Saturday, 1 February 2014

Cartmel Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble

Product name: Cartmel Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble
Country of origin:

To my knowledge, this Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble is a relatively new addition to the Cartmel Village Shop – I certainly don’t remember it being around a couple of years ago. Either way, this was certainly my first ever experience of it. The nearest I’ve got is my sister’s homemade banoffee apple crumble where she does actually use a jar of their Sticky Toffee Sauce. 

This particular 500g pudding was a gift from my parents and, as a result, I’m not sure of the purchase details. However, I suspect they got it in Booths as it’s possible I mentioned in passing (ahem) that it was on offer there at the time they bought it.  

The cardboard sleeve was very similar to the design of the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Sticky Toffee Chocolatesbut, this time, the bottom strip was an apple shade of green. Again, no nutritional information was provided, so I stored this dessert in the freezer until a day when I wasn’t following my diet plan.

Having been thoroughly defrosted, the ‘yummy’ crumble was supposed to be cooked in its takeaway-style foil container (minus the lid) in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes so I opted for the full 25 as I prefer more of a golden brown topping. 

Prior to cooking, the crumble topping that, among other things, contained the usual rolled oats and Demerara sugar, looked very pale, and there were actually some quite large bits in the mix. I have to say the pudding was very well-covered and it was only the buttery shortbread aroma of the topping that I could detect. After being removed from the oven, the very buttery scent remained, and I was also pleased to see a small section of bubbling sauce seeping through the browned crumble at the edge of the dish.

When breaking through the crunchy topping, the combination of apples and toffee sauce (together accounting for 60% of the product) felt really mushy, so I was surprised to see such large slices of sauce-coated apple inside. This rich brown toffee sauce even managed to look warming on a cold night! I also found that exposing the inside of the pudding released a very slight brown sugar smell, although I can’t say this was quite up there with the aroma that the original Sticky Toffee Pudding boasts.

The sauce contained butter, cream, sugar and vanilla flavouring – not exactly healthy but at least you get a portion of fruit (it counts, right?!) in a pudding like this! In normal circumstances, I always prefer the topping of crumbles to the insides, but I did wonder if the inclusion of Cartmel’s sauce would sway me on this occasion.

I have to admit I raised an eyebrow when I saw the packaging describe the ‘crunchy apples’ used in this product – I figured it meant they were crunchy at the point of manufacture! However, they really did have a crunch rather than the slimy, slithery pieces that usually feature in crumbles. That said, they were, of course, a lot softer than raw apples. They also, unusually, maintained the sweet tang of the fresh variety whilst the sauce, although not tasting specifically like Cartmel’s other Sticky Toffee products, added a lovely sweet dimension. The quantity of the sauce included did also mean that it was possible to have it on its own, here and there, and this resulted in a darker toffee taste.
The topping was just how I like it – the upper edge was very crisp with an almost caramelised, sugary biscuit taste, whilst the inner edge was soft, buttery and moist from being in contact with the filling.

The packaging suggested serving the pudding with a ‘big dollop’ of ice cream or cream, and I’ve always been a fan of allowing a basic, neutral-flavoured ice cream to melt into hot crumbles. As a result, and obviously in the name of research(!), I tried this too. As expected, this produced a lovely, smooth and cooling effect, with the vanilla offsetting the sweetness of the dessert.

Since this Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble served four to five people, I decided to share it for once, and I gather from my Mum that it was also ‘lovely’ cold. I didn’t sample it that way, on this occasion, but I did scrape out the foil tin, and the sauce, at least, was just as scrumptious!

This was definitely a hit and, whilst I can’t honestly say that I’d have recognised the toffee flavour as Cartmel’s, the resulting dessert was still fantastically delicious. Can they do no wrong?! 

Appearance: 9.5/10
Overall score:

1 comment:

  1. These look so good, will have to give these a go some time, thanks for sharing....



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