“ Brand:Marks & Spencer / Type: Puddings „
Last weekend I decided to cook a romantic meal for my boyfriend. Now when I say cook most people presume I start from scratch when cooking to me is actually buying ready prepared products and putting them in the oven at various times. It's actually quite tasking, especially when you've got vegetables that require different cooking times so I have to make myself a little timetable. You may well laugh but when you buy Marks and Spencer's food I challenge any of you to make something that tastes nicer and saves you so much time! I selected a soup for our starter followed by a meat dish for the main course, I'd just like to say that for once I didn't select pre-prepared vegetables but I actually bought ones I had to peel! As for pudding I just couldn't make up my mind, the puddings choice in Marks & Spencers is massive and everytime I thought I'd made up my mind something else caught my eye. Just as a I thought I'd decided on the pudding a black box caught my eye and reminded me of a time at University that we'd tasted chocolate heaven in the form of... Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding!!! The hot chocolate fudge pudding comes in a rather glamourous looking back box that has a sheen to it. There's a tempting picture of the cooked pudding on half the box which lets you glimpse just how yummy it looks with the melted sauce oozing out of it. The other half of the box shows the product name in cream writing while the sides of the box detail the ingredients and the cooking instructions, etc. Now at first I did wonder if a black box would be that appealing as black isn't something I normally associate with puddings, however with this one it gives a real image of indulgence and pure luxury which is exactly what you'll get with the pudding. The packaging makes it look quite an exclusive product and certainly high end of the market which it is and can be found on several other indulgent puddings as well that M & S produce. When you take the chocolate pudding out of the box it looks rather flat and a little dry as well, it's a chocolate colour and comes in a silver circular foil tray. It's quite hard to touch and about seven inches in diameter to give you a rough idea of the size. If you prod it as I often do you'll find it's quite hard and that your finger will leave a very slight indent. It smells of quite rich chocolate but it's not a strong smell. You can't eat the product cold and to be honest I doubt it would taste that nice if you did try it, probably quite dry and the fudge sauce would be rather hard as well. Instead it states that it needs to be cooked for fifteen minutes on 180 degrees in the oven, there's no option to microwave it and as you can't freeze the chocolate pudding there's no directions for cooking it from frozen either. Upon opening the oven I was greeted with the overpowering scent of warm milk chocolate which filled my kitchen and made my mouth water. The pudding had risen quite a lot and seemed to fill the foil tray much more than it previously had. When I shook the tray slightly the pudding moved suggesting that it was floating on lots of fudge sauce underneath. Next step was to cut into the pudding and the knife almost floated through it, it was that light. I found that I needed to use a spoon to scoop out the pudding and then dollop the dark and milk chocolate sauce on top of this. You wouldn't be able to remove the pudding and serve it in your own dish as the sauce would go everywhere and the actual chocolate sponge would break up. There was plenty of sauce to go around, it was in the bottom of the foil tray and seeped out as you cut the pudding up. It was a little messy to dish up as the sauce did go everywhere so I'd do it away from the eyes of any visitors! Now for the best bit... the taste. I can't even begin to describe how delicious it was; the sponge tasted so light and almost melted in my mouth while the fudge sauce was creamy and smooth. The sponge was beautifully cooked and as it was a butter sponge it was quite rich and very chocolatey as well. Although I'm often put off by dark chocolate products due to finding them sickly the dark and milk chocolate fudge sauce seemed to be balanced just right; although you could taste the dark chocolate in it I found it to be quite creamy and milky and not as heavy as I often find dark chocolate. This has to be one of the nicest puddings I've ever had and certainly it's the nicest chocolate pudding I've come across - it was light and gooey at the same time, creamy and rich and indulgent all in one go. The sponge makes up 69% of the pudding while the fudge accounts for 31% and I think this balance is just about right. Now for the not so good bit... the calories... and after my boyfriend and I had polished off half the pudding each, obviously with a break in between the two servings as it is quite rich, I wasn't in any rush to find out! Actually after eating half the pudding I did feel a little sick so if you're eating it after a large meal the 400g pudding will easily serve four of you. Anyway per quarter of the pudding so per 100g there are 465 calories and 34.8g of fat. So it is a very indulgent pudding and can easily account for a quarter of a female's recommend daily intake of calories or a fifth of a man's. By eating half the pudding being the greedy guts that I am I'd managed to have half my recommended daily intake of puddings in under an hour! So I really would recommend you eat this in moderation, it's certainly a "treat" product! The Conclusion I paid £4.29 for this pudding in my local Marks & Spencers and I'd say it was worth every single penny. We served ours with whipped cream but it would go just as well with pouring cream or even ice cream, to be honest I'd even eat it on its own! If you've only got two mouths to feed and aren't greedy like us you can get the melt in the middle chocolate puddings which do taste quite similar and come in a packet of two. There are no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives but it's not suitable for nut allergy sufferers so please bare that in mind. It doesn't taste supermarket bought at all and would be absolutely perfect if you were wanting to impress some dinner guests or just over indulge yourself after a hard day. I'll definetly be buying another one of these in the future as I fell in love with it the first time I tasted it... but I won't be being quite so greedy this time around!! Thanks for reading.