Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June 1st: McVitie's Jaffa Cakes Lemon Cake Bars

Kcal 128 Fat 5.5g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 18.3g (per cake bar)

It seems like years ago that I read this press release statement in The Grocer magazine (See HERE) announcing the arrival of these McVitie's Jaffa Cakes Lemon Cake Bars, but I finally managed to track them down after months of looking. Whilst I am not a big lover of the whole cake bar format, I am partial to the odd Jaffa (aren't we all!), and they are one of the more common products that make an appearance in our office tea area. Usually I don't like seeing manufacturers trying to fix something that isn't broken, but I thought it was going to be interesting to see how these lemon jam centres measured up to the iconic orange flavoured ones.

After a much prolonged period of searching, I finally found these in my local Tesco at an introductory price of £1 for 5 individually wrapped bars. In terms of packaging and presentation everything largely remained consistent from the original Jaffa Cake Bars, though there was of course the inevitable changing of the branding and lemon fruit pictures placed on the front both the inner and outer wrappers. In similar fashion the actual cake bars looked no different in size or composition to the originals, though on closer inspection the lemon jelly layer was noticeably more yellow tinted in colour.

Amongst all these minor differences, the first thing that really stood out to me about these cakes were extra citrusy smells that were released once the wrappers were undone. The lemon scents really set expectations of the taste nicely - I always like it when things taste as they smell, its always reassuring. In my review of the original Jaffa Cake bars you will read about my discontent at the chocolate to cake ratio i.e. the chocolate being too thin, leading to the cake being over dominant in the taste. This very issue was of course still present with these due to them fundamentally being the same product at the base of things, however there was better news in regards to the lemon filling. In comparison to the orange originals I thought the lemon cut through the over portioned cake element better, and the zesty, citric flavours created a greater and longer lasting impression on the taste in comparison. As the bars were the same size I didn't find them any more satisfying - as an afternoon snack they still did a more than competent job.

Overall I wouldn't ever advise the original orange Jaffa Cake filling be replaced by a lemon based alternative, but in regards to these cake bars the lemon flavour actually worked better. What with the proportions of the format (man this is sounding geekier than it needs to be!!) being more heavily weighted on the cake side of things, the filling benefited from being edgier in terms of taste, and the lemon flavours had a greater impact on the overall experience. Conversely, if this lemon filling was to be placed in the normal sized Jaffas I'm not sure it would work as well, as the acidity of lemon might just be a bit too much for the normal Jaffa size. As far these Cake Bars go though the lemon filling is spot on, and I think it is a real shame that these will only be around for a limited time. If you are after a second opinion I suggest you take a look at the Foodstufffinds review (See HERE), they similarly thought these were a nice addition to the Jaffa Cake range. You Jaffa nutters should give these a try!

7.7 out of 10

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