“ Brand: Asda / Type: Birthday Cake „
It was my husband's birthday so I decided to buy him a cake from Asda. Because the shelves are not exactly overflowing with cakes specifically designed for 49-year-old men, it didn't take me long to select the Football Cake, priced at £5.47, which claimed to serve 12 people. It is a simple sponge filled with raspberry jam and buttercream and topped with soft icing in white and black panels to look like a traditional football, albeit a slightly flat, misshapen one. The cake comes on a green cake board, which reminds you of a football pitch. It is finished off with an edible decoration in the shape of a pair of football boots. My initial impression was that the cake was quite attractive looking and certainly something that any football-loving kid would appreciate. On the back of the cardboard packaging there were two football players to cut out with holes where the legs should be, so you can put your fingers through and play table football. This might amuse a couple of youngsters for a short time, although perhaps not for long in these days of sophisticated computer games.
I love the feeling of plunging a sharp knife into a layer of soft, yielding icing. There is something curiously satisfying about it, unlike those cakes where the icing is hard and cracks when you cut it. This cake was easy to slice into portions and I was pleased to find that the icing did not lift off when I pulled the knife out, as has happened with other cakes . Having said that, the layer of icing can easily be peeled off from the cake, which is handy for anyone who finds the icing a bit too sickly and prefers the cake without it. My kids, however, always pull the icing off because it is their favourite bit and they like to leave it until last. As I sliced the cake I could detect a nice vanilla/marshmallowy aroma.
The proof of the pudding
So what did it taste like? In a word, sweet. It was almost tooth-achingly sweet. I would recommend serving it with a strong cup of coffee to counteract the intense sugariness. I do have a sweet tooth and enjoyed it as a one-off treat, but I can see how it would be too cloying for some people and too heavy on the icing. The sponge was moist and light, not too crumbly. It didn't break apart and drop bits everywhere, which is worth remembering if you're serving it to children. The cream had a voluptuous, slightly cool texture. They hadn't skimped on the cream, nor had they used too much. I was disappointed in the jam, however. For me, it was just not fruity and sharp enough. If I hadn't been told it was raspberry, I wouldn't have had a clue what flavour it was supposed to be. The cake really needed more of a tang from the jam to balance the sweetness of the buttercream and the icing. It's that sharp/sweet contrast that, for me, makes this kind of cake so delicious and reminds me of those old fashioned, home baked cakes we had in my childhood. Without it I felt a bit cheated, although the cake was still very nice. At least the jam had no seeds in it, which is a plus for most people. As for the icing, it was delightfully chewy. You just have to try not to think about tooth decay as you're eating it, but it feels so pleasant against your molars! It's almost as if your gums are being massaged as you chew on it - a very nice sensation indeed. It's not so sticky however as to make you fear you might pull out a filling. It had a lovely fondant texture. (Be sure to brush your teeth extra well when you've finished!)
We enjoyed this cake, despite the whole family agreeing that it wasn't quite jammy enough. As to the nutritional aspects, it's a cake after all so there aren't many positive features. One 12th of the cake has a substantial 248 calories. There are only 4 of us and the cake was gone by the end of the evening, so I am not going to do the maths to work out how many calories I've consumed. Too many, in short. On a happier note, the cake contains no artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat. However, it does contain gluten, milk, wheat, egg and possible traces of nuts. It is suitable for vegetarians.
How much cake can you eat?
As for serving 12 people, I think you could probably make it stretch if you were cutting child-sized portions at a birthday party, but I don't think it would be sufficient for 12 adults. I think it would have comfortably fed 8 adults and possibly up to 10. I think it's quite good value for the price. One slight downside is that the black icing comes off on your fingers, so if you have a room full of children tucking in, make sure you have napkins and wet wipes available if you don't want dirty smudges on your paintwork.
Jam-related disappointments aside, you can't argue with the fact that every last crumb was devoured and the Birthday Boy finished it off whilst watching Match of the Day. If only his team had won, it would have been the perfect end to his birthday - the icing on the cake, you might say. Still, you can't have everything.
As with all birthdays in my family (including mine and my husbands!) a cake is always required, with the kids picking the majority of them for all of us!
With it being my sons birthday last week he decided he would have his best friend and my daughters best friend round for a game of bowling and a tea party after, so had to have the perfect cake that reflected not only his likes but also his guests, funny what they think of isn't it!
After much perusal he decided that the "football" cake would be the route to go, not only covering his guests likes (although we couldn't get a Coventry city/Aston villa/Chelsea cake into he house, my husband, an Everton fan, may well have thrown it out of a window!), but also his love of football in general (and also cake! Lol!).
The cake itself comes within the generic cake boxes, cardboard with a plastic panel on the top for you to see the cake enclosed.
The box states that this is a "12 serving cake" and is in fact a Victoria sponge cake, complete with jam and butter cream, though serving that many is usually a sliver each so as long as the 6 of us gets a slice I can cope with that!
When taken from it's box the cake is round and decorated to look like an actual football, with there being two large sugar crafted football boots in the centre, which of course my son claimed straight away, well "it is my birthday mummy....." as if I could forget!
Before cutting into it I was a little worried that the black hexagon shapes on the cake to make it look like a football would be to thick for my knife to get through, and when this happens it literally disintegrates the cake whist slicing, luckily they were a lot softer than they first looked.
When sliced the cake looked and smelted delicious, the cake itself was lovely and soft, with there being just the right amount of jam and butter cream (more better-ream than jam, my kids don't like too much fruit in their diets!), and the icing was thick and sticky and incredibly sweet, not something I would imagine you could eat lots of, but for a young sweet toothed child, this would be ambrosia!
The nutritional information is as follows-
32.4g of which sugars,
3.1g of which saturates,
Trace of sodium.
Allergy advice states that this contains gluten, milk, wheat and egg, and may contain traces of nuts.
Price wise this cost me around £6.00, which compared to the branded character cakes available on/in www.asda.com, was a reasonable price to pay.
This was a welcome addition to my son's birthday tea party an went down a treat, recommended!
Thanks for reading x