My sister has come to stay this weekend, so I decided to treat both her and my other half to their favourite dinner. I hate steak, in fact cooking it makes me heave, but they love it! It's Christmas after all. The other "must have" item for the weekend was wine, so then dawned on me that this was was one of those rare occasions when shopping at M&S would actually be cheaper -thanks to their Dine In for £10 offer. This weekend's selection is the best I've seen for a long time; I'm even tempted to go back and buy another selection before the deal finishes on Tuesday. The very best part is that M&S have created a few smaller versions of their 2016 Christmas desserts, including the one I opted for. I was actually torn between two puds, but couldn't resist the idea of a glittery pud -and thought my sister would approve too. Yep, I might not have partaken in the main, but I sure as hell wasn't missing out on dessert. I guess it's a good job that my fiancé doesn't like chocolate orange anyway!
"Deliciously soft textured pudding with a hidden golden orange sauce."
Seeing as we were on the path to opulence here I thought a side of ice cream wouldn't go amiss with the warm chocolate puddings. I popped each pot in the microwave for the states 60 seconds before pouring on a plate and covering with the supplied edible glitter. At first I was a little disappointed that the puds didn't come pre-shimmered but then realised that the gold would probably stick to the inside of the wrapping and result in a far less beautiful pudding. And stunning it was, don't you agree?
Slicing the dome in two revealed the sauce innards, although there was certainly less of it than the photo on the packaging suggested (reading the packet informs me the puddings only include 11% sauce). The pool of molten gold was gloriously glittery though, and I hoped it would pack the jaffa punch as promised.
As usual, Marks & Sparks have nailed the chocolate cake (there's a reason why their iconic molten middle chocolate puddings have been so successful). The cocoa was dark and rich, whilst the texture remained moist and soft. The warmth gave it the comfort factor (especially whilst eating it in front of the fire and Christmas tree). As for the molten centre, it was orangey, but not as flavourful as I'd hoped -I imagine the addition of orange zest would have helped. The scarcity of the sauce also meant that it was impossible to scoop some up with every spoonful of cake, and I was grateful for the vanilla ice cream to offer sweetness against the intense chocolate.
It's a shame really because had the sauce been a tad more zingy -and say there was about a third more of it- this dessert would have been one of my favourite M&S puds to date. Hopefully the larger version offers a better balance of sauce to filling. Even so, the Shimmering Gold Melt In The Middle Pudding would make the most impressive centrepiece for Christmas Day!