The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
"Trifle Bakewells, that's different", said my friend as I picked the box up from the shelf, his voice containing the same balance of curiosity and trepidation that had run through my mind as I reached for the box. But as I love Cherry Bakewells and I'm the kind of person for who curiosity will always triumph over trepidation, the box ended up in my basket.
However, I'm not stupid, so when offering my friend a Trifle Bakewell as we both took one with our tea on returning home, I waited for him to bite into his first before trying mine. The expression on his face didn't give me an awful lot of hope and after finishing it, he turned to me and said "they're definitely different." Different isn't always a bad thing and it's not always a good thing and with Mr Kipling's Trifle Bakewells, it's a little of both.
My first experience wasn't an entirely pleasant one, as on opening the box and ripping open the plastic wrapper, I was met with a fairly strong smell of vanilla. This wasn't great for me as I'm not a huge fan of vanilla. Admittedly, the box described the product as having "Vanilla flavour sponge", but I wasn't expecting the smell of it to be quite so strong and it made me worry that I was going to get more of a vanilla taste than I would ideally have liked.
The cakes do look the part, however. The yellow topping sprinkled with hundreds and thousands has a trifle look to it. It's perhaps a little disappointing that the hundreds and thousands always seem to be concentrated mostly in the middle of the cake rather than spread over the surface as would happen if they were applied to a trifle by hand, but I can live with that. As with their cherry variant, these bakewells are a couple of inches in diameter by an inch deep.
Biting in, my first disappointment was that the custard topping was not actually custard at all, but a yellow coloured icing. I can see the benefits of this, as if they had been topped with the same kind of custard Mr Kipling uses in its pies, most of it would undoubtedly end up all over the cellophane wrap, but it does detract from the essential trifleness of the cakes.
The overall tastes when biting into one of these are vanilla and sugar. The custard icing appears to have some vanilla essence in it, which could explain the strong smell when you open the package and the cake does as well. The icing and the hundreds and thousands are so sweet that the combination here means you can barely taste the jam that hides in the bottom of the cake. Indeed, the only way you ever manage to get a decent taste of the jam is if you eat around the outside first (an old habit of mine developed over many years of eating cherry bakewells around the cherry) and just have one final bite where the jam is thickest. When you can taste the jam, it adds another layer of flavour and gives the cake that something extra it lacks on other bites.
The feel of the cake underneath is fairly typical for Mr Kipling bakewells, being more like a scone than a sponge. It gives a nice solidity to the bite that isn't there with the icing and also holds together quite nicely without crumbling, unlike many of their fruit pies.
Overall, I found these to be an interesting diversion from the cherry bakewells, but they were too sweet and too vanilla tasting to really appeal to me. Given that each one contains 192 calories, 8 grams of fat and around 20% of an adults' recommended sugar intake, this isn't a bad thing. These are certainly not fit for anyone on a diet or needing to watch their sugar intake. They are also unsuitable for anyone who needs to avoid gluten, eggs, soya and milk and may contain nut traces. Unless you're a big fan of vanilla, I wouldn't recommend these and I will certainly be sticking to my favoured cherry bakewells in future, particularly as Sainsbury's price the Trifle Bakewells at £1.50 for 6 and the cherry variant at £1.35 for 6. For me, Mr Kipling's Trifle Bakewells are definitely not worth the price of my curiosity.