Monday, 20 February 2012



Ocado discovers the formula behind the perfect pancake toss

(February 20, 2012) ONLINE SUPERMARKET Ocado has cracked more than eggs ahead of Shrove Tuesday. Teaming up with one of the country’s top physicists, the innovative grocer has mastered the art of perfect pancake tossing.

With more batter expected to hit ceilings than the roofs of our mouths this Pancake Day, Ocado has created the ideal equation for a flippin’ good time. Working with Dr Mark Hadley, researcher at the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, the formula behind the year’s trickiest culinary feat is:

Don’t be daunted by the science though. Ocado has simplified things, claiming that the recipe for a splat-free landing rests on one key element - ‘perfect pancake altitude’. When tossed at the right height, the pancake’s launch velocity and spin are perfectly matched – much like a topping of lemon and sugar - for optimum results.

For a typical toss, Ocado suggests you aim for a pancake height of 0.5 metres. Your upwards arm swing will naturally give the pancake a velocity of 3m/sec, imparting a spin of five radians per second, resulting in a successful travel time of just over half a second, before landing safely back in the pan.

Ocado has created three toss techniques with Dr Hadley to ensure there is a flip for everyone - from the pancake showboater to the harassed host cooking crepes for a cast of thousands.

· The Show Off This mammoth two-armed throw is suitable for those looking to wow a crowd, or cooks wielding a cast iron pan. With arms outstretched and swinging from the shoulder, one should aim for a height of 0.7 metres

· The Chef This quick, efficient toss is ideal for pancake connoisseurs. Whilst holding the pan near the rim, with just a flick of the wrist this toss will require a height of just over half a foot. 16cm to be precise.

· The Hungry Horde Many mouths to feed? Avoid over-exertion and a nasty case of ‘pancake elbow’ with this toss. The upper arm hardly moves as the forearm swings upwards from the elbow. The distance from the elbow to the centre of the pan is typically 60cm; to achieve the perfect toss time after time, one should aim for a height of 0.47 metres, to be exact.

But what’s the real secret? Dr Hadley flips pancake convention on its head and brings it down to size: “The trick is to break the air pressure. To achieve the perfect flip, one must restrict the size of the pancake. The traditional Ocado pancake recipe provides the ideal consistency to retain a suitable thickness which will combat the impact of air pressure, whilst also being light enough to toss.”

When it comes to cooking up a pancake storm, be sure to follow Ocado’s fundamental tips so the finished article is ready for a terrific toss:

· Lubrication Use one teaspoon of oil to ensure the pancake does not stick, yet isn’t too lubricated, resulting in ‘pancake slip’

· Cooking time Cook the pancake until it bubbles and blisters, to roughen the bottom surface. This allows the air to rapidly fill any void under the pancake and equalise the pressure

· Circumference Make it manageable - for bigger pancakes, the area increases much faster than the air can creep in. By increasing a pancake from 10cm to 30cm diameter, it becomes three times harder to toss

· The Strength Test Use a spatula to lift the edge of the pancake – if you can lift it 2cm away from the pan, then it is strong enough to toss

Jason Gissing, co-founder of Ocado comments: “Ocado strives to deliver more than a just broad range of groceries; we want to make people’s lives easier where their kitchens are concerned. As such, we’re proud to work with a diverse range of experts and suppliers to provide fun, new and exciting ways to celebrate the country’s tastiest occasions.”

For further information on Ocado pancake recipes and ingredients,

Thursday, 2 February 2012



Research out today reveals that Brits are counting pennies rather than counting sheep, as almost three quarters of the nation admit to having sleepless nights thanks to financial worries keeping them awake at night.

The sleep study, commissioned by the UK’s best value hotels, Premier Inn, found that four in ten Brits have a disturbed nights sleep as a result of worrying about having enough cash to pay bills and ‘get through’ the month. Concerns about work, love life woes and fears over health were highlighted alongside financial worries as being the top reasons that Brits lie awake at night.

Of the 2,000 adults surveyed, the majority revealed their sleepless nights are caused by things playing on their mind, rather than physical disturbances like annoying car alarms or persistent dog barking. That said the beeping, flashing or buzzing of mobile phones does cause one in twenty of us to stir from our slumber.

Getting the temperature right seems to be a crucial element of a good night’s sleep with over a quarter of Brits being unable to nod off if they are too hot and 16% claiming they wake up if it’s too cold.

Claire Haigh, spokeswoman for Premier Inn, commented: ‘’Most of us suffer from sleepless nights at some point in our lives and it can be extremely frustrating when something is playing on your mind as it makes it hard to drop off.

“The fact that people have stated money and finances as the top reason for a restless night’s sleep is a true reflection of the tough economic climate.”

“Dwelling on things at night when you are already tired can make things seem a lot worse than they are. It is important we try and relax and switch off before bed so we get the good night’s sleep we need.”

“The research revealed that 40% of us actually have a better night’s sleep when we are staying away from home as it allows us to really switch off. This demonstrates how important it is to occasionally get away from the stresses of everyday life, but making sure the time away from home won’t break the bank.”

The study revealed that the average time when Brits are most likely wake up from the land of nod is between 2am and 3am and for those who suffer sleepless nights regularly it can happen at least twice a week, with almost a quarter of Brits saying Sunday is their most restless night, due to worry about the coming week.

Other concerns playing on Brits’ minds this year include worries over preparations for the Queen’s Jubilee, excitement for the Olympics coming to England and even 6% admit to missing out on their 40 winks as a result of the US presidential election.

Premier Inn guarantees all guests a good night sleep, offering a refund if guests are not 100% satisfied with their stay.


  1. Money worries
  2. Work issues
  3. Being too hot
  4. Needing the toilet
  5. Relationship problems
  6. Health problems
  7. Being too cold
  8. Partner snoring
  9. Partner tossing and turning
  10. The wind

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


If you’re in a fizzy tizz about what to get your loved ones this Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, look no further than a SodaStream, the perfect gift for that special someone. The sparkling drinks maker comes in a wide variety of designs and colours that will look stylish in any kitchen and be sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Valentine’s Day

Sprinkle some fizz on your loved one this Valentine’s Day with a super chic and stylish limited edition Pink Fizz machine (rrp. £99.99). Practical and pretty, the baby pink drinksmaker will add the perfect pop of colour to brighten up any kitchen, making it the perfect must-have accessory for style conscious fashionista.

And for the man in your life, how about the red Fizz in ‘passionate red’ (RRP £119.99) which has a patented in-built technology to monitor how fizzy your drink is, as well as check how much gas is left in the canister. Meaning no fizzy fan is left flat – and it’s the perfect way to shower your loved one with fantastic fizz all year round.

Mothers Day

Want to treat your Mum to some sparkle this Mother’s day? SodaStream’s ‘Gift for the Environment’ range is the perfect gift for smart mums after a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get their fizzy fix. Creating delicious sparkling drinks with water straight from the tap, SodaStream uses refillable gas cylinders and reusable carbonated bottles producing just a fraction of the waste compared to throwaway bottles and cans!

The shimmering design in Fizz (RRP £119.99), and Genesis (RRP £69.99) sits perfectly on any kitchen countertop, and with the new, better for you Clear + range being infused with added health benefits, let mum be the envy of all her friends.

SodaStream is a great way of having family fun together to create some great tasting sparkling drinks. Look out for the new naturals range which includes a variety of flavours including Blackcurrant and Pear, Lemon Lime and Pink Grapefruit as well as Strawberry, Apple and Orange and Peach for the kids. With over 40 great tasting flavours in the range, there is sure to be something to everyone’s taste buds.

SodaStream drinksmakers are available from John Lewis, Argos, The Range, Comet, Lakeland, Robert Dyas and selected Curry’s ASDA, Sainsbury’s and House of Fraser and other forward thinking retailers. The drinks makers are priced from £49.99 and flavours from £3.29. For more information visit or look us up on Twitter @sodastreamuk