On arriving in Sunderland, here as a uni student, I planned to seek out the best bakeries, cafe’s and restaurants. Curiosity brought me to Havershams Restaurant on Fawcett Street. To me it looks more like a large cafe, but I never venture into the back, I stay at the front counter where I will be served my order. The thin building, painted green, sits opposite Wilkinson’s and two doors down from the city library, and if you fancy it, you can head to the Winter Garden and Museum and enjoy your cake, sandwich or salad.
I have noticed Havershams either don’t make many caramel slices, or they are so popular they are bought in no time. There are still one or two remaining in the window display by 2pm if you’re lucky though. I’ve always checked the window first, and if there aren’t any displayed I wont go in. But one shouldn’t be put of too soon, they keep more supplies in boxes behind the counter. If you do get unlucky then buy a “Pink Slice” they are a fairly nice cake albeit a bit bland.
Here the caramel slice costs 75p, which unfortunately is 15p more than in June, when I had the last one before returning to Lincolnshire for the holidays. This price is still reasonable however, as the size of the slice is 10 x 6 x 2 cm or there about (2cm being the thickness). This is one of the biggest caramel slices I have come across and the ratio between chocolate, caramel and base is almost perfect.
The chocolate thickness has varied each time I’ve bought one, but ranges around 2mm. The taste of the chocolate is better than that you get in advent calendars but not as a good as the likes of Cadbury. If it were, the slice would be too sickly. The layer of caramel is about twice that of the chocolate (maybe more in some cases) and has a smooth and creamy consistency. The base is made of shortbread and is soft and crumbly when kept at the right temperature. It is tasty but very thick but this is so it can act as a support to the higher layers.
As I’ve just mentioned, temperature is important. Too warm and you get a sticky, sickly mess. Two cold and all three layers will become hard and it is difficult to concentrate on the taste. I’d recommend room temperature or something a little less, after keeping the last one in a cupboard before consuming, it kept it soft and easy to absorb the flavours.
Havershams only seem to have two members of staff running the counter, one looks slightly miserable every time I come in, but she did however remember my face and got me a caramel slice before I even opened my mouth.
This caramel slice is a tough one to beat, but I reckon there are other close contenders, but until I find one, Havershams Caramel Slice will remain my favourite.
Rating: 8 out of 10.