A while ago I stumbled across a brand in Tesco that I’d not seen before. I was immediately drawn in by the tasteful design and branding and decided that I needed to investigate further. Hence I contacted Stokes Sauces and they kindly sent me some jars of their fine sauces to try out (as well as offering a hamper for a giveaway ends 15/1/13). They only use the finest natural ingredients with no artificial stuff, they use Freedom Food free range eggs in their mayonnaise and lemon curd and some ingredients are organic. If that wasn’t enough all their products GM and gluten free. All their sauces and jams are handmade in their gorgeous Suffolk based “saucery”. Enclosed with my sauces were some recipe cards and so I set about making Best Lemon Cake with their Lemon Curd. Well the Lemon curd was delicious and the cake was so good I made in twice in a fortnight. I just held back a bit of lemon curd to swirl in at the last moment so that there were pockets of delicious gooeyness throughout the cake. My only problem was that it didn’t cook in the 1hr specified and I even made sure the foil was completely loose on the second effort but my cake was still raw in the middle so an extra half hour was needed. Even with a well done outer this really was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made and my husband couldn’t have enough of it either. For the recipe please go here.
So having road tested all the sauces I was given over the festive period I can now give you my appraisal of them. As you can’t rush a good thing, it would have been most disrespectful to just throw open the lids and taste them all in a rush, so we took our time and used them as the need arose.
Coronation Sauce – used up some leftover turkey to make Coronation Vol-au-vents for New Year and they were delicious, you wouldn’t tell the difference from home made sauce, the curry and apricot flavours were all there, I didn’t add a thing!
Tomato Ketchup – a true quality ketchup that makes the others look one dimensional, my kids don’t like it but my husband and I are hooked now, you can actually taste the individual ingredients in it, yummy!
Bloody Mary Tomato Ketchup – just like the above ketchup but with a delicious kick to it, I think this would go great in a Marie Rose Sauce with prawns too!
Red Onion Marmalade – we already had a brand that we bought but having tried Stokes it completely puts it in the shade, this is like you’ve just made it myself, so fresh and tasty.
French Dressing – again shop bought ones all seem to have the consistency of slime these days and are thin on flavour, this dressing is delicious and flavoursome another winner.
Barbeque Sauce – not a personal favourite but like the Tomato Ketchup a quality sauce rich in flavour and I would eat it at a BBQ so it must be good.
Blushed Tomato Mayonnaise – we’ve been using this in place of standard mayonnaise in sandwiches and wraps and we love the subtle tomotoey flavour it brings, a treat for the taste buds.
Chilli Yellow Pepper Jelly – we had this on our cheese and crackers at Christmas and you don’t need much of it to set your taste buds a tingling – superbly hot and zingy!
Lemon Curd – just like grandma used to make (well at least mine did), deeply lemony and not waxy.
I see from Stokes website that they have won the Gold Taste Awards and I am not surprised. You can find their sauces on their web site, in farm shops, independant retailers, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury. I am a complete Stokes fan now and want to try more of their range of sauces, I have my eyes on the Hoisin for starters, then there’s…..
NB: I was not paid for this post and all views are my own.