Product Type: Tunnock's Snacks
Newest Review: ... cakes are individually wrapped. The box design is really basic and simple, it states Tunnocks was established in 1890 and is still a fami... more
Trust Tunnock's - There's No Other Tea Cake Like It !
Member Name: Nar2
Date: 28/02/08, updated on 29/02/08 (279 review reads)
Advantages: Fragile, tasty and very tempting to just have more than one!
Disadvantages: Availability; very fattening, its contents and can be a crumbly sticky mess if not handled properly.
"Munch Mallows", "Go Ahead" Mallows and supermarket brands - I've tried them all including similar copies with an empire biscuit base bought from Greggs the bakers not so long ago, trying to copy the style of the old fashioned and sensibly British, Tunnock's Tea Cakes. Just like Irn Bru, Tunnock's Tea Cakes are from a company held with esteem in their Scottish roots.
Distinctively different yet slightly unique for its taste, the packaging makes more of an old fashioned trip down memory lane when drawn on pictures of the shop/owner and brand label seem to be the order of the day rather than flashy packaging and difficult to open packaging; nothing could be easier here for all that it has a sparse, but well proportioned box with a cellophane window showing the tea cakes enclosed. Well in this case, you'll find that Tunnock's Tea cakes are available in a price baffling 99p for 6 individually wrapped tea cakes looking like oversized cooker hob dials wrapped in red and silver tin foil and with the brand name largely printed on the top.
Tunnock's Tea Cakes are however unique against the smaller "two bites and you're done" versions of the smaller mallow cakes; although similarly produced both are covered in milk chocolate and on the base lies a soft crunchy biscuit base. However unlike Go Ahead's version, make no mistake about it - Tunnock's Tea Cakes are frighteningly fattening and don't feature a jam filling in the middle unlike Go Ahead's Mallow biscuits or thicker chocolate as can be found on Munchmallows or M&S's versions which are one in the same, but if shopping at M&S be prepared for a bargain priced 12 pack.
The main ingredient of the mallow within Tunnock's Tea Cakes isn't the biscuit base or the milk chocolate which on its own once the fragments have been bitten away, or simply fallen off - because each cake is quite fragile thanks to the overly abundant mallow filling - doesn't taste of much and has a distinctive chalky taste smacking of cooking chocolate (those who remember Scot Bloc cooking chocolate will know what I'm talking about) whilst the marshmallow isn't like any marshmallow you will have tasted before simply because it has a consistency like a thick, whipped meringue and falls onto my tongue delicately like light fondant cream. Here the mallow mirrors the American product, Fluff although in each cake, it is quite thick yet wonderfully airy once it passes the palate.
And it's the way in which you eat this cake that makes all the difference. Like Twix bars, sometimes when the feeling takes me, I'll bite off the top and then devour the insides, or nibbling from the side like a proper cake reveals more mess.
Scent wise, the cakes smell of chocolate and biscuit, able to satisfy your nose simply for the fact that it has a similar Tunnock's Wafer biscuit smell rather than hoping for the mallow to carry any individual scent. But the biscuit base on its own reveals a simple secret - it is not overly sweet on its own, lending a bitter, or slight dryness with no sugary aftertaste which blends in with the heavenly marshmallow and then the chocolate.
In terms of ingredients Tunnock's Tea Cakes do carry some unhealthy additives, such as Cow's Milk, Gluten, Soya and Eggs. Nutritional information is available to view online at Tunnock's UK website, itself draped in yellow and red - as suitably old fashioned - as the box and wrappers of this entire product presents.
So what are the downsides other than being overly fattening? Well apart from the chocolate being quite crumbly due to its thinness and barely covering the entire cake, thus acting as a dome to keep everything in, the tea cake can become a horrible sticky experience, if the wrapper is taken off and disposed of. What you are left with is a cake that can melt in your hands before long and when it crumbles, the dome can cave in thus allowing the mallow to drip outwards. I guess this is why it is so important to retain the metal foil with you when consuming these.
Another downside is the fact that I can't just resist one out of the box after I have had just one or two. Inevitably whilst it may seem that at 99p for six tea cakes, it may well offer a bargain but not, if like me, you can devour the whole box without a moment's thought. Of those friends I have who I have visited, there is always a box of Tunnock's Tea Cakes hidden away whilst other thin biscuit bars such as Blue Riband would be preferable to give away rather than this product. And simply its because it is such a treasured little cake, helped along by its shiny wrapper - that in some way closer to Rolo's, this is one cake you don't want to find yourself offering to the masses.
So for some indulgence, the next time you see Tunnock's Tea Cakes, take them off the shelf and buy them; they may have been around since 1890, but the Scots folk aren't keen for this product to go international despite the fact that they are now available in dark chocolate too! Thanks for reading. ŠNar2 2008
Summary: Not one for Weight Watchers/Dieters sadly, or those allergic to Gluten or Wheat. Unique