This proves to me that the occasional five minutes in a supermarket spent ‘brownie trawling’ (really just looking in the various desserts/snacks/treats aisles to see if there’s anything I haven’t seen or tried before) is totally worth it. Gü, purveyors of top-quality desserts, have some sort of brownie for sale.
Gü desserts definitely go for quality over quantity. This isn’t me shilling for them: I just mean to make the intent clear. For about the same price as the Sainsbury’s brownie pudding, you get two smallish ramekins of brownie.
This isn’t the first time I’ve ever had Gü’s “hot puds” – they have a “chocolate melting middle” pudding that I’ve enjoyed before. Usually though I’ve gone for their cheesecakes, which come in all sorts of delicious flavours, including their “Zillionaires’ Cheesecake” (calling back to what I’ve been told by one brownie fan is the funniest joke I’ve ever made). I do like cheesecake. Not enough to make a whole blog about cheesecake, of course, but still.
Anyway, I was glad to find these in my weekly big shop in Tesco, and got them home pretty quickly to eat after dinner. The instructions on the packaging were much more, um, prescriptive than I’m used to. “Heat for no more than 30 seconds in the microwave! Allow to stand for 1 minute afterwards. Do not heat this in the oven!” The last bit was pretty interesting to me – other brownie puddings (which this definitely is, upon inspection) suggest that the oven would be better than the microwave. Is this just Waitrose’s attraction to a faux sense of “older is better” arising from the assumed social conservatism of the Waitrose consumer base, a worldview in which the microwave (invented c. 1960) couldn’t possibly be a superior way to heat up food compared to the thermal oven (invented c. “the good old days”)? Or is it because the ramekins can’t take the sustained heat inside an oven so the best thing to do here is to blast the brownie with microwave radiation for half a minute? Or is it because the Waitrose brownie pudding is goddamn huge and microwaving that evenly is just going to be tricky, while these brownies are conversely small and instead hard to not overheat? Or could it be that the secret flavour chemicals in the Gü brownie need precisely 30 seconds of radiation to activate? Who knows. Probably not that last one though.
I did consider heating one and eating the other cold, just for science you understand. The thing is, while this would have been interesting, it would also have led to me basically ignoring the recommendations for how to make the brownie tasty. Why deprive myself of delicious brownie in the name of curiosity and investigation? Wait, that came out wrong as a moral. Ignore this bit. I’ll probably edit it out before I post this.
One more thing which will almost certainly factor into the brownie’s points: I did appreciate that the packaging is 100% recyclable. The brownies come in glass ramekins which can be washed and recycled. They’re covered with foil lids which are also recyclable, and in a cardboard box, which is of course recyclable. This is good! I get a lot of brownies which come in layers of plastic wrapping that can’t do anything but sit in landfill and prove, millions of years from now, that an intelligent civilization once existed on this planet (and probably died out due to its own failings huh). I appreciate that these brownies both a) prove you don’t need all that plastic, and b) don’t even make a huge deal out of it – it’s just how it is.
Taste: Taken as a whole taste experience, this is pretty good! Caramel-y and sweet! But that’s a tale of two parts. The sauce (which you can see covering the top in the picture) is like 100% of that taste. I’m not saying that the brownie base tastes bad. I’m saying I can’t taste it at all under the sauce, and I’m struggling to get any idea of what the… you know… brownie tastes like? It’s a tasty pud, but it’s not exactly a tasty brownie. 7/10
Texture: If anything, again because of the slightly excess sauce, this brownie was a bit too wet. But it wasn’t a major issue, and the brownie underneath was soft and appealing nonetheless. Eating each spoonful was very pleasant. 8/10
Presentation: Actually, presentation of this thing is pretty top. Lookit the cute lil ramekin! Plus that whole eco-friendly packaging thing. This isn’t enough like a classic brownie to get full marks, but it can still have 4/5
Value: From Tesco, one box (two puddings) was £3.30, which we could compare to the Sainsbury’s brownie pudding: it was much much more for slightly less money. So does this have to get a super-low value score? Well, I’m taking it into consideration, but sometimes you’d rather buy a small bottle of cold beer even when it costs more than a pint of not-much-lower-quality cold beer. This is a relevant and good analogy, promise. 6/10
Fudge Factor: THESE WERE GOOD I LIKED THEM 3/5
Fetch The Brownie Scorekin: 28
Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?
I am unlikely to often spend £3.30 on what is, after all, clearly a high quality dessert-for-two. There’s only one of me. But this is a good pudding for you to buy and share with someone. All of the Gü stuff is like this, in fairness – but only this gives you Gü brownie.
A while ago I went on a date. You know, back when the world hadn’t ended yet. I used to date sometimes. It was nice enough and I had a fun time, but it was one of those dates where you both sort of know that it was just a fun time and there’s not actually enough interest or connection there.
One conversation we had sort of stuck with me. We discussed that I didn’t watch much television (I’ve never been the Netflix binging type really) or read many books (it stopped being fun during my PhD and has never been quite as fun again) or play many video games (at the time I did not have a computer for playing games), and she sort-of-fairly asked… well what did I do with my free time? I didn’t have a good answer at the time. It made me worry that I was spending too much time just mindlessly scrolling through the Internet.
Well, Kirsten, the world has ended and now I have at least one answer. I watch YouTube now! I’m the sort of person who likes, shares and subscribes on YouTube! I’m sinking simultaneously into LeftTube and FilmTube and it can only be a matter of time before CakeTube gets its claws into me. There’s a lot of shit on YouTube, as there is everywhere else… but I’ve found enough compelling stuff to take up a lot of my time when I’m locked in my flat during a global pandemic and I don’t want to do any more work.
That, and Kerbal Space Program.