Chocolates oh so fancy

Glastonbury Cheddar & Somerset Cider Toasted Stottie Chips
Glastonbury Cheddar & Somerset Cider Toasted Stottie ChipsST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Chocolate bars.
Chocolate bars.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Maille Bearnaise Sauce.
Maille Bearnaise Sauce.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

On the third floor of Marina Square is a delightful kiosk that looks like an old-fashioned sweet shop.

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe is heaven for anyone with a crush on candy. It carries lollipops, chocolates, fudge and many other treats.

The range is dizzying, but my eyes are drawn to the chocolate bars, which come in unusual flavours.

Vindaloo & Yoghurt is the best of the four I pick. It is a dark Belgian chocolate bar studded liberally with chilli flakes. This is proof, if you need it, that chocolate and chilli are beautiful together. There is more than a tingle of heat and it melds so well with the dark chocolate.

Apart from eating it as is, heat up some milk and cream, and melt the entire bar in it to make a spicy hot chocolate drink.

Another good one is Rhubarb & Custard, a tangy white chocolate bar with rhubarb sweets. The light tartness of the squishy sweets is what makes this bar worth eating.

Lemon Meringue tastes uncannily like the real thing, being studded with crunchy pieces of meringue. It is, however, a little too sweet.

The Banoffee Caramel, however, manages to taste like banana and toffee without going overboard with the sugar.

Chocolate bars, $7.90 for a 100g bar, from Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, 03-216A Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, tel: 6684-1815, open: 11am to 10pm daily

Honey drink sparkles

After taking a sip of Nuhoney, a sparkling honey drink, I wonder why it has taken so long for someone to come up with the idea.

It is exactly what I want to drink on a hot day: a lightly fizzy drink with the floral scent of Australian honey.

I am glad a Singapore company has come up with this unique drink and it knows enough about local palates to rein in the sweetness. So while the distinctive taste of honey is very apparent, the sugar level is restrained.

Naturally, it tastes delicious well chilled, but I am thinking of taking cans of this to my favourite bartenders to see what they can concoct.

Nuhoney, $2.50 for a 325ml can, from FairPrice Finest, B1-01/B2-01 Bukit Timah Plaza, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, tel: 6468-8415/ 6468-4923, open: 24 hours

Bearnaise in a jiffy

It is potato salad season and there is nothing wrong with tossing the spuds with mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice. But there is something better - Bearnaise sauce. And you do not have to make it from scratch.

Maille, famous for its mustard, also makes Bearnaise sauce in jars. Serve it alongside grilled fish, use it as a sandwich spread or dress a potato salad with it. It is like mayonnaise amped up with shallots, tarragon and black pepper.

The sauce is derived from Hollandaise, a bright yellow classic French sauce that is made with egg yolks, lemon juice and clarified butter.

Nothing beats the from-scratch version, which is silky and rich from butter. The jarred version uses rapeseed oil. But sometimes I am lazy and if I can dress my potato salad just by opening a jar, well, I get to eat it faster and that is never a bad thing.

Maille Bearnaise Sauce, $5.60 for a 200ml jar, from Huber's Butchery, 18A Dempsey Road, tel: 6737-1588, open: 9.30am to 8pm (weekday), 9.30am to 7pm (weekend)

Addictive toast chips

The things you learn from snacking. While foraging at Marks & Spencer, I come upon Stottie chips. This is stuff I cannot resist so I get a bag and start researching.

Stotties are a kind of bread from the North-east of England; round, flattish loaves with a dimple in the middle. They are made from leftover dough and left to bake in the cooler part of the oven, resulting in a dense, chewy bread.

It sounds very homey but, of course, Marks & Spencer has jazzed it up. Cheddar from Glastonbury and Somerset cider go onto the crisp, toasted slices of stottie.

The result is addictive. Unlike a lot of chips and crisp snacks, it is not too salty and the loveliest surprise is the distinctive taste of apple on the stottie.

It permeates the crisp snack and if you have ever had a slice of Granny Smith apple with cheddar, you will know how well they go together.

The chips are thicker than potato ones, but are not stodgy at all. And they are great to munch on with a bottle of cider.

Glastonbury Cheddar & Somerset Cider Toasted Stottie Chips, $5.90 for a 150g bag, from Marks & Spencer stores. For the list of locations, go to global.marksandspencer.com/sg



A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Bearnaise in a jiffy Honey drink sparkles Addictive toast chips Chocolates oh so fancy'. Subscribe