Marks & Spencer Dutch Shortcake Biscuits

Melt in the mouth shortcake dipped in Belgian milk chocolate

At the moment there is a 2 for 1 promotion at Marks and Spencer so it cost £1.5 for 18 biscuits (there are 9 biscuits per 150g pack).

A buttery, crumbly, shortcake biscuit half dipped into milk chocolate. It is packaged in some corrugated cardboard under the plastic wrapper to preserve the biscuits which are quite fragile. Even with this preventative measure you will still find a bit of crumbling but it is minimal. These are quite an ‘afternoon tea’ kind of biscuit. They arequite savoury and pleasant. I really liked them but, as each biscuit is individually quite large, you will likely find yourself going through them quite quickly unless you consciencly ration them. One buscuit by itself would seem excessive if served with a cup of tea so I am not sure under what circumstances they expect you to ue them except as part of a selection at an afternoon tea.

Per biscuit 376 kJ / 90 kcal
Energy 5% of your RI
Per 100g 2254 kJ / 540 kcal
Milk chocolate coated shortcake biscuit

Not suitable for nut allergy suffers

INGREDIENTS: Wheatflour (contains Gluten) – Vegetable Oils (Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil) in varying proportions – Sugar – Milk Chocolate (15%) (Sugar – Cocoa Butter – Cocoa Mass – Dried Skimmed Milk – Butter Oil (Milk) – Dried Lactose (Milk) – Emulsifier: Soya Lecthin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Butter Oil (Milk) – Dried Whey Solids (Milk) – Salt – Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate, E450 – Lemon Peel – Acid: Citric Acid – Modified Potato Starch. Milk chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 30% minimum, Milk Solids 20% minimum.

For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Not suitable for Nut and Sesame allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods.

Suitable for vegetarians

NUTRITION: Serves: 9 / Per 100g / Per Shortcake (16.7g)
Typical Values:
Energy kJ 2254 / 376
Energy kcal 540 / 90
Fat 30.8g / 5.1g
Of which saturates 15.9g / 2.7g
Carbohydrates 59.0g / 9.9g
Of which sugars 27.0g / 4.5g
Fibre 2.5g / 0.4g
Protein 5.4g / 0.9g
Salt 0.93g / 0.15g

(This information is also available in French and Dutch)

STORAGE For Best Before, see front of pack. Store in a cool, dry place. Once opened, store in an airtight container.

Made in Netherlands.

SC 1643
(Copyright) Marks and Spencers plc
PO Box 3339 Chester
CH99 9QS
United Kingdom

Marksandspencer.com


Another M&S biscuit review!? Really? What is becoming of this blog? I should get some sponsorship money…

… No actually there are one or two drinks lined up as well so for the following week so this is the current theme for this blog but it will return to normal next weekend. After they are done we will be back on track with a few live performance reviews (a few weeks too late to be of immediate relevance) and maybe one or two other random things.

Marks & Spencer’s Belgian Triple Chocolate Cookies

£2 for one box but £3 if you take advantage of the ever present offer from the M&S range of premium biscuits.

Very rich tasting and the chocolate chunks melt in the mouth. Strong enough you could dip it in tea if that was your thing but crisp enough to have a satisfying bite. Not as soft and chewy as fresh made biscuits of this sort but that is in its favour as they can seem doughy. The chocolate almost instantaneously melts in your mouth as you chew it releasing its rich flavour. Definitely a better all-round biscuit than the crystallised stem ginger ones I bought with them. An indulgent item which lives up to its name.

But onto the important bit and provide you with the box information so you are not stood in the store reading off ingredients and coming across as a bit too obsessive about your diet. Personally I find that with the more enjoyable taste you are also going to pay by it being that much worse for you nutrition wise. This is a ‘treat’ kind of biscuit not something you should be eating every day.

Per cookie 461kJ / 110 kcal
Energy 6% of your RI
Per 100g 2151kJ / 515 kcal

Chocolate cookies with chunks of dark, milk and white Belgian chocolate half coated in Belgian dark chocolate.

Not suitable for nut allergy suffers.

Ingredients: Wheatflour contains gluten, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin) Belgian Dark Chocolate (17%) (Sugar – Cocoa Mass – Cocoa Butter – Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin – Vanilla Flavouring) –– Butter (Milk) – Belgian Dark Chocolate Chunks (13%) (Sugar – Cocoa Mass – Cocoa Butter – Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Sugar – Belgian Milk Chocolate Chunks (8%) (Sugar – Dried Whole Milk – Cocoa Butter – Cocoa Mass – Emulsifier: Soya Lecthin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Belgian White Chocolate Chunks (7%) (Sugar – Dried Whole Milk – Cocoa Butter – Dried Skimmed Milk – Emulsifier: Soya Lecthin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Golden Syrup (Invert Sugar Syrup) – Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder – Raising Agent: E450, Sodium Bicarbonate, E503 – Salt. Belgian Dark Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 46% minimum. Belgian Dark Chocolate Chunks contain Cocoa Solids39% minimum. Belgian Milk Chocolate Chunks contain Cocoa Solids 25% minimum, Milk Solids 14% minimum. Belgian White Chocolate Chunks contain Milk Solids 25% minimum.

For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Not suitable for Nut allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods

Suitable for vegetarians

NUTRITION Serves/Portions: 7
Typical values: Per 100g / per cookie (21g)
Energy kJ 2151 / 461
Energy kcal 515 110
Fat 27.9g / 6g
Of which saturates 17.6g / 3.8g
Carbohydrates 58.1g / 12.5g
Of which sugars 41.2g / 8.8g
Fibre 4.0g / 0.9g
Protein 5.8g / 1.2g
Salt 0.63g / 0.13g

Reference intake (adult) Energy 8400kJ / 2000kcal

Fat 70g Saturates 20g Sugars 90g Salt 6g

STORAGE For Best Before, see front of pack. Store in a cool, dry place. Once opened, store in an airtight container.

125g along side one of those scannable code things and a recycling ying yang arrows sign.

French / NL versions of ingredients are also provided

Made in Scotland.

SC6324
Copyright Marks and Spencer plc
PO Box 3339 Chester
CH99 9QS
United Kingdom

Marksandspencers.com

FSC MIX Paper FSC C002324
Tray – Minimum
50% recycled plastics
Recyclable Carton – Paper – Widely recycled.
Recyclable Tray – Plastics – Check local recycling
Recyclable film – plastics – Not currently recycled


The other box of biscuits along with the ones that had gigner in them. I prefer these ones although the pieces of crystalised ginger were very nice in the others. Marks and Spencers really want you to know how dedicated they are to their civic duty of recycling.

Next time on the misadventures in blogging… we will see. Hopefully on the weekend get around to reviiewng the stage production of The Woman In Black I saw recently.

Belgian Dark Chocolate & Stem Ginger Cookies – Marks & Spencers

£2 for one box but £3 if you take advantage of the ever present offer from the M&S range of premium biscuits.

A nice, smooth, rich tasting chocolate with a biscuit at its core which I personally find perhaps a little too dry. Of course you say that is how all ginger flavoured biscuits taste as they are ‘warm’ tasting but the biscuit seems a little too dry considering this is meant to be a luxury item. If you happen to catch one of the pieces of crystallised root ginger on your tooth it is extremely chewy. The chocolate almost instantly melts in your mouth coating it with the taste of dark chocolate. It is an enjoyable biscuit but as there only seem to be 7 in each pack you will probably find that they are ‘a treat’ rather than something you will buy often. Certainly as I have always seen these premium biscuits in 2 for 1 offers it seems they are successful but not enough to warrant reconsideration on how M&S market them. Like the dark chocolate. Like the chewy stem ginger. The core biscuit is low quality unfortunately…

Nonetheless let me now give you all the information off the box…

Per cookie 386kJ / 92 kcal
Energy 5% of your RI
Per 100g 2159kJ / 516 kcal

Cookies with stem ginger pieces, fully coated in Belgian dark chocolate

Not suitable for nut allergy suffers

Ingredients: Belgian Dark Chocolate (38%) (Sugar – Cocoa Mass – Cocoa Butter – Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Wheatflour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin) – Butter (Milk) – Sugar- Crystallised Stem Ginger (9%) (Stem Ginger – Sugar) – Belgian Milk Chocolate (Sugar – Dried Whole Milk – Cocoa Butter – Cocoa Mass – Emulsifier: Soya lecithin – Vanilla Flavouring) – Ground Ginger – Raising Agent: E450, Sodium Bicarbonate – Salt.
Belgian Dark Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 46% minimum.
Belgian Milk Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 25% minimum, Milk Solids 14% minimum

For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Suitable for vegetarians

NUTRITION Serves/Portions: 7
Typical values: Per 100g / per cookie (18g)
Energy kJ 2159 / 386
Energy kcal 515 92
Fat 27.3g / 4.3g
Of which saturates 16.8g / 3.0g
Carbohydrates 61.5g / 11.0g
Of which sugars 38.7g / 6.9g
Fibre 1.9g / 0.3g
Protein 5.2g / 0.9g
Salt 0.53g / 0.10g

Reference intake (adult) Energy 8400kJ / 2000kcal
Fat 70g Saturates 20g Sugars 90g Salt 6g

STORAGE For Best Before, see front of pack. Store in a cool, dry place. Once opened, store in an airtight container.

125g along side one of those scannable code things and a recycling ying yang arrows sign.

French / Dutch versions of ingredients are also provided

Made in Scotland.

SC6324

Copyright Marks and Spencer plc

PO Box 3339 Chester
CH99 9QS
United Kingdom

Marksandspencers.com

FSC MIX Paper FSC C002324

Tray – Minimum
50% recycled plastics
Recyclable Carton – Paper – Widely recycled.
Recyclable Tray – Plastics – Check local recycling
Recyclable film – plastics – Not currently recycled


A dry,dull, review for biscuits which didn’t make much of an impression on me. They seem quite intent on making sure people now they recycle their packaging. Premium product demanding you agree with the sort of thing which concerns their target market.

Next time more biscuits or something.,, maybe reviews of things I aw in the theatre recently.

I am going to try and do a post a day as I had a bit of a break recently (did I? I’m not sure now…)

Dorotea Apricot Filled Pastries

Today let us look at some Italian confectionaries purchased for £3 from Marks and Spencers. And where do you find these confections in the store, in the Culverhouse Cross store just outside Cardiff to be exact, where, where you ask? …Oddly enough by the other biscuits and confectionaries but don’t think there is any ethnic confectionary integration here! They are displayed across the aisle and set aside on another shelf along with the others from continental Europe and America on a small set aside group of shelves with nothing to draw your eyes to them. There are however a few description tabs on the price displays should you look carefully but not for everything has an explanation so you would probably do you best just note down the name and do your research without purchase. A brilliant sales tactic!

… or like me you want to try different things and go buying something like these because hey, ho, DiMaggio, it’s not as if they will sell anything offensive and you want to try something different even if the purchase may, even at the first bite, be something that revolts you for one reason or another (rarely but it has happened once with a drink).

Though they have an interesting range of produce on offer M&S always gives off an austere air as everything is muted tones of white, brown and green, no music playing, the displays starkly lit, it’s offers so numerous and heavily labelled you feel you are a consumer and not a customer. They seem to insist you buy not what you want but an entire three course meal so earnestly; all three separate courses sold separately but should be bought together for savings, that by the end you don’t want to buy anything because your free will is called into question by being given a mandatory set course from which to select. Certain foods apparently should not be mixed. How dare you even contemplate such a thing? Potato for the British, pasta for the Italian, rice for the Indian, Chinese and Thai ranges and never the twain shall mix! Noodles? An abomination! Often I have gone here and wanted to try something but the offers, in their restrictive nature, have put me off completely. The food is good, I do not question, but the offers are so heavily displayed with tabs and stickers on everything that you feel it is some sort of faux pas to even dare considering buying something in an offer with anything outside it. This isn’t just any food; this is M&S telling you the proper cooking etiquette of eating their food… until they release a fusion range of pre-prepared foods and even then only certain things will be allowed to mix. Nothing culinarily xenophobic about it at all…

…Nonetheless let’s return to the review and put the Italian information of the box into [google translate] and see what quasi-inaccurate translations we get:

Naturalmente Dorotea
(Naturally Dorotea)

Dolcetto all’ Albicocca
(Trick to ‘ Apricot… whatever the programme things that means but it probably translates to something like ‘Apricot Treat’)

Delizioso scrigno di frolla con un cuore di morbida confettura all’albicocca
(Trove of delicious pastry with a heart of soft apricot jam)

…and of course the ingredients list but that has an English language version: Wheat flour type ‘O’, sugar, non-hydrogenated vegetable fat, butter, free-range eggs, glucose syrup, raising agent (ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate), salt, emulsifier (soy lecithin), preservative (potassium sorbate), natural flavours, Apricot filling (30%): Apricots, glucose-fructose syrup, thickener (modified tapioca starch, pectin), stabilizer (glycerol), acidifier (citric acid).

… Got to love those ‘O’ type flour and the glucose-fructose ‘sugar + sugar = sugar’ ingredients. On the bright side they used free range eggs in case you are the sort to be so concerned about that you read ingredients in store.
So we are going to be eating a pastry filled with apricot jam? Exciting. Can’t wait. When will I get on with the review?

BUT WAIT! Before we get to that what does the back of the box say in English for the English speaking market?

  • 250g/8,882 oz
  • Product of Italy
  • Tiny pastries filled with apricot jam

Each Portion contains:

  • Calories: 65.5
  • Sugars: 2.8g
  • Fat: 3.1g
  • Saturates: 1.3g
  • Fibers [sic]: 0.2g

And in the Italian information:

  • Valore energetico in Kcal/100g: 504
  • Valore energetico in KJ/100g: 2108
  • Proteine: 4,5
  • Carboidrati: 67,8
  • di cui zuccheri: 21,8
  • Grassi: 24,2
  • di cui saturi: 9,8
  • Fibre: 1,2
  • Sodio: 0,3

Warnings:

  • Produced in a factory where it makes use of gluten, peanuts, milk and eggs
  • Baked product subject to natural weight loss
  • Store in a dry place away from direct sunlight

Fascinating… and in English so there was no need to use google translate after all. It was all a dream. All a dream of a supermarket that is constantly finding itself behind the times struggling against its competitors.

Oh Marks and Spencers stop trying to be ‘hip’, in such an award middle aged way, by referring to yourselves as M&S. If only you catered only to the tastes of the (in their own minds) socially elite like Waitrose do offering a free coffee with every visit for joining their loyalty club or if you whored it out like those village bikes by the names of Asda, who slap their jingling bottom in every advert with a cheeky smile, or Tesco who act like an abusive pimp to their produce suppliers. But of course not like Aldi or Lidl… they are the 2AM pubs are closed kind of markets. And B&M… they have a seat reserved down the STD clinic at the end of every week so don’t even bring them into the equation.

The Dorotea pastries? Oh right… well when you open the box there is a plastic bag with about 17 of them in it. They are extremely crumbly when bitten into, as you would expect of some forms of Italian biscotti, so there will be some crumbs already in the package caused by handling in transport but nothing that damages the appaearance of the contents and may have already been there as residue from the factory.

If you have never eaten any biscotti before it is hard to describe these… the best comparison I could give is they are like a jaffa cake if they didn’t have the chocolate on top but more of the soft pastry/biscuit (actually there was a serious question if jaffa cakes were classed as biscuit or pastry as one was taxed while the other wasn’t) and the jam was much softer. Not soft enough to leak out like the picture on the front of the box would suggest but far more pliable than the rubbery kind found in a jaffa cake. Biscotti have a particular texture with a crisp outer layer and a soft cake like interior.
The jam is indeed strongly flavoured of apricots and very nice. It holds the pastry shell together so although I mentioned there being crumbs you will never find any which are broken with the jam exposed.

They are enjoyable and you will more likely eat one with a warm drink than try to eat multiple of them in a single sitting. It is perhaps better to think of them as the sort of biscuit or pastry accompaniment you have provided at a café with a cup of tea or coffee. In truth continental Europe is apparently not as big on eating multiple biscuits or confectionaries in one sitting as the British are so this makes sense while we tend to prefer things like digestive biscuits which are blander in flavour (save for any chocolate or flavouring added to diversify the biscuit’s product range usually in orange, double choc, caramel or mint) and have developed a cultural habit of eating biscuits or confectionaries as a snack on their own rather than an compliment to something else.

These are perhaps best served alongside other confectionaries at a cream tea or similar event.
I would buy these again sometime down the road but there are other things to try. They are nice but not something I will be rushing to buy again though through no fault of their own. If you were served these they would be a pleasant surprise and you might be interested to know where to get them. But would you actually go and find them? Probably not. In a word they are pleasant.

Ripieno di confettura di albicocca
(Product and confezionoto by)
Prodotto e confezionoto da:
DOROTEA s.n.c.
Via Piero Della Francesca, 15
86070 Montaquila (IS) Italy


For something I felt I had nothing to talk about this is an impressive amount of rambling…

Comments and feedback are welcome.