I have been busy eating chocolate this week, purely in the interests of research you understand. I decided to try out Lidl’s lookie-likey versions of popular candy bars. There’s Mister Choc Caramel Biscuit (Twix lookie likey) Mister Choc Peanut Choco (Snickers) and Mister Choc Caramel Bar (Mars Bar). They are all 29p, as opposed to the real McCoy, which are 41p, 41p and 43p respectively, all around the 58g/60g mark.
The cheaper versions are really quite acceptable. The Twix lookie likey biscuit was a bit stale tasting (although 6 months within its sell-by date) and not as crumbly as the real thing. But with a cup of tea, it was fine. The Snickers knock off was OK and ditto the Mars Bar copy. However I am not the best judge. My tastebuds have become a bit spoiled because now I find any candy bars almost burn my mouth with the sugar/e-numbers/chemical hit.
But if you’re used to this kind of sweet snack, they are fine. Stock up.
On a healthier note, the following recipe comes to you (again) courtesy of my new friend, cookery writer Denise Phillips (author of The Jewish Mama’s Kitchen (Spruce, £9.99) – see also www.jewishcookery.com.
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Soup by Denise Phillips
I first came across sweet potatoes about 15 years ago when I was weaning my daughter on to solids. Nowadays they are readily available in most supermarkets and, like all potatoes, are extremely versatile.
With the ever-growing interest in health and natural foods, the low-fat high-vitamin sweet potato is quickly finding its place in the family weekly diet. It blends well with herbs, spices and flavourings, producing delicious dishes of all types from main dishes, casseroles and salads to breads and desserts, and soups.
This is a wonderful warming soup with a great combination of flavours. It is easy to prepare and makes an interesting start to most main courses. It will freeze, so make double and keep one batch for another time. Although roasting chestnuts is a fun way of spending a Sunday afternoon and taste delicious hot off the pan, for this recipe you can buy them ready-peeled, vacuum packed or frozen to save time.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: Serves: 6 – 8 people
- 1.3 kg Sweet potatoes (Approximately 5 potatoes) – peeled and roughly chopped into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions – peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic- peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
- 200g Chestnuts – cooked and peeled (Vacuum packed or frozen are ideal) – roughly chopped
- 1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish – sprigs of parsley- finely chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the sweet potatoes, red onions, cinnamon, cumin and garlic for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Taste and season accordingly. Add the chestnuts.
- Transfer half of the soup into a liquidiser or food processor and whiz together. Return this to the saucepan and reheat when ready to serve.
- To serve the stylish way: Serve the hot soup in warmed bowls with sprigs of parsley.
Click to buy Denise Phillips’ book ‘The Jewish Mama’s Kitchen’ from Amazon.
Sarah Lockett’s book “The Dish” (described by MSN as ‘witty, intelligent and well thought out – excellent’) is out now (£9.95, Troubador).