Wednesday 29 March 2017

NEW! Spiced Carrot Muffins (M&S)

So we've established that the Tesco carrot cake muffins are a bit pathetic and that the M&S carrot cake hot cross buns are the biz*. The carrot cake trend looks set to continue (&/or Marks' bakery team are running out of ideas) as they've recently launched carrot cake muffins into their four pack range. Now their muffins have been hit and miss of late; the banana chocolate chip four packs were decidedly disappointing, as were the rhubarb, strawberry & custard filled affairs,  but let's not forget how good their chocolate oranges were -there's hope yet.

"Light and delicately spiced carrot muffin studded with plump sultanas, a cooling cream cheese centre topped wth granola and pumpkin seeds."

We can even pretend that they're healthy too, what with their fruit and vegetable content and granola & seed topping and all! At £1.50 per pack they're not likely to break the bank either.

Ok, so I might've squished them on the cycle home. I could've cried when I opened my backpack, what a clutz I am. I promise you they looked rustic to begin with, just maybe not this rustic. 

A corner broke off as I sliced the muffin in two, but as I'm not sure whose fault that was, I won't mark M&S down for that. I do remember that before I mistreated the muffins the topping was scattered everywhere though. Once bisected, the pale pocket of filling was visible, and it was a pleasing sight -central and adequately proportionate- just as it should be.

The warming notes of cinnamon were well balanced, not overshadowing the earthiness from the carrot, but instead complimenting it. An abundance of plump, juicy sultanas added extra little bursts of flavour. The cake was a little on the dry side, and more like a country cake, but strangely this didn't detract from the enjoyment given the wet filling within.

The topping was ingenious too. The crunchy seeds offered a joyous textural contrast against the cake combined with a welcome gentle nuttiness. If I was being pernickety I'd point out that the 'granola' was really just oats given its lack of cluster formation, but I enjoyed it so lets forget that.  

The make or break moment comes with the filling though surely. I found the cream cheese to be more akin to traditional frosting than the centre of M&S' carrot cake hot cross buns. That is to say that it's sweeter and fluffier. I'm not sure if the gooeier, sauce like innards used within the buns would've worked better against the sweetness of the cake, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

Please don't bother buying Tesco's carrot cake muffins, pay the extra 50p and treat yourself to Marks & Sparks' spiced carrot muffins instead.


* I'm going to re-score the buns as a 10 given my 'currant' 😉 addiction to them and the amount of cream cheese I've had in every bun since writing the review.

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