Sunday, 29 November 2009

November 29th: Mr Bunbury Millionaire's Shortbreads

Kcal 213 Fat 12.3g Fat(sats) 6.9g Carbs 24.3g (per slice)

Long term readers will be aware that Millionaire Shortbread is my favourite bakery item and I have been trying a fair few different brand offerings over the last year or so. The latest product to come under the ChocolateMission spotlight were these Mr Bunbury Millionaire's Shortbreads which I found in my local Sainsbury's. Mr Bunbury is a small UK based company who produce their goods in Kingston-Upon-Thames in Surrey, a stones throw away from where I reside now. One thing I immediately loved was how they were described on the pack as 'buttery shortcake fingers shamelessly smothered in caramel and topped with vulgarly rich Belgian milk chocolate' - they get points creativity at least.

Out of all the Millionaire Shortbread products I have tried over the last few months (McVitie's, Thornton's etc) these were the most dear and cost me £1.99 for a pack of 5. My thoughts on the outer packaging were pretty positive and I liked the classic look of the light blue coloured cardboard box which was patterned with some simple but quite decorative looking fonts. Upon opening the box though I was less impressed with what I saw as despite each slice being wrapped in a plastic wrapper the biscuit of each had crumbled everywhere. As well as hampering the aesthetic appeal the softness of the biscuit layers made these incredibly hard to eat without causing a mess which is never what you want for on the go consumption. Messiness aside I must admit that I was relatively tempted by the sweet caramel smell that emanated from the wrappers.

With Mr Bunbury having built his Millionaire's Shortbreads up as shamelessly seductive I was expecting a sinfully rich taste experience - especially since these packed over 200 calories a slice! With the biscuit base crumbling everywhere I decided to be done with it and first ate away at the shortcake base. To my surprise the biscuit really lacked flavour and was disappointingly lacked the buttery element that the packaging promised. With its soft, yielding texture the biscuit lacked presence and it only took seconds for it to disappear entirely once in placed in the mouth. With the biscuit layer devoured this left the caramel and milk chocolate layers which I had mixed feelings about. Like the biscuit the caramel was disappointing and lacked distinctiveness in terms of it's flavours as well as a soft texture. Unlike any good caramel the one on display here was gritty and grainy in texture and lacked the desired butterscotch and salt notes to make it stand out as a good quality caramel. Thankfully having ripped into almost every aspect of this product above I finally have something nice to say and that was that I really enjoyed the milk chocolate that was placed on top of each slice. It was thick and broke with a fresh crispness when bitten in to and had a well paced melt when left to melt on the tongue. Unlike the biscuit and caramel layers that were lacking in flavour the chocolate exerted itself far more and had a delightful cream led taste that delivered the desired chocolate hit with a friendly cocoa edge. Looking at the nutritional content whilst considering the satisfaction I got from eating a slice these were probably more underwhelming than I would have hoped for.

Overall I would have loved to have written a really positive review about a local manufacture but I am afraid I would be doing an injustice to you all. As good as the chocolate layer was there was simply no excusing the caramel and shortcake elements which were frankly both underwhelming and disappointing. I guess there is the fun, comical side of billing your products as 'vulgarly rich' and 'shamelessly seductive' but when they don't deliver on these propositions the product comes across as all the more disappointing. Having reviewed the fantastic Thornton's Millionaire Shortcakes recently these were always going up against a tough benchmark but considering they cost the greater out the two there is simply only one winner out of the two. It would have been great to be able to tell you all to go out and buy these to support a smaller, relatively new brand but I just can't. Your better off sticking with the cheaper, tastier alternatives mentioned in this review.

6.2 out of 10

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