Still looking for a healthy sugar?

I’ve given up, and here is why you should too!

Noelle Campbell has called a spade a spade and cleared up the differences between healthy sugar and non healthy sugar.

It doesn’t matter what a celebrity might say, or the minerals and vitamins present. To my knowledge, one sugar cannot be any more or less healthy than another sugar.

There is no healthy sugar.

Only a healthy amount of sugar (hint: it’s as little as possible).

How to properly pick a perfect parmasen!

The lads at Parmigiano Reggiano have but together a short film (8:25) to explain the sensory characteristics they look for when testing a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

In this film, they put to one side the years of history behind the iconic cheese and focus on the sensations stimulated when evaluating this product. Igino Morini, Official Taster, pays respect to the individual nuances that can occur between each wheel of cheese - acceptable to an artisan product, but not often sort after in todays manufacturing.

"The sensorial analysis is the discipline that enables us to decode and understand the signals received by our senses at the moment of tasting"

Ignio Morini

Ignio Morini

The film talks through sight (colour and visual texture), aroma, flavour and mouthfeel. It also discusses the changes that can be expected depending on the production month or length of maturation. (A personal favourite part of this film is the number of seductive, dreamy gazes our host Ignio lovingly gives to each chunk of Parmesan.)

If you have a few minutes, have a look at this film, you might just learn one or two things to share next time someone asks about parmesan cheese!

Creating a Giant Twix

I have a friend and he likes Twix.  Not just a little, but a lot. A whole lot.

So, when it came time for his 30th birthday present, a small team of food scientists in Albury and a designer in Geelong joined forces to  create the perfect gift.

A Giant Twix. Complete with biscuit centre, and caramel filling and crinkle edge wrapping. Check out the gallery below to see it take shape!

 Ingredients: 

  • 25 kg of Nestle Dark Chocolate

Caramel Channel (makes about 1.5 litres)

  • 5 tins of Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 700g Butter

  • 12 Tablespoons of golden syrup

Butter Biscuit (makes 2 metres of biscuit)

  • 250g Butter

  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar

  • 2 Eggs

  • 4 cups Plain Flour

  • 2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

  • 2 Tablespoons Milk

Other items:

  • 1 x 1m drainage pipe for use as mould

  • 1 x 80cm PVC piping (10cm diameter) to create channel for caramel

  • Heaps of non-stick paper

  • Industrial Fridge (for setting the Chocolate mid-summer)

  • Large sheet of white paper

  • Can of gold spray paint

  • Twix logo for packaging

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Violet Crumble vs Crunchie - what's your flavour?

Chocolate covered honeycomb has long been an Australian favourite, but which do you prefer, Cadbury’s Crunchie or Nestle’s Violet Crumble? When spare time presented itself at the office, I put the taste buds to work to decide which I prefer.

Packaging

Both products come in vibrant foil packaging, and neither have a transparent window, instead keeping their contents secret from the world. As you'd expect, the vibrant designs on both packs is similar, although communicated using different colours. You may assume the coveted royal purple product belonged to Cadbury’s, but you'd be wrong. Nestle has continued its long association between Violet Crumble and purple while Cadbury’s Crunchie is is slathered in gold.

Appearance

Strip off the wrapper and the differences become more apparent.  Side by side you notice different coloured chocolate. The Crunchie is enrobed in Cadbury’s iconic Dairy Milk while Violet Crumble has opted for a darker variety. The cross section photo (below) reveals the degree of difference in chocolate coverage thickness; Crunchie (62% chocolate) and Violet Crumble (59% chocolate). The density of the honeycomb differs with fewer air bubbles and a more pale golden coloured Violet Crumble.  But we know that no one buys a chocolate bar to just look at..... lets eat!

Texture

Biting into the Crunchie is best described as biting through a chocolate layer, and then chomping through air. There is no structure or resistance given by the honeycomb. It reminds me of biting through a hollow Easter egg. The Violet Crumble still shatters, but the honeycomb provides greater resistance on first bite. Chewing the honeycomb centre of the Violet Crumble conjures up images of eating chalk, but tasty sweet chalk..

Once in your mouth, they both become a mass of chewy chocolatey goo, but the Crunchie’s Rate of Disappearance is far quicker than that of the Violet Crumble.

Unwrapped

Unwrapped

Chocolate

I tip my hat to Crunchie for using the Cadbury dairy milk chocolate. The combination of superior coverage and a familiar chocolate results in a better overall chocolate experience. Violet Crumble is less concerned with the chocolate flavour, allowing their honeycomb flavour profile to shine. As a chocolate bar, the lack of chocolate does play against them in when compared to the Crunchie.

Honey Comb

This is where the two products differ most. The Violet Crumble has a sweet taste and a simple clean honeycomb flavour. The Crunchie is super sweet. The honeycomb flavour wasn’t “clean” reminding me of overcooked toffee - the type that leaves a bitter, burnt sugar flavour in your mouth. Both bars made me thirsty, so I guess this comparison is best undertake with a glass of water close at hand.

Conclusion

Honestly, I couldn’t split these bars by appearance, was swayed towards the Cadbury Crunchie for its superior chocolate coverage but couldn’t consume the whole bar because its excessive sweetness. The strong the caramelised flavours were also a turn off. Even with less chocolate, the clean flavours of Nestle’s Violet Crumble secures my preference.

Final Thoughts...

I have a friend who swears the best way to eat a Crunchie is by pressing your tongue up against the honeycomb and letting it dissolve away. You are left with a soggy, half melted chocolate tube but it is delicious. Try it, but be warned, it usually ends up a little messy.

What is your favourite? How do you eat your honeycomb? Let me know your thoughts!