Last week celebrated the 11th Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. It gathered artists from all over the world and present their talented work. It also created a strong friendship among strangers who took the time to volunteer for the festival, lending their watchful eyes, politeness and friendly demeanour to invigilate exhibitions and steward events.
I was one of those volunteers and experiencing my third year with the festival. It was an exciting, crazy and memorable time, which will never be forgotten. Gathering on the Thursday morning I greeted Ryan, who I had met the previous year. He dropped off his bag and presented to me a caramel slice. Friendships bloom in such a transaction.
The slice was from Wetherpoon, though made by Aulds Delicious Deserts, a company based in Lancashire. It’s described as handmade, though from their website I suspect that a machine is involved heavily, but this isn’t to say it has been ruined.
Berwick battered the slice, I – weirdly – carried it around the festival with me before eating it when I returned home, five days later.. so this explains the photo.
It measures 8.3 x 5.0 x 1.5 cm thick. Ample size and shape and smells like your average shortcake based slice, which again, isn’t a complaint. Ryan tells me it costs 99p which is a little more than I would like to pay, but it’s coming from a corporation, a brand, a big cahouna of food outlets, so it’s acceptable, I guess.
So, after carrying it around, I then left it exposed to the sunlight on my writing desk, when I returned from work, I placed it in the fridge for forty minutes. When I came to eat it the chocolate top was very soft, the caramel too. I didn’t mind though. Not having to force your way through a chocolate layer is great, or not having drifting like tectonic plates is grand, but it did mean the chocolate and the caramel mixed together and the layers almost became lost.
Sadly the chocolate has a distant bland flavour to it, but the caramel is rich and flavoursome and rather wonderful. The texture is smooth and creamy and it tastes more like I’m eating runny caramel from a Cadbury Caramel with the consistency of warm fudge. The caramel layer is also big and dominant, but not a problem to handle or consume. Though the flavour does sit at the back of your throat, clawing on for an after taste.
The shortcake is thin, though doesn’t crumble because it is denser than shortbread and holds its own better, meaning you get to enjoy all of the slice, not 90% of it followed by 10% hoovering with pursed lips.
What I wish I had with it was some vanilla ice cream and it would transformed it into a wonderful desert, I’d rather like another.
This is the best shortcake slice I’ve ever had. And I’m not usually fond of shortcake ones, it’s even going to be up there with some of my favourites. It’ll be interesting to know how it tastes (if any different) when it hasn’t been sat in the sun for 10 hours.
But the slice I ate and enjoyed is rated at 9.5 out of 10
It would make the top of the list if there was a 20p price drop and the caramel was just a touch less rich and if the chocolate was more flavoursome.
Energy – 1968KJ, 470kcal
Fat – 26.6g
Carbohydrates – 53.2g
Of which are Sugar – 37.4g
Fibre – 1.0g
Protein – 4.8g
Salt – 0.7g
Contains Wheat, Gluten, Milk, Soya
Made in a factory that handles nuts.