When done right, the classic chocolate brownie is a wonder to behold.
When done badly, however, it can be an absolute disaster.
It’s a go-to for so many situations: having a great day, having a terrible day, hosting a party, having a picnic, having a total breakdown. There’s truly nothing a chocolate brownie can’t improve.
They’re ridiculously easy to bake at home (and I do love a warm brownie straight from the oven) but if you’re out and about or just feeling lazy, they’re easy to find in every supermarket and coffee shop.
I decided to pitch brownies from four major retailers up against each other to find out who is the king of chocolate.
Marks and Spencer, Costa, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s: it’s time to fight.
Marks and Spencer
Ooooh yes, we’re off to a good start here. M&S’s offering is deliciously fudgy with an ideal contrasting chocolate crunch, it’s sinfully rich without being too bitter, and the white chocolate drizzle is a nice touch.
It’s a little claggy to chew, meaning it gets overpowering quite quickly, but you don’t reach for a brownie for a light snack.
It also only costs £1, which is an absolute bargain for such a high quality brownie.
Costa’s little pre-packaged brownie cost a whopping £2.25, which in my mind is far too much for a brownie of that size no matter how delicious it is.
Unfortunately, it also let itself down with in the taste department. It’s VERY crumbly – there’s no eating this on the go without getting it all over your clothes.
It clawed itself back into my good books with a nice fudgy middle, but the strange aftertaste that I couldn’t put my finger on was very disappointing.
However, it is after all still a brownie, and I was nevertheless left wanting more.
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By this point I was feeling a little sick, but I’m not one to back out of a challenge.
Waitrose’s cheeky four pack of brownies cost £2.50, which isn’t too bad considering you can really only eat one of these in one sitting.
It’s a decent slab, and when I bit into it I discovered it really was more like chocolate fudge than a brownie. Because of that it’s quite claggy to chew, and while it wasn’t quite rich enough for my taste, it still had a delicious chocolatey flavour.
I went for a pack of four brownies from Sainsbury’s bakery, coming in at a very respectable £1.10.
This is another nice fudgy slab, much easier to bite into than Waitrose’s. It isn’t quite as rich as its competitors but still delicious nonetheless.
There was one clear winner here, and it was M&S’s delightful little chocolatey morsel. I’d even go so far as to say that it was the perfect brownie: rich, fudgy, with a dreamy chocolate chunk crunch, all for the very reasonable price of £1.
As for Costa’s, I wouldn’t waste my time again. A real let down.
Do you agree with my ranking of chocolate brownies? Share your thoughts in the comments here.