Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious 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.

13 Comments

  1. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    3rd March 2012 at 1:05 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd March 2012 at 5:44 pm

      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!

      Reply
  2. James Brewer

    3rd March 2012 at 3:59 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd March 2012 at 5:46 pm

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

      Reply
  3. GrapeVine

    3rd March 2012 at 4:58 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd March 2012 at 5:47 pm

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

      Reply
  4. Janice

    3rd March 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I love nut oils, esp in salad dressings so tasty!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd March 2012 at 7:06 pm

      I seem to be the only one who hasn’t been using them Janice :-S

      Reply
  5. Green Dragonette

    3rd March 2012 at 6:58 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd March 2012 at 7:05 pm

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

      Reply
  6. Karen S Booth

    3rd March 2012 at 8:39 pm

    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!

    Reply
  7. celia

    3rd March 2012 at 11:20 pm

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

    Reply
  8. Fiona Maclean

    4th March 2012 at 9:30 am

    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

    Reply

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