“ Brand: Asda / Type: Cake „
Recently it was my youngest son's first birthday and I decided that a cake was a necessary for this momentous occasion. Never mind the fact that he does not yet eat cake, nor can he blow out candles - it was a birthday and birthdays need cake.
As I am not much of a baker and wouldn't inflict my burnt offerings on our guests I logged onto the Asda grocery website to peruse their selection of cakes and see if there was anything suitable for our third (and final!) child. Lo and behold, among the offerings was a cake entitled "Cheeky Monkey Cake". This was perfect as we often refer to him - not without reason - as our cheeky monkey. Plus it was a chocolate cake and as you may tell by my username, chocolate always goes down well.
The cake is attractively packaged in a dark green box with several cartoon jungle animals on it. If I had seen it in a shop I probably would have been drawn to the packaging. The cake itself is a chocolate sponge with a quite cute monkey face on top, made from a combination of soft icing (face, eyes and nose) and chocolate buttercream icing (hair). The sides of the cake are covered in chocolate and it has a layer of chocolate buttercream sandwiching the top and bottom together.
The cake looked quite nice on the table, though we had problems deciding where to place the candle; it didn't seem right to put it between his eyes and when I put it on the mouth it looked as though the monkey was smoking a cigarette - not the impression I wanted to give.
The soft icing on the top of the cake is quite cloying and not to my taste. I can almost feel my teeth rotting if I bite it so I usually peel that bit off and leave it on the side. It was very popular with the children at the party though and they were all clamouring to eat the monkey's eyes!
I was a bit disappointed with the cake itself. It didn't slice up very easily and crumbled to bits when my sister tried to cut it. The only way she could get it to stay together as to cut it into huge chunks - far too big for someone to eat. The reason for the crumbling cake became clear when we ate it as the sponge was quite dry, although it did have a pleasant chocolate taste. There were still eight days before the cake's Best Before Date so I don't think this was the problem. The chocolate around the edge of the cake was quite thick and reasonably nice tasting.
The cake is priced at £6.98 which is a mid-range price for Asda birthday cakes.
I should probably mention for allergy advice that the cake contains gluten, milk, wheat, egg and soya and may contain traces of nuts and / or seeds.
It contains 457 kcal per 100g or 274 kcal per slice (recommended to cut 16 slices), which isn't overly healthy but then, it's birthday cake - you wouldn't expect it to be!
The bottom of the box has a cheeky monkey mask to cut out if you were so inclined. It also laughably gives instructions on how to cut the cake - "Holding the cake firmly with one hand and using a sharp serrated knife, cut cake into portions with a sawing action". Presumably this is just in case you are standing with the cake in one hand and a knife in the other wondering what to do next. It doesn't unfortunately tell you how to cut it without it crumbling into a million pieces.
Overall, this was an average sort of cake. It wasn't dreadful, no-one spat it out in disgust but no-one went into raptures over it either.