Product Type: Aunt Bessie's Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... instructions~ Best to cook this from frozen to get the best coking experience. To oven cook; preheat the oven and remove the in the ... more
One from 'Aunt Bessie's' kitchen
Aunt Bessie's Toad In The Hole
Member Name: GentleGenius
Aunt Bessie's Toad In The Hole
Advantages: Good sausages, looks attractive, pudding rises well and tastes nice
Disadvantages: Fairly expensive compared to other brands, far too oily
PRICE: £1.42 for 190g at my local Morrisons
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 190g portion, baked):
(of which sugars): 2.1g
(of which saturates): 7.9g
(of which monounsaturates): 12.2g
(of which polyunsaturates): 3.9g
INGREDIENTS: Wheat flour, water, skimmed milk, whole egg, egg white, vegetable oil, salt, soya lecithin, pork sausage (51%), water, rusk, pork fat, starch, soya concentrate, dextrose, E450, E223, spice extract, E300, herbs
Some Aunt Bessie's products I'm keen on and some I think are pretty awful, but until the other day I'd never tried 'her' Toad-in-the-Hole. I did hunt for a vegetarian version, as I prefer veggie sausages to meat ones, but the only toad-in-the-hole I could find in my local Morrisons was Aunt Bessie's meat sausage version, so I went for that.
Aunt Bessie's Toad-In-The-Hole comes in a flattish box bearing the manufacturer's standard logo on the front, together with a portion of the product on a plate. The rear of the box lists nutritional information, ingredients, cooking instructions and basic GDA details - strangely these GDA details state to be for women only (don't men or children eat toad-in-the-hole?). On one of the box's edges, is the manufacturer's contact details. There is no dietary/allergy advice on the pack at all, nor anything to say that any part of the packaging is recyclable.
The toad-in-the-hole rests in a foil tray which is in a sealed cellophane wrapper, and on removing from the box, looks rather tempting. The frozen Yorkshire pudding is a rich, creamy colour rather than having that horrible greyish hue which some ready meal toad-in-the-holes seem to be guilty of. The sausages are nice and plump, appearing to have little bits of herbs inside.
Whenever I eat something like a pie or a toad-in-the-hole, I never have potatoes with it, so I chose a mixture of steamed green vegetables and carrots as my accompaniment. This particular sized pack serves one person.
During the cooking process, I didn't notice any smell rising from the oven, so I hoped the sausages would be as tasty as they looked - I've often found that odourless sausages can be very bland.
Time up! I removed the toad-in-the-hole from the oven. The Yorkshire pudding had risen and browned nicely, and it slid easily out of the foil container onto my plate....but, there was quite a lot of oil floating around in the bottom of the container, which I wasn't too happy about as though my food tastes can largely have the label 'pure junk' affixed, I really don't like greasy things. I lifted the toad-in-the-hole up a little just to see if there was too much excess oil clinging to the bottom, and I did have to give it a little wipe with a clean tissue before tucking in.
The sausages were well browned, and though still not giving off any kind of appetising smell, did look plump and delicious. The whole meal appeared substantial and attractive, so I settled to eat.
The browned outside of the Yorkshire pudding was slightly hard, rather than crispy, but my knife cut into it easily and on sampling, it tasted good. The bottom underneath the sausages was a little doughy, but I don't mind my Yorkshire pudding like that, so from me that isn't a complaint.
The sausages had retained their shape and size in the oven, and I cut a piece off one. Inside my mouth as I chewed, the texture of the meat was firm, but not too chewy, and had a nice, delicate herby flavour. Also, there were no horrid bits of gristle or lumps of fat inside the sausages at all, and for me that is a huge bonus.
After I'd finished eating, I did feel as though I'd have liked a slightly larger portion of toad-in-the-hole - say three rather than two sausages - but then my appetite is larger than a lot of other people's, so I'd guess in the whole scheme of things, the portion size wouldn't be a problem.
I do feel though that I wouldn't have enjoyed the Yorkshire pudding so much had I not mopped up the excess oil clinging to the bottom, but in the state that I ate it, it was delicious and blended very well with the sausages.
Overall, Aunt Bessie's Toad-in-the-Hole is an excellent product, but I am knocking off one star for the overload of oil on the bottom of the pudding and in the foil tray after cooking. It's a little pricier than some other brands of frozen toad-in-the-hole, and despite enjoying it, I'm not sure that I would favour it (due to the price more than anything) above a couple of other preferred supermarket own brands. The fat content is frighteningly high, although the calorie content is what would be expected of this kind of product.
It is very nice though, and my favourite part was the lovely herby sausages. One single portion is probably ample for most adults, even if it isn't for me, and the product comes recommended with thumbs up, but not quite touching the ceiling.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: A very nice toad-in-the-hole, but not my absolute favourite
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