I love M&S's bakery aisle. Their ultimate -sourdough- crumpets are to die for, and I'm pretty certain I got a fair few people hooked on them when I went through a crumpet craze on Instagram a couple of months ago (including Nibbles 'N' Scribbles and you can read her thoughts on them here). In fact it was Nibs who introduced me to the gingerbread teacakes, having reviewed them mid-September. I have to admit that I wasn't completely convinced. That was until I spotted them reduced to clear at the same time as finding the bargain Melting Chocolate Domes -yep they also survived that lengthy trek intact. For 50p, they were easily worth the punt (normally £1).
They looked almost like wholemeal buns thanks to their darker colour, but their shiny tops gave indication of a brioche-like quality, and their physical lightness also added testimony to the same impression. As soon as I retrieved my bun from the wrapper, a sweet yet spicy scent greeted my nostrils. The aroma actually reminded me of McVities ginger cake, and brought up nostalgic memories of visiting my grandma after school to unwind after what felt like a never-ending day of learning. In actual fact I've strangely called it Jaminger cake for a number of years -and that's my random fact of the day for you.
I only slightly toasted my super soft teacake until it had a light tan and was warm enough to melt the butter.
At first the ginger flavour was mild, fully backed with a resounding sweetness coming from the toffee and treacle flavours -again much like my beloved Jaminger cake.The softness was sublime, and meant that the bun simply melted in the mouth. The butter was a welcome addition, adding much needed moisture. I did wish that M&S had incorporated sultanas instead of toffee pieces into the dough however, as their texture was almost completely lost.
Next up was the side slathered with apricot jam too. The fruitiness worked well with the teacake, but it did overpower the ginger somewhat. Well, I thought it did until the very last mouthful, which delivered a potent gingery kick that remained on my tastebuds for a good long while.
I certainly think that the new M&S gingerbread teacakes are an ingenious seasonal creation, and I'm sure I'll enjoy them all winter. If you still need some convincing, read Nib's original review here.