueberry & Vanilla White Chocolate

So not so great on the sweetener front,but for those looking for a bar alternative that doesn't contain sugar in the form of sucrose then how does it eat and is it tasty?

Discover Chocolates Blueberry & Vanilla White Chocolate

In fact it's actually a really good white chocolate bar and a lot better than the majority of white chocolate bars I've eaten made with proper sugar!! The melt it delicious, smooth and creamy with lovely hints of vanilla and a good tart fruity punch added from the freeze dried blueberries.

Discover Chocolates Blueberry & Vanilla White Chocolate

Malitol is around 75-90% less sweet than sucrose, meaning that thankfully, unlike a lot of white chocolate bars you may have tried this bar isn't ridiculously sweet nor does it evoke that horrific throat burning sensation that I often bang on about.

Discover Chocolates Blueberry & Vanilla White Chocolate

Overall it's actually really good and even standing up against its pure sugar competitors I would rate this bar higher; taking it on face value it's a pretty darn good bar of white chocolate and would recommend it to either those looking for a sugar substitute bar or those who just fancy a good bar of white chocolate.

Taste - 8.2/10 - A delicious white chocolate bar in its own right.
Texture - 7.4/10 - Really smooth creamy melt with a nice chewy texture added from the dried blueberries.
Appearance - 7/10 - Looks pleasant enough.
Price - 7.8/10 - £1.60 for the bar, affordable and accessible.
Overall -7.6/10 - A lot better than expected and a pleasant tasting white chocolate bar.
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WHO FOR?
Those looking for a sugar substitute bar or those who just fancy a good bar of white chocolate.

WHERE TO BUY?
You can buy this bar online here.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Beech's Fine Chocolates : Milk Chocolate Bars + White Chocolate Bar

I had heard of Beech's Fine Chocolate prior to being contacted by a member of their team; however I had never actually got the chance to sample any of their products; producing British chocolates in Lancashire since 1920 they produce a range of bars, filled chocolates and classic British creams.

I always feel that when first getting acquainted with a chocolate company it's a good starting point to try their basic chocolate bars; this allows me to get a good feel about what the chocolate company is about and what kind of offering they have on show.

Beech's Fine Chocolate Bar Reviews

So we'll kick things off today with a couple of Beech's milk chocolate bars and their white chocolate bar.

The first bar is their basic Milk Chocolate bar, containing a minimum of 30% cocoa solids it's a step up from your high street offering; the outer packaging looks relatively pretty but opening up the packaging inside the bar is quite a standard run of the mill format sealed in see through plastic wrapping. The chocolate has a nice clean snap and popping a cube into my mouth you can tell it has a higher cocoa % with richer cocoa tones and less of an overall sweet finish to the bar; however is it amazing - in all honesty, not particularly, it reminds me of the higher cocoa percentage chocolate used to make some Christmas decorations/advent calendars. It doesn't really have any complexity to the bar nor any real depth of flavour but is quite nice to just munch mindlessly whilst watching a film or sharing between friends if you're after a chocolate fix.

Beech's Fine Chocolate Bar Reviews

The other milk chocolate bar I was sent was the Milk Chocolate Anglesey Sea Salt Bar; again the milk chocolate has the same flavour profile as the regular milk chocolate bar; however this one has the addition of a light flavour of sea salt running through it. It's quite a mild back tone with the sea salt only really becoming prominent once you've swallowed some of the chocolate and are just left with the end of the melt. I maybe would have liked to have seen the sea salt a tad more prominent but again it's quite a mild bar with neither any amazing nor offensive qualities.

Beech's Fine Chocolate Bar Reviews

The final bar we're going to look at today is their White Chocolate Bar offering; I always think it's quite hard to pull off white chocolate as an upmarket offering anyway just due to the sheer nature of the product; it is nice to see that cocoa butter as in fact been used though as oppose to vegetable fat that you will see bulking out a lot of white chocolate bars. Again the bar is relatively inoffensive with a mellow creamy white chocolate flavour; it has a nice level of sweetness without causing that horrific throat burning sensation that overly sweet white chocolate can often cause. It maybe would have been nice to see some real vanilla pods blended throughout the bar, I think that it could have brought it up another level.

Beech's Fine Chocolate Bar Reviews

Overall a relatively inoffensive selection of chocolate bars, are they ground breaking? No. However I would say they sit in a section between the likes of your commercial bars with minimum cocoa % and slightly more upmarket high street offerings - such as Lindt. This is kind of where it makes it a bit difficult for me as I can't see a situation in which I would actually purchase the product - if I want something really sweet I'd go for a low end product, if I want something super indulgent and rich them I'm inclined to go to an artisan chocolate shop, an upmarket high street offering. Nevertheless for the price they make a tempting option and their British heritage USP is a nice additional extra. I can imagine these are the type of chocolate bars that I might pick up for an older member of my family for a nice little gift option.

Taste - 5.2/10 - Not bad but not amazing either. Run of the mill chocolate bars.
Texture - 6.2/10 - Smooth creamy melts.
Appearance - 6/10 - Outer packaging is nice, inner packaging and mould of bar could be brought up slightly.
Price - 6.5/10 -  At £1.50 per 60g bar they are pretty good value.
Overall - 6/10 - Worth trying if you fancy something with a bit of higher cocoa % without blowing out too much cash.
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WHO FOR?I think these are chocolate bars the older generation would probably appreciate especially with the origin and history of the product.

WHERE TO BUY?
The bars can be purchased online here.