Caffè Nero II: Like Caramel In Rain

Brownie Basics

Sea salt and caramel. I wasn’t necessarily planning for this to be the last brownie I ate in Balham. I wasn’t necessarily planning for there to be a last brownie I ate in Balham. Life happens to you while you’re making plans.

I ate this one actually in a Caffè Nero: hence the plate and fork rather than a brown paper bag.

Brownie Backstory

I’m moving out of my current flat tomorrow. It’s not a tragic event or anything, and it’s all entirely amicable and friendly, and I think it will be a good thing overall: in the earlier stages of life, it’s important to not get too comfortable, because too much comfort leads to getting sedentary and lazy before your time. If you want to have adventures in your life, you need to go and make them happen.

This doesn’t mean I’m totally unemotional about moving out of where I’ve lived for four years though. Four years! I think that’s longer than I’ve lived in any one place before, not counting where I grew up.

I’m sure there’s brownie providers in Balham I didn’t get around to while I was here, and I’m even more sure that new ones will have popped up within about a month of me leaving, because London is an ever-changing landscape yo. And no-one ever really knows where life will take them, so I might well be back in some of these places in Balham. I’m not planning on leaving London for a while yet. If your plans are too concrete, you can’t take opportunities when they come along. And more reassuring platitudes.

You’ll excuse me if I take a little time to stare at the rain on the high street, eat my brownie, and treat both as if they’re the last time.

So… very… British.

I might even deign to score the brownie.

Brownie Points

Taste: It’s generally pretty good, with the ‘sea salt’ not particularly in evidence, except for a big lump of cold salty caramel in the middle. The chocolate is clearly high quality though. 7/10

Texture: Caramel usually makes a brownie very soft and fudgy, which is a good thing. I suspect that it wasn’t added into the mixture for this brownie, instead being present as drizzle on the top and a big lump in the middle. This might explain why the texture of the brownie is lacking. I shouldn’t be having to apply this much pressure to push a fork through it. 5/10

Presentation: I will say that it looks very good. The caramel drizzle is appealing, the brownie a pleasing regular shape. 4/5

Value: I reckon it’s near as makes no odds the same as the other one: 4/10

Fudge Factor: You gotta pay a ‘pretentiousness tax’ if you sell me a salted caramel brownie as a ‘caramel and sea salt’ brownie. -1/5

Big Lump Of Points: 19

Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?

Well, it ain’t really bad, and maybe you have a salted caramel craving while you’re in Caffè Nero. But if you do, why wouldn’t you get the salted caramel cheesecake instead? Even I like that.

Currently, I can’t recommend this brownie over the ‘Nero Espresso’ brownie, and I also suspect that when I finally get round to reviewing the standard Nero brownie (doing this in reverse compared to the Starbucks brownies) I might like it more than this one. For now, at least… don’t buy this brownie, buy something else that gives you what you need.

Closing Thought

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