Welcome to my review of the April 2016 Degustabox. If you’re not familiar with the Degustabox then in brief it’s a subscription service whereby each month you’re sent a box full of goodies to try; most are either new brands or products and it works out far cheaper than buying everything individually in the shops. It is a bit of a lottery however as you have no idea what you will be sent, some products you may love, and others you might not be so keen on; the surprise element is quite fun though, and it encourages you to try products that you wouldn’t normally think to buy. If you fancy giving a box a try yourself then simply enter the discount code BLDEG15 at the checkout and you’ll get £6 off your first order!
My favourite products included were:
Parle Rusks and Biscuits: The rusks are crisp, cardamom scented toasts which were lovely both on their own or with cheese or jam, the packet disappeared incredibly quickly! The biscuits were sweet, milky flavoured and very addictive and lasted about as long as the rusks (which wasn’t long at all).
Veetee Microwaveable Rice: I never buy precooked rice, but after trying these I’m going to start keeping a couple of packets in the cupboard as they are perfect for a quick, easy, throw-all-the-contents-of-the-fridge-together lunch or dinner. I especially liked the brown rice quinoa blend one.
Pimms Cider Cup: What’s not to like? Cider mixed with Pimms and a hint of strawberry and cucumber – a lovely refreshing Summer drink.
Also included in the box were:
Canderel Sugarly: Sweetener that looks and tastes like sugar but with zero calories. I don’t buy sweeteners as I find them to have a funny taste and I generally prefer to just have a bit of proper cake and then have healthy meals; but this one was ok, I used it to make this lighter, greek yoghurt chocolate mousse which was very tasty.
Levi Roots Jerk Coat ‘n’ Cook Sauce: Jerk sauce that you can just pour over chicken, fish, vegetables etc and cook straight away, no need to marinate.
Popchips Sea Salt, Garlic And Rosemary: These were really nice, full of flavour and very more-ish, great both on their own or for dipping.
Rejuvination Water Apple And Mint: Spring water enriched with amino acids in an apple and mint flavour; I found the flavour slightly odd, however it wasn’t unpleasant and was quite drinkable and refreshing.
Milkybar Milk And Crunchy: Mini, cow shaped milkybars with crispy bits in, I’ve always loved milkybars so really enjoyed these, the crunchy bits were a nice addition.
Smarties Sharing Block: Milk chocolate filled with mini smarties, obviously this is going to be tasty! One bar shared between six though? I think not!
Bebeto Fruit Strings: This is not my kind of thing at all, they are probably quite nice, but definitely for kids and I didn’t have any to hand to pawn them off on to…
Green Lady Sparkling Tea: Sparkling water with green tea, carob fruit, nutmeg and rose oil; this is unlike anything I have tasted before but the flavour is actually really nice and very refreshing.
On to the mousse – this light, Greek yoghurt chocolate mousse is deliciously chocolatey and ethereally light, like eating a chocolatey cloud. It is also basically good for you – made with 0% fat Greek yoghurt and whisked egg whites in place of the usual cream, and Canderel sugarly in place of the sugar (although it barely contains any sugar anyway so even if you do use sugar it is still pretty healthy), the only fat comes from some dark chocolate and cocoa powder (or use cacao to make it even healthier). It is the perfect fix if you are craving dessert but want to keep things healthy. I served it topped with a cherry and blackberry compote, the tartness of which was perfect with the creamy lightness of the mousse and slight tang from the yoghurt; I think it would also be lovely with a dollop of whipped coconut cream and you can vary the fruits in the compote depending on what you have (I just so happened to have cherries and blackberries in the freezer).
Make sure that you use a really thick Greek yoghurt – I used Total/Fage, I think that Skyr would also work, as would Quark. It is a fairly soft-set mousse, if you would prefer it to have a slightly firmer set then you can increase the gelatin to two leaves (no need to adjust any of the other ingredients), and it is best eaten within a day of being made. The recipe makes enough for six small servings or four large ones (when a dessert is this healthy you can absolutely justify having a bigger helping!)
- 1 sheet of leaf gelatin (or two for a firmer set)
- 100ml (1/3 cup + 1tbsp) milk (I used full fat)
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- 125g (4oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 200g (7oz) 0% fat thick greek yoghurt (I used Fage/Total, or you could use Skyr)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp canderel sugary (or 2tbsp sugar)
- 125g (4oz) cherries (frozen is fine)
- 125g (4oz) blackberries (frozen is fine)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1-2 tsp canderel sugarly (or sugar), to taste
- Place the gelatin in a bowl of cold water, making sure that it is submerged and set aside for five minutes to soften. Meanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate either in short bursts in the microwave, or in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
- Whisk together the milk and cocoa powder in small pan, heat until steaming and just starting to bubble around the edges, don't let it boil. Remove from the heat, squeeze the excess water out of the gelatin, add it to the milk and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the hot milk into the chocolate and stir until smooth; allow to cool for a couple of minutes then mix in the yoghurt and vanilla extract.
- Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, add the canderel sugarly (or sugar) then continue to whisk until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then the other half. Divide the mousse between four to six glasses/jars/teacups and refrigerate overnight or for at least a couple of hours until set.
- Place the cherries, blackberries, water and sugar to taste in a small pan, bring up to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fruit has softened. Remove from the heat, adjust sugar to taste, leave to cool then refrigerate until cold, it will thicken a little as it cools.
- To serve, top the mousse with a spoonful of the berry compote, and maybe a dollop of whipped (coconut) cream!
I am sharing these with Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday, Friday Features, Fiesta Friday hosted by The Frugal Hausfrau and Unwed Housewife, Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant,