I’ve been a busy person these past few days, so the brownie service has had a couple of interruptions. I did what I could, and that entailed grabbing this brownie from Waitrose before a Saturday afternoon picnic.
Have you ever been on a hen do? Well, now I have! A friend of mine who lives far away came to London for the weekend to have her hen do, and I and a few other men were invited, unlike in the most traditional… er… tradition of hen parties. It was a fun weekend of drinking, partying and enjoyable activities for all, and only the smallest amount of facial injury and bleeding!
There wasn’t much opportunity for brownies: there were a couple of restaurants we went to, but I wasn’t willing to be the only one ordering dessert and to hold up the entirety of the hen party in order to record and blog about their brownies. The best chance came when we all went for a picnic and some games on Clapham Common (site of the aforementioned facial bleeding) and stopped off at Waitrose on the way for a quick booze run, and I bought this brownie.
I’ve seen this before in Waitrose while scoping out their brownie options. It doesn’t quite fit what I assumed I’d find in the poshest supermarket chain in the UK: it was wrapped in plastic and stacked on a shelf, but it did appear to be their highest-end brownie. I guess it just seems…odd? “Wrapped in plastic” isn’t generally a strong sign of quality in the 21st century. I was anticipating something more along the lines of the M&S brownie tubs, or maybe even a set of slices sitting out on the bakery counter, but apparently not in this Waitrose! I guess I’m going to have to assume that this is representative, until I can gather more evidence (if I can be bothered).
Another note that doesn’t exactly scream “best quality”: the full name of this product, which I didn’t feel like writing out in the title, was “Chocolate brownie with Belgian chocolate”. So… not a Belgian chocolate brownie, but a brownie that does include some non-zero amount of Belgian chocolate in the cooking process, presumably. This is yet another name that suggests more questions than it really answers. Chief among them: what is this brownie lacking, such that it can’t just call itself a “Belgian chocolate brownie”? How much money was really saved by replacing some but not all of the Belgian chocolate with non-Belgian chocolate? And will it hurt the brownie’s score?
Taste: Chocolatey, but a little undersweetened, and with a slightly odd aftertaste. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t like, but I wasn’t very impressed. 6/10
Texture: It is quite soft, but it’s also a bit dry and cakey – it could benefit from being fudgier, but it’s not outright unpleasant. 6/10
Presentation: It looks alright. The colouring on the top is ‘chalky’ and makes it look like it’s gonna be more fake-tasting than it actually is. Good pattern of chocolate pieces on the top. 3/5
Value: It was actually only like £1, so that’s pretty good value for what is a decent brownie. £1 sounds really cheap, but the brownie’s not good enough for it to be amazing value. 7/10
Fudge Factor: Waitrose is meant to be the crème de la crème of UK supermarkets, and this is… disappointing as a result. Tesco makes better brownies and gives you a whole tub of them for twice the price of this medium-sized square. -2/5
Total Score: 20
Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?
With a final score of 20 points, this sits in the middle of my scientifically calibrated and developed scale, which arguably should mean my opinion on it is basically neutral. At the time of writing, that’s happened only once before, and in that case I said not to buy it because there was a better alternative available.
This case isn’t quite so cut-and-dried as that one, but I feel that if you’re going to a supermarket to buy your brownie rather than anywhere else, then you probably don’t mind too much which supermarket you get it from as long as it’s pretty tasty and reasonably cheap. So if that’s you… I think there’s better supermarket brownies than this one, and I recommend you buy and eat those instead.
It’s fun to imagine a world in which some other cheese has achieved the worldwide ubiquity and domination that Cheddar has in the real world.