With a weekend full of train journeys, real northern accents, fake even more northern accents, exploration of a historic toon, installing electrical equipment, walking, photographing, watching the qualifying, being the only person not wearing shoes on a beach and dipping my feet into the cold, cold North Sea that laps against the cliffs at Berwick-upon-Tweed, I had to come away with a caramel slice.
And I did. Hurrah! It’s been such a long time.
I dropped into the town centre on Saturday afternoon, after spending a couple of hours in The Gymnasium next to the Barracks, where I was helping set-up the art installments in the building for the Berwick Film Festival (Wednesday 25th – Sunday 28th September). The town centre is fairly small, but I had access to a Greggs, a local bakery (which I didn’t know about until Sunday…when it was closed), Iceland and then any pubs or cafes, such as Nero. However I popped into Boots to get a meal deal, which probably aren’t worth your money, but I like what they have to offer.
Being Saturday it was market day, and as I queued in Boots, I stared out the window and straight opposite was a cake stand. And what’s that I see, looks like it could be a caramel slice. You bet it was.
I snatched it up straight away, handing the jolly man a £2 coin and happily strolled along. There are 4 slices in an over sized bag/box, that measure 7.5cm x 7.3cm x 2 cm thick. That is quite a large slice and I was most happy for they work out at 50p each and you’re getting a lot for what you pay for.
Sadly, they were very disappointing.
The base took up about three-quarters of the slice and had a very bland digestive, taste, texture and smell. I like digestives, but it was warm and loose and crumbled and fell like a heavy storm to the park bench below. With a rough feel, more so than a shortbread bottom, there was no pleasure for the tongue as you ate.
The chocolate didn’t help either; thin moderately tasty, but because the base dominates the mouth, the chocolate flavour is not represented fully.
The caramel with its thin tiny amount spread on each slice is the only satisfaction provided by the cake. The flavour is rich, the texture perfect, the consistency does it wonders. But again its flavour is dramatically lost amongst the rest of the slice.
It just didn’t meet my expectations, that said it didn’t ruin my weekend. I gobbled one down for lunch and tea, but that was mainly because I couldn’t afford to buy something else to eat.
I recommend you visit Berwick-upon-Tweed, if not for the caramel slices, but for the history and beauty.
The scores: 1 point for price, 1 point for size, 2 points for exquisite caramel. 4 out of 10
Less base + more caramel + more chocolate = more points.
The official makers of the slice are The Premium Roll Company, a Scottish company based in Loanhead (no, I don’t know where that is either). I hope they take my advise, because I want they’re slices to taste excellent, seeing as they make great caramel.