Monday 1 May 2017

NEW! Spirit of Summer Tiramisu Cupcakes (M&S)

Given how successful my first dip into Marks & Spencer's 2018 Spirit of Summer range went, it wasn't long before I was back down the stairs into Hereford's food hall on the hunt for more goodies. Specifically the tiramisu cupcakes. Now I've mentioned before that I much prefer filled muffins to cupcakes, but label anything tiramisu and I'm there. Unfortunately, my wallet might take a bit of a hammering over the coming months considering the amount of tiramisu-esque products that have just arrived in M&S stores. Admittedly the cupcakes weren't extortionate however, at £2 for a box of two.

"Sponge cupcake, with a dark chocolate and intense coffee centre, topped with a delicious mascarpone and chocolate frosting and delicate coffee dusting."

They looked splendiferous! Ok, so the frosting might be slightly off centre, but the double coloured ripples are sheer perfection. The robust coffee scent that emanated from the box the second I unwrapped it heightened my taste-buds in anticipation.

They were a pain to retrieve from their wrappers though, the cake refused to come out without a fight, meaning that I ended up scrapping the case with a knife so as not to waste any. Slicing my first cake in two revealed an off-centre dark core and very dense sponge.

Hmm, I'm sure Mary Bezzer would have something to say about the cake's lack of fluffiness. The sponge was extremely doughy and under-risen, whilst the flavour was simply plain -certainly nothing to shout about. I'm not sure whether I could tell you that the frosting contained marscarpone either to be honest, for it just tasted like a standard mild chocolate buttercream.The lack of flavour is unsurprising considering that I've just read the ingredients and discovered that mascarpone only makes up a measly 1.5% of the ingredients. To add insult to injury the sheer amount of frosting made the cupcake unbearably sweet too, but that's why I'd argue that muffins are superior.

I placed the last of my expectations on the 'intense' flavour hit that M&S promised of within the cake's centre, and yes it tasted of coffee and chocolate, but it wasn't anywhere near as punchy as it could've been. In fact I was sure the cake was almost completely devoid of flavour until I made Bert try a smidgen and he spat it out -he detests coffee. I wondered If it was perhaps because I was drinking a (mild decaf) cup of coffee alongside the cake, so the next evening I tried it with a serving of Jude's Flat White ice cream (review to follow) but it still paled in flavour comparison.

I'm not sure that M&S can really call this a tiramisu cupcake considering the complete lack of Marsala and scarce mascarpone. It certainly doesn't deserve the label. Come on M&S you can do better than this!



  1. unrelated to this - but a way to get icelandic treats :-)

    1. Thanks for the thought D, I'll give it a look! x