If you'll remember, back in September I got overly excited about M&S' Strawberry, Rhubarb & Custard Muffins and Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins which both turned out to be disappointing. Simultaneously Sparks also released a chocolate orange variety, but I couldn't bring myself to waste yet more money on their disappointing cakes. Cut to six months later when my disgruntlement has faded, I spot a pack reduced to just 60p and suddenly I'm giving M&S' muffins another go. Third time lucky right? Surely they've got to be better than their new mini chocolate orange hot cross buns...
"Rich chocolate muffins, studded with milk chocolate chunks, and filled with an indulgent orange sauce, topped with a delicate chocolate drizzle."
The ebony coloured cakes smelt invitingly of cocoa -indeed much more so than their mini Hot Xs. I couldn't detect any hints of citrus, but quickly forgave Marks & Spencer given the ample supply of chocolate chips that graced the top of each.
My knife sliced through the muffin easily, revealing the central core of sticky filling that stayed put (unlike the oozing middle of Greggs' new Jaffa Cake-esque doughnut). The cake was dense and moist too - a good sign from the off.
Hallelujah! M&S have made a chocolate cake that delivers in being soft, squidgy and extremely chocolatey. In fact it was almost fudgy, and struck the perfect balance between dark and sweet. As for the central orange jam, it was good, but there wasn't enough of it to give the cake a truly citrussy taste. I didn't mind that chocolate was the dominant flavour, given the quality of it, but perhaps some zest through the batter would've given the cake a better zing.
I'm not sure I'd pay the full £1.60 for these muffins (ASDA's Toffee Fudge still reign supreme in my books) but I'd happily buy them reduced again -especially as they freeze well despite the packaging claiming otherwise.