IN the Great British Cake Off only one caterpillar can emerge triumphant.
It emerged last week M&S has begun legal action claiming Aldi’s Cuthbert The Caterpillar cake infringes its Colin the Caterpillar trademark.
Cuthbert is mysteriously missing, with no cakes available in Aldi stores.
Aldi said it was because it was a “seasonal product”. Other supermarket versions are still on shelves.
But how do they measure up? Thea Jacobs gives her view out of five.
Waitrose, Cecil, £7
TASTE: Beautifully soft sponge packed with incredibly creamy buttercream. The chocolate coating is exceptionally sweet, a real sugar hit.
LOOKS: Cecil has packed on the pounds and is one of the fattest of the caterpillar cakes. But he’s too smooth and looks more swiss roll.
VALUE: He is pricier than most but worth it – you get plenty for your pounds.
M&S, Colin, £7.25
TASTE: Colin’s sponge middle is quite dry but the rich buttercream makes up for it. His outer chocolatey shell is quite sickly sweet.
LOOKS: Out of the seven cakes, he looks the most like a caterpillar. His face is inviting, with well-placed Smarties.
VALUE: Colin is the most expensive, but I’m not sure being the original justifies his price.
Co-op, Charlie, £6
TASTE: His buttercream filling is super smooth and the cake is very moist and soft but the decorations make him that little bit too sweet.
LOOKS: Charlie’s chocolate looks fancy but his yellow face and feet are off-putting. Plus, when being cut into, he just falls apart, rather than creating a nice slice.
VALUE: While he may be a bit crumbly, he is worth £6 for the tasty cake.
Morrisons, Morris, £6
TASTE: Morris could use a lot more buttercream as he’s quite dry and less chocolatey than the other caterpillars.
LOOKS: His blue eyes are quite cute and he has a nice smattering of colourful sprinkles. Plus the hump detail on his body is great.
VALUE: Seeing as other shops have done better caterpillar cakes for the same price, Morris just doesn’t match up.
Sainsbury’s, Wiggles, £6
TASTE: It is a very soft and chocolatey sponge but Wiggles needs a bit more buttercream to balance him out.
LOOKS: Wiggles is the most similar looking to the original Colin. The sprinkle decoration leaves something to be desired and his Smartie pattern is erratic at best.
VALUE: You get the most servings for your money out of Wiggles, so he’s pretty good value.
Tesco, Curly, £6
TASTE: Curly has a very rich and creamy buttercream that is let down by the dry, bland sponge. Even his chocolate coating is dull and sickly sweet.
LOOKS: Curly is the least attractive caterpillar of the bunch. His orange face is a bit creepy and his sprinkles make him look unwell, rather than bringing him to life.
VALUE: Given that Curly is disappointing overall, £6 seems a bit steep.
Asda, Clyde, £5.92
TASTE: Good balance of buttercream and chocolatey sponge. The thin chocolate shell adds extra sweetness without being overpowering.
LOOKS: The green face is pretty unappealing but his lumpy chocolate shell and a smattering of sprinkles make up for it.
VALUE: He’s the cheapest of the caterpillars and one of the best tasting – well worth the £5.92.
Aldi, Cuthbert, £4.99
TASTE: Since the legal bid was launched Cuthbert has gone into hiding and our best trackers couldn’t find him. We imagine he is moist and full of smooth buttercream.
LOOKS: Elusive – we couldn’t spy the caterpillar at the centre of a legal war.
VALUE: At £4.99, he’s the cheapest but he’s not been on shelves since mid-February.
RATING: 5/5 (for sneakiness)
…Or you could make your own
FANCY a legally sound caterpillar cake?
Try this recipe from Bake Off’s Michael Chakraverty.
For the cake:
- 3 large eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
For the buttercream:
- 90g milk chocolate, melted
- 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 110g icing sugar
- A splash of milk
For the chocolate shell:
- 200g milk chocolate, chopped
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- 50g unsalted butter
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- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6. Grease and line a 33cm x 23cm Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper.
- Whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla extract for 8-10 mins. The mixture should become pale and thick. Sift flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold in until combined – don’t knock out any of the air!
- Pour the mixture into the tin and level the top. Bake for 10-12 mins, until risen and just firm. While the cake bakes, set out a rectangle of greaseproof paper larger than the cake and dust with cocoa powder.
- Once baked, remove sponge from the oven and turn onto the greaseproof paper.
- Starting from the short edge, roll the cake up with the grease-proof paper inside. Set the roll aside seam side down to cool.
- For the buttercream, whisk the butter and icing sugar for 5mins until creamy. Add a splash of milk if it’s too lumpy. Beat in the melted chocolate.
- Unroll the cooled cake and spread over a layer of buttercream before rolling it up again (without the paper inside this time). Place in the fridge for 15 mins to set.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and cut into 3cm slices. Dab buttercream between each slice and stick them together again to make segments. Set the cake on to a rack over a baking tray, to catch drips.
- For the shell, melt the choc-olates with the butter and pour over the cake. Decorate with Smarties while still wet – drizzle over more chocolate if you like.
- To make the face and feet you can use white chocolate moulds or create face and feet shapes by shaping white chocolate on greaseproof paper. Smarties make good eyes and you could pipe a dark chocolate smile.
- You could ice a biscuit face, use fondant icing.