Monday 5 October 2015

Gino D'Acampo 'Bake With Me' Pizza Bases now available!

Did I tell you about the time I went to cook in Gino D'Acampo's house? No? Possibly one of the most surreal experiences of my life, walking down a leafy suburban street to knock on the door of a famous TV Chef and Celebrity Juice Team Captain.

Pizza and Prosecco for lunch really is the story of my ideal day. What's more, I can now recreate it at home myself, yay! Shame that I won't always have Gino with me to make it perfect, but I'll just have to live with the memories I guess.

Gino has launched a new range of chilled, ready rolled pizza bases, and we were there to test them out for him. Such a hard job, but somebody had to do it. 'We' was a group of around ten lovely bloggers who are all known for being honest, and I'm sure I spotted a bead or two of sweat on Gino's forehead as he strived to impress us (either that, or it was very hot with so many people in his lovely kitchen and all the ovens on). Sadly the heat also steamed my phone camera up as you can probably tell - not quite as damaging as the toilet water a week later, but that's a whole other story....

Seriously, these pizza bases are the best idea I've seen since sliced bread. Sadly another one that won't be doing my waistline any favours, but it may improve my sanity so I'll call that a win.

The pizza bases come ready rolled on baking paper, so you just uncurl, leave on the paper and put both straight onto a baking tray (a cold one, preferably, especially if you are creating with children). Then you spread your choice of tomata sauce on top, leaving a finger width free at the edge. If you'd like to be all Italian, you then brush some olive oil around the edges before adding your cheese - mozarella in rustic torn off pieces was the authentic style Gino showed us, but of course you can slice or grate if you prefer. It was suggested that buffalo mozarella is not the best choice though as that is likely to make the base go too moist (and nobody wants a soggy bottom, do they?).

We were given the very useful tips that most toppings should only be added for the last minute or so of cooking time (unless they are 'strong' ingredients such as peppers or pepperoni), and that all pizzas taste better with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top - who am I to argue? Only 15 minutes in the oven and I can confirm that the base turns out lovely and crispy, the perfect texture.

Gino then took lunch a step further, by baking us a sweet pizza. His rectangular base can be spread with Nutella, loaded with sliced banana and then wrapped in a roll. Cut the roll into slices, lay them back out on the baking paper and pop into the oven for a totally delicious sweet treat perfect for parties or good for freezing (if you can restrain yourself).

All of the bases are preservative free and have an amazing 2 week shelf life which means that if you are slightly disorganised on the cooking front like me, you can keep them in your fridge ready to pull out at a moment's notice. They can also be frozen, and the packaging is well designed so they take up little space. I loved the fact that Gino has obviously put a lot of thought into this range; tasty and great value would be my topline review comment.

There are Thin & Crispy bases in the range which are 200g and round in shape, or the Family bases which are slightly thicker, 400g and rectangular. For super speedy (or lazy) shoppers and chefs like me, the family base also comes in a kit with its own plain tomato sauce. The range is called Gino D'Acampo Bake With Me and is available from today at Asda. We were amazed at the great price points (RRP starts from £1.50), and I can let you know that there is some pretty strong promotional pricing for the first few weeks, so you may want to stock up. Look out for additional options in the coming months too, such as brown bases.

Thanks so much to Tots for this great opportunity and thanks to Gino for a lovely lunch!