Taste & Tell

Which supermarket's sticky toffee pudding came tops in our taste test?

To help you buy the best, we ranked heat-and-eat desserts from three major retailers

09 June 2019 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Nothing beats a warm pud on a chilly night.
Nothing beats a warm pud on a chilly night.
Image: 123RF/rawpixel

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

It's free and fair

We know that taste is a subjective thing and what’s good for one may not be for someone else. But it is interesting that, when a group of tasters come together, the results are usually consistent — there’s always a favourite and least-favoured item.

For this taste test, we invited a group of readers to attend a blind-tasting of supermarket convenience foods in Johannesburg. While we endeavour to rate the same items from each of the five big retailers, this is not always possible as not all of our local supermarkets carry similar products.

To ensure the taste test was free and fair, food expert Jenny Kaye was in the kitchen to supervise as products were removed from their packaging, numbered and cooked or reheated according to package instructions.

The tasters were presented the dishes “naked” which they rated on a score sheet. The products were judged on appearance, aroma, taste, value for money and whether the taster would buy it.

Auditor Jade Craig oversaw the entire process: she checked the products in the kitchen, sat in on the tasting, and collated the scores.

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: CHECKERS

Classic, sweet sponge pudding drenched in sticky toffee sauce (suitable for lacto-ovo vegetarians)

Price: 450g for R44.99

What our tasters said:

  • Thandiwe: Perfect tasting, texture was good and not too sweet. I could taste the toffee and is OK eaten on its own without any accompaniments like cream or custard.
  • Boitumelo: Not too sweet, tastes great. I would definitely buy it. Toffee sauce also nice. Texture of the sponge was the best.
  • Gavin: Nice light texture with lots of topping. Flavour is great and pudding is not saturated with sauce, which means it is possibly a little underbaked.
From left: sticky toffee puddings from Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay.
From left: sticky toffee puddings from Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

SECOND PLACE: WOOLWORTHS

Moist, buttery sponge with finely chopped dates, smothered in a toffee sauce (vegetarian with milk and eggs)

Price: 470g for R59.99

What our tasters said:

  • Grant: Too stodgy and cloying. Tasted OK but not as good as the first sample. Although dates are traditional in a sticky toffee pudding (this was the only pudding with dates) I don't think they add anything.
  • Gavin: Dates are a nice addition. A bit too much toffee sauce on top but very nice.
  • Thandiwe: Tastes good, moist with a lovely texture.

THIRD PLACE: PICK N PAY

Sticky toffee pudding

Price: 450g for R59.99

What our tasters said:

  • Dale: Stodgy and sweet. The edges taste slightly bitter and not pleasant.
  • Thandiwe: It looked appealing but the taste was unpleasant - perhaps the sauce?
  • Gavin: Not great at all. Almost bitter and too moist.

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