Tuesday 26 April 2016

NEW! Black Forest Muffins and Strawberry & Belgian White Chocolate Cake (ASDA)

It was my other half's Birthday last week, and he purposefully requested ASDA's Extra Special hand Finished Strawberry & Belgian White Chocolate Cake: a pretty looking cake that neither of us had tried before, but both liked the sound of. I popped into my local ASDA on the morning of his birthday (aiming for optimum cake freshness) and secured the very last one in store for a very reasonable £1.50.

Whilst ambling down the bakery aisle I spotted a selection of new cakes, including three new muffins (Eton Mess, Toffee Fudge and Black Forest) and some cupcakes (Cappuccino, Strawberries and Cream and Lemon FYI). I rang my other half and tried to persuade him to opt for the new muffins instead as they sounded so enticing -but he preferred the sound of the white chocolate cake, and of course the Birthday boy's choice came first.

We were both utterly disappointed with the white chocolate cake- extra special it certainly was not. It was extremely dry, and the pitiful smidge of jam in the centre offered little in the way of taste. The buttercream was pretty standard, although neither of us could detect the white chocolate that was meant to flavour it. I certainly wouldn't buy it again, especially not at the full price (£2.65). 


Feeling hard done by, I decided to prove to myself (and the fiance) just how much of a better decision it would've been to opt for the new muffins instead. Tempted by all three flavours, I -of course- chose the chocolate flavour, Black Forest (£1 for 2 muffins).

Back when I reviewed the special K black forest moments, I mentioned just how much I love the combination of chocolate and cherry and feel that it's an underappreciated flavour pairing. Needless to say that I was therefore excited to try my first black forest cake in many years, especially as I find ASDA makes the best supermarket bakery muffins.

"2 Cherry flavoured muffins with a sour cherry filling, topped with chocolate drops."
Cherry flavoured muffins? Really? They looked like chocolate cake to me. There were plenty of chocolate chips on display and the red coloured jam was eagerly oozing out, enticing me in to a delicious looking teatime treat.

I sliced the muffin in half (for photographic purposes) and was pleased to find a seemingly generous dollop of jam running down the centre. I picked off a couple of rogue chocolate drops, and whilst they weren't premium quality, they were comfortingly scrummy. So far, so good ASDA.

They say you should never judge a book by it's cover, and that certainly seems to be the case with ASDA's newer cakes. They seem to have opted for the style-over-substance route (which M&S used to be guilty of a lot of the time) and I can't help but think it's a shame.

The 'black forest' muffin was extremely dry, and didn't really taste of chocolate or cherry. Remember my bad experience with Boot's red velvet cake? Well this was very similar. Surely it would have been better for ASDA to make a decadent chocolate cake studded with whole (un-pitted!) cherries and swirled with jam? Talking of which, the saucy centre was the best bit -and you never want the jam in a cake to be the highlight, do you?

I decided to warm the second half in the microwave, vastly improving the texture of the muffin. Admittedly it became a sticky mess to eat, but the chocolate drops had melted, bleeding some much needed moisture into the sponge cake. If I ever bought these again (say they're reduced to 10p at the end of the day) I'd definitely serve them warm with vanilla ice cream.


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