Tunis Cake 2012
With no sign of the magical McVities red box, the supermarkets are filling the Tunis Cake gap once more. 2012 sees offerings from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose – all slightly different, but reassuringly familiar.
I decided to compare and contrast this year’s efforts.
Sadly, despite claims of offering theirs on in store patisserie counters, my local Waitrose drew a blank and my local Morrisons seemed to favour myriad fruit cakes over my beloved sponge-based Tunis, with their shelves bearing no festive fruits!
But with three own-brand beauties lined up, ready to face trial by cake fork , I had enough on my plate to form an opinion of whether McVities should get back in the round cake game.
Price:£7; Width: 14cm; Height: 6.2cm; Weight: 515g
Noticeably smaller than the other two with a very thin topping – at the centre of the cake it was only a couple of mms. The fact that this is the same price as the others, and from M&S makes the dryness of the cake and overall experience disappointing. Both this and the Tesco cake have individually moulded fruits, but this version’s are easily the best – should you be choosing your cake on its marzipan fruits alone!
Price: £7; Width: 16.2cm; Height: 7cm; Weight: 839g
Coming with a sprinkling of yellow sugar stars, these add a lovely sugary crunch to your mouthful of cake – reminiscent of the McVities classic. I loved the thickness of the topping – although some may find it on the thin side – and the flavour. There is a thin layer of apricot jam between the sponge and it’s crowning glory which adds to the Madeira flavour.
Price: £7; Width: 16.2cm; Height: 6.5cm; Weight: 870g
With the same width as the Tesco version, it makes you wonder if this was produced in the same factory? If they were they should have just stuck to the Tesco recipe! The cake was dry – despite having another two weeks until the stated best before date and the top, whilst crackable, could have done with some real chocolate in it to add some depth of flavour. The fruits on top are not individually produced merely stamped out of marzipan, which frankly is a let down.
Having munched my way through all three in the name of science, it’s clear that any Tunis Cake is better than no Tunis Cake – and thanks to the supermarkets all offering slightly different recipes you can tailor your Christmas cake choice to your own tastes.
But – after all that – it would be nice to have the choice of a McVities once more.
I think 2013’s New Year’s resolution may involve McVities and Tunis Cakes.