Friday, October 09, 2015

Gorgeous! Guilt-Free Goodies from the UK.

Another day, another random set of snack bars to try out.  I discovered Gorgeous! products in the Club Kitchen on a recent British Airways flight.

They are marketed as "guilt-free goodies", with 30% less fat and sugar than equivalent products.  While these aren't health food products, they do try to use less sugar, no artificial colors/flavors/preservatives, and care about having fiber, without sacrificing taste and texture.

They come in 4 varieties.  Two are basic desserts: Belgian chocolate chunk cookies and brownies, and the later two are more ... British: oaty or chocolate chip flapjacks.  None of these sounded all that great, but, well, the desserts on British Airways flights often leave something to be desired, so I decided to try them anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised.
Belgian Chocolate Brownie.
"Our brownies are fudgy, chewy and chocolate-chunky."

I'll be honest.  I expected to take a single bite of this, and give it to Ojan.  Bars aren't really my thing, and neither are brownies.

Even once I opened the package, I didn't expect to take more than a bite or two.  It looked like a flat, stale, brownie.  I don't generally even like fresh baked brownies (not that I dislike them, just, not ever my treat of choice).   Ojan likes brownies, so I figured he'd appreciate it, if it managed to actually pull off the brownie thing decently.  But I figured it would be like most bars, named something dessert-like, but not resembling a real dessert in the least.

And then I tasted it.  I was glad to be proved wrong.

It was ... a brownie.  Sure, not a home baked brownie.  But, it was nicely chewy, chocolatey, and didn't taste strange in any "healthy" way.

I became more interested, and flipped it over to read the ingredient list.  Hmm.  It actually mostly read like a real brownie recipe: flour, sugar, margarine, butter, egg, cocoa powder, Belgian chocolate chunks, and chocolate chips.  There are a few more interesting things in there, like dried plum juice, which I imagine is used as a lower sugar natural sweetener?  The only strange ingredients were wheat dextrin and polydextrose, the former used to add fiber, the later as a lower calorie sugar replacement.

So, well, yes, a brownie.   A very decently sized one at that, as it was the size of a regular bar, a full 55 grams (they also make a smaller 27 gram version).  But 30% less fat and sugar than equivalent products.  A bar is only198 calories, 13.9 grams sugar, 7.6 grams of fat.  Really, not bad at all, and if it hadn't come out of a wrapper and was slightly differently shaped, I would have believed it was a "normal" brownie.

It was fine on its own with some coffee, but I immediately wanted to warm it up, and serve it at least a la mode, if not with chocolate sauce and whipped cream too.  I realize this defeats the whole healthy thing, and the easy treat for on the go, but, that is how I'd like it!
Oaty Flapjack.
"They’re gooey, chewy and as moreish as we can make them. Made with golden syrup, two types of oats and three generations of baking expertise."

Next, I moved on to the one I thought I'd like: the oaty flapjack.  I first discovered flapjacks in a Graze box, where I didn't love it, but dubbed it basically a healthy oatmeal cookie bar.  I was interested by the concept of flapjacks though, these softer granola bars that seemed so popular in the UK, so when I visited later that year, I tried out the flapjacks at my office, made by Seed Stacked.  I really liked them, and decided they were quasi-healthy almost-cookies, totally acceptable to eat anytime of day, as breakfast, or alongside a cuppa in the afternoon.

This one also looked kinda flat, dense, not very interesting, although it had oats scattered on top.  But after the success of the brownie, I was quite excited for this.

Sadly, the brownie was much better.  This did have a next texture, it was chewy, it was even a bit gooey.  But ... it just wasn't very exciting.  I guess a bit like a very dense yet gooey oatmeal cookie?  I wanted some mix-ins, something to give it flavor.  On its own, it was just boring.

Again, the ingredient list wasn't scary.  45% of the bar is just oats.  It has margarine, butter, sugar, golden syrup, skim milk, and flour.  The dried plum juice concentrate and polydextrose again show up.  But that is it, I think why I found it boring.

A bar is again about 200 calories, 7 grams of fat, 10 grams sugar.  I wouldn't try this one again, although, maybe the chocolate chip one is better?
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