What Sainsbury's say about the sugars:
"The more experienced baker can create, decorate and present a selection of sophisticated home baked delights using ingredients like Taste the Difference infused Lavender, Vanilla and Cinnamon sugars. Try the Lavender Sugar to make sophisticated Lavender shortbread, delicious served with creamy desserts like lemon posset or syllabub. The Vanilla Sugar provides the base for the ultimate Victoria sponge while the Cinnamon Sugar, seasoned to perfection with ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick, is a wonderful way to add extra flavour to cakes like Carrot or Simnel."
I decided to create 3 recipes using the sugars and utilise my trusty co-workers as guinea pigs to see what they thought...
I started with the lavender sugar and as this was my first time baking with lavender, and only my second time baking with a flower flavour, I referred back to what I'd paired with rose - raspberries. Therefore, I thought blackberries would be a good match for the lavender.
I creamed together 120g butter and 120g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Infused Lavender Sugar.
I added 2 eggs, and whisked in, then added 120g self raising flour and folded in.
This made 8 good sized cupcakes. I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes.
I used these gorgeous fresh British blackberries from Sainsbury's to make the buttercream.
I mixed together 60g butter, 8 mashed up blackberries and 300g icing sugar until it was smooth.
I piped the icing on top of the cupcakes and added a fresh blackberry to garnish.
I had mixed results from these cupcakes. Here are some comments from my tasters:
"It's an unusual flavour, but it tastes good."
"The sponge alone would be too strong, but the blackberry icing compliments the lavender perfectly."
"I love lavender and these cupcakes are brilliant!"
If you are already a fan of lavender, you with without a doubt love these cupcakes! If you've never had it before, the fruit icing tones downs the flavour so it's not too strong. I'd say it was definitely worth a try as discovering a new flavour that you turn out to love is always a good thing! And if you're not a fan, it's all part of the experience! Plus the icing is pretty good...
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.
Cinnamon sugar was next and I had several idea of what to do with this (one was cinnamon scones, perhaps a future bake!) But seen as I had lots of leftover blackberries from the cupcakes, I decided to use them up for these tasty squares.
In a bowl I mixed together 250g self raising flour, 25g oats, 30g golden caster sugar and 250g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Infused Cinnamon Sugar.
I rubbed 200g cold butter, cut into squares, into the mixture using my fingers.
I gently mixed in 75g coconut, then filled an (appropriately labelled!) mug with the mixture and set it aside.
I beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl, then added them to mixture and combined. I greased a square roasting tin and spread the mixture evenly into it.
I placed the blackberries (about a punnet and a half / 350g) on top.
Then I sprinkled over the mixture in the mug.
I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes, then reduced to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for a final 15 minutes. It smelt so good!
I left it to cool in the tin, then cut into squares and removed from the tin.
What did my taster's have to say about this bake...
"Very good cake!"
"Cake was amazing - thank you!"
"Delicious with great flavour, is there anymore?"
I really loved this bake, and it was so simple and quick to make. The cinnamon flavour was absolutely gorgeous in the squares and the tart juicy blackberries set it off perfectly. I struggled to restrain myself from having several pieces of this! If you don't like coconut, use ground almonds instead, or omit it entirely.
The final pot of sugar was vanilla. I wanted the vanilla flavour to really come out and hold it's own so I decided to use pears in this recipe as they have a light, refreshing taste that is not overpowering. They are also juicy and delicious!
I peeled, cored and halved five pears. I drizzled 1 tbsp brandy over them...just because!
I creamed together 225g butter and 225g Sainsbury's Vanilla Infused Sugar.
I added 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
I folded in 225g self raising flour, 60g ground almonds and 1 tsp baking powder. I smoothed the batter into a greased square pan.
I placed the pears on top of the batter and sprinkled the remaining vanilla sugar over the top.
I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until it was golden. Cut into slices and serve, ideally with custard or ice cream. I'd recommend serving the same day, as the pears are very juicy the sponge went a bit soggy by the next day, although that didn't stop my eager tasters!
"That was amazing, thank you!"
"It reminds me of my childhood...it's really good."
"Well, this cake was amazing."
Not quite sure what the childhood comment means, but this cake was definitely a winner. Full of fresh, sweet flavours with a lovely hit of vanilla. This is definitely the most versatile of the sugars, you could really experiment with different flavour combinations.
Lavender & Blackberry Cupcakes
- 180g Butter
- 120g I creamed together 120g butter and 120g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Infused Lavender Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 120g Self raising flour
- 16 Blackberries
- 300g Icing sugar
Cream together 120g of the butter and the lavender sugarAdd the eggs, whisk in, then add the self raising flour and fold inBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutesFor the buttercream mix together 60g of the butter, 8 mashed up blackberries and the icing sugar until smoothPipe the icing on top of the cupcakes and add a fresh blackberry to garnish
Blackberry, Coconut & Cinnamon Squares
- 250g Self raising flour
- 25g Oats
- 30g Golden caster sugar
- 250g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Infused Cinnamon Sugar
- 200g Butter
- 75g Dessicated coconut
- 2 Eggs
- 350g Blackberries
In a bowl mix together the self raising flour, oats, golden caster sugar and cinnamon sugarRub the butter, cut into squares, into the mixture using your fingersMix in the dessicated coconut, then fill a mug with some of the mixture and set it asideBeat in the eggs in a separate bowl, then add them to the bowl and combine. Grease a square roasting tin and spread the mixture evenly into itPlace the blackberries on top of the mixtureThen sprinkled over the reserved mixture in the mugBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes, then reduce to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for a final 15 minutes
Pear & Vanilla Cake
- 5 Pears
- 1 tbsp Brandy
- 225g Butter
- 250g Sainsburys Vanilla Infused Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 225g Self raising flour
- 60g Ground almonds
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
Peel, core and halve the pears. Drizzle the brandy over themCream together the butter and 225g of the vanilla sugarAdd the eggs and vanilla extractFold in the self raising flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Smooth the batter into a greased square panPlace the pears on top of the batter and sprinkle the remaining 25g vanilla sugar over the topBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until it is golden