Butterwicks vegan macaroons

One of my absolute favourite foods in the entire world, are macaroons. In my pre-vegan days I could happily eat nothing but macaroons and feel like my life was finally complete. However, the main ingredient in a macaroon is egg white: the egg white is whipped into a soft meringue and then cooked into the little macaroon disks. So, obviously, not suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

To tell you that I have dreamt of this moment would not even be an understatement. There are very few things I have missed since going vegan nearly 6 years ago, but macaroons have always been one of them. While I have found many a lovely afternoon tea, none of them have ever offered a vegan macaroon. So I have sat and stared longingly at the sweet little treats on other people’s plates and prayed to every vegan god out there that one day, a vegan macaroon will come my way.

The wait was worth it. I discovered Butterwicks at a local vegan market and I think I nearly speared the poor owner when I came running over practically in tears I was so excited. They had six flavours on sale that day, however I was informed that they do a total of 16 different flavours online. So yes….you can order yourself some macaroons to come straight to your door. Which is both super exciting and yet (for me anyway) very very dangerous.

I decided to splurge and got myself a pack of 12, with two of each flavour. The flavours I have are:

  • chocolate and orange
  • salted caramel
  • pistachio
  • lemon
  • raspberry
  • double chocolate

These things are just as lovely as I remember. Now if I was to be super nit-picky about it, the shells do not have that standard macaroon texture: The hard outer shell with the soft inner shell (that is almost cakey?), with the ganache in the middle of sandwich two shells together. I found that these vegan ones did not have the chewy middle part of the shell, but honestly that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The shells have that wonderful crunch when you first bite in, the ganaches are rich and creamy and together the whole thing melts in your mouth. I also believe that these are quite a bit larger than your egg macaroon, which is just an added plus!

Now they are quite expensive – I got £12 for £23. But I would say that macaroons have ALWAYS been expensive because they are such a specialist and decadent little dessert. I have tried to make my own many a time with aquafaba and let’s just say it was a massacre. I have nothing but sheer admiration for pastry chefs who have mastered the macaroon. Personally, I would have paid whatever price they said for vegan macaroons, as they are something I have searched and hoped for since the very start of my vegan journey. I would recommend everyone try these at least once because no matter what, you will feel like true royalty eating such a decadent little treat.

Overall: All time favourite. Hands down winner. Nothing will ever beat this. This is just proof that veganism is a force all of its own. I doubt I will eat anything else but these for the rest of my life now.

T xxx

Fancy Plants salted caramel pots

In an attempt to look after my health, I have been trying to find a healthy yet still tasty treat that satisfies my sugar cravings without causing me to eat an entire packet of biscuits. I found these at Tesco and decided to give these a go.

The texture is not what I was expecting. It is like a really, really thick yogurt. Now there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but when you first put your spoon in it feels somewhat whipped, so you almost expect it to be very light and fluffy. As I say nothing bad about that, just be prepared.

Taste wise, it’s alright. I found it a bit too salty in comparison to the caramel part, so it was a bit too savoury for my liking. And also not at all what I had expected. Like I say it tastes nice, but it isn’t sweet. Make of that what you will. The pots look quite small, but one pot was more than enough. They’re nice, but definitely not something that would get rid of my sugar cravings.

Price wise they are quite expensive – I found these for £3. The pots as I say are quite small, and while the portion is more than enough for one person, they are still quite expensive for how much you actually get. They were nice enough to try but personally, not really mu cup of tea. Also, what is it with every vegan brand out there only offering salted caramel deserts? In this day and age I feel like brands need to start pushing the limits a little bit and trying flavours that are not just salted caramel.

Overall: 4/10. Pretty bland and somewhat overpriced for what you get.

T xxx

Wicked! Kitchen coconut and pineapple bake

When will I learn….

This is a new pastry that is now on sale from Wicked! Kitchen and I have been mostly deeply disappointed with everything they have made so far, so I don’t know why I thought this would be better. Usually their desserts are better than the actual meals they have to offer, so I thought I would try something weird and new. I mean pineapple and coconut sounds like it should work right? Isn’t that what a daiquiri cocktail basically is?

Avoid at all costs. It was just….gross. There is no other word for it. It tasted like fake coconut and pineapple. The pastry part wasn’t bad (it was a flaky and substantial pastry case) but the filling was just bizarre. Like…I can’t even explain it. Imagine boiling pineapple flavoured candy (so not even real pineapple chunks) in a big pot of coconut water and that’s kinda of what you get….a watery yet somehow jelly-like filling with tiny little bits of pineapple throughout it that just tastes super tart, but not of anything in particular.

I think I have learnt my lesson though. Wicked! did have a standard cherry bake on offer too, which I would hope would be pretty standard (how hard can a cherry pie be right?!) but alas that is for someone else to test. I can no longer suffer at the hands of Wicked! Kitchen.

Overall: 0/10. Just….no.

T xxx

Slug and Lettuce chocolate orange tart

Another little treat from my Slug and Lettuce venture the other day. As I mentioned in my mac’n’cheeze post their vegan menu is pretty good and also just a bit more decadent than your usual pub food. Needless to say I was very excited to try this little baby!

Now I don’t know if it is because most places make vegan desserts using dark chocolate, but they are always so rich! This was no exception. This tart was more like a really thick cheesecake….it had a very rich, creamy and thick texture to it, but way thicker than your usual tart filling. I didn’t get any orange flavour from it, because that dark chocolate was so rich it completely overpowered anything else. The base was like a brownie – whether intentional or not, I can’t say – so really added to the chocolate shock of it all.

I couldn’t finish it. Trust me….I really wanted to. But it was so rich and so filling that my stomach could barely handle half of it. Granted it probably didn’t help that I had also just had mac’n’cheeze. Maybe next time I should stick with either or and not get too excited. The filling was also very very thick – almost like caramel in that it genuinely felt like my mouth might glue shut there was so much thickness to it. You will definitely need a drink to help wash this down.

Price wise, it is actually a steal. This dessert alone was £2.99. TWO NINETY NINE. For a really big portion of very decadent tart. That alone makes it worth while, because normally for this level of dessert you’d likely have to go to a specialist baker or very posh cake shop. It also meant that I don’t feel like I have really wasted money when I can’t finish the whole plate. I still felt wasteful, as I left at least half of it (before my stomach burst) but at least I didn’t also feel the guilt of spending a lot of money on something to not even finish it. If you fancy something special though, I would recommend maybe sharing this one.

Overall: 5/10. It was lovely for the whole 3 mouthfuls I could stomach. Way too big a portion.

T xxx

Tesco Bakery Pretzels

The smell of a bakery is always so heartwarming, and during our weekly shop we actually managed to get to the store just as all of the freshly baked goods were being put onto display. The tiger bread and cupcakes definitely called us from across the store.

Now I am 99.99% certain that these pretzels are vegan friendly. The only allergens listed (or ingredients as a whole really) were wheat and barley. I also googled them online and while only labelled ‘vegetarian’ I couldn’t see anything that would make them not vegan friendly. One downside of the Tesco bakery is that their labels say NOTHING so you always end up having to check the full range of ingredients online anyway. Makes you wonder why they even bother having a label in the first place?!

But I digress…

I don’t know why but I always expect baked pretzels to be sweet. But these were literally bread in a funky shape. They were very doughy, and very bland. But, as I say, they were bread rolls in a funny shape. They were also HUGE. Like I do not know how four people could finish both, let alone two people. I think my partner and I managed to eat one between the two of us and even then we both ended up with carb sweats. So definitely won’t be buying those too often unless we are looking for a serious carb loading meal.

We did have the idea though that they may be really good with toppings on. We did try dipping them in Biscoff Spread, and that made a huge difference. Because they are so thick though, you’d probably want to share one regardless of what topping you put onto it. But maybe next time we have people over, we could get these pretzels and a whole heap of toppings to let people decorate them to whatever flavour combination they would like. I think for that sort of situation – for a kid’s party or date idea – these would actually be a really fun option.

Have any of you guys tried this before? Have you got any go-to topping combinations that I should try out next time to see if they can be improved? Let me know and I shall do my best to try them all!

Overall: 5/10. A lot of potential there, but on their own they’re very boring.

T xxx

Andros chocolate pots

COVID restrictions eased again here in England on Monday, and we are now allowed up to six people into our houses and we can actually hug people once more. Unfortunately though the weather has been nothing but rain for the past 14 days, so naturally all our planned summer picnics and BBQs are having to be moved inside.

I found these in my local supermarket listed as new. And we all know it would be rude for me not to try them!

These are kind of a let down. They do taste nice, but not…right away. You take a mouthful and get nothing, but then a few seconds after swallowing you get a really strong almond taste. I didn’t get very much chocolate taste with it. Like I said it’s not a bad tasting dessert, it’s just not very chocolatey. Which is sort of needed if you’re buying a chocolate pot.

These were £3 (at my shop anyway), and you do get 2 pots in a pack so price wise it’s actually not bad value. But given the overall taste I don’t think i’d buy them too regularly. Personally, if I had to chose between these and the M&S pots, I’d choose the M&S pots.

Overall: 5/10. They’re ok, but not really what was advertised.

T xxx

Costa vegan cheesecake

The shops have FINALLY reopened here in England, and it is so lovely to see the world go back to some sort of normality once again. My partner and I had a wonderful weekend wandering around our local high street, and it felt so lovely to look around shops again and to see people having lunches and dinners outside in the sunshine. Granted, it is still pretty chilly, but any sunshine is good for us Brits!

All of that walking though (which is probably more walking than I have done in the whole year and a bit that COVID has had us in lockdown) I decided to treat myself with the new vegan cheesecake on offer at Costa. Costa have very few options treat wise for vegans, so I was quite surprised to see an actual treat on sale that also looked really good.

We are still not allowed to sit inside at places, so I got mine to take away, which is why it is a little sad looking and smooshed in the picture. It is salted caramel flavoured (as so many vegan treats seem to be) but cheesecake is rarely a bad idea. Before going vegan it was one of my favourite desserts so I am always on the look out for vegan goodies.

This was pretty bland actually. It didn’t really taste like salted caramel. It just tasted like sugar. And a lot of sugar. I got about half way through and needed to stop because I was starting to see sounds I was that buzzed from the sugar. It was also starting to get very sickly. It was very creamy though, to the point that it seemed to stick to the roof of your mouth after a while. Perhaps with a big hot drink, it would have been a really nice combination, but on it’s own it was just far too sweet and far too sickly.

Overall: 4/10. Definitely needs a coffee to wash it down, but I can do without.

T xxx

Wicked! White berry ice creams

Here in England, Spring very nearly sprung last week. We went from 21 degrees on Wednesday, to snow on Friday. I think that’s as good as spring gets over here! But do we Brits wallow in the lack of spring? Kind of, but we have come to expect strange weather. But did all of England still get over excited and stock up on ice creams and sun cream? Damn right we did.

And yes…I was one of them.

I found these in my local Tesco for £2 (clubcard points discount) and decided to give them a go. The Wicked! range I have found to be very hit and miss, but their ice cream is usually pretty tasty.

These were no exception. They are white chocolate on the outside mixed little frozen pieces of fruit. Now I am not normally a fan of white chocolate, as I find it far too sickly, but the fruit did give it a nice little zing to cut through the sugar. On the inside (I ate it too quickly to get a picture) it is vanilla ice cream with a thick berry swirl going through it all, and again it was a very refreshing treat without being too sickly or overly sweet.

I was very impressed with these, especially as it seems very rare that you can find vegan ice cream that isn’t vanilla or chocolate. Before going vegan, strawberry ice cream was probably my favourite, so I feel like this is a very good replacement. Hopefully Wicked! continue their ice cream success and release more flavours.

Overall: 8/10. Thoroughly impressed by the Wicked! dessert range lately.

T xxx

Plant Kitchen Raspberry jelly terrine

A guest post today! While out shopping for a few basics we found managed to find this new jelly terrine in M&S.

Now I HATE jelly. I just hate it. I don’t know what it is about it but jelly just upsets me. I hate how it looks, I hate how it tastes and I hate the wobble of it. The sound of people slurping back jelly genuinely makes me cringe. Just something about it gives me the heebie-jeebies and so I avoid anything jelly as much as possible…genuinely think it might be a real food aversion for me! Henry however loves jelly so he was very excited to try this and to have the entire terrine to himself over the weekend.

Henry’s review is as follows:

It’s really good jelly. 10/10. Best jelly ever.

He took great pleasure in slurping back this jelly, all the while I was sitting in a corner dry-heaving at the sound of slurped jelly. I cannot express enough how much I do not like jelly. The things I do for this blog!

Overall: 10/10. According to Henry.

T xxx

Coconut Collaboration Banoffee Pots

A new find!

On this health kick I have been trying to find little evening treats that will stop me snacking on oreos and other cookies. These looked like a good alternative as they are fairly low calories and, being tiny pots, I wouldn’t be tempted to eat a whole load in one go.

This is basically banana pudding. Like…just blended up bananas. So if you don’t like bananas, stay clear of these. It also reminded me of baby food, just because it came in a tiny little pot and was a super blended and smooth food. It did taste nice…because it tasted of bananas. I couldn’t really taste any sort of toffee in it.

So far as ‘healthy’ snacks go this actually wouldn’t be a bad idea. As you can see the pots are really small – maybe 3 or 4 spoonfuls max – and the only sugar you can taste is the standard fructose that comes with fruit anyway. So they give you a little sweetness without being hugely unhealthy for you.

They are however, somewhat expensive for what they are. In my local store they are usually around £3 (depending on whether they are on sale or multibuy offer for example) and seeing as how they would only last you four days (providing you only have one pot each night) it doesn’t last you as long as just buying a bunch of bananas and having that every night instead.

Overall: 5/10. Not bad, but nothing to get too excited about.

T xxx