Saturday, 25 August 2012

Crème Caramel

I'm afraid that I will have to disappoint you, dear reader, that this blog post is not a recipe, but merely another review. I have not yet mustered the willpower to get through cooking a meal for one (or cooking more than one portion and eating the same thing over a few days), given that the British summer this year has been unusually pleasant and I would like to enjoy myself just like you. Do be patient with me; with autumn not too far away I should be able to find the time and energy to cook again.

In the meantime though, I have been doing substantial background reading on the main topic of this blog. Amongst other things, I have chanced upon Dooyoo, which had plenty of people submitting reviews for various Sainsbury's Basics products. The one that caught my attention though is for the Crème Caramel (for the uninitiated, a creamy set custard drenched in caramel), which made mention of a tab at the bottom of the cup. Its purpose is to drop the pudding upside-down onto a plate, as the caramel usually sinks to the bottom of the cup.

I was intrigued by this, since I have a penchant for contraptions and it did sound like an unlikely extra feature on an otherwise simple Sainsbury's Basics product. Indeed, a trip to my local store revealed a couple of interesting facts: Sainsbury's does not seem to stock any other brand of creme caramel other than its housebrand and Basics, and; the Basics Creme Caramel containers are identical to the own brand ones, which probably makes sense for Sainsbury's to not invest in the design of cheaper packaging for very similar products.

I don't remember Sainsbury's ever clarifying the veracity of their Basics taglines, so I was rather amused to see them put a footnote on the packaging of the Basics Creme Caramel.

Preparing one for my afternoon snack, as I let one out of its packaging I began to see how ingenious the whole thing was. The tab basically seals a hole at the bottom of the cup that when exposed, would allow air to rush into the vacuum at the bottom, which would then cause the pudding to be pushed out of the cup and onto the plate.

The creme caramel itself was pleasant, though I certainly have had better. At 45p for 4 it is certainly not something to be sniffed at, and despite its name is surprisingly low in fat. Personally I would not worry about the total sugars; that can be easily walked off.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Crème Caramel£0.454+£0.30More cream, more caramel

Monday, 13 August 2012

Bacon-Egg Rings

The sheer affordability of Sainsbury's Basics Cooking Bacon (99p for 670g) means that one can buy a pack just for experimentation. The Internet happens to have a fondness for bacon as well, so naturally, there is no end to the variety of recipes that one can play with, including chicken-fried bacon, bacon explosion, and even bacon jam. More recently, Lifehacker ran a post on bacon cups, aggregating various similar recipes on the web in one convenient point.

I decided to have a go with making the bacon-egg cup that Kirbie's Cravings did, as I missed my usual weekend slot to blog and this seemed quite straightforward to do. As I did not have a muffin tin, I used a small bowl and some foil to shape into a bowl instead, which worked surprisingly well.

Prepare the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Mold the foil as shown, and then line the walls with bacon. If desired, line the bottom with bacon as well, so that the egg will not cook too quickly when in direct contact with the foil. Cook for 10 minutes or until cooked or half-cooked.

Turn up the temperature to 220 degrees Celsius. Take the bacon cup out of the oven and knock the egg in. Return to the oven for a further 8 minutes.

Serve as desired. I decided to have it on top of a bed of spaghetti as a variation of carbonara.

This worked out surprisingly well. With a bit of work it could look pretty for hosting guests, although working with the irregular shape of the Basics cooking bacon might take a little patience. The white of the egg actually absorbed some of the flavour of the bacon, and the bacon fat greased up the foil on its own. This is quick, convenient, and for the little time and effort spent, actually very presentable.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Personal matters

The post for this week will unfortunately be delayed as I attend to personal matters. See you again at a layer date.

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