BEAUTY BLOGGER OF THE YEAR 2012

Product Review: Cocio Classic Chocolate Milk

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Today I took a venture into the tiny Sainsbury's next to my bus stop. It's usually a less than productive trip. Last time I visited I ended up perusing the shelves for about 15 minutes, got flustered, bought a pack of peanut m&m's and left ( I don't even really like peanut m&m's); this time wasn't much better, however I managed to leave with something a little more exciting.
Strolling around the chilled section my eyes were drawn to a row of little glass bottles with yellow, vintage style labels. In an attempt to investigate further, I found myself clutching a bottle of Cocio, and for some reason I couldn't seem to put it down.
Cocio is 'classic chocolate milk', nothing new there; however it isn't full of horrible artificial tasting ingredients like a lot of the other premixed milkshakes. Made up of only three ingredients; milk, sugar and cocoa, this Danish drink is currently £1 in Sainsbury's (normal price £1.70), and I was inclined to give it a try.
Yes, I know I'm a sucker for packaging. The little glass bottle is reminiscent of school milk bottles, and the combination of this with the sleek, retro packaging means that this drink was on to a winner for me from the start.
After giving the bottle a quick shake, I popped the lid and gave the milkshake a try. Cold from the fridge, I was pleasantly surprised at the taste. Creamy but not too sweet, you can definitely taste the cocoa over the sugar, and the consistency is spot on, not too thick. Of course it's not quite diner standard, but for a pre-made milkshake from a supermarket chilled counter you could do much worse.
For £1.70 this little treat probably wouldn't make it into my basket, but at £1 I'd definitely buy it again. I'll be keeping the bottle too, it's too cute to throw away and I'm sure I'll create some concoctions over the summer to fill it with.

Review: Tuna Pate, You Got This

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Okay, this one's a bit of a tangent, who wants to read about tuna pate? Not you, probably. However, I'm going to say it anyway. I am a fan of tuna. It's a grand fish to eat. Obviously it sits pride of place on my sushi order, but I think it's a pretty versatile fish, and one that gets put in a lot of our dishes at home.

There is nothing worse than battling with a tin of tuna though. Yuk. The brine goes everywhere, the flakes fill up the sink and contaminate everything, and it smells gross. Unfortunately tuna is my standard sandwich filling of choice, I'm not talking swanky sandwich filling here. Yes, I love sun dried tomatoes, roasted pepper, goats cheese and loose leaf salad as much as the next foodie, but for standard 'oh shit, I forgot about lunch and it's raining and I'm wearing my pyjamas and I don't want to leave the kitchen' sandwiches, tuna's got it going on.

I'm also not a fan of mayo, it makes me retch. I can just about tolerate it mixed with tuna, and on occasion I'll party with an egg mayo sandwich, but packaged sandwiches are pretty much out of the question. If I make tuna mayo myself I use about 1/3 mayo and 2/3 natural yoghurt, and then I cover the taste up a little further with some lemon juice.


In the last year or so I've found a new love though. Gone are the days of tuna tin battles. Instead I hit up the tuna pate, the stuff that's found in the chilled aisles of supermarkets. I was skeptical at first. I mean, it's far less expensive than a tin of tuna (John West 160g Tuna Chunks in Brine is £2.00 for 160g, Tesco Tuna Pate is £1.00 for 110g) and I didn't really understand why! I get that it's pre-mixed with mayonnaise, cream cheese, blacked pepper and lemon already, but I count that as a blessing. The stuff is already good to go, and there's plenty of it. It also seems to be fairly consistent across the board, the Marks and Spencer version is also a-ok by me, and I've tried versions from other supermarkets in the past and they've been grand! Yes, it isn't really pate by anyone's standards, the title is a little misleading, but it is pretty tasty for tuna mayo and has a good consistency.


Most importantly, I don't feel that it's an extravagance, £1 for 3 or 4 rounds of sandwich filling is pretty good by my reckoning. In comparison, the pre-mixed Tuna and Sweetcorn Sandwich Filling is £1.35 for 270g, these ready to go sandwich fillers tend to tend to taste pretty grim though (I guess I may be biased though, with my hatred for the mayo overload). The sandwich filling contains 32% tuna, as opposed to the 62% in the Tuna Pate, so you're missing out on all the fishy goodness too.

So there it is, I just wanted to tell you all about my love for tuna pate, I understand this makes me a bit strange, but I'm happy to go there. Have a flipping fantastic Wednesday!

Restaurant Review: Giraffe, Bournemouth

Monday, 10 November 2014


Anybody who lives in London will be familiar with the chain Giraffe, however it's a lesser known eatery around these parts. Recently a Giraffe restaurant has opened in the big Tesco store on Castle Lane, near Castlepoint, and the team offered us the opportunity to pop along one evening to try it out. Having visited a couple of Giraffe restaurants across London, I was already familiar with the chain, but interested to see how it worked here.

In the week before they opened, Giraffe ran a couple of days where they offered complimentary meals to bloggers, friends, family and other folk. These days gave their staff a trial run and allowed them to put the skills they'd learned in training, to the test. I headed down on a wet and windy Thursday night with my friends Allie and Tom in tow, to give Giraffe Bournemouth a whirl.

We arrived and were shown to our seats by enthusiastic waitresses. Unfortunately we'd been popped in a booth that wasn't hugely comfortable, but the decor was creative, the lighting ambient, and most importantly it didn't feel like we were sat in the middle of Tesco.

Our waitress explained that we were to have a main and a dessert each, and we were to choose a meal each from different sections of the mains menu, so as to ensure the staff were able to practice a variety of dishes.

Tom took burgers, I opted for the salad section and Allie hit up the main section of the menu. It was a tough decision for us all.


Drinks wise, Tom ordered Fresh Lemonade With Mint (£2.25), Allie chose Sunshine Coast Iced Tea (£2.95) and I opted for the much loved Orchard Pig Ginger & Chilli (£2.65). We had a bit of a wait for the drinks, but the staff were very sweet, so we weren't hugely bothered.


The drinks were all refreshing, although the Sunshine Coast Iced Tea wasn't quite what we were expecting. It's described on the menu as 'ice cold chamomile & green tea with mango, lime & fresh mint', I'd definitely say it's far more mango than tea, fairly reminiscent of Rubicon Mango, but still pretty tasty. I'm already a huge fan of Orchard Pigs, so it was a pleasant surprise to find their drinks on the menu, and the Ginger & Chilli was as good as I expected, you can't really go wrong with natural-style ginger drinks in my opinion.


For my main I ordered 'Penang-Bang' Chicken Salad (£10.95). I'm assuming the Penang was alluding to the levels of spice of the dish, rather than it being a salad take on Penang curry. The salad is described as 'shredded chicken, chopped peanuts, noodles, bok choy, nappa cabbage, cucumber, snap peas, radish, spring onion, mint & coriander with spicy thai lime, chilli & ginger dressing'. I'd say that the description was mildly accurate, but the dish was a little different to what I was expecting. The bowl was huge, and the chopsticks were a nice touch (although I'm not entirely sure how much chopsticks are used in Thailand, I think we were offered them about twice in our entire month trip there). The noodles made up the bottom layer of the dish, with the vegetables and chicken scattered on top.

The chicken was cold, and in large slices, which I wasn't expecting; I'd kind of assumed the chicken would be grilled and warm, and I think this would have added to the dish, the slices didn't detract at all, they just weren't shredded, as described on the menu. The dish was tasty, with a ton of vegetables to fill up on, and the noodles were pretty good too. I was stuffed by the end, which isn't something you can always say about restaurant salads.


Tom chose the Rodeo Chicken Burger (£11.60), to be honest I think he was just choosing the item with the most components. The dish was described in the menu as 'grilled chicken breast, onion rings, melting cheddar, grilled mushrooms, bbq sauce, mixed leaves, tomato & mayo in our hand-crafted glazed sesame & poppy seed buns'. Unfortunately Tom had eaten it all by the time I got round to trying to snag a bite, but I think it lived up to expectation, as he had nothing bad to say.


Allie chose Green Veggie and Kale Enchiladas (£9.25). Described as 'baked tortillas filled with broccoli, kale, roasted sweetcorn & feta, tomatillo salsa, sour cream & crunchy munchy omega rich seeds, market green salad with tomato salsa & tequila-lime dressing' this dish contained a bit of everything and was home to all the consistencies. Once she'd worked out that the salsa was drizzled around the outside and the cheese was all in the middle, it all started to go to plan. I managed to steal a bite before it all disappeared, and was pretty impressed with the textures and consistencies (I'm definitely a consistency girl). Lots of crunch, and a fair amount of creamy. I'm not sure if I'd order it for myself, but it's refreshing to see something that's obviously well thought out on the vegetarian menu of a chain restaurant, rather than just being an afterthought.

Post mains, we were all pretty stuffed, but we somehow managed to order desserts. The dessert menu wasn't hugely adventurous and didn't reflect the variety of the main menu, however we all found something we'd like to try.

 Tom opted for Baked Vanilla Cheesecake (£5.50). I'd dismissed this by the title, but actually on closer inspection the description made it sound far more appetizing, 'ginger-snap biscuit base with rhubarb compote & mascarpone cream' I managed to grab a bite of this one before Tom devoured the lot. The ginger-snap base was a great addition, and rhubarb is always an absolute winner in my opinion.


Allie chose Chocolate Mousse (£3.95), 'rich milk chocolate mousse topped with mascarpone cream'. We weren't massively impressed by this guy, the dish was a little retro, and the mousse was too big and quite sickly.


I couldn't decide what to choose, so went with Rocky Road Sundae (£5.95), as I figured it contained components of multiple desserts, 'double chocolate & very vanilla ice cream, marshmallows, chocolate brownie & warm chocolate sauce'. Unfortunately I'd overlooked the double chocolate ice cream part, I hate chocolate ice cream, so had to do a fair amount of avoiding. The sundae was nice but nothing special, the brownie chunks and marshmallows were plentiful, and there were lots of elements to keep me entertained, but the ice cream wasn't brilliant quality, and it failed to wow me.

We enjoyed our meal, and Giraffe is a nice addition to Castle Lane. I can guess that it's going to be hugely popular with families, which unfortunately is something that would put me off going to it! The restaurant have an deal for tea/coffee and cake and I think that will lure in tons of post-shop customers. There's also a Giraffe coffee hatch in Tesco by the tills, which is a nice touch. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to visit Giraffe, as I don't have a car, and a trip would have to be teamed with a Tesco shop, however if you're eating with a family or with people who aren't massively adventurous, it's a great place to try, as there's definitely something for everyone. The meals were fairly inexpensive, although the desserts are a little pricy, I always resent paying £5(ish) for what's often a jazzed up slice of cake.

The restaurant offers some great vegetarian options, and a whole variety of dishes. There's also a lunch deal for those who time their trip right. The staff are friendly, attentive and quick to offer suggestions if you're a little unsure of what to order.

*Our meal at Giraffe was complimentary, no further compensation was received.

Recipe: American Pancakes

Friday, 7 November 2014


Yesterday morning I made my favourite breakfast. I actually made it a couple of weeks ago too. I thought I'd already blogged about it, and then was horrified when I realised I hadn't! What have you all been doing without this recipe? Eating sub-par breakfasts, that's what. I sincerely apologise.

Today I'm going to wax lyrical about American pancakes, bacon and maple syrup (and eggs, but they're entirely optional). That simple combination that will woo any breakfast guests into true love. Forever. Trust me, It's a foolproof affection maker. Use sparingly, or you'll find yourself inundated with marriage proposals.

I have a love/hate relationship with pancakes. There's a time and a place for them, and it's breakfast, or brunch or Pancake Day; but in general English pancakes are definitely a crappy excuse for a normal meal. I want some substance to my pancakes (American) or something twiddly like a crepe as a nice dessert. So yes, England, sorry, on this one you kinda suck, you have neither substance or finesse.

I'd say that this recipe is pretty well researched, I have tried many an American pancake recipe in my time, often with less than adequate results. This is a keeper though, it consistently turns out perfectly, and is delicious. You can't really ask for more than that now, can you?

This recipe comes from BBC Food website and is literally the first thing that comes up when you Google 'American Pancake recipe', which is something I do every time I make these.

Ingredients



135g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml milk (I use semi-skimmed)
1 egg
2 tbsp butter
Maple syrup
Streaky bacon (I use Oscar Mayer, it's the best)
Additional eggs, as many as you want, for scrambling (optional) 

Method

 I'm going to walk you through this the way I make it, of course, you can freestyle, but you're not allowed to blame me if they end up soggy or burnt, okay? This mix makes enough pancakes for 2 people to be stuffed, 3 to be content, or 4 to be still hungry. Double up the mix if you have multiple guests to avoid pancake panic.


First, fry the bacon. Stick it all in a fairly large frying pan, no oil needed, and fry on both sides until starting to crisp up. When the bacon is a little crispy, but nowhere near burnt, transfer to a tray and pop in the oven on about GM2 to finish doing bacon stuff, and ensure all round deliciousness. Clean the frying pan.


Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar together into a large-ish bowl (this ensures you're free of lumps, if you don't care, then go sieve-less. Sometimes I do this when I'm feeling particularly rebellious, and by rebellious I mean lazy).


Melt the butter in the frying pan on a low heat. This is sort of a 2 birds 1 stone job. Pour the melted butter into a jug, leaving the pan coated in the remnants of the butter, you'll use this for sliding the pancakes about later. Add the milk and egg to the jug, and whisk.


Spoon the dry mixture to the edges of the bowl, so that you end up with a crater in the middle. Pour the liquid mixture into the crater. Whisk the liquid, slowly picking up the dry mix as you whisk, until everything is combined into a beautiful pancake mixture. If there are lumps, keep going until they're all as gone as you can manage (if you sieved you shouldn't have a problem here). In my experience this will consistently get you a perfect pancake mix, it should be fairly thick, but will slowly drip from a spoon.

Wipe the excess butter from the frying pan with kitchen roll, so that you're left with the tiniest trace. This is important. If you leave too much butter in the pan then your pancakes will be soggy and they won't brown and you will be sad. Don't worry about them sticking, once there's that tiny layer of butter, you'll be fine.


Turn the heat to low/medium, and wait for the pan to heat up. When the pan is warm, add a ladle-full of pancake mixture. It's entirely up to you how big you make the pancakes, I like to make small-ish ones as they cook faster, you get more, and I'm impatient. Watch the pancake carefully, it should start to develop little holes, this is good. When the pancake looks like the top layer has set into a light film, and the holes have happened, flip it over. Don't worry if it doesn't look amazing, the first pancake is never the best, the rest will be superb. Fry the other side until it's looking golden brown. Pop your pancake onto a plate and slide into the bottom of the oven, this is where your pancakes will congregate until they're all ready.

Repeat until all of the mixture is gone and you have a pile of delicious looking, fluffy pancakes.
Scramble up your eggs, using a little extra butter in the pan to fry. 


Stack pancakes on plates, top with bacon and maple syrup, side with eggs. Eat.
There are many other toppings for pancake stacks; Nutella and banana is a winner, as is a mixed berry compote, but for me nothing trumps bacon and maple syrup. Heaven.




Halloween- Maple Toffee Apples and Pumpkin Bread

Friday, 31 October 2014


I love holidays, to be honest any excuse to put a theme to baking is good enough for me. Halloween is no different. My family recently took a trip to America and brought me back all manner of pumpkin and autumn themed goods, including the amazing smelling Pumpkin Cupcake Pocketbac from Bath and Body Works and an insanely good Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix from Trader Joes, one of my favourite American stores, and I was waiting for a good excuse to try the mix out.


I'm not usually a cake mix kind of girl, I don't really see the point of them, but Americans often do baking quite differently to us UK folk, and they have a whole ton of ingredients that are tricky to find here. We decided to give the mix a whirl, pumpkin bread was too good to pass up on! The mix was super easy, we just added vegetable oil, water and a couple of eggs and stirred, we also added some mixed peel for good measure.

The bread took just under an hour to bake, and we whipped up a milk, cinnamon and icing sugar glaze to top it with. The results were delicious, and there's only a couple of slices left as it was devoured almost immediately. It's definitely a mix I'd recommend picking up and keeping in the cupboard for an autumn day if you ever happen to find yourself in Trader Joes!


Post pumpkin bread, Meg and I whipped up a batch of maple toffee apples. We didn't follow an exact recipe, instead we botched together a couple we found on the internet, with impressive results!

The recipe is pretty simple (sorry for the American measurements, I have cups and all the recipes seemed to be in cups, so I went with it)!

Ingredients
8 apples
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup or golden syrup
1 cup water
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp red food colouring
toppings (we used crushed up amaretti biscuits, cinnamon mixed with sugar, edible glitter and tiny gingerbread men sprinkles)

Method
Grease a baking tray and have on hand, ready for the coated apples. Remove stalks from apples, and insert a stick/fork/holding device into each, ensure that you are able to hold the apple by this!

Mix sugar, syrup and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Put on a medium heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring and bring to a rolling boil.

Keep on the rolling boil for around 10 minutes. The mixture is ready when you are able to drop a spoonful of it into a bowl of cold water and it sets immediately. Add maple syrup and food colouring.

For the next bit you need to be quite speedy. Swirl each of the apples in the liquid toffee until coated. Quickly add the toppings of your choice and place on the baking tray, ensure the apples are well spaced, or toffee merging occurs. Once all apples are coated, try and dispose of the remaining liquid toffee before it solidifies and sticks to your pan, that stuff will never come off.

Your maple toffee apples are ready to enjoy, be warned, they're super sticky but delicious!!


On a completely unrelated but adorable note, here's a picture of my baby sister Lizzie, enjoying her first proper Halloween! Happy Halloween guys!



Recipe: Change All The Ingredients Chilli

Sunday, 26 October 2014


I have so many cookery books. They line shelves across the house and litter almost every surface that's big enough to house a book. I consciously try and take as many recipes as I can from these books, to justify to myself that it was okay to have spent this much money on buying them, as opposed to doing that really easy thing of pulling cooking ideas from the vast depths of the internet. It doesn't always work.

A couple of days ago I decided to make Chilli. Perfect, something that's bound to be in at least one cookery book, right? It was! Nigella's Kitchen housed a recipe for cheesy chilli, using chorizo and mozzarella. After a traumatising weekend spent cooking chorizo at a festival over the summer, I now can't bring myself to touch the stuff...so I instantly omitted that ingredient, and I don't have any mozzarella, so that went too. I figured the rest of the recipe would be fairly standard. I've made chilli a ton of times before so the basic principals were there, I just wanted to see Nigella's take on the it.
It became evident fairly early on in the cooking process that Nigella was obviously having 'one of those days' when she wrote this recipe. She doesn't use any onions, garlic or red peppers... she also doesn't use anything that could be considered at all spicy, in fact the only herb included is oregano, with no spices at all. What?

I didn't want my Chilli to be everything-less, so unfortunately on this occasion I made my excuses for Nigella and followed my (probably not so brilliant) instincts instead. What materialised is documented below for you, and is a hybrid jazzed up Chilli that turned out quite delicious. Sorry Nigella, don't hate me, you're a babe.

I made a fairly huge batch as I had 750g mince to use up, I'll give you my measurements and you can cut them accordingly!

Ingredients


750g beef mince
3/4 tsp dried oregano
45ml tomato puree
600g chopped tomatoes
1tsp cocoa powder
75ml water, swilled from empty tomato can
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
600g kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion (although I used a few mini ones), chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped/crushed
1/2 red pepper, chopped 
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Method


Get as big a saucepan as you can spare, and drizzle with oil. Put the pan on a medium heat and allow to warm a little before adding the onions. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, for around 3-5 minutes, or until the onions start to cook and go translucent. Add the mince and red pepper and fry until the mince is almost browned.


Sprinkle in the oregano, cocoa, cayenne and paprika over the mince, and stir in. Add the puree, stir and then follow with the chopped tomatoes. Add the kidney beans and as much Worcestershire sauce as you dare. Pour a little of the water into the saucepan, when it seems like the mix is getting a bit swampy, stop (it's a no brainer really), you can always add more later if it's getting a little dry, but it's a bitch to take it away again.


Bring your big pan o' beef to the boil, and then whack a lid on it. Lower the heat and simmer the Chilli for about 20 minutes, adding a little more water if it begins to look dry. When the Chilli is well and truly cooked, bring the mix back to the boil and serve!


I like mine in a wrap, served with brown rice and topped with grated cheddar and sour cream. Heaven.










Review: Chin Chin Laboratorists

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


This review has been a long time coming. In fact, so long that I've managed to visit Chin Chin Laboratorists twice since I started writing this post. I'm completely fine with this though, it meant that I had an excuse to eat double the amount of ice cream.

I'm definitely less of a fan of Camden than I was in my teens. The once appealing stalls selling all kinds of tat and knock offs were oh-so-exciting to 14 year old Laura, who revelled in finding hareem trouser bargains and £4 borderline-food-poisoning-inducing Chinese chicken deals, now just irritate me. The Ha-Ha Veggie Bar, home of the world's best veggie burgers (special shout out to the Monkey Burger, peanut butter and grilled banana heaven) is long gone as is Artbox, and there's only so many times you can visit Cyberdog and titter over bizarre sex toys and PVC baby clothes before it too loses appeal.

However, that being said, there are a couple of redeeming spots in Camden, and I seem to be finding more gems with every visit. Market stall interest is being replaced with love for the niche cafes, bars and restaurants (surprise surprise) of Camden. Obviously I am utterly and hopelessly in love with Whole Foods Market, who isn't? Other than that I've recently become a fan of Our Black Heart (bar) and Hook (fish restaurant, review to follow), and of course Brew Dog is pretty lovely too. My one undying love in Camden has to be Chin Chin Laboratorists though. 

Chin Chin Labs has a fairly minimal menu, offering their year round flavours, plus a couple of extra 'specials' which change frequently. They also combine the most unlikely of ingredients to create superb toppings and sauces. If you don't fancy ice cream they also sell Monmouth Coffee (another favourite) and other bits and pieces.


So let's start with the concept behind Chin Chin Labs; they are Europe's first Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Parlour and the whole shop is scientifically themed, with toppings presented in measuring flasks and jugs, and ice cream served with medicine spoons to scoop with. The menu is viewable from an official looking clipboard, and the friendly servers often don industrial gloves and goggles to protect them from the Liquid Nitrogen (and to add to the theme, naturally). 


The ice cream starts as a liquid, poured into a Kitchen Aid mixer (oh gosh, the dream!) and is churned to an ice cream consistency with the addition of the smokey Liquid Nitrogen which tumbles over the sides of the mixing bowl and fills the shop. It's quite a sight, and it is worth going in just to see this process in action, but the fact that you get to eat delicious ice cream at the end makes your trip all more sweet.

Toppings and Sauces


The majority of flavours come with the option of 1 topping or sauce included in the price, of course sometimes one isn't enough, and an additional one will only set you back another 55p (which I think is pretty good going). It's also possible to buy bags of just toppings to take home, this is dangerous! The 'specials' tend to come with their own topping or sauce, which is an integral element of the ice cream flavour. Who are we to argue with (ice cream) science? There's also a dairy free option too, so you vegan folk can enjoy too!

Sauces include:
Raspberry
Fleur de Sel Caramel
Vairhona Chocolate

Toppings include:
Hazelnut Crunch
Heather Honeycomb
Pistachio & Cardamom Powder
Grilled White Chocolate (my absolute favourite)
Caramelised Pretzels
Truffle Crumble

Basic Flavours
These guys are always available, and a it's a good thing too, because they're delicious.


Pondicherry Vanilla (£3.95)

I like mine topped with Grilled White Chocolate and Raspberry Sauce. This ice cream is beautiful. Speckled with dots of vanilla and creamy and rich in taste, it puts store-bought tubs to shame. The team are happy to make your ice cream as soft or as hard as you like (just ask), and for me the perfect consistency is almost gelato like. It's always a tough decision, but if the specials don't entice me (or I simply can't choose) then this is my go-to choice. The grilled white chocolate is exceptional, and I've never tasted anything quite like it. Big nuggets of smokey, caramelised white chocolate make for great chomping, and the little crumby nibble-y bits that come with them are more than welcome too. Yum.


Valrhona Chocolate (£3.95)

I'm not the world's biggest fan of chocolate ice cream, but I snuck my spoon into this beast when my companion wasn't looking. The chocolate is super dark (80%) and ganache-y in texture and taste. Yet again, a beautiful creamy consistency and not too sweet. Definitely one for the fans of dark chocolate. This was topped with Pistachio and Cardamom powder, which added a great crunch to the consistency, but not a whole ton of flavour to the taste.

The 'Brown-wich' (£4.95)
I have to confess, I've never eaten The 'Brown-wich', but it sure as hell sounds delicious. Pondicherry Vanilla sandwiched between two cookie shaped brownies. Oh gosh

Specials


Passionfruit, Chilli & Lime (Dairy Free, £3.95)
Alas, you won't be able to find this guy in the shop anymore, but there are many delicious new flavours coming in all the time, so don't be too sad. This ice cream was almost a cross between a sorbet and a frozen curd. I am a sucker for anything passionfruit, so this was an obvious choice for me, no other flavours really got a look in. The flavour was sharp and not too sweet. The Chilli and Lime dust was optional, and you were (luckily) able to choose your level of spice. This addition definitely enhanced the flavour of the passionfruit, and added a warmth to the sharpness of the fruit. Yet again I topped it with grilled white chocolate. I can't resist.

Past 'specials' flavours have included: 
Fig Jam Doughnut
Caramel Apple & Crispy Sage (Which my friend Caroline can confirm is also delicious)
Nutella & Crunchy Bread
Rhubarb Lemonade
Purple Basil Choc Chip

So that's it, Chin Chin Laboratorists summarised in more sentences than is probably necessary. As you can tell, I'm a fan. The ice cream is great quality, watching it being made is a treat, and although it'll set you back about £4, that's only the money you were going to spend on that horrible Chinese chicken anyway. Most definitely worth it. You're also able to buy tubs to take away too, luckily they'd melt before getting back to Bournemouth, so I don't have an excuse to buy them!