Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dorset Cereals Granola & Porridge Review

This week we were sent some lovely cereals from Dorset Cereals.  And yes, they really come from Dorset!  We received a box of Cherry & Almond Granola, Strawberry & Redcurrant Granola and Proper Raspberry Porridge.

The packaging on all of the Dorset Cereals products is bright and vibrant and really stands out on the supermarket shelves... the cute annotations also make good reading at breakfast time too!

We used the cereals in their "traditional" uses, i.e. for breakfast(!) but we also tried each one in different recipes as an alternative use.

The Cherry & Almond Granola made a lovely granola flapjack.... the Bakewell Tart flavour was loved by all the family.  Here's how we made it:
  1. Melt 200g of unsalted butter in a pan with 200g of demerara sugar and 200g of honey (or 100g golden syrup and 100g honey).  Stir occassionally until the butter had melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  2.  Add 450g of granola to the pan and stir well.
  3. Transfer to a 20cm x 30cm greased baking tray and spread to about 2cm thick.  Place in a preheated oven (180C/Gas 4) for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden around the edge - the middle will be more soft.
  4. Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into squares and serve.  This flapjack will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

We also used both granolas as a base for a quick and easy cheesecake... we topped them with a ready made vanilla dessert mousse, or you could top with yoghurt or mascarpone cheese mixed with lemon juice and icing sugar to taste, if you don't like it too tart!

The third recipe we tried was using the Proper Raspberry Porridge as part of the topping for Apple Crumble... here's the recipe...
  •  Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
  • Wipe 1kg of apples and cut into quarters.  Remove the cores and slice each piece into 2.  Put into a pan, add a sprinkling of sugar and a tablespoon of apple juice (or water).  Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the apples begin to soften.
  • Transfer the apples to an ovenproof dish.
  • Blend 100g of plain flour and 75g butter in a food processor for a few seconds, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  You can use the "rubbing-in-method" to do this by hand if you don't have a food processor.
  • Stir in 50g of Proper Raspberry Porridge oats and 100g demerara sugar and sprinkle over the cooked apples in the dish.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown on top.
  • Serve warm with lots of custard!
Unfortunately, I did not get a photograph of this as it was devoured VERY quickly!

So, we had great fun reviewing and experimenting with the great flavours!  As a breakfast cereal (as intended!) the flavours work really well together.  The Cherry & Almond Granola really does smell and taste like Bakewell Tart.... but the tip on the box is right, make sure you give the box a shake as all the good bits can sink to the bottom!

The Strawberry & Redcurrant Granola is full of the flavour's of summer... Dorset Cereals do not scrimp on berries!  This one also tasted lovely sprinkled over the top of vanilla ice cream or mixed with natural yoghurt as a tasty healthy snack.

And last but not least, the Proper Raspberry Porridge tasted lovely!  My son asked why it is "Proper" porridge... so we tried it and he decided that it was really "Proper" porridge!  Hubby wasn't fussed on the addition of pumpkin seeds but I think they added a nice to crunch to it!

The porridge comes in handy sachets - a bonus for 2 reasons.... they are easily portioned to take to work and you can measure the milk in the pouch.... and the good bits don't sink to the bottom of the pack so everyone gets there equal share of goodies!

Keep your eye on the Dorset Cereals Facebook page here and the website here.  On the website there's loads of interesting info, competitions and an online shop for those of you who aren't lucky enough to have a shop nearby thats stocks these fantabulous cereals!  With loads of flavours to choose from - single packs and big boxes means that there will definitely be someting to suit your family size and taste buds!

So pop over and have a look... you'll be spoilt for choice!