Last weekend, the Man and I went to Bristol, in search of new land (and new puds).
Within an hour of arriving, we spotted the Primrose Cafe, a bustling joint in the civilised suburb of Clifton.
Within thirty seconds, I’d already chosen my cake.
Described as a ‘Milk Stout and Ginger Slab’, it looked like a pudding with top Pud-Hog potential.
Indeed, not since Honey & Co’s Chocolate Loaf had I been faced with so much goo. When I came to place my order, it was so sticky and wet that it had to be scraped from its plate with two knives – contracting like a snail going into its shell.
Just the kind of thing that makes me grin.
The Man quickly saw what he fancied too: a Blueberry and Lime Cake; something rather more refined for a midday treat.
Going by the rules of Chocolate Tasting, I thought I’d sample a piece of his first, leaving the stronger flavours for later. How did I know they were strong, do you ask? Because I could smell the Stouty goodness in the air, that’s how.
Anyway, back to the Blueberry and Lime.
It. Was. Delicious.
A light sponge with plenty of sweet, zingy icing. Not too sweet, mind: the smattering of Blueberries helped to tone the sugar down, livening up the texture in the process. A few more Berry bits would have been even better, but I suppose you can’t have it all…
Appetite whetted, I turned back to my own plate, preparing myself for imminent stickiness.
It certainly was a sloppy one. It might as well not have been baked, it was so wet.
Now normally, this amount of sweet sludge would have had me making a mess of my own (by which I mean a mess of dribble, in case any clarification were needed).
However, something about this ‘Slab’ wasn’t quite working out (‘Slab’ being a misnomer by the way – ‘Splodge’ would have been more like it).
I think it was the lack of different textures. There was nothing to bite down on – even the chunks of Ginger were soft and wet – and without any contrast it all felt rather flat.
On Shortbread or Pastry – or with chunks of roasted Nuts – the cake might have worked like a dream. Instead, it was more like a filling without any base; the Treacle without the Tart.
The taste was pretty monotonous too: despite smelling of Stout (a flavour that usually adds so much depth), none of it reached my taste buds through the Ginger.
It was quite full on, even for me – and that’s not a thing I say often.
On the plus side, I expect I ingested enough Stem Ginger to kill off all prospect of car sickness.
If only I’d had a car to test my theory.
Although, a second slice of Blueberry and Lime would have been much more exciting…