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.
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.