Monday 31 October 2016

NEW! Gingerbread Teacakes (M&S)

Happy Halloween! Have you had many trick or treaters this year? Did you get dressed up for any parties this weekend? I'm afraid I really haven't got in the spirit at all. For me the best part of Halloween is the Reese's pumpkins, yet they've been surprisingly scarce this year. In fact I only spotted them only once in my local Tesco Express, and I decided not to buy them considering I had approximately 40 white Reese's hearts in my fridge. A day later my compulsions kicked in and I returned to the store to buy one -but they had completely sold out! Ever since then I've regularly checked the same Tesco Express, as well as the two main Tesco supermarkets in Hereford and the Express next to the station near my uni in Worcester, but haven't seen them again. Humf. Fortunately I've got ample supplies of the Reese's Trees thanks to my good pal Laura (A Daisy Chain Dream) and B&M (who are stocking 6 packs for just £1.99 FYI), Anyway, now I've got all that off my chest I shall move on to the topic of today's review: M&S's new gingerbread teacakes...

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). 

"2 teacakes with toffee pieces, black treacle, ginger and cinnamon."

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. 

The serving suggestion advised: 'Cut teacake in half. Place in toaster for 2min.' I hope you also mean toast for 2 minutes M&S, otherwise that's a damn waste of time! Anyway, I was left wondering how to serve my teacake. Butter? Jam? Both? I'd normally spread a teacake with pb&j but my inner alarm bells warned me that peanut butter wouldn't work so well on the gingerbread version (if you're braver than me and have tried out the concoction however, please do let me know whether it worked or not!). I decided to opt with one side butter, the other butter and apricot jam -after all apricot filled lebkuchen hearts are simply divine. 

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.


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