Madeira cake, though sounding somewhat Spanish to my ears, is a typical English light buttery sponge. Like many other things, sometimes the simplest things are the best and this is true in this case.
Tesco Iced Madeira cake is one of about ten in their range of slab cakes. Other versions are lemon cake, coffee cake and so on, each packaged in a similar way and costing around £1.60 a go. You can find similar versions in Sainsbury's.
This has very simple packaging, whether this is due to environmental concerns, a wish to keep costs down, or simply to ensure maximum visuals, I don't know.
This cake is a buttery soft sponge with a layer of buttercream and raspberry jam in the middle, and a layer of white icing.
The sponge on its own is lovely. It's soft and fluffy and not too filling but it can be a bit dry so the layer of butter cream and jam in the middle, serve to make the cake a bit more moist. The layers are very thin however, so that is a bit of a shame. On the top is a layer of white icing. Again, this is a nice change of texture and flavour but is very thin.
This is a very nice cake but it is a shame that at least the jam and cream weren't a bit thicker to provide a change of flavours and textures and to make it less dry.
How many times have you bought a birthday or special occasion cake from a supermarket and been really disappointed with it? I have on numerous occasions. I normally make birthday cakes myself but as icing is not my speciality I have been known on occasions to take a trip to the local supermarket and buy one of the many birthday cakes on sale. Oh they always look good, but seldom fail to deliver the goods when they are eaten.
We recently got married whilst away on holiday and when we returned we were presented with a 7 fully iced Madeira cake from Tesco by my father and stepmother. Somewhat surprised to have received a cake at all, I was even more intrigued as to why my stepmother bought a shop cake for us at all considering that she is a cake maker extraordinaire and has made some totally divine creations for us in the past. Its no secret that my husband cannot abide dried fruit of any description so a fruit cake would not have been appreciated and I was informed that the reason the cake was purchased was because my stepmother had eaten one at a party recently and was really impressed with it.
The cakes can be found on the shelves with the special occasion and novelty cakes and are priced at £6.48. As the cake promises a generous 16 servings the price seems reasonable enough compared with some of the cakes on offer at the store but does the taste complement the price?
The cake is packaged in a plain white box and has a cellophane panel through which the cake can be seen. Round in shape the cake is covered with a crisp white icing decorated with swirls around the edge of the top surface. As the consumer would have no idea a to what the interior of the cake looks like, Tesco have kindly put a photograph of a slice of it on the packaging. I was quite surprised to see that as the cake is called a Madeira, it has a filling of jam and cream as Madeira to me should always be a plain cake.
The cake is presented on a circular tray covered with silver foil so theres no need to get out your fancy cake dishes in order to serve it. A sweet smell emanates from the icing of the cake but other than that there is no discernible aromas. Cutting into the cake is easy. The knife glides through the icing and the first thing that I notice is that Tesco have thankfully not covered the cake with a thick overcoat of royal icing. Yes its adequate but certainly not over the top and as a person who doesnt like too much icing on a cake Im quite happy with this.
The interior of the cake is a pale coloured sponge cake that feels soft as the knife penetrates through its depths, and sandwiched between the two halves is a thin layer of jam which is a delicate shade of red and doesnt look like a cheap artificial brand but has a natural colouring as well a smelling of plums and raspberries. Beneath the jam lies a layer of creamy buttercream icing but again Tesco have not gone overboard and the filling seems to be just the right amount.
The icing on the cake is soft and is quite delicate. Podgy fingers sink into the covering unless its handled carefully and the icing tastes of icing sugar with little else added. It is very sweet but because theres not a huge amount of it I find it palatable enough even though I never eat the whole covering on my slice as I find icing quite sickly anyway. The cake lends the biggest surprise of all though. Light enough to practically melt in the mouth, the sponge has a delicious taste of butter and is beautifully spongy and doesnt have that slightly stale texture that I have come to associate with many shop bought cakes in the past. The jam filling has a fruity sumptiousness that lends quite a luxurious feel to the overall taste of the cake and tastes of plums and raspberries having an underlying tarty tang. On its own the jam would maybe be a little tart but the sweetness of the sugar in the sponge combined with the icing counteracts this and ensures that every bit of the cake is a pleasurable experience. The buttercream icing is perfect too. It hasnt hardened during transit nor is it slimy, instead it has a delicious buttery taste with a hint of sweetness within its soft texture.
The cake is advertised as being suitable for vegetarians but does contain milk, gluten, wheat and egg. A 2oz slice of cake contains a rather large 218kcal and 6.8g of fat so definitely not for those who are dieting.
We were all pleasantly surprised with the cake. It had a moistness not often found in supermarket bulk made celebration cakes and the sponge inside was as light as a feather with a spongy consistency. The amount of icing was ample without going over the top and the jam had a natural flavour rather than a sickly artificial taste. I thoroughly recommend that cake and will buy it again if I cant be bothered to make one myself. Added to all these good points is the face that the cake can of course be personalised to suit the occasion. As it is only decorated with swirls of icing around the top edge it I possible to buy decorations to add the personal touch if youre going to be taking it along to a party or other celebration. A great buy and tasty too!