Sunday 25 May 2014

Tesco Peanut Butter Style Cupcakes

Product name: Tesco Peanut Butter Style Cupcakes
Purchase details:
£1.50 for a pack of two cupcakes or three for two (Tesco)
309 per cupcake
Country of origin:

I couldn’t wait to try these peanut butter and jelly themed cupcakes when I spotted them on Tesco's website. They appeared to be part of a new American range and, having seen a review of some of these products over on The Review Addict!, I realised I’d have to leap into action as they’re a limited edition and are only around for 12 weeks – major sad face.

On picking up my pack of Peanut Butter Style Cupcakes in-store, I realised that the key word in the product name was ‘style’. You see, there was no peanut butter in these cupcakes. In fact, the allergy advice simply warned: ‘may contain nuts’ – there weren’t any actually listed on the ingredients list. Instead, the cakes contained ‘peanut butter style toasted soya frosting with jam’, but I remained intrigued.

I loved the simple plastic box that these cupcakes came in as they showed off the beauty of the product within and, most importantly, it kept both cakes firmly in place for transportation. The stars and stripes design on both the cardboard sleeve and paper cases was also a nice touch.

I thought the ‘sponge cakes filled with strawberry jam, topped with soya nut butter frosting and coloured chocolate beans’ looked great. I was delighted that the frosting, being my favourite part of a cupcake, accounted for 42% of the product, and this was a mid-brown colour with a ridged design. The pastel-coloured beans added a nice bit of decoration too. As for the sponge, this was very pale, and I was pleased to see a decent injection of a deep red jam that made up a further 10% of each cake.

I felt like I went on a bit of a journey when it came to consuming the cakes. The frosting, containing soya beans and soya oil, seemed to produce the kind of scent that I simultaneously associated with nut-based vegetarian meals and soy sauce. I guess this was understandable but this savoury aroma was a little unnerving and not really what I wanted from a sweet product!

I’d been a bit alarmed when I first handled a cake as a substantial amount of grease had seeped through the paper case. However, I was relieved that this wasn’t an issue in terms of taste. The cake was very spongy to the extent that it made a noise when cutting or tearing it, and whilst not overly moist, it wasn’t dry either. Its quite stiff texture contrasted well with the beautiful, smooth jam centre that provided a strong berry taste and delicious sweetness.

On its own, the frosting had an initially convincing peanut butter flavour but, unfortunately, the soya taste then became evident. It was pretty oily but also had a thick and slightly spongy texture. Despite not being as dense as peanut butter, it did still stick to the roof of the mouth, and I soon discovered that when eating all elements of the cake together, as intended, the frosting did become convincing as peanut butter again. There was still a slightly odd aftertaste, and the inclusion of icing sugar provided a lighter consistency, but I very quickly adjusted to the soya element. After this point, it stopped being noticeable and I found the cakes very enjoyable, with the jam and icing sugar preventing the flavours becoming too heavy.

If I could change one thing about these cupcakes, I’d get rid of the chocolate beans. Despite the very crispy, sugary shells, the overall chocolatey taste was quite bitter, and I didn’t really like this additional flavour. Whilst it didn’t interfere too much with the overall experience, I also didn’t feel that the added crunch was needed.

However, I did end up enjoying these Peanut Butter Style Cupcakes and I thought it was great that they came with relatively long use-by dates. From my point of view, the ability to store one in an airtight container after I’d consumed the other one was an added bonus!

Appearance: 8/10
Overall score:

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