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.