Taste test: Brandy Butter
Whether you like brandy butter on your Christmas pudding or prefer it on a mince pie, it's one of those Christmas indulgences that seems just right for the time of year. It's simple enough to make, but if you haven't got the time or simply couldn't be bothered, we tested a few of the commercial options that are available.
Avoca Brandy Butter, 200g, €5.95, 10/10
With a lovely light, whipped consistency and a serious hit of brandy (it makes up 11pc of the ingredients), this contender from Avoca was very popular with our testers. Contains only butter, icing sugar and brandy and tastes homemade. Gorgeous. Worth the extra couple of euros, especially if you are only buying one or two.
Dunnes Simply Better Handmade Brandy Butter, 180g, €2.99 (currently included in 2 for €5 mixed offer), 8/10
This brandy butter is produced by Tom & Laura Sinnott from Wexford Home Preserves. Our testers liked the consistency - almost mousse-like - the hint of bourbon vanilla, and the 50pc butter component, but they would have liked more brandy flavour, even though the Courvoisier VS Cognac already makes up 9pc of the ingredients.
Aldi Specially Selected Irish Brandy Butter, 155g, €1.99, 7/10
There's more sugar than butter (42pc) in this version from Aldi, which is handmade in Laois. The brandy comes from France but makes up only 7pc of the ingredients - our testers would certainly have liked there to be more.
M&S Brandy Butter, 195g, €3, 6/10
This brandy butter from M&S contains more sugar than it does butter, plus brandy (8pc) and concentrated lemon juice. Acceptable rather than exciting.
Donnybrook Fair Brandy Butter, 160g, €5.95, 6/10
Our testers found this handmade brandy butter "innocuous", saying it was hard to discern any brandy flavour. When we looked at the list of ingredients, we understood why - a stingy 2pc.