If you remember, I was invited recently by Vanessa Kimbell, the author of Prepped to take part in a bit of a supermarket ingredient experiment which involved us all making a cake using the same ingredients, to the same recipe and methodology but sourcing our ingredients from our 'allocated supermarket'.
Well, we all dutifully purchased our ingredients as follows:
Aldi - Jayne
Asda - Karen
Co-Op - Ren
Lidl - Rosie (Me)
Marks & Spencer - Rachel
Morrisons - Most Marvellous (Coffee shop cafe)
Sainsbury's - Carmela
Tesco - Vanessa
Waitrose - Fleur
Charlotte was due to cook from Tesco ingredients, but due to her becoming quite unwell, Vanessa stepped up to the bar and filled the place. (Get well soon Charlotte x).
This was my cake made using Lidl ingredients.
We had two judges who were blind tasting the cakes; William Sitwell; writer, presenter and editor of Waitrose Kitchen magazine and Helen from the fantastic food blog Fuss Free Flavours. They were helped by three chocolate cake connoisseurs; namely Libiana, Alice and Albert. The judges knew the baker, as we each presented our cakes to them. What they didn't know was the Supermarket that the ingredients were bought from or the cost of the cakes being presented. The results were broadcast LIVE on BBC Radio Northampton's Kitchen Garden show at 10am.
There was quite a vast difference between prices of ingredients purchased. The most expensive being Marks and Spencer, with the cheapest being Aldi. The cake costs varied from £12.50 to £6.78 per slice.
I have to say, it's really quite scary presenting such fantastic foodies with a slice of your cake, even through it's pretty much out of your hands what it tastes like as we were reliant on the ingredients being used.
It didn't take long for the first cake to be dismissed (Asda), rapidly followed by Aldi and then Lidl hot on their heels. The judges whittled the rest of the cakes down to their final three which were placed on the top table for final judging.
I really didn't envy the judges task; 9 sumptuous chocolate cakes, decadent, rich and calorie laden!
The final three were ranked as follows:
1st - Morrisons (4th most expensive at £9.61 per cake)
2nd - Co-Op (3rd most expensive at £10.32 per cake)
3rd - Sainsbury's (6th most expensive at £8.63 per cake).
The 'budget brand' supermarkets of Aldi and Lidl were in the bottom three along with Asda.
So, if you want to make Vanessa's Chocolate & Raspberry Cake, make sure that you go and buy your own brand supermarket ingredients from Morrisons!
I had a fantastic time, the calories that I burnt off with the nerves were rapidly replaced post-judging with a slice of chocolate cake.... or two!
If you're local and want to to have a coffee and possibly a slice of yummy cake in a Most Marvellous Cafe, take a trip along to Most Marvellous on Kettering Road in Northampton. While you're there, take a look around at what there is to offer in this most unique vintage/retro store.
Thanks to Vanessa for arranging this.