As you regular Ogglers know by now, one of my favourite activities of a weekday evening is to peruse the discounted bakery shelves at Waitrose. It doesn’t always work out for the best – that crazy Sugar Mouse Biscuit being an excellent case in point – but when everything’s under twenty pence, you can’t go too far wrong.
Just the other day, the Man and I spotted some discounted buns of various shapes and sizes, most of which were new to our local store. Intrigued – and game for some Bun Fun – we bought three to try them out.
Would any of them be as delicious as Cinnabon? Only one way to find out…
No. 1. The Knot Cross Bun:
Mwahahaha – see what they did there? Knot Cross? Not Hot Cross?
Seriously though, I know I sound like I’m taking the piss but I promise you I’m [k]not. I love a good pun (not just a good bun), and this is, indeed, a Hot Cross Bun that has been stretched and knotted before baking. Frankly, as I’m sure you’ll agree, to call it anything else would have just been absurd.
So: does a knotted Hot Cross Bun taste any different from a normal one?
It might be fun for kiddies and rope-obsessed sailors, but if you’re expecting anything magical here you might be disappointed.
Then again, as Hot Cross Buns go it’s quite a nice one: doughy, packed with dried fruit, and beautiful after a few seconds warmed in the microwave.
Verdict: pleasant enough, but nothing special. 3/5
No. 2. The Chelsea Bun:
What’s that? No picture?
OK, Ogglers. I’ll come clean: I ate it before the camera came out. Sorry!
I do love a Chelsea Bun, you see, and this was rather good (perhaps even, dare I say it, slightly tastier than the Fitzbillies version…).
My other excuse for not having a photo is that I thought you all probably knew what a Chelsea Bun looked like by now (if not, you can see it on this Waitrose page of buns).
Anyway, as the speed of its disappearance might imply, I thought it was very tasty. Not as good as Cinnabon (or Mimi’s home-made Cinnabon substitutes), but excellent given its normal R.R.P. of 89p (a fraction of the price – and calories – of its weighty American counterparts).
The Waitrose Chelsea Bun was soft, the currants nice and juicy, and the cinnamon strong to taste. Of course, it could have been much gooier for my liking (isn’t that always the way?) but then it wouldn’t have been quite so English (i.e. true to its Waitrose roots).
Verdict: not bad, Mr Waitrose. Not bad at all. 4/5
No. 3. The Saffron Bun:
Now this is a newbie in the Pud-Hog canon. It’s a pretty exciting concept in Bun terms too: a shining yellow square made with the world’s most expensive spice.
In my India days, I had a few yoghurty drinks made with saffron. It lends things a slightly strange flavour – rich, full, and very aromatic – but I liked it.
Shame none of that flavour was evident here.
I suppose it’s not surprising – the bun is suspiciously cheap for something containing the world’s most expensive spice – but surely the name is a little misleading.
In fact, having now looked at the ingredients list, I can tell you saffron comes in seventeenth place. In other words, there are sixteen ingredients appearing in larger quantities.
Perhaps it should be called the ‘Wheat-flour-currants-raisins-water-sugar-rapeseed-oil-mixed-peel-pasteurised-free-range-egg-invert-sugar-syrup-yeast-palm-oil-raising-agents-disodium-diphosphate-potassium-hydrogen-carbonate-maize-glucose-syrup-emulsifier-mono-and diacetyl-tartaric-acid-esters-of-mono-and-diglycerides-of-fatty-acids-salt-milk-proteins Bun’?
OK. That’s probably a little unfair. I expect the Cinnabon ingredients list is far more lengthy and alarming. And at least Waitrose doesn’t use artificial colours or flavours (even though they do use Palm Oil – BOO! HISS!).
Even so, I think there is a valid point to make. This isn’t really a Saffron Bun. It’s a Currant Bun with Saffron.
It also tasted more like mixed peel than anything else, but that’s another story…
Verdict: call Trading Standards! Tasty enough, but loses points for a misleading name (and falsely raising my expectations). 2/5
Well, Ogglers. That’s the end of the taste test for now, but maybe I’ll do some more soon. Waitrose sells Marlborough and Bath Buns too – if the price is right, I’ll buy up a couple next time I’m in store…
LONG MAY THE BUN FUN CONTINUE. Ahem.