Thursday, 24 May 2012

I Don't Like Sunshine (I'm A Goth)

in true British style, here is a right old moan.

i hate the sunshine. i can't stand summer. i don't like people at the best of times, and in the summer they become positively loathsome. why? because they revel in something i cannot stand.

The Sun.

what, may i ask, is so special about a ball of radiation that causes cancer and blinds you if you try to look at it properly?

the thing i hate most about people in hot weather is they whinge all winter long about the cold, and the minute it gets hot, they start complaining it's *too* hot. i am not one of those people. i relish the crisp cold when one can don hat, gloves and a scarf and look forward to the warmth of the inside once a safe haven is reached. i may complain about the rain, but this happens in both heat and cold. i complain about the heat consistently, and without waver.

a list is always satisfying so here we go:

Why Louise Crane Age 27 And 2 Months Hates The Sun:

1. you can't walk at more than a speed i would term "languid" without breaking into a sweat.
2. you can't be pale and interesting with a tan.
3. cashmere is out, cotton is in. thin, creasy material in vapid pastels and no chance to accessorise with a stylish beret, a cheery scarf or some cracking leather gloves.
4. in order to maintain a non-life threatening core temperature one is forced to reveal large amounts of skin for the purposes of perspiration. which builders cannot seem to resist catcalling about. yes, poor, attractive me.
5. call me fatist but with 60% of the adult population classed as either overweight or obese, most British people should really not be showing that much flesh.*
6. in 2008, 2,067 people died from skin cancer in the UK.
7. snuggling up at night under a duvet is not an option. when lying as still as possible with the incessant whirr of a fan that merely circulates the warm air around and around resounding in your ears, sleep is impossible.
8. Britain is not built for heat. have you ever worked in an office that has functional air-conditioning?
9. my Mum used to tell me not to sit close to the fire, because the radiated heat will burn my skin. THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE ALL THE TIME IN THE SUN.
10. drought.

ten is a good number for a list so i shall stop there, and finish with a link to the glorious "Goths In Hot Weather"

until it rains...

*i realise this is one of the most deplorable things i have said in public. possibly the most. forgive for i am hot, clammy, angry and miserable as well as being lonely, heartbroken and in pain. update: i'm not talking about people who are carrying an extra pound or 11. i rather enjoy a curve of ample bosom, a sturdy calf and a shake of healthy butt. i'm talking about the pot-bellied lager louts that appear to be ten months pregnant and who strip off their shirts the moment the mercury rises past 24 degrees.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

National Doughnut Week: the winner!

If anyone has been reading these blogs, you probably know the winner of the #luludonut reviews. The absolutely runaway winner, with a total score of 26.5/30, was Sainsbury's Raspberry Jam Ball Doughnuts. They were certainly my favourite - just the right amount of fresh-fried warmth with a tart, sticky jam and a perfectly chewy dough. God I want a doughnut.

Anyway, here are the final scores:

Sainsbury's: 26.5/30
Krispy Kreme: 21.5/30
Co-op: 16/30
Tesco: 16/30

Now I confess. Even though it wasn't National Doughtut Week today, I had another doughnut. What review would be complete without the stalwart supermarket that is Marks and Spencer! So here is my review:


At 41p per doughnut, you'd expect something a bit bigger. Having said that, it's the kind of size that makes you feel a bit less guilty for indulging, but at the same time satisfied. There's a decent amount of sugar as a coating and a crispy brown outside. But it all seems a bit trite. The inside is chewy though light and there's enough jam, but it's rather thin and sugary. It's a standard doughnut, but it doesn't stand out. Not enough oomph, no courage, no pizazz. Sorry M&S, you're a little bit too stiff upper lip for me.


So there you have it. Not even good old Markies can stand up to the beautiful, golden, juicy, moist, delicious Sainsbury's doughnut. I'll take 5, please.

Friday, 18 May 2012

National Doughnut Week: Krispy Kreme Glazed Raspberry

Krispy Kreme opened their first UK store in 2003 (it was in Harrods. Of course.) They now have about 35 stores and there are Krispy Kreme "cabinets" in many Tesco stores and WHSmiths. They are brightly coloured, packed with sugar, and a pure dopamine hit. But are they as good as the lead doughnut in our reviews, Sainsbury's Jam Ball Doughnut?

Price is £1.50 for one (although a very naughty tip: if you go through self-service tills you could, if you weren't so conscentious as me, pass them off as "Original Glazed", which cost £1.25). Bag says they're suitable for vegetarians.


Very very sweet – a thick sugar syrup coats this doughnut. It has a chewy innard that seems fresh, though possibly because it’s packed full of artificial preservatives. There’s just something too perfect about it – the shape, the sheen. It’s just so… American.

The jam pool is nice and big, reaching from top to bottom but surprisingly, for its perfection, it’s a little off-centre. The jam is fairly tart but it seems like an imposter. The flavour is the blue raspberry ice-pop that you got all over your hands, face - and for some unknown reason, socks - at Bethany Jones’s 7th birthday party.

I don’t want another and in my book, if you can’t eat two doughnuts in a row, it’s not good enough.

All in all, I just think Krispy Kreme is trying too hard.



Krispy Kreme's elliptical doughnut rounds off the week. A generous coating of sugar syrup smothers the moist and chewy innards. The jam is more curranty than berry-y; but the blackcurrant taste upfront, unfortunately, finishes with a less pleasant after-taste. A decent attempt at the traditional jam doughnut.



This was the doughnut I had been waiting for all week. And it certainly did not disappoint. If Plato’s cave had contained doughnuts, this would certainly have been it. Perfectly sized, cooked to an ideal and covered in a sugar syrup.

A single bite led me to the superbly proportioned jam pool; a beautiful tart preserve; acidic but not too much, something to provide contrast to the gorgeously light dough.

I’m tempted to hunt another one down tomorrow.

9/10 (I’m a perfectionist – I’m not sure I’d ever award 10)

National Doughnut Week: Tesco Jam Doughnut Monsters x5

Tesco, the supermarket mega-giant where you can buy pants, paracetamol, pickles and pet insurance. How do their doughnuts fare? Our crack team tell you below, including guest reviewer Jacob Lonsdale.


The visual impact of Tesco’s fresh-baked jam doughnut is underwhelming. It is both smaller than the traditional baker’s doughnut and less shapely. Sugar is unevenly distributed and, though it scores well in terms of colour, it does not proffer the moist and sensual allure, the promise of an almost indecent oral experience that the top doughnut houses pride themselves on.

Texture was somewhat dry and firm throughout, but particularly on top, leaving one longing for the fluffy flesh of a Viennese Sachertorte or the air-light flakiness of a Parisian croissant.

Jam pool siting was optimal – slightly off centre – though the content was a mildly disappointing raspberry.

Having said all that, any doughnut is better than no doughnut. Yum. Thanks.



The skin is like a brown paper bag: bland, boring. The dough is too dry and my tongue tires of the monotonous chewing of this disappointing ‘nut. The jam appears, rather than bursts, onto the scene. This is the saving grace: the tartness stimulates salivation, which helps with swallowing the dry confection. To be frank, I’m glad when it’s over. My least favourite doughnut so far.



Tesco’s offering for National Doughnut Week was quite small, with more granulated sugar around it, than remaining on the doughnut itself. Dry and tough, I wondered if it might be stale. The jam is less of a reservoir and more of a puddle and not of the highest quality, too tart and not fruity enough. A rather disappointing morsel.


Oh dear Tesco. How very disappointing. But your reputation might be saved by a third party... Tesco are the only supermarket in England to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and we shall review them next!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

National Doughnut Week: Sainsbury's Jam Ball Doughnuts x5

Sainsbury's turn today. I arrived at ten to nine in the morning and no doughnuts were on the shelf! I almost screamed in horror until a helpful stock assistant when to look for them, and found me not one but two packs, still warm. I restricted myself to just the one pack though.

At 65p for five these are cheaper than Co-op's. They're vegetarian too (though I forgot to check whether Co-op's are).


Golden, slightly crisp skin of the doughnut with just the right amount of greasiness. Soft but perfectly chewy and the best proportion of sugar – a lovely thick coating due to it syrupy nature. Lip-lickingly good, in fact. First bite reveals the tempting jam pool, second bite and it’s in my mouth. God I love these doughnuts. They’re a very good size but I could easily eat three in a row. I stopped at two though as I didn’t want to a spoil my appetite for lunch. Which, admittedly, was another doughnut.

9.5/10 (because nothing is ever perfect)


You know when you're at the fair as a kid and you get fresh doughnuts, straight from the fryer? Well somehow that's how Sainbury's has managed to produce their off-the-shelf offering. Moist, chewy and, well, doughy (strangely enough), they are really rather good. The choice of sugar syrup, rather than granulated, might not be to everyone's taste, but it does ensure there is still a sugar coating on the doughnut (not the box) when you get to eat them. I hope National Doughnut Week hasn't peaked early...



Today’s offering was less of a fail,
Significantly larger, slightly more pale,

The doughnut less firm to the touch; more aerated.
Using sugar syrup, not granulated.

Then we get to the important bit; inside The jam pool was imbalanced, too much on one side.

Once I found it though, it sure did taste good.
Leaving me craving more, like a doughnut should.


Michelle, as before, demonstrating some excellent poetic licence. A very popular doughnut, this one.

Tomorrow is Tesco!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

National Doughnut Week: Co-op Jam Doughnuts 5pk

Tuesday's delicious doughnut is from the Co-op. At 85p for 5, it's good value. Plus, if you're bringing doughnuts in for your team, you can get two packs of five for just £1.20. Not such a good idea if you're going on a solo doughnut binge though.

The doughnuts were warm when I bought them this morning, which was exciting. I enjoy simple pleasures. Although, worryingly, the packaging states they have been prepared in an environment that handles celery, crustaceans, fish, lupin and molluscs. What is lupin? Wolf meat?!

Onto the reviews:


This is a good travel-sized doughnut, but possibly a bit small for a growling mid-morning stomach that hasn't had any breakfast. I could easily eat two. The dough is nice and firm and chewy, though the outside a little tough. I'm a fan of granulated sugar, so points for that. However, I didn't reach the all important "jam pool" until four bites, which is too long in my book. More of the sticky red stuff please.



Coop's 5-pack of small doughnuts is the first offering in our Doughnut Week reviewing task. They are certainly nearer the firmer and chewier end of the spectrum, perhaps a symptom of being designed to sit on a shelf for a while. There is a decent well of jam in the centre and, although tasty, I don't think that the WI will be awarding it prizes any time soon. By the time my chops get round it, most of the sugar has dropped off; but it does provide a decent-enough start to the week's reviewing.



Whilst my colleagues gulped theirs down, I deliberately waited, restraining myself, allowing anticipation to rise. My eyes danced around object in front of me. I noted the slightly disappointing size, a slightly irregular shape, and although my excitement waned slightly, my hunger remained.  I wrapped my hands around it, felt it firm and lifted it to meet my lips, running my tongue along its surface.

And then took a bite.

It was disappointing to be honest – the dough was too firm. Whilst there was sufficient jam, this is more a reflection of the size of the confectionary rather than the quantity of jam. The sugar was too coarse and unevenly spread across the surface, and as a whole I didn’t find the doughnut sweet enough nor suitably satisfying.

It gave me a sugar hit, and thus gains some points, but not many.


Looks like I'm more generuos with my marks than my colleagues, though perhaps it's because I love doughnuts so much. Tune in tomorrow for more in-depth reviews of doughnuts, this time from Sainsbury's.

National Doughnut Week

It's National Doughnut Week! What do you mean, you've never heard of it and this is just an excuse for you to talk even more about doughnuts? Okay, possibly. But it does exists and it's been set up by The Children's Trust, a national charity that provides specialist care and rehabilitation for children with multiple disabilities. Every doughnut sold in participating bakers raises money for this important organisation.

Now, I've oft wondered: which supermarket makes the best doughnut? Is the powdery sugar of Tesco greater than the tingly crunch of Co-op's granulating topping? There's only one way to find out, and that is this: EAT ALL THE DOUGHNUTS. or more specifically, eat one doughnut from a different supermarket every day this week.

I have enlisted two most excellent colleagues to help me with this task, and to ensure I don't waste any delicious treats (I have been known to eat four doughnuts in a row, but doing that every day might possibly be a little unhealthy). So Michelle (@MLBrook), Lewis (@LewisGDean) and myself (@lulucrumble) will be tasting and rating a doughnut a day until Friday, and posting our reviews on this blog and Twitter. Hashtag #luludonut.

We're starting on Tuesday as I was out of the office Monday. The four supermarkets are, in order: Co-Op, Sainsbury's, Tesco A (own brand) and Tesco B (Krispy Kreme). Okay okay, I know Krispy Kreme isn't a supermarket but the other two begged me.

Join in if you like and post your review below or on Twitter. Note: they all have to be jam donuts with no special topping.