The picture doesn't do the chocolate top justice as I forgot to take a pic when these were fresher and this one was a few days past it's best and had dried out on top. Still tasted great though!
Luxury treats have always been Marks & Spencer's specialty and their entire food-hall is pretty much full of things that are slightly more luxurious than you'd usually buy. Usually these are Christmas treats and for special occasions, but occasionally they do slip into your basket for no reason other than they look amazing. I popped in to M&S on Sat to grab a few fresh things, and couldn't resist adding one of their recent range to the basket. There are a couple more that I may have to go back for too!
Mini puddings seem a recent development. Gu and others kick started this idea that a pudding should be small but explosive and as there seem to more people on diets than ever this meshes in nicely. These three tiny pots are in line with this kind of idea I guess, with a thick luxury chocolate on top and a mysterious orange liquid underneath.
The chocolate is actually quite nice. I thought it would be more similar to a mousse but it's quite viscous and full of milk chocolate flavour. A few bites in and there is a shock of chocolate chips hiding in it and playing with the texture. As you travel down the little plastic pot you get an increasing sense of oranginess as the mandarin creeps in to the spoonfuls. Once you hit the liquid the choc chips and orange chunks intermingle and work really well. The last few spoons of just orange are not the headline attraction but are not too tart and are very refreshing given the richness of the initial few scoops.
As a late Sunday treat, or an I-couldn't-possibly-oh-go-on-then pudding these work equally well. I recommend picking these up the next time you have an awkward dinner party for three - or getting these and the other Belgian choc variety to make a neat half-dozen. I think I'm going to be visiting M&S a lot more in the run up to Christmas than usual...