I think it's safe to say the majority of food that Marks & Spencer does is amazing, and M&S Count On Us Chocolate Muffin Dessert is no exception.
I have to admit that I have lately been buying a lot of things from the Count On Us range because I am trying to lose weight and get fit. I've got a sweet tooth; I love the cake, so I thought it would be a good idea to replace my usual half a swiss roll every night with something just as tasty but with less fat and calories, and voila, we have the answer, M&S Count On Us desserts! There are a few to choose from, including Strawberry Trifile and Raspberry Mousse. I wish they'd do more for this range though because it really has been a life saver for me.
Anyway, M&S Count On Us Chocolate Muffin Dessert comes in an attractive, clear plastic pot about the size of a Muller yoghurt and is delightful. When you open it up you've got a thick, delicious layer of chocolate mousse that's covered in sprinkles of chocolate shavings. Within that you have the muffin itself which tastes like a double chocolate muffin from the bakery, except it's more moist.
This really does the job for me because I always feel guilty after eating it, until I remember that it's less than 200 calories!
Dessert is 110g
Typical Values per 100g
Carbohydrate 26.1g of which sugars 16.8g
Fat 2.5g of which saturates 1.1g
Sodium 0.11g Equivalent as salt 0.28g
Price: From 90p to £1.15
During my recent splurge trip to M&S I noticed that all the Count on Us single dessert pots were on 3 for 2. I have decided to try and shift a few pounds as a week staying with little man in hospital living on Panini's and hot chocolate have left the jeans feeling a bit snug, and thought these desserts would be a good way to have a treat without blowing the diet!! After looking at the range I decided the best sounding one was Chocolate Muffin Dessert.
The Chocolate Muffin Dessert comes in a round bowl holding 110g of pud. Individually they cost £1.19 each, which is quite pricey for a single dessert but the 3 for 2 deal made this a bit more reasonable! The label clearly states that there are 155 calories per pot and it is a low fat product. If you are following the weight watchers diet there is 2.5 points in this dessert. I have recently started doing Slimming world, and although I ate this before I started I thought I would look this up to see if it would fit in with my new diet - there are 7.5 syns in a pot!! Just glad I ate it before I started!!
So here's the nutritional info per pot:
Carbs: 26.1g (Sugar 16.8g)
Fat: 2.5g (Saturates 1.1g)
Contains - Cows Milk, Eggs, Soya, Wheat & Gluten. Not Guaranteed nut Free
So now to the tasting - on opening the pot you get a subtle sweet smell of chocolate just enough to set your taste buds off, but not enough to be sickly. The pot is filled about two thirds, and forms a mound of mousse, with a chunk of sponge sticking out of the top, and a scattering of real chocolate curls. The first bite I took was of the mousse and the sponge together. The sponge was light and chocolatey and not in the slightest bit dry. The mousse was also light and airy, and seemed to melt on the tongue. I believe it is the same mousse used in the Count on Us chocolate mousse (see earlier review). Under the mousse is another layer of yummy sponge before you get to the chocolate custard at the bottom.
I was really looking forward to getting to the chocolate custard - chocolate sponge and custard brings back memories of school dinner puds. However, it was this at this point a lovely dessert started to go downhill. What was at the bottom was not so much a chocolate custard, but more a watery artificial chocolate flavoured slop. It was quite thin, and just didn't taste like real chocolate, leaving a nasty aftertaste. Although the dessert claims no artificial flavouring, there is something in this custard that just doesn't work.
It is a real shame as until I got to the bottom the Chocolate Muffin Dessert was on par for 5 stars from me despite the shocking price. However, I think I will stick with the chocolate mousse, which is much better value, until M&S sort out some decent custard for this one.
This dessert is a dream come true for the walking paradox that is the chocolate loving weight watcher. Unlike so many other so-called 'light' and 'diet' desserts which can be bland and synthetic tasting, the Count on Us Chocolate Muffin Dessert is rich and satisfying and will truly quell your sweet cravings.
The dessert has three layers: chocolate muffin, dark chocolate custard and creamy milk chocolate mousse (divine!), topped with milk chocolate curls. Together, they taste really indulgent and you'll really feel like you're spoiling yourself.
Let's face it, it's not AS satisfying as it's full fat counterparts. The chocolate muffin, despite giving the pudding an indulgent texture, is a little dry and the chocolate custard a little artificial tasting. But when there are only 130 calories in a 110 ml pot, you can't really complain!
This is a pricey pudding, too, costing 99p for 110 mls...Although, it's worth noting that Marks & Sparks often have offers on their puds section (3 for 2 etc.), so it's worth stocking up on then!
As much as i try and say i'm a savoury girl, it's just not true. I am a sweet tooth all the way. This is a nightmare, especially as i'm pretty much constantly watching my weight! There is light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of this dessert.
What you get:
A 110g dessert for 99p from my local m&s. The pudding is layered and you get a big bit of chocolate muffin in the bottom, then chocolate flavoured custard and finally chocolate mousse with a light sprinkling of chocolate curls. The pot contains 130 calories and if you are a weight watcher 2.5 points.
What i think:
Firstly i was struck with just how substantial this is. Usually when you pull back the lid and sink your spoon into low fat desserts of this kind they deflate as they are full of air. Because of the mixture of textures in this dessert, that didn't happen. You get a true pot full of pudding. The first layer the mousse is VERY choclately and light. I could have eaten a pot full of this on its own!. It's not too sweet and really fills my chocolate craving.The next layer the chocolate custard again has a chocolatey taste but is much sweeter than the mousse. To me this is great as i am a sweet tooth but some may find this just too sweet. The bottom layer the muffin is just delicious. It is light yet moist and just oozes yumminess. Again it is very chocolatey. I like eating the three together in one spoonful, so digging right down to the bottom. Equally i like to eat it layer by layer and dissect it until there is nothing left. These desserts aren't cheap but they are well worth the expense in my opinion. I keep these as a rare treat due to the cash element and the fact that if i feed my sweet tooth too often i am likely to fall off the diet wagon!
I have never been diasappointed in this dessert. You can tell it is low fat, don't get me wrong but if you are on a strict diet this is a welcome treat that really feels naughty.
So being on a low fat/fat free diet isn't that much of a drag except when it comes to puddings. There is only so much fruit, sorbet, fat free yoghurt, meringues, low fat sponges and muffins and jellies that you can take. So I was delighted when I stumbled across Marks & Spencer Count on us...chocolate muffin dessert a couple of years ago. It is only 150 calories a pot and less than 3% fat (2.1g per serving to be precise) so for me, as a treat, this was great.
Now a couple of years ago when I found this dessert it was a 110g plastic pot shaped like a little dish on a stand and was a light and fluffy chocolate mousse sprinkled with chocolate curls which topped pieces of moist chocolate muffin in a chocolate flavoured custard and it was delicious. The aroma was sweet but chocolatey and although it wasn't the really rich and sumptuous chocolate experience that I was used to with full fat chocolate puddings, it made a very good effort at providing a relatively healthy chocolate fix. The next time I had it the muffin pieces had been replaced by a single larger piece of muffin. It was still lovely and moist though. And then we come to today.
They have changed the pot now - it is more like a glass with a very wide top narrowing at the bottom. You have to spend £0.99 to get some of this chocolately pud. It still 110g and still has the same basic ingredients of mousse, single larger piece of muffin and chocolate custard but unfortunately it isn't just the pot that has changed.
Upon peeling back the lid you are immediately hit by a sweet but bitter chocolate smell but something isn't quite right. There was a slight hint of something chemical. The product says that it is free from artificial colours or flavourings or preservatives but it has sugars and sweeteners in it. This product has always had sweeteners but they were nicely balanced. I'm the sort that can tell if someone puts sweetener in my coffee rather than sugar just by smelling it and previously it just tasted and had the aroma of chocolate. This time I could smell the sweetener and to be honest I wasn't looking forward to the taste. But like the true trooper I am, I carried on.
The first spoonful was of a light and fluffy creamy brown chocolate mousse topped with milk chocolate curls. This was just as I remembered it. It was lovely and creamy, had a nice sweet chocolate taste and had the same inviting aroma as I had sampled before. It isn't as good as a proper full fat chocolate mousse but it more than does its job of satisfying.
This first spoonful revealed the darker chocolate flavoured custard underneath. Here I found part of the problem. Not only did this custard have a horribly sweet and sickly aroma but there was a really artificial taste to it. At first I thought it was something like vanilla but there isn't any in the ingredients so I think it is the sweetener coming to the fore. It is really smooth and creamy in texture but chemical tinge just spoils it. Even when I had my third spoonful of chocolate mousse and custard combined, the chocolate mousse didn't do anything to really improve it - it was overpowered by the custard.
So my last hope rested in what I remembered to be a lovely moist chocolately muffin/sponge. But alas it was dry and crumbly, it had the same chemical tinge as the custard and did not have a particularly strong chocolate taste. So eating it with the mousse and custard did nothing to improve it either as the custard once again overpowered it. Usually I would have eaten all of the mousse on its own and then attacked the muffin and the custard together but tonight I had to have a bit of each to make it anywhere near a nice experience. I was quite disappointed as I would have happily made do with just the chocolate mousse but I struggled through to the end.
I think what disappointed me most was the fact that this used to be a really decent product and I was rather hoping that I could give it a glowing reference. Maybe I just had a dodgy one - maybe they are not all as bad as this one was. It's possible I guess but I really don't fancy trying another one for a while. I will probably still buy one when I want a quick little chocolatey fix but I won't be going out of my way to buy it.
All in all a bit disappointing. I just hope that if you do try this product you have a better experience than I did tonight.
Oh my goodness? I have just tasted heaven. Not only that, it was only 150 calories and 1.9g fat! At lunchtime the other day I thought I would be good and instead of my usual calorie laden large ciabatta with mozzarella and avocado I would go to M&S for something ?good?. (S'cuse me while I give my halo a quick polish). As ever Norwich M&S was packed to bursting point, but I managed to edge through the crush to get a nice looking low calorie sarnie, a bag of baked potato crisp things and finally after searching for ages I found the count on us pudding section. Nowhere near the normal puddings of course! The range on display was very surprising ? whatever type of pudding you are in the mood for is bound to be there. I was in the mood to treat myself and my chocolate addiction whilst still keeping the old halo shiny. Trouble is there are loads of chocolatey puds. Then on the lower shelf I saw it? the perfect thing. Count on us chocolate muffin dessert. It looked ideal; a cute stubby clear plastic pot full of mousse and muffin pieces. As it was only 150 calories and only 79 little pennies (my other choice was twice the price but it did come in a nice glass) I popped in my basket. So back to work I hurried, munched my way through a very satisfactory sarnie and the crisps were surprisingly good too. Now? crunch time? is this little pudding going to disappoint? Erm? NO! From the very first mouthful to the last it was perfect. The top is a creamy milk chocolate flavoured light fluffy mousse lightly sprinkled with chocolate curls. As my spoon dug deeper there were small chunks of delicious moist muffin, then at the bottom oodles of divine smooth chocolate sauce. Oh it so good? the combination of those three textures is wonderful. And the chocolate flavour is a deep smooth milk chocolate. This is a very delicious dessert, not too sweet or sickly and it definitely does not taste like a diet version. All in all e
ven if you are not dieting this is one perfect chocolate pudding. It doesn?t taste in the least low calorie. The only drawback I can think of with this pud is if you have allergies or intolerances to milk, gluten, artificial sweeteners or E numbers as it is full of these.