November 24th: McVitie's Christmas Irish Cream Bars

Kcal 114 Fat 5.9g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 14.1g (per bar)

The cake bar reviews have been coming thick and fast for the last two months but todays has a special Christmas twist to make it all the more interesting. McVitie's cake bars have already had a few cracks at the ChocolateMission rating system with their Galaxy bars proving a lot more successful than their Penguin offering. Over the last few weeks a few seasonal cake bar varieties have been popping up on the supermarket shelves and it was these Christmas Irish Cream Bars that really caught my eye during my last outing in Sainsbury's. I think most of us are partial to the odd Bailey's at Christmas so the concept of combining Irish Creme Liqueur with chocolate cake and milk chocolate sounded like a grand idea to me.

£1 of my hard earned money bought a five pack of five cakes which were all of course individually wrapped. To pass comment on the packaging I have to say the outer wrapper looked a little generic and I think McVitie's could possibly have done a slightly better job with the communicating the Irish Creme theme. If you look across McVitie's Christmas range you will see that many of the products look very similar - I think a little differentiation is never a bad thing. More positively the bar itself looked pretty gorgeous when cross-sectioned with a fluffy white filling nestled nicely above the cake. The aroma of the chocolate was hardly over powering but when closer inspection was taken I could detect a fine smelling Irish brandy like hint.

Biting into the cake bar I was unsurprised that the milk chocolate on offer was the same as the one implemented on the Penguin Cake Bars. Facing facts this of course meant the quality wasn't all the high but having had it a few times now I am starting to get used to the sweet dried milk like taste that it consistently delivered. The melt of the chocolate was fairly well paced if a tad rough and grainy but it ultimately led nicely into the firmer cake that lay below. As I have found all too often with cake bars over the last two months the quality of the cake wasn't particularly great, however it did maintain a degree of appeal with it's sweet chocolaty, vanilla taste that was partially seasoned with a touch of salt. The ultimate quality of this product was of course going to lie in the standard of the Irish Creme filling and it was unfortunately not what I was hoping for. As I probably should have guessed the actual strength of the liqueur element was embarrassingly weak, thus resulting in little more than a sugary white gloop that offered very little in terms of flavour. I think had I not been aware these were meant to be Irish Creme flavoured I would have seriously struggled to find the flavours in the taste and I was resultingly left pretty unsatisfied with what I had just eaten.

Overall the execution of this product was such a shame because the actual concept of it was excellent. As written above I probably should had been more realistic in my expectations but I was truly surprised by the lack of Irish Creme kick in the filling which just made for a really disappointing overall experience. I guess in a way it was pretty lucky I was aware of McVitie's limitations with their milk chocolate as I probably would have been even more disappointed from what was on offer here. On reflection I would love to see a more competent manufacture give this combination a try as I think there is real potential behind the idea. Having tried many a cake bar recently this was neither the best, nor the worst but just disappointingly pretty average. The filling added the desired amount of moistness to the texture but failed to deliver the important thing which was of course Irish Cream flavours to the party. Possibly one for Bailey's fans to try but I would urge you not to get your hopes up.

7.4 out of 10