Originally published on 100% Gluten Free
I have to apologize for the quality of the photograph. I opened the packet last night, and it wasn’t the best light for taking pics. I’ve brightened it up a bit, but it’s still not as good as I would have liked.
Tesco Free From Farmhouse Fruit Cake comes in quite a small packet, without excessive packaging. Just an open top cardboard box wrapped in cellophane, and the cake is in a sort of biggish cupcake-style case (only rectangular). It looks appetizing, with a sugar crusted top.
When you open the packet, you need to use the sharpest knife you can find to slice the cake, and even then it’s difficult to get a whole slice, as the cake is very crumbly. This is not a one-off. I’ve had this cake before, and it’s always like that.
Taste-wise, the cake is quite similar to Mr Kipling’s Country Slices, though not as moist and a lot more prone to fall apart. It’s definitely not the sort of cake you can eat without a plate. Even if you have managed to cut a slice, it tends to break up when you try to take a bite as well, so you end up with a plate full of varying sizes of cake crumbs.
Before I tried the Dutch Apple Cake (turns out this isn’t gluten free any more, if it ever was) made by Mrs Crimble, I assumed that all decent gluten free cakes would suffer from the tendency to disintegrate which is exhibited by this cake. Obviously, I don’t think that any more, though I am not sure what the secret is. The Tesco cake seems to hold together best around the fruit, so perhaps it is because Mrs Crimbles cake is made with lots of apple puree (as there’s no other obvious apple presence) that holds it together. Or perhaps Tesco’s cake could do with more xanthan gum (which is listed in the ingredients, though it doesn’t seem to be performing its function of replacing gluten particularly well).
I am not unhappy about eating crumbs, though it’s more difficult. But I couldn’t serve this to guests, for sure. I think, though, that this cake would make a good base for a traditional trifle. Sure, it has fruit in it, which is not normal for the sponge at the bottom of a trifle, but as trifle contains lots of fruit anyway, I think it would work fine.
Here’s the information on the label:
Sponge cake with sultanas topped with demerara sugar. Made with rice flour, potato starch and maize starch.
Free from – Milk, wheat, gluten.
Allergy advice – Contains egg. Recipe: No nuts. Ingredients: Cannot guarantee nut free. Factory: Before being prepared for manufacture of this product, the equipment was previously used to make products containing nuts. Suitable for vegetarians.
Ingredients: Sultanas (25%), Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Water, Potato Starch, Humectant (Vegetable Glycerine), Dried Egg, Demerara Sugar, Maize Starch, Raising Agents (Disodium diphosphate, Sodium bicarbonate), Salt, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Emulsifiers (Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Preservative (Potassium sorbate), Flavouring.
Nutrition: 100g contains (typical composition): Energy 1620kJ/3900kcal Protein 3.1g; Carbohydrate 56.8g (of which sugars 21.6g); Fat 16.2g (of which polyunsaturates 9.1g); Fibre 1.0g; Sodium 0.3g; Salt 0.77g. Each slice contains the equivalent of 0.2g of salt. For guideline amounts, please visit www.tesco.com
I can’t find any weight specified on the packet. Once I’ve finished the cake, I will check more thoroughly, but in the meantime, I can tell you that the carton measures 5″x3″ or 12.5x9cm (the cake is very slightly smaller than this, due to the inner wrapper), and the cake is just under 2.5″ (6.25cm) high. It’s priced at £1.50 – which I would have reckoned a bargain before I found the Dutch Apple Cake previously reviewed.