There are few sweet treats as fool proof as a chocolate muffin – deliciously moist chocolate cake with chunks of chocolate thrown in there for good measure, what’s not to like?
They’re also probably some of the most popular quick treats to pick up from your local supermarket in those plastic trays of four you always see.
But the big question is which supermarket actually does them best, and is there any in particular you really should be avoiding?
That’s what I’ve decided to find out, and to do that I’ve been to three of the nation’s biggest and most popular supermarkets to get a nice range of delicious muffins.
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From Tesco and Sainsbury’s I picked up a tray of four triple chocolate muffins each, the Sainos quartet coming in just a smidge more expensive at £1.30 to the Tesco four at £1.20.
Far and away the luxury option here is of course Marks and Spencer, never happy to settle for everyday value M&S set you back a whopping £1.05 for just ONE muffin.
For such a hefty price tag and so much less muffin for your moolah, it’s gonna have to be a pretty impressive piece of baking to provide better value than the more everyday supermarket brands.
There’s only one way to find out though so I’m gonna get stuck in, evaluating each muffin for its taste, texture and just how chocolatey it is.
As the cheapest we’ll start with Tesco, which I believe has a strong record on muffins, usually capturing a nice balance of taste and consistency.
First impressions here and I’m seeing a lot of chocolate chips both of the white and milk variety as well as a visible moistness which I think bodes very well.
Disappointingly the number of choc chips displayed on top of the muffin isn’t reflected internally and you get that unsatisfying mouthful of muffin where it’s nothing but cake with no added treats to spice it up.
That said the muffin itself is good and well baked, I just feel like Tesco lacked the X-factor here, but we’ll see how their closest rival compares.
First impression here is that they look a bit more like cupcakes, with a neater surface than the Tesco muffins – although there are some mouth-wateringly large chocolate chips on the surface which again get me excited.
Despite having the same best before date as the Tesco muffins these ones are definitely dryer and crumbs are going everywhere, although the cake to chocolate chip ratio is definitely more consistent throughout in this case, which is a plus.
Overall it’s definitely a different experience to the Tesco muffin but I’m not sure its really better if I’m honest.
The M&S super muffin is looking very appealing right now after getting through those two.
Marks and Spencer
M&S definitely takes the cake in terms of presentation, a lovely little box with a nice message on the front as well as a neatly folded paper for the muffin and a generous dollop of chocolate icing on top.
This particular muffin is also called the ‘filled’ chocolate muffin so the prospect of some kind of liquid chocolate inside has me barely able to contain myself.
I should also note here that the Marks and Spencer muffin is noticeably larger than the other two, though a weight for comparison isn’t actually given on the packaging.
It really all comes together here, chocolate chips providing a bit of bite, the icing adding that richness, and as I suspected a liquid chocolate core really pushing this thing over the edge.
Having just eaten two other muffins I’m genuinely struggling to stomach it, it is so deliciously sweet and rich.
There can be little doubt this is the best muffin of the three – but it’s almost too much of an indulgence.
This I believe may be a classic case of ‘orses for courses, or muffins for mouths if you will. It’s hard to separate the Tesco and Sainsbury’s muffins but I think if you’re buying for a group, value wise and taste wise Tesco just edges it for me.
But if you’re in a situation where you’re craving a chocolate muffin all by yourself, I would absolutely tell you to go for the M&S option and really treat yourself to something special.
It’s not a stupid amount of money to pay compared to what you might do in a chain coffee shop for what is an incredibly good chocolate muffin that I’m not sure can be bettered.