Christmas taste test: cakes, mince pies and panettone – The Guardian

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Traditonal panettones

Morrisons The Best Classic Panettone, 750g, £7, morrisons.com
This one is really tasty. Moist and buttery, with that yellow-y inside. Feels homemade, or from a deli. Lots of amazing fruit. Really enjoyable.
★★★★

Vallebona Panettone, 500g, £17.50, vallebona.co.uk
Pretty. Soft and lovely. It feels a bit more brioche-y than the others. It’s squishy, soft and malleable; very tear-and-share. I don’t like the peel.
★★★

Tesco Classic Fruited Panettone, 750g, £3.30, tesco.com
Good amount of fruit. It’s not as moist as some. Has a kind of sharp smell, and there’s something lacking.
★★

Waitrose No.1 Nocciolato Panettone, 750g, £15, waitrose.com
I like the sugary crust and there’s nice fruit, but it isn’t moist enough. It would make a lovely bread and butter pudding.

Non-traditonal panettones



Non-traditonal panettones

Asda Extra Special Rum & Raisin Panettone, 500g, £5.50, asda.com
Nice and boozy, with good fruit. If anything, it’s almost too moist, but I like that. I’d happily eat this with a glass of wine.
★★★★

Selfridges Selection Italian Salted Caramel Panettone, 1kg, £25.99, selfridges.com
The smell is really nice, very bready. Where’s all the fruit? I’m not really getting caramel flavour, but it’s tasty and I love the texture.
★★★★

Heston from Waitrose Black Forest Panettone, 750g, £14, waitrose.com
It’s so pretty with cherries on top, and they’re delicious, so succulent. The chocolate on top is good. The inside lets it down, it’s just like fluff.
★★

Marks & Spencer The Collection Chocolate, Cranberry & Orange Panettone, 750g, £15, marksandspencer.com
Beautiful top, the bread is a bit disappointing. More cranberry please!
★★

Mince pies



Mince pies

Whole Foods Market Made In Store Mince Pies, 6 for £7.75, wholefoods.co.uk
I like the rustic look. Juicy mincemeat and a lovely ratio of filling to pastry. I will buy these.
★★★★

Morrisons The Best All Butter Mince Pies, 6 for £2, morrisons.com
They’re very beautiful; I love the golden rim and gorgeous star. It feels nice and heavy, but the mince is a bit sweet.
★★

Aldi Specially Selected Mince Pies, 6 for £1.25, aldi.co.uk
Looks pretty. There’s a big wall of pastry. Super sweet, with an overpowering flavour that doesn’t feel traditional.

Tesco Finest All Butter Deep Filled Mince Pies with Courvoisier VS Cognac, 6 for £2, tesco.com
The pastry crumbles very easily and there is something so candyish about the mincemeat, I can’t enjoy it.

Vegan mince pies



Vegan mince pies

Co-op Vegan Mince Pie, 1 for 90p, coop.co.uk
This is huge. It tastes like a jam tart; I actually really like it. The pastry isn’t bad, it just feels very crumbly.
★★★★

Konditor & Cook Vegan Mince Pies, 6 for £10, konditor.co.uk
Looks like an Eccles cake. Very sugary pastry top; too sweet for me. The fruit filling is good though. If the top was less sugary …
★★★

Marks & Spencer Vegan Lattice Mince Pies, 6 for £1.25, marksandspencer.com
Oh no … the pastry is too thick, there’s too much of it and it’s dry, so it’s making my mouth dry. Not enough insides.

Oggs Luxury Handmade Mince Pies, 4 for £2.50, sainsburys.co.uk
I don’t like it, it’s horrible inside. That’s a shame. The mincemeat is not nice: very sweet, very overpowering. It looks nice…

Christmas cakes



Christmas cakes

Marks & Spencer The Collection 6-Month Matured Rich Fruit Cake, 1.54kg, £20, marksandspencer.com
Good ratio of cake to icing. Full flavoured. I can imagine spinning it around on my lazy susan.
★★★★

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Iced Holly Wreath Cake Infused with Brandy, 900g, £10, sainsburys.co.uk
Moist; lots of fruit and icing. It’s very dense and rich; would be lovely with a cup of Earl Grey.
★★★

Iceland Luxury Christmas Cake, 1kg, £8, iceland.co.uk
The icing comes off, the structure is letting it down. It’s heavily spiced, bit much for me – overpowering. Not my favourite decoration.
★★

Co-op Shimmering Iced Christmas Cake, 907g, £7, coop.co.uk
Crumbly; there’s not enough fruit, maybe that’s why. Feels more like a Jamaican ginger cake.

Meringue roulades



Meringue roulades

Waitrose Black Forest Arctic Roulade, 596g, £8, waitrose.com
Eye-catching. I like the chocolate shards. It’s crazy sweet, and not cherry-fruity.

Aldi Specially Selected Winterberry Roulade, 420g, £3.49, aldi.co.uk
Reminds me of the sweetest cake I ate as a child. The tart berry stuff is the nicest thing about it – but there’s not enough.

Waldrons Chocolate & Mascarpone Roulade, 900g, £12, ocado.com
Sweet but not chocolatey enough. Too moussey, no bite; messy.

Asda Extra Special Gin & Gingerbread Roulade, 430g, £4, asda.com
Tastes really cardamom-y. I don’t like it. Super sweet and strong tasting. I don’t think you could eat much of it. That’s intense…

Source: Thanks https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/dec/08/ofm-christmas-taste-test-cakes-pies-panettone-melissa-hemsley