Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Cooks&Co Speciality Oils – a Review

As my regular readers will know, I am a big fan of butter, so my baking doesn’t feature oil very often. However, when I was offered the chance to try some speciality oils, it seemed like a good opportunity to be adventurous. R H Amar & Co sent me three 250ml bottles of Cooks&Co oil to review. Produced in France, these would be good for adding a bit of Gallic sophistication to a meal. The bottles were glass, what a relief – I’m really not a fan of plastic food bottles and much prefer to have glass.

Hazelnut Oil (RSP £3.99) – extracted entirely from hazelnuts, this oil is the one I was most excited about and I was right to be so – it’s delicious. It really does smell and taste of hazelnuts.  I added some of this to the chocolate hazelnut cake truffles I made last month and it really did help to bring out the flavour of the hazelnuts in the cake. I’m looking forward to trying this baked in a plain chocolate cake next where I think it would give an added depth and complexity of flavour.

Walnut Infused Oil (RSP £2.85) – made of rape seed, but with an addition of walnut extract, this is another flavoursome oil, though less distinctive than the hazelnut. I used this to make a parsnip and walnut cake, which I shall be posting in the near future. Suffice it to say, I was very pleased with the flavour of the oil; the cake tasted of walnuts, but not overly so. One of the best salad dressings I remember from my time living in Switzerland was one made with walnut oil, so I’m looking forward to the weather warming up and my lettuce seeds germinating – walnut salad here I come!

Roasted Peanut Oil (RSP £3.39) – as the name suggests, this is made from 100% roasted peanuts. And guess what, it tastes just like roasted peanuts. I have baking plans for this one, but haven’t got around to doing anything about it yet. I have used it in a stir fry, however and it worked brilliantly well. I was able to get the oil nice and hot without any sign of burning and the final dish had just enough of a suggestion of peanut to make it interesting without overwhelming the other flavours.

All in all, I was very impressed with these oils. My only quibble, is the usual one – I would prefer them to be organic. They all tasted of the nuts they were made of and all added a distinctive nutty quality to the dishes I’ve made with them so far. I’m looking forward to trying out some more.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    3rd March 2012

    The hazelnut oil looks very good. I love different flavoured oils but I worry they’ll lurke at the back of the cupboard. Must try these!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd March 2012

      the hazelnut was my favourite. If you use them in baking Dom, they’ll disappear really quickly OR we might just get a really hot summer when all you can eat is salad!

  2. Leave a Reply

    James Brewer
    3rd March 2012

    I have never thought of using flavoured oils in baking, I mostly use them for dressings.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd March 2012

      Yes, they are an unusual baking ingredient, but a good one – looking forward to using them as dressings too though 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    GrapeVine
    3rd March 2012

    I love hazelnut oil. It makes amazing mayo,delicious with a blue cheese, pear and endive salad.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd March 2012

      Grapevine thank you. I’ve going to have to make this now – sounds like a lovely combination of flavours.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Green Dragonette
    3rd March 2012

    Dare I admit it, but one of my favourite pleasures is to have a bath when I have sprinkled a few drops of hazelnut oil under the running water. To soak in the bath with that lovely hazelnut smell is divine!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd March 2012

      What have I been missing out on all these years???? Sounds a lovely idea.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    3rd March 2012

    OH yes, I know these types of oils! I have hazelnut and walnut oils in my oils stocks and use them for salad dressings and drizzles over cheese…..LOVELY products!

  6. Leave a Reply

    celia
    3rd March 2012

    Choc, we make a crumble using hazelnut oil in the topping rather than butter, and it’s surprisingly good. And much easier to make!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Fiona Maclean
    4th March 2012

    I made Heston’s flowerpot tiramisu recently, and then my own raspberry version…The crunchy chocolate topping is made to look moist with nut oil, but I couldn’t find any hazlenut oil in Waitrose. I ended up using walnut oil…I’ll have to go look online

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