It's getting cold, it's getting wintery and I love it. I love the spices and flavours you get around this time of year and am already anticipating my first Starbucks gingerbread latte of the season. To tide me over until then I treated myself to one of the new items in Marks and Spencer's In Store bakery: a gingerbread swirl.
It's essentially the same kind of pastry you have for something like a pain aux raisins. Flaky, buttery with a beautiful texture combination of crunchy outer and soft, squidgy inner. Instead of raisins however, gingerbread is the theme. It might not be authentically French but it's a nice seasonal twist on a classic. The swirl is coated with a light layer of a gingerbread glaze and there's also little pockets of a kind of gingerbread flavoured creme patisserie inside too.
It's not a full on sticky gingerbread taste but rather the scents and spices that are used in gingerbread with tones of ginger, nutmeg and cloves. All warming, wintery spices that have that 'Christmassy' smell. It's not overly sweet either as it's a pastry rather than a cake. It's a subtle gingerbread flavour rather than being dominant. The rich, crumbly pastry is the focus here and the high quality ingredients shine through with a real melt in the mouth flavour.
It's definitely more of a breakfast product rather than a pudding or something for afternoon tea because the flavour is quite subtle and it's not particularly sweet. However, for a real wintery treat of a breakfast, this served with a warming mug of coffee or hot chocolate is perfect. I heated it in the oven to really emphasise the spicy aromas and it paired beautifully with my coffee.