A round up of a few items that have caught my attention recently…
Cru Kafe Coffee Pods
Let’s start with the coffee…I’m a huge fan of a good cup of coffee. At home, we have a Nespresso coffee machine, I’m pretty sure it’s the Nespresso U model and it’s the second one we’ve had having upgraded our model last Christmas. It used to be the case that you had to buy your Nespresso-compatible pods directly through the ‘Nespresso Club’ and whilst they have lots to offer, it’s good to see other pods coming onto the market. I was pleased to try a brand new range of Nespresso-compatible coffee pods from Cru Kafe, a British company who win bonus points for producing eco-friendly pods, filled with Fairtrade, organic, 100% Arabica bean coffee. The Cru Kafe team select beans sourced from a high altitude and their artisanal blends result in coffee that is extremely smooth and velvety. I’m happy to have have swapped my morning cup of coffee for a morning cup of ‘Cru’ and I was also delighted to try their new decaf version, which is just as flavourful as their stronger blends. You can buy Cru Kafe pods easily online – my first order (after finishing the samples too quickly!) was delivered the next working day and arrived in a neat cardboard box with no excess packaging.
Cru Kafe pods are priced at 0.29p a capsule and are available in decaf, light roast, dark roast and intense strengths. You can place a one-off order or sign up to a subscription service.
Try Cru Kafe’s Pumpkin Spiced latte – the recipe is here.
Follow @CruKafe on Twitter
Hotel Chocolat Supermilk
Now, as well as a good cup of coffee, I also like a slab or two of chocolate and British grower Hotel Chocolat never disappoint. I was excited to be one of the first to receive a sample of their very latest blend of chocolate – Supermilk – described as “the most comforting, creamy milk chocolate, with less sugar than a dark.” I’ve devoured quite a bit of this Supermilk chocolate now, first as a sample, and then again when I bought a stash at my local store in St Albans. It has the same hit as dark chocolate, but it is smooth and certainly not bitter. It’s perfect on it’s own (or even with a good cup of coffee) and with 65% of pure cocoa – it’s a wonderful blend for baking. With their new blend of Supermilk, Hotel Chocolat are trying to rebalance the percentage of sugar to cocoa in milk chocolate blends – given that most ‘milk chocolate’ on the market is made with twice as much sugar as cocoa. Supermilk still has a sugar content of 20% along with a splash of milk, but the cocoa content is akin to a darker blend; the idea being that with a higher cocoa content, you can satisfy a chocolate craving with a smaller amount of chocolate…I’m still working on that concept!
Look out for The Supermilk Collection (3 packets) for £9.45. Individual 110g bars (65%, hazelnut or popcorn) are £3.75, whilst Supermilk 65% Chocolate Puddles are £5.50 for 110g. Buy online or instore now
Follow @HotelChocolat on Twitter #Supermilk
Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding by Justin Gellatly
So we’ve had the coffee and the chocolate and now it’s time to move onto the doughnuts! The doughnuts on the front cover of this book certainly caught my attention. They happen to be the doughnuts of Justin Gellatly, who was the Head Baker and Pastry Chef at St John for twelve years and who now owns his own bakery in Borough Market. In actual fact, more than just doughnuts, this book is packed with some fantastic recipes – you’ll certainly be keeping those Bake Off contestants on their toes with this repertoire. With 150 recipes it’s hard to know where to begin – in it you’ll find Breakfast, Baking and Bread, Savoury Baking, Cakes and Teatime Treats, Biscuits, Doughnuts, Warm to Hot Puddings, Cold Puddings, Ice Cream and a slightly eclectic chapter at the back called The Store Cupboard.
Three recipes that stood out the most to me were – The Chocolate Brownie (Justin’s recipe from St John), Spiced Pepper Plum Tart (an amazing recipe with seasonal plums, black pepper, ginger, star anise and cinnamon) and the Deep-Fried Jam Sandwich – Justin says “If you don’t have time to make doughnuts, this is a very good substitute.”
Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding by Justin Piers Gellatly, Published by Fig Tree (Penguin Group) priced at £25 Hardback – currently £17 on Amazon.
My Mini Doughnuts!
Paid Recipe Commission
Now that I’ve got you thinking about doughnuts, why not pop over to the Good Food Channel and have a go at my recipe for Mini Doughnuts with Chocolate Sauce? Warning: they are extremely moreish!
With thanks for the samples of CRU Kafe, Hotel Chocolat Supermilk and for the copy of Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding – I have not been paid to write about any of these products and have chosen to highlight things I think you’d enjoy.