You hear a bit of buzz, you like doughnuts; that sugary, doughy treat that brings a warm fuzzy feeling…add the word ‘gourmet’ and right there they’ve got a following. Is that all it takes? Hold up a minute and let’s just focus. Whilst promotion and publicity are important, sure, the product itself needs to be perfected, from consistency, to presentation, to taste. It is paramount to receiving repeat customers and generating good publicity, because it was enjoyed.
I tried Glazed & Confused doughnuts willingly, by buying a big box and sharing them with my colleagues. The next day I got a call from Glazed & Confused and they offered me a selection box, so I could try some more. I also shared these with my office. It’s interesting, as when I normally do my reviews, it’s just from my perspective and it was enlightening to treat this more as a taste test/focus group on what people’s expectations were and what their reaction was to each and every one of these doughnuts.
Let me begin…
Mint Chocolate – This should not have been allowed past anyone’s lips. This is an atrocity to the doughnut family and should be avoided at all costs. The dough (for all of the doughnuts) is too thick. It resonates cheap, supermarket doughnuts, but has an off-putting consistency that makes going in for a reluctant second bite more of an arduous task, but with the hope that it couldn’t really have been that bad the first time round. The consistency of the glaze is like a solid crust, therefore when you bite into it, it inevitably falls to the ground, with this particular doughnut you won’t mind this in the slightest, because the taste of the glaze is quite positively foul. There was one person in the office that managed to swallow it, everyone else spat it out. It was not a sweet mint, peppermint or a sugary glaze à la After Eight, it can only be likened to neat mint sauce that is only appropriate with a lamb roast. The reaction of most when I asked if they would buy this doughnut was ‘Maybe to play a joke on someone.’ Enough said.
Sticky Toffee Pudding – This was the best of all 15 I tried. The consistency of the glaze on top was correct, it was gooey and moulded itself to the doughnut. The filling was the same consistency as the inside of a fig roll. It was definitely the most appealing in terms of flavour and texture, but I still had to largely ignore the actual base of it which was the doughnut itself.
Blackberry Eton Mess – On paper this sounds fantastic, in reality it was an epic fail. The cream was over whipped, so was very stodgy. There were very large, whole blackberries inside, which didn’t compliment the doughnut, as it became too bulky. The meringue was nowhere to be seen, as if you crumble meringue over whipped cream, unless eaten almost straight away, the meringue will disintegrate into the cream, because that’s what happens when it comes into contact with something wet. Therefore, when you put all this together and fill a doughnut with it (actually just cut in half and present like a sandwich, pictured in the above photo, bottom right), it just becomes an over mulchy, sickening mess. It should be filled with sweet vanilla cream, glazed with blackberry and sprinkled with hardened meringue pieces on top. That would have a) looked more appealing and b) tasted way better.
Chilli Chocolate – A direct quote from my colleague ‘It’s not so much that it’s spicy, it’s like someone’s thrown up in my mouth.’ This is a chocolate doughnut that tastes like a bland, bready cake with a chilli topping using one of my favourite retailer’s sauces; ‘Christ On A Bike’ by The Rib Man. Rib Man, you are the God of pulled pork and ribs and I love your food, but this is not a good partnership. A hint of chilli was all it needed, but when you have a sauce that is used primarily to be accompanied by meat, you can’t be pouring it all over. Mix only a third of a teaspoon to make a glaze and make this into an interesting, different doughnut and make the chocolate taste richer. To be so bold as to smother it in the sauce with nothing to offset it with is just plain wrong. It was pure comedy watching people bite into this, as it was beyond the realms of rancidness. Do not buy this.
Double Chocolate – This was a little bit better than most of the others as the chocolate filling was in the correct quantity and also tasted somewhat pleasing. Unfortunately the doughnut itself prevented this from becoming anything better than just mediocre.
I’m all for a winning idea and a formula that works, but attention to detail is key here. The quantities of fillings in most of the doughnuts are not right for starters. No one wants a mouthful of cream with no doughnut, it’s like having a burger with your ketchup, as opposed to the other way round. Equally you don’t want too little, like with the Peanut Butter and Jam Doughnut. The glaze has to not only look appealing, but equally be the correct consistency. The essence of the whole shebang is the dough itself. It needs to be light, air-filled, with a fluffy, freshly fried feel to it, take note from You Doughnut whose doughnuts are exquisite. For elegance and a ‘gourmet’ feel I would have gone for powdered sugar as opposed to a granulated/caster as it looks more appealing and creates a better texture.
At £2 a pop these are just not on a par with the sweet elite of London. Go back to the drawing board, rethink and execute this with an acute attention to detail, making sure that at the end of the day this tastes good, as right now it’s got a long way to go.
Glazed & Confused
Various stockists in London, to find out more follow them @GlazedLondon