I knew I had my work cut out on Friday afternoon when I rang my sister after her law accountancy exam and she was giving me one word answers -she's usually a chatterbox like me. Apparently it hadn't gone so well, and she was just about to get the train to Hereford to stay with me for the night. How could I cheer her up? Food. Alcohol. That's bound to work, right? I tried my best to encourage her that we would have a pleasant evening in the garden by telling her we were that we were christening our new BBQ, and gave her the option of cheesecake or ice cream and wine or Pimms. "Cheesecake". "Pimms". She muttered.
Hmm, this was going to have to be good cheesecake to pull her out of this mood. Who could I trust to create a winning cheesecake? It was going to have to be something special. Who does special desserts? I know... Marks and Spencer! I had spotted a smaller version the new sunken chocolate & Valencian orange cheesecake in the Dine In for £10 meal deal a couple of days previously and hoped that they had some left on a Friday evening.
Fortunately they'd got one of the larger six portion cheesecakes left and as a bonus it was reduced! Perfect. This meant that Bert could have some too, even though he's not the biggest chocolate orange fan -unless he's eating Jaffa cakes because apparently they don't count, go figure.
"Baked chocolate cheesecake on a chocolate biscuit base with Valencian orange cements centre and a Valencia orange glaze decorated with a white chocolate drizzle."
I was pleased that the cheesecake was well protected and in one of those pop out cases, making it relatively easy to retrieve. The cheesecake is also freezable, which meant that I could save the remaining slice for another day -yes, we had bigger slices than the recommended portion, don't judge!
Ive said numerous times that my biggest issue with supermarket cheesecakes is the horrible gelatinous wobble that they often have. M&S however have worked their magic on this dessert; the texture was whipped, light and therefore much more like a fresh homemade version. Flavour-wise the chocolate was perfect, it's dark and rich, tasting utterly indulgent. The resulting combination of flavour and consistency made this cheesecake an absolute winner in my eyes. The only trouble was that it wasn't particularly citrusy. The only source of orange came from the centre, and although the glaze was delicious, it would have been better if it had topped the entire cheesecake (although Bert disagrees with me on this, he thought it was delicious).
The chocolate base was also scrumptious; it was short, crumbly and sweet. Most mass produced chocolate-bottomed cheesecakes feature a bourbon/oreo-esque base, but this tasted more like chocolate digestives and it was all the more delicious for it.
This new M&S Spirit of Summer dessert was one of the best supermarket chocolate cheesecakes I've ever had. It's so good that I'm dreaming of that last slice. I'd go as far as giving it full marks but the orange just wasn't quite strong enough.