Sunday, November 21, 2010

Please Sir, I don't want any more..

There's a recipe in the 'breakfasts' chapter for Creamoata (p155). I hadn't given much thought to this, but I had a vague idea that Creamoata was some sort of porridgy stuff, perhaps a bit like semolina. I did notice that in the index, if you look up 'porridge' it directs you to the page of the Creamoata recipe. I thought this was a bit odd, but didn't take much notice.

It was only when, a few weeks ago, I was in the local supermarket, checking the ingredients for filled croissants in an Edmonds book on sale there, that I made a discovery: the Creamoata recipe had been renamed 'porridge'. Why? A little Googling filled me in on the fact that Creamoata, a New Zealand-made brand of fine-ground porridge oats, is no longer being manufactured. Interestingly, the iconic Creamoata logo was recognisable to me, even though I had no real recollection of what Creamoata was!

So, here we have our explanation: humble old porridge was merely a victim of the Edmonds book's understandable, but slightly irritating habit of specifying Edmonds or affiliated brands to be used in their recipes. Creamoata is (or was) just a brand of porridge. I didn't know quite what fine-ground meant, but the best substitution I could make was probably the quick-cook kind that I always use.

My usual slap-dash microwave method of preparing porridge would horrify a true porridge lover, so I was interested to see how it would come out on the stovetop. The first thing I noticed was that there was more water than I would usually use. A lot more: the recipe indicates 1 cup of Creamoata (i.e porridge oats) to 4 cups of boiling water, plus an extra half-cup of cold water.

You begin by making a paste with the porridge oats and the cold water, then gradually add in the boiling water. Boil for 3-5 minutes, and you've got porridge. Well, that was the plan, anyway.

It was clear from the outset that there was just way too much water. The porridge thickened up eventually, but it was a very unappealing texture - kind of like lumpy wallpaper paste. The porridge seemed to be mostly thickened water, with occasional lumps formed around a rolled oat, rather than a nice creamy bowl of oats.

I poured my unappetising breakfast into a bowl and added one of the suggested toppings: strawberries and honey. And while I do recommend strawberries and honey as a porridge topping, I really can't recommend you use this recipe for the actual porridge - that is, unless you prefer your porridge to be a thin, lumpy gruel!

Out of curiosity, I wandered back down to the supermarket this afternoon, to check whether it was just the title of the Creamoata that had been changed in the latest printing, or whether the recipe was actually different when made with non-Creamoata porridge oats.  Nope - just the title. So whatever kind of porridge oats you use, 4 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup oats is the recommended ratio. Recommended, that is, by the Edmonds book - definitely not by me!


  1. Creamoata is just fine ground oats not the larger flat oats you normally use. mrs RS always used them. it simply makes a finer end product usually.

  2. I don't use whole oats though - the quick-cook kind I have is probably closer to Creamoata in consistency. I don't think it matters how fine-ground your oats are anyway: you're still going to end up with sloppy porridge!

  3. You did it WRONG, so wrong. with the first paste, you need to squash out any lumps. Also, if you were doing one serving, you only need 1/4 of what the recipe calls for (obvious, since they say it serves 4). thatll make it cook much quicker and get the proper creamy texture rather than the watery one like in your picture. Further, you may benefit from stirring constantly with a whisk. Even if its boiling keep going for a few minutes then serve. Top with brown sugar and a dash of milk and it is PERFECT. Oh, also, when you're slowly adding the boiling water keep the heat on low until it all mixes together nicely. I regret not seeing this two years ago!

  4. Uh.. thanks for your input, I guess. It's good to know that someone gets a decent result from this recipe, but I can only reiterate that I did not. Note that despite your assertions re porridge to water ratios, I did not alter the proportions of the recipe in any way. The ratio in the recipe is as stated.

  5. 1 cup of fine ground oats is a larger portion of oats than your cup of quick cook and therefore requires more water (4 cups). Grind your oats down fine in a decent bender or blade type coffee grinder and you will get the effect you need. Add 2 tablespoons of full cream milk powder to the mix before cooking and you get the real stuff :-)

  6. Flemmings Cremota made Oat Bran Coarse & Finely ground, The Finely ground made a smoother porridge suitable to encourage children to eat it. The recipe was per person as below. Rolled oats whole, makes a lumpy porridge.
    3/4 cup milk, heat to nearly boiled, stirring - making it with water is yuck, with the price of milk people use water, doesn't taste as good.
    Mix together the following then Take off the heat to add.
    1/4 cup finely ground oat bran - using rolled oats that have been whizzed fine, oat bran fine ground, is still available, just not as fine as creamota was.
    1tsp sugar and 1/4 cup water. This is added to the milk, Stirring constantly and simmering on low for 3 minutes. Continue to stir. Creamota took 2 minutes. Serve with Brown Sugar and Cream was the original way and best tasting for children. Enjoy. From a Dunedin-ite

  7. To-day I bought Oat Bran from the supermarket to create Cremoata. I'm hoping to experiment with the with the oat bran.

  8. Hope the Iat Bran is still available. Loved Creamoata.


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