It might be Tuesday in most quarters of the world, but this Blog is still stuck on Friday of last week. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post on Lantana, it was the Man’s birthday and there were plenty of treats to be had. Far be it for the Pud-Hog to skim past such edible pleasantries…
With a hearty breakfast eaten and a bag of Chocolate Brazil Nuts at the cinema (now that’s my kind of health food) the next significant pudding of note was the Man’s Birthday Cake itself.
In an ideal world I would have made something from scratch at the Hog House, but being short on time – and requiring something that wouldn’t get squished in a backpack – my options were fairly limited.
After mooching around the shops of London, I settled on the tastiest-looking, most portable cake I could find: a Marbled Brownie and Blondie Cake Bar from the folks at Marks and Spencer.
Politeness prevents me from saying how much it cost (the Man will most likely be reading this post at some point, you see). However, I will let you know it was reasonable (in other words, less than a fiver).
This particular concoction had caught my eye on the shop shelf before, and now seemed like the perfect excuse to buy it. Granted, it wasn’t the size of a normal Birthday Cake (allegedly designed to feed eight, it wouldn’t have comfortably served more than five), but it was just fine for our post-dinner party of four.
Before the candles had been extiguished, my expectations were fairly high. By now you ought to be aware of how much I love Blondies and Brownies – and the thought of having them intertwined was more than a little exciting.
Sadly, however, although it was undeniably tasty with ice cream and fresh raspberries, on its own it didn’t quite cut the mustard.
Yes, it was soft and moist in the middle.
Yes, it looked lovely.
Yes, it was good value.
But for something as decadent-sounding as a Brownie and Blondie Cake Bar, it was painfully restrained.
Where was the thick seam of goo? Where were the chocolate chunks? Where was the interesting medley of textures that Brownies like those at Konditor & Cook showcase so well?
Also, perhaps more importantly, where was the flavour of Blondie? I tried hard to find it but all I could taste was the dark chocolate base – not even a hint of creamy white chocolate. Why bother bringing the two things together, if only to let one be drowned out so thoroughly?
If M&S had just tried a little bit harder – strengthened the white chocolate flavour; added a few solid chunks – they could have laid claim to a pretty great product.
Instead they settled for making what was basically a slightly chewy chocolate cake.
Thank Hog the birthday feasting wasn’t over. Though we weren’t to know it then, on Saturday we would try something quite spectacular.
Consider this your advance warning, Ogglers. If you’re planning to read tomorrow’s post (which, of course, you should be), you might need to strap on a bib…