17 April, 2012

Cheesecake Taste-Test

On Thursday the 12th, five of us sat down to a blind cheesecake-test of six variants of plain (frozen) cheesecake, from big name brands to the cheap supermarket brands, available from the Coles supermarket in Sandy Bay and the Woolworths supermarket in Hobart.  We each tasted all six cheesecakes and discussed what we liked and disliked about each of them, and awarded points out of thirty for crust, texture and, most importantly, overall taste.  These are the average scores:

Sara Lee Cheesecake French Cream (360g)25.2$6.19
Coles Smart Buy Cheesecake French Style (450g)22.7          $3.26
Banquet Cheesecake French Cream (450g)21.9$4.29
Coles Cheesecake Frozen French Style (410g)20.4$4.99
Woolworths Select French Cream Cheesecake (410g)19.8$4.00
Homebrand Cheesecake French (450g)17.6$3.25

The Sara Lee cheesecake came out on top in the blind taste test—both highest total points and four out of five tasters voted it the best—but it is twice the price as the Coles Smart Buy dessert, which is also a lovely cheesecake and the best value for money out of the six.

(Also posted at Thorfinn’s Review.)

02 April, 2012

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We meet Harry trying to meet a girl but cannot because Professor Dumbledore suddenly appears and teleports them to see a former teacher of Hogwarts, Horace Slughorn, saying that it is critical that Slughorn should return to Hogwarts.
Later, after exiting Fred’s and George’s shop, our trio see and follow Malfoy to Borgin and Burkes wherein they observe Malfoy meeting Fenrir Greyback which leads Harry to suspect that Malfoy has joined the Death Eaters, though Ron and Hermione are doubtful.
At Hogwarts, Professor Slughorn returns to teach Potions, allowing Professor Snape to take over Defense Against the Dark Arts; Harry and Ron are now able to enter Slughorn’s class.  Harry obtains an annotated copy of the potions textbook which was previously owned by the “Half-Blood Prince”, allowing Harry to shoot to the head of the class and win a small vial of felix felicis (liquid luck). 
Ron also joins the Quidditch team and, with Harry’s help, becomes a Gryffindor hero.
Dumbledore tells Harry about Horcruxes, and how they safeguard a portion of the creator’s soul, granting the wizard immortality for as long as his Horcrux remains intact, and discloses to Harry the true purpose for Slughorn’s return; he asks Harry to discover what Slughorn really told Tom Riddle about creating Horcruxes when Tom—now known as Voldemort—was at Hogwarts.
Despite putting so much effort into the scenes and backgrounds—by using real books and real stone, for example—the picture is so dark that it makes no real difference whether there were real books or a backdrop with books painted thereon.  Despite that, this is a good movie; nonetheless, I still believe the Harry Potter books to be superior to the films, and this one is no exception.

6 out of 10