Aldi’s ‘London’ cheese cake

Aldi really has a lot of very British things in its selection, but I had not seen this cheesecake. This is the ultimate British product!

I remember this cheese cake as a regular item at the bakery in the 50s and 60s. It is sometimes called ‘London cheese cake’ to distinguish it from cheesecake that contains cheese. This one, as I remember it, was round and consisted of layers of flaky pastry topped with (usually dry) icing and coconut ‘shreds’. In between pastry and icing there was a blob of sponge cake. The strings of coconut must have been from a paste that was extruded in some way.

The Aldi version is rectangular and has luscious fondant icing and jam under it.

Following this, I decided to try the Greggs’ one, and on the way to Greggs I passed Kingcotts bakery, where they had their own.

The Kingcotts one was as I remember them, round, dryish but relieved by a plug of sponge cake i the middle.

The Greggs one was squarish and had jam but no cake. It was rather thin and meagre.

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The coconut shred/strips on top vary. The Greggs ones do look like desiccated coconut, very dry.

Kingcotts are the makers of the famous ‘real’ bread:

It is actually real bread. I recommend the cloudy white sandwich tin (sourdough).

Recommendations: the Kingcotts is the genuine cheesecake (£1), but only if you are in Upminster. You may have to try a local baker. The Aldi is delicious (I have forgotten the price) but not authentic: the puff pastry is slightly moist (in the direction of baklava) and the fondant icing with coconut dominates. I am sorry the Greggs is not quite right (80p). I must next find out why Godfreys in Hornchurch say theiir Tottenham cake is not the real thing, and whether Greggs is: I believe the pink colour has to come from a particular mulberry tree in Tottenham.

7 thoughts on “Aldi’s ‘London’ cheese cake

  1. In a Germanic vein, don’t forget either Schweizer Käseküchli – that memorable, culinary delight that or which used to be obtainable in London at the restaurant and coffee shop of the erstwhile Swiss Centre on Leicester Square or the round-shaped Käsekuchen, as served up in Austria by various Konditoreien and Bäckereien too numerous to mention.

    The name of Kingcotts Bakery, coincidentally, has echoes of my one-time translation company boss who, unusually in these days of non-linguist profiteering, was an interpreter and translator himself: the late ITI Fellow, Geoffrey Kingscott, publisher of a language magazine, besides many other things.

  2. The name definitely rings a bell – the bakery obviously spells it wrong – but I had no idea he wrote books on railways and stood for UKIP!

  3. Geoff’s message to language etc. conference delegates was a lesson in public speaking: ‘try to forestall any esprit d’escalier (a question pops into your head on the staircase on the way-out), but have the courage to blurt it out, even as a first (silly) comment during question time’.

    Having bumped into him – as a notable linguist – at language and (model) railway conferences and congresses in the UK and abroad, notably at a hotel on Berlin Alexanderplatz (cue: our beloved novel by Dr. Alfred Döblin and now the scene of rampant youth crime), I found his membership of UKIP contradictory if not alarming, to say the least.

  4. No such luck as a Ph.D.

    I came on to the novel post-Fassbinder’s 1980 filming in 14 parts for German TV (and a lengthy, weekend screening at the Goethe Institute cinema in Kensington).

    Austrian TV originally banned the film owing to the anti-female swear words used by Franz Biberkopf and his crony Reinhold, but that – I must admit – added a widely disapproved dimension to my non-culinary German vocab.

  5. Steven Pinker apparently says that an appreciation of cheesecake is “merely a non-adaptive exploitation of adaptive sources of pleasure”: “We enjoy strawberry cheesecake, but not because we evolved a taste for it. We evolved circuits that gave us trickles of enjoyment from the sweet taste of ripe fruit, the creamy mouth feel of fats and oils from nuts and meat, and the coolness of fresh water. Cheesecake packs a sensual wallop unlike anything in the natural world because it is a brew of megadoses of agreeable stimuli which we concocted for the express purpose of pressing our pleasure buttons.”

    However, even though a taste for cheesecake may not have evolved through natural selection, that taste may well become the basis for selection in the future, only those gathered for their weekly session in Kingcotts, Upminster escaping the Monstrous Winged Bean of 2018.

  6. I don’t think ever did get round to watching that Fassbinder version.

    But those in Kingcotts would have to get hold of whatever gloop Steven Pinker regards as cheesecake, I suppose.

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