Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts

Monday, 20 October 2014

Tassimo Vivy Hot Drinks and Coffee Machine - Review

 Tassimo hot drinks machines have intelligent barcode technology which means the barcode on Tassimo T DISCs are scanned by the machine and register the correct brewing time, temperature and the amount of water required for each beverage.  It's all completely automatic, all you have to do is pop in a disc, press the button and your drink is prepared and dispensed into your cup.


Having been asked to review the Tassimo Vivy machine here's how it went:
The instructions that are supplied with the machine are a series of pictures which are really easy to follow. 
 The Tassimo Vivy TAS1202GB is compact and quite small with dimensions of just 249 x 169 x 298 mm (H x W x D) so doesn't take up valuable work space in the kitchen - well space is valuable to me since my kitchen is really tiny!  The coffee machine holds up to 0.7 litres of water which is enough to make approximately three standard cups of coffee.


Operation is really easy - as you can see from my pictures above you can remove the drip tray if your chosen cup or glass happens to be too tall.
Put the cup underneath, lift the top and insert your chosen T DISC (upside down) don't worry it will only go in one way so you can't go wrong.  Pull the top back down and it will pierce the disc.  The barcode will then be read so the machine knows which drink you have chosen and therefore it knows how much water to add and how long it needs to brew.  Once the light next to the picture of the cup illuminates, press the button and your drink will be made for you.
In this case I was making a Oreo drink so once the chocolate part had dispensed and the light goes out you just lift the lid and insert the cream part of the drink. Pull the lid back down and press the button again to add the cream to your drink.  Of course some beverages such as tea don't have cream so therefore the above operation is just done once.

 There are a huge selection of T DISCs available online and supermarkets (apparently there are over 35 varieties including a range of Costa coffees including Cappuccino and others such as Kenco Medium Roast Coffee and Caffe Crema, Twinings Breakfast Tea and Chai Latte, Oreo, Cadbury Hot Chocolate and more) so I think that's plenty to choose from and something for everyone!

Oreo T DISCs:
The kitchen smelt amazing as the drink was being made but although the Oreo drink was very chocolaty in smell, sadly we both thought it was quite thin and had a slightly watered down taste and not half as nice as the Cadbury's hot chocolate drink which is good!

Coffee and Tea:
Paul (the husband) is a coffee lover and really likes the Costa Cappuccino - it's really creamy and a good consistency and he can't fault it.  Obviously you can't expect an hot drinks machine to recreate the proper coffee served in Costa which of course is made by coffee machines costing a fortune.  That said, Paul says the Tassimo does a pretty good job.
Although I'm a tea lover I've never been a fan of any kind of breakfast tea and so it would be unfair of me to comment on the Twinings Breakfast tea that was sent to us along with the machine.  

Cost:
The T DISC sell for around £4.25 so for example with Costa Cappuccino discs you will get 8 in a pack so each drink works out at around 53p per cup.   I suppose it depends on how many drinks you of your family are lightly to drink in a day as to whether or not that could be expensive.

Cleaning the Tassimo Vivy Hot Drinks Machine:
Maintenance of the Tassimo Vivy is effortless as the machine indicates when there is a need for cleaning or descaling, and this can be done simply with the on-board cleaning disc.  Cleaning takes around 30 minutes to complete but of course you can just leave the machine to it and get on with something else as it doesn't require you to do anything once the operation has started.  I should point out that the spout part comes out completely so you can clean and rinse once a day and the barcode reader window just needs a wipe.

All in All:
The Tassimo Vivy is a great little hot drinks machine - fantastic for home or in the office.  Drinks are quick and made without any mess, it's easy to clean and convenient and is small enough to fit in any kitchen.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the Tassimo Vivy and a selection of T DISCs for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are in no way meant to influence readers buying choice.   

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Banana Caramel and Chocolate Dessert Pizza

The Italian Restaurant Zizzi recently set me a challenge to create a dessert pizza or any savoury dish that could be turned sweet.  I first came up with a possible of a Cinnamon and Caramelised Apple Lasagne but sadly although it tasted okay it wasn't somehow quite right and certainly didn't work photography wise.
I'm not one to give up easily and although I had to let it go this time, I'll work on it!


 If you'd like have a go at making my easy to make Banana, Caramel and Chocolate Pizza you can find the recipe here.

After an amazing meal at Zizzi and feeling inspired by the new addition to their new dessert menu - 'Strawberry and Chocolate Pizza' I took on Zizzi's challenge and made my own dessert pizza.  Banana and Caramel Drizzled with Dark Chocolate.  I was really pleased with the result especially because I very rarely make dessert and never know where to begin.  I must say that trying their new dessert really did inspire me to get thinking and have a go.  Hopefully after reading this post then you also might want to have a go yourself.

Here are a few snapshots of our visit to a Zizzi restaurant and more about their 
Strawberry and Chocolate Pizza: 
While we were in the restaurant, part of the challenge was to Tweet/ Instagram using #SweetPizza - it was so funny. We'd purposely gone to the restaurant earlier in the evening than we'd usually go since people would be wondering what an earth we were doing!

Please excuse my poor photographs as you will appreciate I couldn't take my proper camera and as you would expect restaurants just aren't set up with the correct lighting for food photography.

Since we were sitting directly in front of the chef I just had to ask if I could take his picture - it's okay he knew it would end up in this blog post and thought it was cool!


Our starter dishes arrived, we ordered different dishes so we could share and we absolutely loved this one - Fonduta Formaggi a pot of melted cheese, gorgonzola, gruyère and pecorino with baked dough sticks and focaccia bread for dipping.

To the side of the picture you can just see part of the other dish we had ordered, Arancini - Risotto balls with mozzarella, peas and a breadcrumb coating. There are three risotto balls and they're served with a chunky tomato peperonata dip. Warning - they are very moreish!
 

Now for the main course - Oh my word just look at the size the pizza Paul chose!
The Rustica Sofia pizza had lots of lovely spicy chicken, pepperoni, spicy sausage and mozzarella along with chilli and rosemary.  Yep he managed to eat the whole thing!  I was allowed a tiny bit to try it and we both really liked it.


 Here I am not quite knowing where to begin as the Spiedini Pollo (Roast chicken breast with red onions, courgettes and peppers) was as you can see, also huge.  It came with a side of Tuscan potatoes with a white wine and lemon sauce.  It was too nice and it had to be eaten!  The chicken was lovely and tender and the potatoes and sauce were a treat to eat.  But I was getting concerned by now, as we'd already eaten loads and still had to try the Strawberry and Chocolate pizza!


Now I must tell you about this dessert Pizza - Melting Marshmallows and Fresh Strawberries drizzled with Warm Chocolate and Hazelnut sauce - what's not to like?


Yes this is something that has to be ordered.  I must admit even though I'm not a fan of sweet things, this pizza wasn't too sweet at all and the base thin, crispy and light.  The strawberries work really well and take away the much of the sweetness so it isn't overly so and we both thought it was just perfect.

My one recommendation is that after eating a huge meal at Zizzi you seriously only need one of these pizzas to share between two people.  But us greedy pair just had to order the Chocolate and Banana Calzone as well as the pizza which you just see in the background of my picture.  Yes that was also seriously good although it was of course a lot sweeter than the Strawberry and Chocolate pizza which I personally preferred.  Paul however, is a huge fan of both desserts!

  Make sure you try out the ultimate sweet treat from Zizzi this summer.  You can find your local restaurant here.  If you're feeling inspired to turn more savoury things sweet, share your creations with #SweetPizza


  If you'd like more information on Zizzi pop over and visit them here.  

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Zizzi in Shrewsbury and the fantastic meal and service from their staff.  I was set a challenge by Zizzi to create my own sweet pizza.  We were guests at Zizzi restaurant and I have been compensated for my time and the ingredients used.   All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Yogurt Ideas - Strawberry and Marshmallow or Banana and Chocolate Chip

Strawberry and Marshmallow or Banana and Chocolate Chip - which would you choose? 
You may have seen my post 'How to Make Yogurt using the Judge Digital Yogurt Maker' which was my first attempt.  I made Summer Berry and Vanilla yogurt but if you missed it just click the link and have a quick read.  I said I'd come up with a few more ideas and since this yogurt maker is so very easy to use, I've not stopped using it since it arrived!


I made yogurt in the usual fashion following the easy to follow instructions that came with it.  As before, I used Jersey milk and Yeo Valley Natural Live Bio Yogurt as the 'yogurt starter'.  
But time I wondered what would happen if I added banana flavoured Nesquik to the prepared milk (once it had reached the cooled down to 40C stage and after mixing in the yogurt starter (live yogurt).  

Now, if you have no idea what I'm taking about you really need to have a quick read of my post and hopefully it should become clear!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Coconut Chocolate Bars - Easy to Make Recipe

The nice people over at Dr. Oetker recently sent me a bundle of their baking goodies.  Bars of milk, white and dark chocolate, chocolates chips, sprinkles, egg white powder, baking powder and more.  They asked me to try out one their recipes for Father's Day (which is coming up soon Sunday 15th June).  Sadly my Dad isn't with us anymore but if you're lucky enough to still have your Dad, have a go and bake him these Coconut Chocolate Bars. 


Or of course you can bake them for whoever you want to.
These coconut bars were something of an achievement for me as I'm so useless when it comes to baking but the recipe was very easy to follow and it worked.  Okay, mine might not look as fancy as they could have but they certainly tasted good - Paul the husband ate all of them bar one, which was declared mine!

Dr. Oetker is well known for their fantastic range of baking ingredients but they also have their own range of frozen pizzas too.



Monday, 3 March 2014

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars with Goji Berries

 Goji-berries, also known as Chinese Wolfberry, grow on the common matrimony vine, a shrub up to 4m high.  The fruits can be harvested from August to October. The name "goji" is derived from the Chinese term "Ningxia gouqi", which apparently means something along of the lines of "from the region of Ningxia wolfberry". In China, they have been revered as a vitality and energy source for millennia.

  
Goji Berries are Good for You!
    These amazing little berries are rich in high levels of iron including B12, vitamins and carotenoids (pro-vitamin A) B vitamins and other ingredients.  Containing over 20 trace elements and minerals as well as all essential amino acids.  It is especially valued for its "adaptogenic effect" (promoting vitality and resistance to stress).  They can be eaten raw or used in any recipe to enrich your meal.  
 Western medicine is only beginning to discover the goji berry.  In traditional Chinese medicine, the goji berry has been used for a long time.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Continental Tasting Heart - Chocolates from Thorntons

    This lovely heart-shaped box of milk, white and dark chocolates from Thorntons is in my opinion, seriously good quality and excellent value for money.  Don't forget Valentines Day is almost here!


This huge Continental Tasting Heart Collection contains 48 chocolates (570g) and is priced at £19.99

 Allergy, Intolerance & Recipe Info from Thorntons site:
     Suitable for vegetarians
     No gluten-containing ingredients
     Contains added nuts
     Contains added milk
     May contain egg
     Contains added soya
     Free from artificial colour
     Free from artificial flavouring
 Inside the box:  
A beautiful selection of creamy pralines, mousses and tasty truffles.
As readers of this blog will already know I'm not a chocolate kind of person, so Paul (the husband and chief taster of all things chocolate) had to taste test this box of chocolates almost to himself and he couldn't wait to tuck in!

He loved all of them and found it too hard to pick a favorite.  He munched his way through all 16 choices from the Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, Ganache Au Marc De Champagne to the Sicilian Lemon Mousse to name a few.  I did get to taste a few though and my favorite was the Diplomat - smooth milk chocolate with roasted almonds and hazelnuts.


Many thanks to Thorntons for the chocolates.
 Disclaimer:  I received these chocolates from Thorntons with no request for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Banoffee Pancakes - Easy Dessert Recipe

Light fluffy pancakes filled with caramel sauce, bananas, whipped cream and topped with flaked chocolate can only be a good thing.  Since they can be eaten cold and still look and taste every bit as good later on the same day, why not make them before dinner cover the plate in cling film for a no fuss delicious dessert.


 Having been sent a couple of  OXO Good Grips products and set a challenge of coming up with a pancake recipe here's how it went.  Okay, I'm a bit early as Pancake Day isn't until 4th March but yesterday I was in a pancake making mood.  In any case it doesn't have to officially be Pancake Day to enjoy pancakes!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Giveaway - WIN a Serenata Hamper - Chocolate Indulgence

 I'm so pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader of A Glug of Oil a chance to WIN this lovely
'Chocolate Indulgence' Hamper worth £39.99 from Serenata Hampers.

They have a seriously great range of products available to order online with an excellent range of prices to suit different budgets. 



 

 The Chocolate Indulgence Hamper contains the following :
Luxury Chocolate Coated Peanuts & Raisins
Cachet, Box of Belgian Truffle Assortment 155g
Luxury Dark Chocolate Coated Brazil Nuts
Le Paravel Blanc, The Vignerons de la Vicomte 2012
White Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Cachet, Madagascar – Milk Chocolate 32% cocoa 100g

Don't forget if you are the lucky winner, you can choose to have the hamper delivered to you, or someone of your choice, just as long as it is to a mainland UK address.

How to Enter:


One lucky reader of this blog will win this 'Chocolate Indulgence Hamper' from Serenta Hampers.

 Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget.  Please note the prize can only be sent to 
UK Mainland addresses ONLY and you must be over 18 to enter.
 

 To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed.  

Also, if you already like/follow please comment via the Rafflecopter widget and let me know so I can make sure you get your entries.
 For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget.

Ending date is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget. 


Good Luck Everyone! 

Disclaimer - I have received payment to host this giveaway.
   

Monday, 25 November 2013

Christmas Gift Idea - Hotel Chocolat

As always if you're looking for a really nice box of chocolates you really can't go wrong with Hotel Chocolat.
They have a fantastic range of chocolates and gifts to suit every budget.  
This Classic Christmas Collection box contains 14 Christmas wrapped in elegant milks, darks and whites.


At just £12.50 this would make a great Christmas present at a relatively low price, considering they are so very well presented (as always with Hotel Chocolat) and every chocolate looks gorgeous!  

The full delicious menu can be found here but to name just a few this box contains;
Chambord Royale, Christmas Mess, Cranberry Cup, Rum Punch, Nutmeg & Almond Praline, White Chocolate & Vanilla Bell,  Dark Christmas Tree and Pistachio Praline Crunch.

Suitable for vegetarians.
Contains: Alcohol, Almonds, Egg, Gluten, Hazelnuts, Milk, Pistachios, Soya, Wheat. May contain traces of other tree nuts and peanuts.

To see their full range of gifts pop over to Hotel Chocolat.

Thank you to Hannah and Hotel Chocolat for sending us a box to try.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Giveaway - Luxury Christmas Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat

Fancy winning a box of Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat in time for Christmas?  Then read on!
Everyone loves chocolate and in my opinion Hotel Chocolat are the best.   
The Signature Christmas Collection is a grand selection of exceptional Christmas Chocolates – Darks, Milks, Dark and Whites Rich with Spirits, Pralines, Fruits, Caramels and Rare and Vintage Cocoa.


The selection: Rum & Raisin Truffle, White Caramel Praline, Pistachio Praline Crunch, Hacienda Iara Salted Caramel 90%, Hacienda Iara 63% Ganache Milk , Christmas Mess - Dark, Mulled Port, Nutmeg & Almond Praline, Cranberry Cup, Christmas Stars, Caramel Supernova.
Box contains 19 Chocolates

How to Enter:
One lucky reader of this blog will win a box of 'The Signature Christmas Collection' chocolates from Hotel Chocolat worth £25.00

 Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget.  Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK only and you must be over 18
 To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed.  
Also, if you already like/follow please comment via the Rafflecopter widget and let me know to get your entries.
 For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget.
Good Luck Everyone! 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Hotel Chocolat - The Nutty Collection

Hotel Chocolat have a great range Autumn products and Halloween themed chocolates for October - the spookiest month of the year! 

Having been asked if I'd like to review a box I chose The Nutty Collection.  


Praline-filled walnut, Caramel Truffle Acorns, Praline-filled Hazelnuts (with a whole nut tucked inside!), nutty caramel and and a delicious hazelnut praline.

Weight: 215g / 7.5oz and priced at £16.00

Images by Hotel Chocolat

 Considering the high quality of the chocolate, great presentation and that they focus on ethically sourced cocoa to use in their products, I'd say the price is good and each chocolate is generously filled with either praline or truffle.

 Thank you to Hannah and Hotel Chocolat for sending me a box of The Nutty Collection to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of and therefore would buy myself.
 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

After Eight Chocolate and Mint Desserts

Did you know, 'After Eight' is now available as a dessert, creamy chocolatey minty flavour in a pot?  To celebrate over fifty years of the after dinner chocolate mint thins we all know and love, the new After Eight Chocolate Dessert Pots have now launched in all major supermarkets.

 
Having been sent a good few boxes of them to try, Paul (the husband and chief taster of all things chocolate) was loving it.  Regular readers of this blog will know that personally I don't really like chocolate - but Paul does!
So his luck was in and he tucked in to a pack of two within minutes of their arrival.

Monday, 19 August 2013

NEW Baileys Chocolat Luxe - A Fusion of Baileys and Chocolate‎

Let me share a bit of news, for the first time real Belgian chocolate has been fused with alcohol in this new alcoholic drink, Baileys Chocolat Luxe.  
Chocolate liqueur - a multi-sensory experience of chocolate in a glass!
If you're already a lover of Baileys Original Irish Cream then you're sure to love this, and my guess is it will sell out fast especially in the run up to Christmas.
 
 Created by Anthony Wilson, principal scientist and son of one of Baileys Original Irish Cream’s creators Steve Wilson, this latest innovation in drinks alchemy has been three years in the making. Traveling across three continents, Wilson was able to realise his vision that Baileys and real Belgian chocolate would be the perfect pairing.

The result is a unique drinking experience that brings together two favourite indulgences, Baileys and chocolate. 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

No-Bake Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

My no-bake cheesecake is perfect for an easy and cheap dessert since it serves 12 people and works out to just under £10 to make.  I used Lindt Excellence White Chocolate with Vanilla.
  

 Whatever you do, please don't use cheap chocolate as it just wont be the same.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Mother's Day Chocolate Gifts from Hotel Chocolat

Don't forget Mother's Day this Sunday 10th March!
If you're looking for something delicious for your mum, then Hotel Chocolat have some extra special chocolates in their wide range of Mother's Day Gifts. They have something to suit every budget and you can order by 6pm for next working day delivery so it's not too late!

The All About Mum Selection is a beautifully presented collection of creamy truffles with sparkling champagne, zingy blueberries and lemon, warm and comforting caramel, chocolate mousse and melt-away pralines.
The chocolates were extremely well packaged so there's no need to fear about them being damaged in the post.  A personalised gift message is also included. 

The All About Mum Selection box is suitable for vegetarians, alcohol free.  Contains soya, milk, nuts.

Thank you to Beth and Hotel Chocolat for sending me these to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of and would buy myself.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Thorntons Chocolates – Gifts for Every Occasion


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the ideal gift for your Valentine has to be a nice box of chocolates.  Thorntons sell chocolate truffles either on their own, or in various gift combinations.  Personally, I love the Champagne truffle hearts, oh but then again, the Prosecco and Viennese truffles hamper makes for a really special gift that I wouldn’t mind receiving either!
  Of course Thorntons have many other chocolate related gifts to suit almost every occasion and price range. From delicious chocolate bars, to a Chilli Hot Chocolate Gift Collection – a gorgeous collection that comes pre-wrapped in organza, making it look a lot more expensive than it actually is.  


Relax on the sofa whilst sipping a big mug of chilli hot chocolate. Now all you have to do is decide which block of chocolate to nibble on.  Choose from Ginger, Chilli, French Dark or 85% Cocoa – which one would you unwrap first I wonder?


If you’re getting married, then did you know that Thorntons also have Wedding favours too?  They can be personalised just by giving their team a ring and since you can choose from next or named day delivery, you can be sure your chocolate gifts will arrive safely in time for your big day.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Cocoa Boutique Chocolate Club - A Review

Cocoa Boutique is a new online chocolate club and like other chocolate clubs, the idea is you receive a regular box of assorted chocolates through the post. 
  All the chocolates are hand made by award winning Master Chocolatiers such as, Barry Colenso, Pierre Ledent and Claire Hicklin to name but a few.  Plus you'll find a few hidden gems in each box from up and coming British chocolatiers to get your taste buds going and give you a truly artisan experience.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Giveaway - A Luxury Box of Chocolates by Genevie

Fancy winning a box of Luxury Handmade Chocolates? 
Chocolate by Genevie is a new, family run independent chocolatier with an online shop full of amazing looking handmade chocolates.
 They are giving away a Luxury Box of Chocolates worth £36.99 to one lucky reader of A Glug of Oil.
 A stunning silk covered chocolate heart box with mouth watering mixed chocolates that really redefine luxury chocolates. The chocolate box is has a hand made silk ribbon and is packaged in traditional wood wool leaving no detail to chance.  Contains 32 handmade chocolates. You can see full details of each individual chocolate here

 About Chocolates by Genevie:
They use only the finest ingredients in their chocolates which are packaged exquisitely and delivered FREE post to the UK mainland. Everything from making the chocolates to finishing the boxes is done by hand making sure you receive a product which is both unique and special. 'We are a small family business dedicated to making chocolate that is second to none.  Everyone of our chocolate products is exclusive to the website ChocolatesByGenevie.co.uk
You will never see any of our products in shops or sold on other sites'.

So lets help spread the word and for a chance to win, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions.  If you leave a comment on this post it will not show up straight away as all comments are moderated.

Please note: The chocolates can be sent to a UK mainland address only.

Good luck everyone and all the very best to Chocolate by Genevie!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Forman and Field Tasting Hamper - Review

I was recently sent a lovely 'Tasting Hamper' to review from Forman and Field.
The hamper arrived around early in the morning, was perfectly packed and full of loads of yummy food.....
 What was inside?!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Choccywoccydoodah - New Series

Choccywoccydoodah - yes you read right!  
For anyone that hasn't seen it before there's a new series about to start:
World-class chocolatiers at Choccywoccydoodah are back exclusively on the Good Food channel, weeknights at 9pm from Monday 2nd July for a new series
of chocolate mischief and mayhem with even more glitz, glamour, celebrities and of course spectacular cake designs.

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