The title on the front doesn't give a true indication as to just how many components are in M&S' new Banana & Dulce de Leche slices. The product description informed me that they are in fact:
"Cinnamon flavoured biscuit base topped with Dulche de Leche caramel, banana mousse, chocolate sponge soaked with banana liqueur and rum, dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured mousse with a decorative glaze finish."Uh oh. Alarm bells started to ring because (unlike me) my other half hates rum and isn't keen on cinnamon, so I thought he'd take one bite and refuse the rest of his expensive dessert. I thought I'd just not tell him and find out...
The desserts looked absolutely beautiful, and whilst they were rather fiddly to get out of their case, they retained their shape and distinct layers.
The top layer consisted of the vanilla mousse and glaze, and I have to admit that it was rather nondescript. It lacked any punchy flavour, and the texture was gelatinous -reminding me of the dodgy desserts you might find on an all inclusive holiday abroad. Not good.
Next up was the chocolate components. The dark chocolate came in the form of a single, thin layer, which had retained the crispness of tempered chocolate -simply delicious. The sponge was also very thin, and had a strong chocolate flavour with the faintest hint of rum, and no banana liqueur. The alcohol was so mild that my fiance couldn't taste it (thankfully) and I'm not sure I would have if I hadn't read the product name beforehand. It was tasty, but because it was so meagre it didn't offer much to the dessert. So far, so disappointing.
On to the star of the show: the banana mousse and Dulce de Leche layer. Now we're talking! The banana mousse was simply divine. It packed a strong natural, fruity flavour that was seriously moreish. Studding the mousse were pockets of rich caramel, and the pairing was expectantly perfect together. My only complaint was that I could've done with more of the Dulce de Leche, so would've preferred there to have been a whole layer of the gooey yumminess.
The cookie dough base is not to be overlooked. It was very cinnamon-y which meant that I loved it but my other half hated it. If you've ever baked cinnamon cookies and munched on the cookie dough scrapings you'll have an indication of what the bottom of the dessert tastes like. It wasn't soft but it wasn't crisp either, my idea of heaven.
The new Banana & Dulce De Leche slices from M&S are a bit of an oddity. The top half didn't do much for me, but the bottom half was scrumptious. I think that M&S have tried to amalgamate too many ideas into one product, and that the banana & caramel layer would've been better off topped with a simple chocolate ganache. I also believe that the product description is also a bit misleading because if you're not a cinnamon lover, it's likely that you won't like these desserts.
Will I buy them again? Probably not, but I have got my beady eyes on Sparks' new Banana liqueur and Dulce de Leche cheesecake...