Value for Money: Tiramisu

Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 00:00

This week, Value for Money compares four varieties of Tiramisu

Marks & Spencer €9.49 for 420g, €22.59 per kg

If first impressions were all that mattered, this luscious dessert would have won hands down as it looks absolutely gorgeous. The top is sprinkled with chunks of dark chocolate and the sponge fingers are drowned in coffee and amaretto. We were more than a little concerned by the price – it’s nearly three-times dearer than the Dunnes dessert – and there was just a little too much cream for our tastes. It also reminded us a little of marzipan, which was grand for a couple of mouthfuls but was just a little sickly by the end.

Verdict: Gorgeous. Dear

Star rating: * * * *

Fallon & Byrne €3.95

|Ah here: what kind of price is this for a small dessert? This was made in-store by Fallon & Byrne’s “taste perfectionists”, and the cream was lovely and fresh, but four quid seems on the steep side. You’d want to have deep pockets to think this was good value. The ingredients list is nice and pure with just seven things, but the sponge-to-cream ratio was all wrong and we had to work hard to find anything but thick, sweet cream. The absence of alcohol made us wonder just what the “taste perfectionists” were thinking.

Verdict: Nice and pricey

Star rating: * * *

Galbert’s €1.39 for 110g, €12.63 per kg

This is comparatively cheap, although not the cheapest, and is clearly being sold as something to eat al desko rather than at some class of a high-end dinner party. On that level, it is absolutely grand but it certainly would struggle to keep up with more upmarket desserts. It was pleasingly reminiscent of Angel Delight and the cream – of which there was loads – had a sweetness that was pleasant without being sickly. Getting at the sponge at the bottom of the tub was something of a challenge, and the absence of any real alcohol was a minus.

Verdict: Old-fashioned flavours

Star rating: * * *

Dunnes Stores €3.99 for 500g, €7.98 per kg

Pricewatch cut a sad and lonely figure as it reviewed frozen burgers a couple of weeks back, but when the tiramisus came out last Thursday, people were lining up to “help” us. The general consensus was that this boozy affair came out on top. The ingredients list is pleasingly authentic – if a little long to have come straight from mama’s kitchen. The mascarpone cream is as rich and thick as a minor royal and the “lady fingers” are drenched in marsala. It lacks a real coffee kick but we were able to live with that.

Verdict: Excellent value

Star rating: * * * * *

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