Friday, 12 July 2013

The Best Coke You Have Ever Tasted?

There have been Facebook fan pages, letters to Coca Cola, forums, emails and tweets about it when it disappeared from Britain all demanding for it's return.

But Now It's Back

Vanilla Coke is once again an official Coke product in the UK.

Launched with a new "it's back" campaign Vanilla Coke hit the shelves of British retailers in the Spring of 2013. Sadly this didn't include the diet version. Guess we can't have everything, although I think it would be even better if diet was available too...

The packaging has been refreshed and modernised but the drink remains the same.

What's So Special About Vanilla Coke?

On Urban Dictionary this is how people define vanilla coke:
the greatest soda ever created.  Drink of the gods. the best drink ever made. The single greatest consumable product to ever exist.
and more.

But has it changed? Some people remembered Vanilla Coke as having a stronger taste and the new version to be a weaker flavoured variant. It's hard to say if the newly launched drink is different.  It has been 10 years since it was introduced back in 2003 so memories may have blurred. Coke say it's the same.

Unfortunately living in a small town I have yet to see it for sale. I understand Vanilla Coke to be on the shelves in large supermarkets and Boots stores but I have yet to try it for myself :(

Have you tried Vanilla coke either again or for the first time? What did you think?

Edit: My local supermarket now sells it so I bought some. I like it!
I just wish Coke would introduce a diet/zero sugar version as I don't really buy the full sugar drinks. The same store also started selling diet cherry coke which i do buy regularly.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Look Out Flying Saucers

Xfiles picture
Yes, they really are out there!
Yes I've seen Flying Saucers and if you are in the UK chances are high there are some near where you live!

They are Britain's favourite, based on surveys and sales. Flying Saucer sweets - the UK's most loved retro sweet.

A staple in the 1960's when introduced to the world by the Belgium company Astra Sweets, flying saucers are still produced and still popular.

The thin wafer disc filled with fizzy sherbet is Britain's favourite retro-sweet. Sometimes the sherbet is fruit flavoured which isn't original but we don't mind - as long as it tastes great with a BIG fizz.

Specialist sweet shops report them as their number one seller and larger supermarkets stock them too so you'll never be to far from a flying saucer sweet.

But, are they a strong seller because children buy them or is it mainly adults remembering their childhood? What do you think?

You can visit this site for more info on the UK's best selling retro-sweets.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Make Your Own Chocolate Bars at Home

Whilst you can't make chocolate from scratch, at least I don't think cocoa beans will grow in the UK, you can take ready made chocolate and turn them into chocolate bars you enjoy. This means that not only will you get exactly what you want but you also do not have to suffer the high fat, high sugar, where is the actual cocoa? bars from the supermarket. Some people may like this rather nasty British chocolate, but seriously, when manufacturers start removing cocoa butter (a by-product of the cocoa bean and an edible vegetable fat in its own right) and replace it with cheaper mixed vegetable fat, you do have to wonder where the chocolate is, well I do.

Chocolate BarSo, I prefer to make my own and the key is QUALITY ingredients.

The easiest way is to simply buy a good bar of chocolate, melt it, pour into moulds and gently push in your own ingredients on top.

Melting Chocolate: This is done over a double boiler,aka a bain-marie, otherwise known as a bowl on top of a sauce pan of simmering water. Gently in the microwave works too.

Mould: a used, cleaned plastic tub is fine such as a cream cheese tub. No need to buy a specialist mould.

Decorate with nuts, nibs, figs, dates, any dried fruit or nuts that you like.

Melting and shaping ready made chocolate means your finished product will have to be kept in the fridge.

If you prefer to do more than simply remelt chocolate then you can make your own with cocoa powder, fat, icing sugar, milk powder and a little salt.

Easy All In One
  • 130g quality cocoa powder
  • pack of butter, softened at room temperature (coconut oil is the preferred fat but is not easy to find)
  • 130g icing sugar
  • 130g instant milk powder (full fat)
  • pinch of salt
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Melt the fat over a double boiler. Add fat to dry ingredients and stir in. Pour into a mould or thinly into containers and place in the fridge overnight. Easy.

Cheaper Alternative method using less fat.

  • Cocoa powder - 5 tbsps
  • Milk powder - 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - 2/3 cup
  • Water - 1/2 cup

Heat water and sugar in a vessel and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and continue cooking till the syrup reaches one string consistency. Add the butter and mix well till it melts and blends with the syrup. Turn off heat.

Sieve the cocoa and milk powder together then add gradually and mix well till glossy. Grease square pan or plate. Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula allow to set for 10 to 15 mts at room temperature

Place in fridge for 10-15 mts. Remove from fridge and use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shape.