Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sugar and Crumbs chocolate icing

It's review time! The lovely folk at Sugar and Crumbs Sugar and Crumbs kindly sent me some of their new chocolate flavoured icing sugar range to try out. They've got three new flavours, Black Forest, Chocolate Milkshake and Jaffa Twist. When I offered to help test the product, I stupidly forgot to mention I have an orange allergy. I was hoping they wouldn't send me the Jaffa Twist flavour as I only thought about it after I'd had an email to say they'd posted the samples out. The flavours I received were... Black Forest and Jaffa Twist! The only thing I could think of to do was to invite people around for a baking and tasting session, to get their opinions on the orange flavour.

And so an evening of baking, icing and drinking wine was planned!

Let's start with the packaging - it's very... pink. In fact, it's pretty much all pink, which is great if you like pink, but I've never been a big fan. It's bright and eye catching, but I did have to check the (small) stickers a couple of times to make sure I'd picked up the bag of Black Forest icing rather than the Jaffa Twist. I feel that making the stickers larger or more prominent could be a big help - or colour coding the packaging to match the flavour. While having all of the brand in the bright pink packaging is great for the brand identity, it does mean finding the flavour you want a bit tricky. (To see what I mean check out the Suagr and Crumbs Facebook picture)

The Jaffa Twist icing sugar was made into buttercream and used to ice some carrot cupcakes.

As I didn't test the Jaffa Twist myself, I asked my friends what they thought of it. They all agreed that the orange flavour was quite overpowering, and drowned out the delicate cake.  None of them were too keen on this flavour saying it was too strong - as if a Terry's chocolate orange had been melted and condensed then put onto a cake.

The Black Forest icing went down a little bit better - we used some of it to make buttercream icing for some chocolate almond cupcakes.

I was looking forward to trying this one - I love cherries. It reminded me of a black forest gateaux (which I guess is the idea!) very chocolatey with a lovely hit of cherry which wasn't too strong. The others agreed that the flavouring was much better, and the cakes quickly vanished.

The last thing we created on the night were some teapot and heart biscuits, which we decorated with some Black Forest icing made up with water. Here's an action shot. These were delicious!

So, in summary - we loved the Black Forest, not so keen on the Jaffa Twist. The packaging is great if you like pink.

Don't forget to check out the Sugar and Crumbs website and to look them up on Facebook and Twitter. They have some lovely sounding flavours, and all of their products are naturally flavoured.

If you fancy making your own chocolate almond cupcakes with Black Cherry icing, here's the recipe:

175g margarine (or butter)
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
55g ground almonds
125g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder

Cakes are made the standard way - cream together butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and eggs slowly. Fold in flour, cocoa powder and almonds. Bake in the pre-heated oven (180 deg) for about 20-25 minutes. Easy peasy!

Some Sugar and Crumbs Black Forest icing
Some Margarine (or butter)
Enough glace cherries for each cupcake
I didn't measure out the icing - I just eyeballed it. There is a good guide to butter icing on the Sugar and Crumbs website and on the back of the packets.

Many thanks for reading, here are some gratuitous pictures of cakes (and cookies) for you!

Another thing we learnt from this - baking nights are a fabulous idea, but try to get the baking and decorating done before the drinking!

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