Valentines Day treat?


According to Waitrose they are selling “Special Edition Devilish Chocolate Fiorelli Dessert … available until 4 March. For each pack sold, 10p will go to the charity Have A Heart“.

Waitrose has introduced a Special Devilish Chocolate Fiorelli, just in time for the most romantic day of the year. Dark pasta shells, made with 100% pure unsweetened cocoa and a creamy chocolate filling, go perfectly with strawberries for an impressively unique pud.

Personally, I wouldn’t feel very romantic if presented with this at the end of a meal. But what do you think? Can you think of better ways to serve them?

Summer fruit and apple compote


Now that Lidl have added strawberries to its mixed frozen soft fruit (although it does now contain cherries which is some form of compensation), I have discovered an alternative (and inexpensive source of good summer fruit at Sainsburys). Sainsburys is currently selling two 500g bags of ‘Summer Fruits‘ for £4. The ingredients are: “Raspberry (25%), Blackberry (25%), Blackcurrant (25%), Redcurrant (25%)” – so no strawberries there!

I made a fruit compote using a 500g bag of Summer Fruits and 5 small cox apples (pealed, cored and sliced):

Microwave the apples on ‘high’, with a tablespoon of water, for 4 minutes. Mix the cooked apples with the frozen fruit, and when defrosted, microwave on ‘high’ for 4 minutes. Stir and microwave on ‘high’ for a further 1.5  minutes. Leave to cool.

Can be stored in the fridge for at least a week. Excellent served with Greek yogurt and granola.

Bargains at discount supermarkets


Today’s Daily Telegraph says that “Britain’s ‘Big Four’ supermarkets have all lost market share for the first time in at least ten years” – the reason? “Nearly a third of the country have shopped at Aldi in the past three months”.

I don’t have an Aldi near me, but Lidl is my nearest supermarket – only about 8 minutes walk away. If you pick and choose you can find some very good products there. Their Christmas stuff is excellent value – for example, their Poppy Seed Stollen seems identical to the Bahlsen product, but retails at somewhere near half its price.


Expensive artisan chocolate and maths


This article in the Independent doesn’t seem very well received judging by the eight comments made so far.

As for the La Molina Nocciolato Gianduja hazelnut dark chocolate: “Probably the most you’ll ever pay for a chocolate bar, but worth it as it’s completely addictive”, this (in italics) is just incorrect. A search of the Selfridges’ website reveals Giant Toblerone milk chocolate 4.5kg £89.99 (cheap (?) at 1.99 per 100g). OK at £16.49 La Molina’s product is the most expensive in absolute terms, but in terms of price per 100g it is only the sixth most expensive of the 10 chosen ‘luxury’ bars.

So this article is quite misleading in terms of ‘value for money’ – not that any of the chosen bars could realistically be described by that phrase. I think it would have been far more useful if the article had covered a blind tasting of similar products over a wide price range. Does anyone really want to pay £10.71 for a 70g bar of chocolate even if “the results are to die for”?

Food porn v proper cookbooks

This article seems to be pointing out the obvious, in that you can’t do Heston Blumental food at home in your own kitchen – you need an army of chefs and a load of very expensive equipment.

It is sad if anyone wastes their time cooking impossibly complicated dishes at home to impress their guests; ultimately, the results are unlikely to impress, and you’d do much better making something simple (that tastes fantastic) and chilling out a bit.

There are two types of cookbook: ‘food porn’ (you just stare at it and feel very hungry); and ‘proper cookery books’ that tell you how to make food that tastes good and looks OK. There’s room for both of them but don’t get them confused! Remember that phrase: “don’t try this at home!”.