Sunday Times Food Awards 2018

Which supermarket makes the best baked chocolate pudding?

We put heat-and-eat desserts from major supermarkets to the taste test

25 February 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Who doesn't love a warm chocolate sponge pudding?
Who doesn't love a warm chocolate sponge pudding?
Image: 123RF/waranyu

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST 

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

Taste is a subjective thing, but when you gather a group of 40 Food and Beverage Management students from the University of Johannesburg and ask them to blind-taste baked chocolate puddings from two of the major supermarkets*, you have a fair way of assessing quality.

We presented the students with samples of the puddings, without packaging or branding, and asked them to judge them on appearance, taste, texture, quality and whether they would buy them or not.

Auditor Jade Craig observed the chefs in the kitchen - we used the facilities at HTA Cooking Academy in Randburg - under the guidance of Chef Kabelo Segone, who prepared the puddings exactly to the package instructions. Craig then observed the tasting and tallied the scores.

* Samples unavailable from Checkers and Woolworths.

Chocolate pudding from Pick n Pay and SPAR.
Chocolate pudding from Pick n Pay and SPAR.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: PICK N PAY

Price: R56.90 for 450g 

What the judges had to say:

  • Buhle: Good quality, firm, easy on the eye and a nice taste. Although not enough sauce in the middle piece I got.
  • Prudence: Appearance looks very good, sufficient sauce and chocolate taste is good. I liked the level of sweetness.
  • Mbali: The appearance looks pleasing and nice, the smell inviting, texture soft, and tastes yummy.
  • Queen: Sponge is very moist but there isn't enough sauce and could have more of a chocolate flavour.
  • Smangele: Very nice appearance but not very chocolatey. The sauce is very sweet and overpowers the pudding.

SECOND PLACE: SPAR FRESHLINE

Price: R49.99 for 450g 

What the judges had to say:

  • Sthabile: It looks more burnt than chocolatey and is too dry. I wouldn't buy it, it's way too black.
  • Rebotile: The chocolate pudding is black (it is supposed to be brown) and tastes burnt, leaving a bitter taste that overpowers the chocolate taste. And there is not enough sauce on the pudding.
  • Mondli: It looks overcooked, tastes bland, very dry and not saucey - it made my throat run out of saliva.
  • Noxolo: The pudding looks and tastes bland and bitter. There was no sauce, it tastes overcooked and is too dark. It is not edible.
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