Christmas cheese, chutney and chocolate – tested by Poppy O’Toole

<span>Photograph: Perou/The Observer</span>
Photograph: Perou/The Observer

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference mature blue stilton centrepiece

£9, 590g,

You put chutney and fruit on the stilton? I’ve never seen anything like this, it’s fun with the different elements. The cheese is very nice and I like the spice of the chutney.

Aldi Specially Selected sheep’s cheese with truffle

£3.49, 175g,

I can smell truffle; that’s quite nice. It’s not overwhelming. I love it. A nice earthiness, and the cheese is like manchego – buttery, nutty, rich. I would destroy that.

Duchy Organic Witheridge farmhouse cheese aged in hay

£3.80 per 100g, Waitrose cheese counters

It’s been wrapped in something. Smells like grass. Or stables. Good texture: crumbly but chewy. Would sit well on a board with chutneys.

Aldi Specially Selected triple creme excellence

£3.49, 185g,

Bloody delicious. It’s got a really nice subtle saltiness. It’s nice for people who don’t like pungent cheese but want a soft cheese. A really nice texture, and the actual rind is really tasty.

Tesco Finest wensleydale with cranberry, pomegranate and orange

£3.15, 200g,

It looks like dessert, which puts me off. I think it’s cranberry and orange but it feels wrong.
No stars

Asda Extra Special hot toddy chutney

£2.15, 285g,

That’s probably right for somebody but not me. There’s a ginger flavour that tastes a bit medicinal to me. You’d need a really strong cheddar – or it could overpower.

Rosebud Christmas day chutney

£9.95, 375g,

This really tastes like a Christmas chutney. Herbally, with spices and cinnamon. Mmm – I love it.

Waitrose No 1 chocolate boozy bauble edition

£12, 110g,

The chocolate is beautifully crisp. The fillings are super smooth. There’s booze but it’s subtle. Beautiful colours. They look super Christmassy. Delicious.

Asda Extra Special Swiss truffles

£6, 254g,

Mmm, it’s like hazelnuts. Oh, I hit a crispy bit. The texture is great; chocolate is tasty; nice hazelnut praline. I’m a sucker for a hazelnut something.


Waitrose gingerbread spiced caramels

£6, 150g,

Beautiful caramel; nice thick chocolate; proper. Gingery, yum. It’s like a gingerbread latte. Subtle, like a ginger biscuit; not fiery. Really Christmassy, but without being too grown-up.

Pierre Marcolini plumier box of Christmas elves

£23, 116g,

The truffle is average. The praline hats aren’t bad. You’re seeing seeds, nuts, but the texture is more smooth. Would I eat another? I like the sesame one. They look stylish.

Hotel Chocolat classic Christmas H-box

£15.45, 160g,

The shapes are cute, and it looks like there are some nice flavours. Buttery caramel; this one might be an eton mess situation. The chocolate is tasty. A modern box. I think families would like that.

Marks & Spencer the magical Christmas village

£15, 249g, Marks & Spencer

I hope the green trees are mint … no, white chocolate. Lovely, though, really nice filling. Simple but genuinely delicious. And so gorgeous.

Tesco Rudolph noses milk chocolate truffles

£3.50, 150g,

The white chocolate shell is nice and thick. This ganache in the middle is super creamy. If you let it melt in your mouth, it’s so delicious. A bit basic but I’d have another.

Aldi Specially Selected front-loaded Christmas tree

£9.99, 250g,

A Christmas tree with cranberries, crispy bits, toffees. It looks really cute. Unless you’re eating a bit with the flavourings, it just tastes like chocolate – but it’s nice chocolate.

Poppy Cooks: The Actually Delicious Air Fryer Cookbook by Poppy O’Toole is out now (Bloomsbury, £20). All items blind-tested