Edible Sweet Gifts for Under £10 (2017)

We don’t all have endless amounts of space so sometimes when buying gifts I think it is a good idea to consider buying gifts that are edible rather than ones we hope the recipient will use for years to come.  I know I have limited space and although I appreciate another great quality pan for example I have literally no storage space left.  Well meaning friends and family always buy me items for the kitchen which is lovely but for me no longer practical as I have nowhere to put them and they just get piled up onto of others that have yet to be used.  Sometimes gifts that are edible can be a welcome change and may be used as a gift or part of a selection of gifts depending on how much you want to spend.  There are so many different sweet treats to choose from and today I wanted to focus on items that you can find for £10 or less.  If you are dieting look away now!

Prosecco Sweets

These have become increasingly popular and I for one would love to try them in some shape or form.  John Lewis has two different types bonbons (200g) £5.00 and gummies (250g) £6.50.  These adult treats are not actually alcoholic and are sure to go down well with Prosecco lovers.

Marshmallows

With the rise of gourmet marshmallows there has never been so much choice available.  From basic vanilla to champagne and strawberry flavour we are more than spoilt for choice.  Yumbles have a range of foodie items including lemon meringue pie marshmallows (pack of 10) £4.75 and coconut marshmallows (130g) £6.00.  These make a great addition to any gift and would be welcomed by all marshmallow lovers.

 Chocolate Covered Nuts

I know so many people that love chocolate covered nuts and these make a great gift or additional gift.  Hotel Chocolat do some gorgeous dark chocolate Brazil nuts (230g) that come in a reusable tin for £10.  What something for a little less they have a range of tie bag options like their dark salted caramel almonds (130g) for £5.50 or £5 if you buy two or more.

Chocolate

Chocolate is always a winner unless although you come across the odd person that doesn’t eat it.  I know how unusual but apparently there are a few out there.  Us chocolate lovers do outnumber them greatly and a selection such as the Guylian praline seashells (250g) available at Tesco for £3 or the 375g box for £5 also from Tesco generally goes down very well.  These are my sisters favourite chocolates and she always gets some for birthdays and Christmas.

Biscuits

Now when I mention biscuits as a gift I don’t just mean any old thing.  For it to be suitable as a gift you need to take into consideration the quality of the biscuit, flavour and also packaging!  Here is were Harrods seems to have excelled.  These stunning biscuit boxes (contain 300g of biscuits) are perfect as gifts, on the left the daffodil tin contains chocolate chunk hazelnut biscuits and on the right the rose tin contains delicately spiced stem ginger biscuits.  These are suitable for vegetarians.  The tins cost £10 each and of course the box is great for storing bits and bobs from makeup to piping nozzles.

 So as you can see you can find a wide variety of items that make lovely gifts and cost less than £10.  There are so many more items to choose from but of course it all depends on the taste of the recipient where your search will be guided.  For those like me that love their chocolate I have one last thing to mention.  A super little competition thanks to the generous guys at Guylian who agreed with me that we should share the love and the chocolate so here we go.  If you fancy trying your luck have a quick read below to find out how to enter.

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

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Enter here:

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Disclaimer: A sample of the Guylian chocolate was sent for my consideration.

Luxury Easter Eggs That Look Amazing

I’m not finished with Easter Eggs just yet.  Even after discovering and buying some that were on offer from Tesco for some of the children I know I have now changed the focus to other types of egg.  There are so many Easter eggs available and some are truly works or art.  I thought I would take a little look around the internet and share with you some of my favourites.  In some cases it might be best not to look at their prices lol as some do come with a hefty price tag.  So what did I discover on my travels?  These were some of my favourites:

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The Hare Family Eggs – Series of 3 Eggs

 

The Mr & Mrs and Sailor Boy eggs are comprised of 100kg of chocolate each.  Now that is serious chocolate heaven.  I have no idea of the price but it’s not going this be on offer that’s for sure.  The price is available on request.  Their dragon eggs last year were being sold for £25,000 if that gives you an idea of the sort of prices these guys can command for a monster sized egg.

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Giant Easter Atelier Egg

This luxury chocolate egg is handmade in Brussels by executive chef chocolatier’s Jean Apostolou and Ilse Wilmots and looks not only enormous but also delicious.  It weighs 13kg and features an array of beautiful white chocolate butterflies that are hand painted.  These are available from Harrods and Selfridges.  It costs a mere £1000 and I’m sure it is worth every penny.

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Imperial Easter Egg

The egg is named after the Imperial Suite at their Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate and is a real showpiece in craftsmanship.  It is decorated by hand with beautiful spring flowers.  Don’t let the small photo fool you this egg contains over 5.4 kilos of high quality milk or dark chocolate.  This egg is made-to-order and delivered personally, so you will need to contact them to place an order.  This pretty egg is available for £250.  There are some lovely smaller and cheaper options also available like this:

Trio of Spring Flower Eggs

These cute eggs are made with the finest Swiss chocolate and presented in a pastel box. Created to complement one another perfectly, the trio contains one milk chocolate egg, hand-stippled with dark chocolate; one dark chocolate and one eau de nil white chocolate egg with a silver lustre. Each is decorated with Royal iced spring flowers, carefully piped by hand.  260g of chocolate for £27.50 isn’t too bad when you are going for quality and great presentation.

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Paisley Easter Egg – Monterery

I love the colours and simple design of this egg that really make it stand out.   It would be almost a shame to break it up and eat although I’m guessing I would manage if I got one.  These celebrate 50 years since the famous ‘summer of love’ and the festivals held at the time.  Drawing on Paisley design influences their beautiful handmade egg is a thick chocolate shell covered in a gossamer thin pastel layer. The surface is hand decorated with an intricate gold Paisley design.  This egg comes presented in a blue keyhole box with a box of 12 Spring collection chocolates.  You will get 800g of chocolate for just £85!

Artisan du Chocolat

Sculpture Egg

Not your average Easter egg this is more like a piece of art and can be found in Harvey Nicols.  This is made from intense 70% Colombian dark chocolate and expertly finished in gold shimmer with an 18kt gold leaf adorning the central egg, what a stunning egg to grace any table or fireplace (don’t turn that on of course) until it is time to devour it.  There are mini eggs also included and this contains a total of 430g of chocolate which is priced at £44.95.

What did you think of the eggs I featured?

Have you seen any that look fab that I may have missed?

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Cocoba: An Introduction Plus a Giveaway!

I love chocolate what can I say it’s fabulous, but I don’t like all chocolate.  I know, crazy right!  Let me explain.  When you purchase some types of chocolate the quality of the ingredients are not always to the level they should be.  Some companies attempt to cut costs by substituting what should be good quality ingredients which would make a fabulously delicious chocolate for cheaper inferior ingredients thus increasing their profits but creating a product which is in some instances not fit for consumption in my opinion.  Yes I am a harsh critic in some respects but good quality products should be enjoyed by all so when I find good quality products the foodie in me can’t help but tell everyone.  I appreciate some might not agree but then we are all unique and have different tastes and have also experienced different quality products.  In many an instance I am finding that some of the most fabulously delicious chocolates are best purchased online.  One such chocolate is that which you will find over at the Cocoba website.  They believe in creating great quality chocolate products and search the globe for the highest quality cocoa beans and best tasting chocolate (how amazing does that sound!!!!).

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Cocoba opened their first cafe in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent in 2014 and there you can enjoy their own Cocoba coffee blend, loose leaf teas, and iced drinks, along with their selection of freshly made baguettes, sandwiches, soups, paninis and salads, delicious pastries, cakes, slices, or one of their 100 chocolate products including chocolate bars (all made in store), truffles, pralines and more.  Is your mouth watering yet?

Cocoba’s hot chocolates are made from real Belgian chocolate that is slowly melted.  For those that can’t get to their store fear not, you can also recreate the experience at home, using their Signature Hot Chocolate flakes, or Hot Chocolate Spoons.

I really need to get myself to their store sometime because they also have a selection of Cocoba signature desserts, including a chocolate pizza, a brand new Chocolate Waffle menu, and warm chocolate cookie dough with ice-cream, plus an ice-cream and frozen yoghurt station with over 16 toppings to choose from!

It really does sound like my idea of heaven.  But again not everyone will get the chance to try these if they are not located close enough to get there but fear not these guys also make some of the most deliciously divine chocolate you could ever try and these and many more products can be found over on their site https://www.cocobachocolate.com/ . There you will find products including drinking chocolate, chocolate spoons, chocolate bars, truffles, tea, flavoured syrup and more.  There is even a Chocolate Collection Box monthly subscription that costs £19.95 for a month, less then many of us chocoholics spend on chocolate and containing some scrummy treats.

The Chocolate Collection box monthly subscription contains:

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A selection of truffles and pralines

Handmade chocolate bars

Decadent drinking chocolate

There are 3 of these boxes available at the moment; the Cocoba collection box, milk chocolate collection box and the dark chocolate collection box.  There is also a hot chocolate spoon subscription box which is going to help see many of us through the winter months and I am sure it is amazing.

Subscriptions are available for 1,3,6 or 12 months.

I was sent one of the chocolate box subscriptions to try and here is how I got on.

What was in my box:

A guide clearly labelling each type of chocolate.

Assorted Truffles & Pralines x 2 different types

Pack 1 (contains 3 types)

Caramel Truffle

A lovely milk chocolate with a gorgeous smooth caramel centre.

Cappuccino Truffle

A yummy thick melt in the mouth dark chocolate ganache encased in a gorgeous rich dark chocolate.  Coffee lovers beware one bite and you’ll be hooked.

Tipsy Run Truffle

Chocolate, cream and rum are combined to create a divine ganache which is enrobed in dark chocolate.  I do love adding rum to alcohol as it works very well and this is a great example of how it should be done.

Pack 2 (contains 3 types)

Grenoble Praline

This comprises of a delicious walnut praline in a lovely thick milk chocolate coating.  Not a chocolate that you will come across often but one that you will simply adore.

The Marzipan

What can I say I do love marzipan and these guys really do it justice.  The addition of the chocolate is the cherry on the cake, yum!

White Nougatine

There were two of these in the pack but interestingly the both vanished.  I suspect my girls may have had something to do with that when I went to answer the phone.  The moral of the story, don’t leave chocolate unattended at my house there are lots of little and also big hands that will snatch it up before you realise its gone.

Extra Smooth Milk Chocolate (small bar)

Mr Squishy got wind that there was chocolate and found that this bar was just the right size for him, he grabbed it and hid under the table and didn’t come out until it had gone.  The only tale tale signs were that his hands, face and top had a good coating of chocolate, somehow it even made it into his hair too.  Anyone for a chocolate coated toddler?

Salted Toffee Truffles

Dusted with cocoa for a touch more flavour and because it looks pretty, these smooth, thick, creamy, velvety truffles melt slowly on the tongue.  You will be in heaven when you eat these with the contrasting texture of crunchy toffee pieces and the addition of the sea salt.  It is hardly surprising this is their best selling product, the truffles are wonderful.

Milk Chocolate Spoon

This has been hidden for me to enjoy over Christmas, ssssshhhhh don’t tell anyone or my little troop of chocoholics will hunt it down and eat it off the wooden spoon.

Mint Crunch Dark Chocolate (bar)

This is a 71% dark chocolate (nice and rich) which has been infused with organic peppermint oil and also has a sprinkling of mint crunch.  If you love good dark chocolate and mint you will love this bar, it’s simply exquisite.

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Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate (bar)

This yummy silky smooth caramel is sprinkled with sea salt to give a delicious contrast between salty and sweet.  I was lucky to get a piece of this.  I am strongly considering hiding my chocolate review products in someone else’s house although I’m not sure who I can trust to look after it and not eat it lol.

44% Venezuela Origin Chocolate

This is a lovely simple chocolate button like no other, the rich creamy chocolate melts gently on the tongue.  This isn’t bulked up with rubbish instead it contains a whole 44% of cocoa solids unlike many inferior quality products.  Those that haven’t had the opportunity to experience this quality of chocolate before may mistake the flavour of this for dark chocolate.

Further information

The expiry dates on the items included in the box varied from 4 months 15 months although whether such a subscription box will last in my house for more than a few days is questionable with the number of chocoholics here.  It’s crazy I actually have to hide chocolate and hope no one finds it.  Even chocolate gifts for others are not safe which can at times be a nuisance.  My husband is the worst of all having eaten gifts I have bought and with me discovering last minute it can be very frustrating.  The chocolate as you saw was nicely presented with simple, clearly labelled packaging.  There is a fair amount of chocolate in the box that should keep most happy for a fair few weeks depending on their rate of chocolate consumption and of course the number of chocoholics living in the household.  As this chocolate is of a higher quality you might find that your craving is satisfied far quicker and you don’t need to consume quite so much I know I do.  That’s the beauty of having better quality items your weight increase is far less (yaaaaayyyy) and also the health benefit is greater.  Don’t forget chocolate contains antioxidants which as we all know causes ageing and various ailments, it also triggers the release of endorphins making you feel good.  There are numerous benefits of eating chocolate but of course the quality of the chocolate will influence this greatly, stick to good quality and you can’t go wrong.  The products are well priced, I did look at a leading competition and these guys charge less so keep that in mind next time you are looking to buy chocolate for yourself or as a gift.

So now for a really exciting announcement, the generous guys at Cocoba have said that I can giveaway one of their 1 month subscription boxes away to a lucky reader, it could be you!!!!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

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Enter here:

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One in Five Children DON’T KNOW That Milk Comes From Cows

It’s amazing the things that I get sent through to my inbox.  Amongst all the spam emails I get various forms of informative ones, some that I have no interest in at all (sorry guys, I can’t feature everything) and some that are interesting and relevant to me.  I thought today I would feature the information from one company that I thought was interesting and relevant to parents in the UK.

The post title is a big giveaway as to the topic but here we go.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons has found that the younger generation have a few things to learn about food provenance.  They conducted research which revealed that a shocking one in five children don’t know that milk comes from cows and almost a third of children believe a cow’s diet consists of sandwiches and pizza.

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Fortunately my children are a bit more aware of where some of their foods come from although they of course be could be shown more and going to local pick your own farms, animal farms and even growing their own fruit and veg are a great way of showing children where the foods they eat originate.  In addition if you start early they will have a head start in their science lessons!!!

To help the younger generation , Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons has partnered with Giovanna Fletcher to help kids understand more about food provenance; in particular where the glass and a half of milk used to make each packet of its iconic Buttons comes from.  In the video, Giovanna takes some parents and kids back to the farm to learn some truths:

New research from Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons reveals the bizarre myths that children between 4 and 8 believe about their food

  • Over one in ten boys (11 per cent) believe milk comes straight from the supermarket.
  • A fifth (20 per cent) of five year olds believe that chocolate is made from eggs.
  • Almost a third of children (29 per cent) believe a cow’s diet consists of sandwiches and pizza.

It’s shocking really I knew so much more about my foods originate from I was younger and that was due to being taught in class.  What on earth are schools teaching now days! (Let’s not get me started there.)

The survey also revealed that parents across the nation care about food provenance, with a whopping 73 per cent stating that knowing where their food comes from is important to them. However, it seems the younger generation have a few things to learn when it comes to this topic.

The research also revealed that children are unsure of what is used to make chocolate, with over a third (32 per cent) of the children likening the ingredients to those found in a cake.

choc3Top 4 ingredients children believe are found in chocolate:

  1. Eggs (20 per cent)
  2. Flour (12 per cent)
  3. Plants (9 per cent of four year olds)
  4. Wheat (6 per cent of four year olds)

Catherine Young, Senior Brand Manager for Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons says “Whilst some of the findings from the research are amusing, it has highlighted that more needs to be done to make farming and food provenance as important to children as it is to their parents.  We’re really proud that we source our milk from Selkley Vale – a cooperative of farmers from Wiltshire and Gloucestershire farms – and believe it’s important for children to understand the journey of their food. We hope the video will help parents  show their children about this in a stimulating and enjoyable way!”

Do your little ones know where milk comes from?

Win a Minions Hamper

With the release of the Minions movie I thought it might be an appropriate time to do a minions themed competition .  My girls and I loooooove the Minions they are soooo cute and funny who couldn’t?  In honour of the occasion I am giving away this Minions Sweet Hamper comprising of A minions egg with marshmallows and two packs of Haribo Minions (one plain and one tangy) and some Despicable Me (Minion Made) Milk Chocolates.

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To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form:

Not sure how to?

Don’t worry just have a quick read of this and see how easy it is:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.  Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss my great posts, freebies and competitions.

(Please do not cheat, anyone caught doing so will be disqualified, this includes saying you are following on twitter etc. when you are not!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This competition has been posted on Loquax.

  You can also win various prizes of official Minions merchandise including bags of haribo, magnets, keychains, foldable goggles, activity sets, squishy minions, cooler bags, stationary sets, umbrellas and inflatable bowling sets ‘here’.  The question changes each fortnight but at the moment the answer is Bristol.

ChocoMe Fortina Finest Selection Dark Chocolate with Freeze Dried Fruit

Chocoholic me, nooooo!  Ok, yes but with good reason there are so many different types of chocolate as well as different qualities that it can never get boring!  I love to go to exhibitions especially ones that are all about chocolate and sample the various products (and come home with a suitcase of tasty treats for friends and family).  One such treat bought back from one of these exhibitions was a bar from ChocoMe – Fortina Finest Selection that consisted of 65.1% Dark Chocolate and Freeze-dried blackcurrant pieces, strawberry slices and whole raspberries.

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With a sleek and sophisticated package design this has the appearance of a higher end qualiy product.

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The dark chocolate is gorgeous and the freeze dried fruit gives it an added sweetness and tang.  I quite liked it although the girls decided to pick off the fruit from their pieces.

They have a range of interesting flavours, some include nuts, flowers and also spices.

This is Not a sponsored post and all the opinions stated are my own.

Ohso Chocolate Review – Orange

The room was dark.  A large candle flickered on a glass table and provided the only source of light.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw something glistening.  My eyes focus in to see ….. dark, rich and gorgeous, any girls dream date.  My pulse raced as I slowly moved closer.  We had met before and I tingled with excitement.  No one else was about, I moved faster, quickly reaching my target.  As I gently and lovingly started to undress it, firstly removing the jacket I was thankful that the children were out ……… with my husband!  
I then hurriedly removed the next layer covering the beckoning darkness beneath.  I lovingly bit into the dark, creamy, bar of Ohso chocolate.  The smooth, dark but not overly intense flavour excited my taste buds.  But this time the delicious flavour of orange had been infused into the dark chocolate.  My mouth watered with every bite.  
That was my excitement for the day, back to folding up the washing.
Well it looks like the guys at Ohso have succeeded in creating another fab tasting bar of Probiotic dark chocolate.  Fabulously low in calories as its only 72 calories per bar although its a battle of wills not to eat more than 1 a day.
For those that missed it, have a look at my post about their original dark chocolate bar ‘here’.

Anyone wanting more information or better still want to try this lovely chocolate for themselves can purchase Ohso from Harvey Nichols Food Halls, The Nutricentre and Health food stores and independent retailers nationwide as well as directly from their website.

Ohso Chocolate Review

As many of you may have realised I do get very excited when anything arrives in the post with my name on it.  This time was no exception, being self diagnosed with Peter Pan Syndrome and knowing what was in the box when it arrived I was bouncing around all day with excitement until I finally got to open it and have a taste.
For those that want to eat chocolate but without the guilt your search is now over!  New Ohso Probiotic dark chocolate bars contain only 72 calories per bar!  Made from 53% dark, dairy-free chocolate, this bar does not have an overpowering flavour or aftertaste like some dark chocolate bars. It is deliciously rich and creamy, and tastes amazing!  Plus, clinical trials have shown it to be 3 times more effective than yoghurt drinks at providing the gut with probiotics to help restore the balance of good bacterial flora.  This then improves the functioning of the immune system and therefore the health of those that take it.
Each pack contains 7 cute little bars that are 13.5g each.  Packs can be purchased directly from www.ohsolovesyourtummy.comas well as Harvey Nichols Food Halls, The Nutricentre and Health food stores and independent retailers nationwide. They retail for about £3.99.
Absolutely fantastic idea! I’m not at all biased because I’m a chocolate lover, ok, so maybe I am a little but this way of consuming the good bacteria so that it is more effective definitely adds to its appeal. Perfect size to fit, 1, 2 or even 3 in your handbag ;-).  Definitely one to add to the growing fab find list.
Why not read about their new flavour ‘here‘.