I was my normal scroogy, scrimpy, student self and bided my time when buying this fruit loaf from M&S. At £2 it seemed a little on the steep side, and if I was going to treat myself to full-priced goods from their bakery section you can bet your bottom dollar that it was going to be their boobie buns (sorry Christmas Pudding Buns). Yesterday afternoon though I popped back into my local branch -second attempt at buying another bottle of Chocolate Opal -this time successful- and detoured via the bakery on the way out where I spotted a single loaf reduced to just 70p. The packaging informed me that it was freezable, so I hastily nabbed the pack and added it to my basket.
"Spiced fruit loaf with port soaked dried vine fruts, sour cherries, citrus peel and ginger."
The first thing I noticed about the bread was its density. For a fruit loaf it wasn't very risen or fluffy -but then I told myself that perhaps it was meant to be more like a stollen. The pale dusting on top marked a further stollen similarity, and I kept everything crossed that it would be as tasty as Lidl's luxury chocolate version.
The bread was shockingly tough to slice into, revealing a very compacted interior with a plethora of fruits -the only plus point thus far. The packet suggested toasting the slices, so I popped both of mine in for a minute so that it just begun to tan. I slathered both slices in butter, and got stuck in.
Eurgh. All I could taste was burnt fruit. If you've ever made raisin flapjack or rock buns at home and caught them in a fierce oven then you'll know how awful burnt dried fruit tastes. The thick crust round the edge of the bread made it very chewy too, so much so that I almost gave up eating it. I'm very determined however, and hate wasting food, so I gave the second slice a generous coating of apricot jam -which I hoped would inject some much needed sweetness and counteract the acrid burnt raisin taste.
Nope. The second slice also felt like a punishment, and the rest of the loaf went in the bins -even the poor birds shouldn't suffer this.
I'm really hoping that I got the worst of a bad batch, so I'm extremely eager to know if any of you have tried M&S' Mulled Wine Fruit Loaf this Christmas, and if you're experience was similar or vastly different! Be a dear, and leave me a comment to let me know...