Thursday, 12 September 2013

Elka Daily: Croissant (mille-feuille cream)

Product name: Elka Daily: Croissant (mille-feuille cream)
Purchase details:
£0.40 for a 50g croissant or four for £1.00 (Asda)
224 per croissant
Country of origin:

I love Christmas and Easter day mornings as they’re the two times of the year that I get to eat croissants for breakfast. I’m quite fussy about how I eat croissants – I like them to be microwaved rather than oven-baked so that they’re soft rather than crispy and then become soggy when the butter is added. For this reason, I never usually buy croissants from cafés and I’m not a big fan of them at hotel breakfasts since I just find them too dry in comparison, particularly when they’re not dripping with butter.

You may be wondering, then, what on Earth possessed me to buy the three Elka Daily: Croissant varieties that are currently on offer in Asda. Quite simply, it was the price! At what worked out to be £0.25 per croissant, I was curious to see what the different flavoured fillings tasted like, so I decided to take a risk. Today’s review is for the mille-feuille variety, but reviews for the other two versions will follow in due course.

My expectations for this croissant were very low. The image on the wrapper made the baked good look dry, and that was before I’d even opened it. I have to admit that I didn’t even know what ‘mille-feuille’ was when I bought this, but the pot of cream shown next to the croissant looked delicious, and the pale colours used on the wrapper also suggested a creaminess so I hoped that this was what I was getting and not some bizarre flavour! Let me tell you, I was made up when I got home and Googled the word, only to discover that ‘mille-feuille’ is another name for vanilla and custard slices. I may be badly educated, but boy, do I love those pastries!

On opening the lightweight croissant, I was pleased that it really was as large as it had felt and, therefore, felt like a substantial snack. What I did find, though, was it had an excessively sweet pastry smell that I associate with European bakery items since it is an aroma I experienced a lot in Italy. I’ve never come across this smell in UK-baked products since I think we tend to produce more buttery products. As a result, I can’t quite describe what this pastry smelt like – it was almost a fruity or citrusy smell, yet it wasn’t quite either of them. Odd!

The croissant itself looked completely standard and, I guess, not very exciting. I was pleased that it didn’t look or feel quite as dry as the wrapper’s image had indicated, but I was still a bit nervous about trying it in its cold, non-soggy form. I was also a bit disappointed when I looked inside and saw that the cream looked more like a sticky paste and seemed very central so I wasn’t expecting much moisture from this either. This filling was very pale in colour but it was there – honest!

I tried some of the pastry on its own, first, by peeling off a couple layers and, again, it thankfully wasn’t as dry as I’d feared. That’s not to say it was how I’d normally choose to eat a croissant, but that’s my problem rather than the product’s! It had a nice texture too and when I moved on to eating a mouthful of all the layers (but an end with no filling), it seemed like a very sweet bread which gradually became more pastry-like in flavour. It did have the sweet European taste that matched the aroma, but its aftertaste was more in line with the croissants available in UK supermarkets.

As for the filling, I was very pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be far more widespread than it had first appeared and it was also really smooth and creamy – just like a custard slice should be. Its thickness really improved the overall texture of the product and it had a sweet, custardy flavour. I did find the flavour wasn’t quite as sugary as the cream layer used on my favourite pastry slices, but this was definitely a good thing since the surrounding croissant was so sweet.

You’ve probably gathered, then, that this croissant far exceeded my low expectations – I really was surprised at just how nice it was. That’s not to say it was amazing, but it was well worth the offer price! 

Appearance: 6/10
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