On the one hand, one of my colleagues (who reads the blog) rated these as the best supermarket brownies he’s ever had, specifically ranking them above the M&S brownie bites. On the other hand, as Hungarian Friend said, “How good can any brownies be that come in a tub?” Time I weighed in.
So, back to Waitrose again. And it’s unusual that I think there’s a shot of a tub of brownie bites out-performing an actual bakery brownie (even if it was a supermarket brownie wrapped in plastic) but I’m more than a little excited for these. I can’t help but feel that so far all the brownies I’ve had from Waitrose have been more than a little disappointing for such a high-flying top-shelf supermarket chain. I mean, I’m not necessarily expecting anything to reach the heights of the best bakeries, but so far Waitrose has been consistently outperformed in the brownie arena. Not the worst, but not really reaching the heights it seems that it should.
So now we’ve got these, which I picked up on a late-night dinner run to Waitrose. I justified it by doing that thing that I think most young adults (and possibly less young adults) will be familiar with, where you pick up a whole bunch of crap you don’t necessarily need at the supermarket and justify it by the fact it’s reduced, even though you probably wouldn’t be buying it at that precise moment in time if it was on the shelves for that exact price and just without the shiny yellow sticker. So you cart your hauls home and then you’re looking at your fridge which now contains a whole lasagne, a packet of chicken livers, two weeks’ worth of egg mayonnaise, some mashed root vegetables, a six-pack of lemon mousses, a microwave paella and a millionaire’s cheesecake (“serves eight!”), realising most of this starts to go off tomorrow, and firmly deciding not to calculate how much money you’ve spent on these ‘savings’.
I like to avoid this problem by having at least one specific thing I’m going to the shop for, so that I can pretend I’ve successfully shopped and that anything else I’ve ended up bringing home is just a bonus. In this case, this was a tub of brownies. Okay, so maybe not much more productive in the grand scheme of things, but it was a wonderful excuse to go shopping just as this blog is generally a wonderful excuse to eat brownies.
Taste: Huh. Not sure what I expected, but… not quite this? It’s not that they taste bad, they’re pretty decent, but for some reason even as I munched on chocolate chips I couldn’t really get the chocolate taste. I’m not really any sort of gastronomic expert, but I think I’ve heard that chocolate needs a certain amount of sugar to activate the taste properly, and maybe that’s what was going on here, as the brownies definitely felt lacking in sweetness. 6/10
Texture: They are reasonably soft, and definitely avoid being cakey, so are pretty good. It’s strange, though. I’ve previously encountered brownies that end up being much softer and fudgier than they look (here’s an example). I don’t think I really expected to encounter a brownie that went the other way: these look like they’ll be really good based on the cross-section of a bite, but then they’re just not quite that good. 7/10
Presentation: There are two things I really like about the tub that this came in. One: the lid is perfectly clear so you can see exactly what you’re buying. Respect. Two: the lid has a crude mechanical locking mechanism and I think this is super cool. 4/5
Value: There’s about 20 bites (I didn’t count exactly and there wasn’t a quoted number, so maybe the tubs are a little haphazardly packed) and the tub was £2.69. This is on the pricier side as brownie tubs go, and the brownies aren’t anything spectacular, but on the other hand it’s still not a huge amount of money for a lot of decent brownie. 6/10
Fudge Factor: Maybe these brownies were oversold to me, and maybe I’ve unconsciously marked them too harshly as a result. Since I feel that way, I’ll chuck an extra point at them. 1/5
Big Brownie Numbers: 24
Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?
If you’re after the best (and also best value) brownie bite tub, I’d still point you to M&S rather than to these. However, I know that people generally don’t shop by going to lots of different supermarkets to pick up the best possible version of each item they want; they go to whatever their favourite supermarket is, and do their shopping there. So I wouldn’t send you to Waitrose just for these brownies, but if you shop at Waitrose and want to buy a tub of brownies, these are pretty okay.
Anyone seen Knives Out yet? If not, you totally should! It’s a masterpiece, just like every Rian Johnson film I’ve ever seen, and don’t @ me about The Last Jedi, because it is also a masterpiece.