Burgers/unnecessarily large cars/ freedom/ ‘the constitoootion’ (as Yanks would say it!)/ the White House/B&J/ oh and more burgers. That is the list of things that I think about when somebody mentions the USA to me. It’s fun to play the ‘lazy stereotype’ game isn’t it! (Just for the record- YES, I’m English, but NO- I don’t have bad teeth, don’t eat jellied eels and don’t have posh afternoon tea every day!)
Heavenly Cakes have taken one of those stereotypes (namely that Americans eat nothing but Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches!) and turned it into a brand new USA themed cake for their special Olympic range.
What we have here is a peanut butter and jam (NOT jelly, it’s called jam!) shortbread sandwich. More specifically- the Heavenly Cakes’ Peanut Butter Jelly Time cake is a shortbread biscuit base, then a layer of peanut butter, some jam, another layer of peanut butter, and then more shortbread covered with both roasted peanuts and jam.
*Phew* That’s quite some cake right?!
The cake had a damn striking look; that blood-red jam mixed in with lightly browned peanuts. I thought it looked tremendous- you could really get a feel for the product just from glancing at it- the variety of textures and flavours were so blatantly evident that even Stevie Wonder probably could have seen them.
Heavenly Cakes had packaged this, as with the two previous reviews this week, in an individually wrapped 85g single serving. And of course… the pretty little Stars and Stripes flag of the United States!
This cake excited me more than anything else in the range when I saw the packet. I’ve made it pretty clear before on here that I love the ‘sweet and salty’ flavour combination, and that was exactly what Heavenly Cakes were attempting to produce here.
The cake’s aroma promptly filled the room when I had pulled it out from the wrapper. There was very fruity smelling, sweet jam coupled with a more subdued nutty smell. The jam was so powerful that even Heavenly Cakes’ tremendously buttery shortbread couldn’t be picked up on!
The jam’s smell was very similar to the flavour that it delivered. Intensely fruity, there was a slight sourness alongside the natural sweetness. Very moist and sticky, this was nice jam.
The peanut flavour came in two shapes. Firstly, there was a layer of peanut butter which you can see in the cross-section photo above. That was creamy and carried a bit of a buttery flavour…but most importantly of all brought some savoury saltiness to the cake. Secondly, there were of course the roasted peanuts on top of the cake- they weren’t particularly flavourful to be honest, but gave the cake some crunch; that crispiness is normally the sign of a fresh peanut.
Only one element of the Peanut Butter Jelly Time disappointed me. As you might be able to see above, the shortbread wasn’t quite right. Too fluffy and pale, it seemed to be to be a little under baked. Don’t get me wrong, Shortbread is quite a light coloured biscuit…but not quite this white. I certainly prefer my shortbread to be a little more crisp and firm. I bake a fair amount myself and would have bunged this back into the oven for another 5 minutes if I were baking it.
Never the less, this cake from Heavenly Cakes delivered one of my favourite ever flavour combinations very well.
The balance between the sweet and the salty is just about flawless. The way in which the initial buttery and creamy peanut butter taste fades into the sharp and tart fruit jam…yes. Just yes.
With a firmer shortbread for the top and bottom layers, the Peanut Butter Jelly Time would probably be my favourite cake from Heavenly Cakes’ entire range. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite sit at the top of the perch just yet because of the overly pale biscuit. I’l attempt to get some again to re-review in the future, and see if it can scale the lofty heights to a 9.0/10- a rating never bestowed by this site to date!
It’s damn good, but it could be (to conclude the review with an Americanism…how apt!) ‘freakin’ great!’
In 24 hours time, it will be Canada’s representative at the ‘cake Olympics’ under the spotlight.
Rating- 8.6/10. (But SO nearly higher!)