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I may have been disappointed with two-thirds of Mr Kipling's seasonal offerings for Christmas 2012, but when it comes to new and interesting cakes, I'm a glutton. Not for punishment, just the normal kind. So when Mr. Kipling started 2013 by releasing their "Dessert Classics" range, one of which featured my favourite of all flavours, I was easily persuaded to give them a second chance.
Mr. Kipling's Banoffee Slices come in the recently introduced snap pack format, so they're individually wrapped. This makes them perfect for a lunch box or the like, although I tend to prefer the older format where the slices are wrapped in pairs, as that way I have an excuse to eat them two at a time instead of singly. Still, this side of Christmas, I guess Mr. Kipling is doing me a favour, as I really don't need to eat them two at a time, as much as I would like to.
Although they're in the normal size for a Mr. Kipling slice, which is to say roughly 6 cm long, by 2 cm wide and 1-1 ½ cm high, there are a couple of obvious differences between these Banoffee slices and the usual Mr. Kipling slices. The icing conforms to standard patterns, with pale yellow icing and brown icing stripes, but it's the underneath that varies. For one thing, the cake is darker than usual taking on an almost wholemeal bread colour as, for the first time, the sponge is supposedly toffee flavoured, rather than their usual pale sponge. The other difference is that the sponge has a cut in the middle that you can just about make out a yellow filling in. On the box, Mr. Kipling describes the cake as "Moist toffee flavour sponge layered with a delicious banana flavour filling" and on first glimpse, this seems to be visually true, at least.
On easing off the plastic covering, you get a wonderful whiff of banana, with a lower note of toffee in the scent, which is exactly what you would expect. I'm too greedy and impatient to ease off the wrapping, but fortunately you get the same gorgeous smell when you rip it off, too. Research published in 1998 suggested that the smell of something can have the same effect on mood and brain chemistry as eating it and with these cakes, I can quite believe that. If I was less of a glutton, simply sniffing one of these cakes would be enough to see me through the day. But you don't get a figure like mine by not eating cake and it never takes me long before that's what I'm doing.
I'm very quickly glad that I did, as the taste matches the smell of the cake. Your teeth can get bogged down a little in the thick icing, but the sponge is wonderfully moist and leaves a gorgeous toffee aftertaste on your tongue. The banana filling provides a slightly strange mouth feel for a Mr. Kipling slice, being a little slimy in texture, especially when you're more used to solid sponge from a Mr. Kipling slice, but this is nicely balanced out by the amount of banana flavour it adds to the cake. In taste terms, this certainly does absolutely everything to your taste buds that the name of the product suggests. The icing on the top of the slice is still a little sickly sweet, but this is quite normal for a Mr. Kipling slice and so that's no real surprise.
Now for the downside - as tasty as these slices are, they're not good for you. Or for me. Each slice is 140 calories, which is a lot even by the standards of a Mr. Kipling slice, which usually clock in at around 110 calories. They're also very high in sugar with 15% of an adult's guideline daily amount at 13.8 grams per slice, again slightly higher than most Mr. Kipling slices. So, they're not good for those with diabetes and/or looking to lose weight and as is standard for a Mr. Kipling slice, they're not gluten or dairy free and may contain nut traces.
But if you're a fan of banoffee and, assuming you're not going to have an allergic or dietary reaction to them, one bite leaves me not giving a darn how much of anything there is in these slices. They may be high in calories, but they're also very high in banoffee taste and that's the main thing. Being new, they're in Asda for £1.00 for a pack of 6 or Sainsbury's for £1.40 for 6 and being delicious, they're in my stomach very soon after arriving home from either outlet. Mr. Kipling may have disappointed me at Christmas, but they've certainly removed the black marks from their record very early into this New Year as far as I'm concerned.