Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Stick to the Percy Pigs I say...








So today was the launch of the Marks and Spencers cupcake. I went along to the hell on earth that is known as Covent Garden on a warm day hoping to get my hands on a box. They had a lot of promo material out in store for them and they seemed to have sold quite well -lots of boxes had been smooshed/turned upside down but I don't know if that was due to a stampede of cupcake lovers or just staff chucking them onto the shelves! But there were a good 20+ boxes left so I happily got my mitts on a box :)

So, what were they like?! I'll let the blurb on the box set the scene...

A marriage made in heaven...Moist cupcakes with rich strawberry compote centres and lashings of strawberry buttercream on top

it goes on...

a moist vanilla sponge filled with a strawberry compote centre, decorated with a swirl of strawberry buttercream and a sprinkling of glitter

So..the buttercream was quite nice and there was quite a lot of it, although I wouldn't go so far as to use the word "lashings". The frosting, and the tasty but rather sweet compote made them kind of worth the money, however the crumbly cake base really didn't. It just wasn't right - I can't really explain it too well except to say it was crumbly, not of the correct consistency of a cake and, well, a bit oily - there was a film left on the cupcake case after eating. I have to add, in their defence, of the supermarket cupcakes we've tried these were the nicest (due to a nice frosting mainly), however if you were to do a blind taste test on these with any of the "proper" American style cupcakes I harp on about so much on here I don't think there would be any comparison!

I do find it rather amusing they employed a cupcake guru, spent loads of money sending him to NY etc, only for him to return and make a cake that you really would not find in any decent cupcakery in NY, or London for that matter!! If they'd offered me and Kara (and any of the other readers of this blog who love cupcakes..yes Manny you could've come too) a freebie trip to NY I reckon we'd have come up with a tastier, more authentic cupcake for them!

Finally, I know that M&S promo material is making a big thing about rape oil being the norm in NY bakeries, (which I disagree with ), but it occurs to me that perhaps this has a lot to do with the shelf life properties of the cakes rather than adding anything - these cakes have use by date a week away from today, any fresh cupcake would be rancid by then! I stand by my "no oil in cupcakes" mantra!

4 comments:

Kats said...

Thanks for the update. They look a bit manufactured - a cupcake with a shelf life of a week, gah! That's what I like about the bakeries such as Hummingbird, the cakes are baked daily.

The Jukupop T shirts are really cute, I may have to get one!

Manny said...

I agree, the cake itself just had the wrong consistency. The tasty frosting and the compote in the middle just about made up for it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat these again. You should go give them some lessons, yours were so much nicer!!

KARA said...

I knew this would happen, a week on a shelf date for a cupcake is wrong, any real cupcake guru would know that, see M&S you are looking at profit over geniune taste - wrong!
They look pretty shame they aren't so nice, maybe they will see this and rethink, but if sales are big I doubt it.
NY trip stroll on I would have been there with bells on xxxx

Becky @ ConsumedbyCake said...

read the Metro article too & popped to M&S to try these strawb cuppies, but just couldn't get my head around how a cupcake with that long a shelf life could possibly compare to a freshly baked one, so I put them back and got some fresh cream cakes instead. After reading your review I'm so glad I did LOL!