Product Type: Marks & Spencer Snacks
Newest Review: ... oblong nestled into its designated place in a ridged tray that kept the yumminess intact until it met my teeth. They are topped wi... more
Wrong shape, right taste!
Marks & Spencer Dark Chocolate Jaffa Cakes
Member Name: MelissaRuth
Marks & Spencer Dark Chocolate Jaffa Cakes
Advantages: Delicious taste and texture. Good price.
Disadvantages: Wrong shape. Too much pakaging. Too small.
When standing in the queue at a Marks and Spencer store, this double pack of M and S own brand jaffa cakes, forced themselves into my arms along with my other purchases. We were en-route on a very long journey and they seemed like a perfect in car treat. At £1.39 for the 2 packs I thought that they were well priced. Each box contained 11 biscuits / cakes with a total weight of 125g. I'll refer to them as biscuits in this review as despite their name they do seem more of a biscuit than a cake to me.
The packaging is quite over the top, with the biscuits lined up in a heavy duty moulded plastic tray and then wrapped in cellophane. A rectangular cardboard box then keeps these safe and yet more cellophane seals the two packs boxes together. The outcome of this though is that the biscuits do reach you in tip top condition with none broken, but they certainly aren't environmentally friendly, although the box advises that all of these materials are recyclable. The box is a thin rectangular shape; not what you normally expect from jaffa cakes, but then these biscuits aren't your normal round shape but a rectangular shape too. Orange is the key colour on the box - what else would best suit such a fruity orange flavoured treat. We are told that the contents are golden sponge topped with tangy orange and half coated in dark chocolate - mmmm that sounds good and the pictures of the biscuits look tempting too.
Full ingredient and nutritional information is provided, but the key one that I expect we all want to know are the calories - that'll be 45 per biscuit - not too bad for a treat I think. The packaging does tell you the total recommended amount per day but to be honest I'm never going to do the sums of how many biscuits I could eat on a daily basis and I would really value the use of a traffic light system to tell me if they are high or low in fats, salts etc. In terms of fat though if my maths is correct I could eat about 50 of these per day and be within recommended levels! Sugar is high too, as you would expect.
Other useful information is that they are not suitable for people with a nut allergy, but this is due to the manufacturing facilities and they do not actually contain nuts. I don't have a nut allergy but I do find this highly annoying as I believe food production factories should have specific guaranteed nut free areas to make nut free products in order to give allergy sufferers greater freedom of choice of food to eat. They are however suitable for vegetarians and contain no artificial colourings and preservatives, always a positive thing and they still manage to have a long shelf life - over three months on my pack. Other allergy sufferers should be warned that they contain cows milk, eggs, soya, wheat and gluten.
**And on to the important bit**
Who's ever heard of a jaffa cake being oblong in shape? It's just not right - they always have been and always should be round. They should also be bigger than these teeny weeny little rectangles, which measure a mere 5 x 3cm and are incredibly thin - not quite wafer thin, but only ½ cm. However, I can forgive these short comings in shape and size as they taste absolutely sublime. The balance and consistency of the light sponge base, the thin orange jelly layer and the sumptuous dark chocolate is in my opinion, perfect. The sponge is probably most present as an alternative texture to the gooey jam and rippled chocolate, rather than a distinctive taste. It is about half of the overall depth. The jam layer is very thin, but the tanginess makes this the most dominant flavour and it is very sweet, although not too sweet for me, but I do have a very sweet tooth and they may prove too sweet for some. I expect this is why they are made small, but personally for me one, or even two was just not enough, which does reduce their value for money somewhat. Finally the chocolate is a rich dark colour and it tastes bitter with an obvious high cocoa content and indeed cocoa mass is the top ingredient in the chocolate. I believe there has been no scrimping on using the best ingredients, for example, free range eggs are used, and these own brand biscuits rival the original McVities jaffa cakes exceptionally well in taste. Because of their delicate proportions and thin layer of sponge I may actually go as far as saying that I prefer them.
I do recommend these and at about 6p each compared to McVities which are selling for 10p each with Ocado, they still seem well priced despite their smaller size. I am sure that I will buy them again, but only as a treat as there is nothing healthy about them (except that they contain 5% orange juice - do you think I could get away with counting a packet of these as one of my five a day). Despite them being the wrong shape I still have to give them 4 yummy stars, losing one for the excessive packaging. Actually I think M and S have been quite brave changing the shape - they're growing on me.
Summary: Traditional gorgeous jaffa cake taste, but in a slim rectangular biscuit.