Welcome to my review of the March 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:
Kallo Quinoa and Seeds Multigrain Rice Cakes and Kallo Milk Chocolate Rice Cakes: both of these made a great, tasty snack, the multigrain ones were lovely with houmous or cheese and the chocolate ones were just chocolatey enough to satisfy a chocolate biscuit craving without being unhealthy.
Parle Hide and Seek Chocolate Chip Biscuits and Monaco Salted Crackers: These are apparently an Indian brand of biscuits; the Hide and Seek chocolate chip biscuits are really tasty and more-ish and the Monaco ones are basically Ritz crackers and therefore very good, both packets disappeared in record time!
Lindt White Chocolate Gold Bunny: Does this really need any further explanation? Delicious white chocolate in bunny form, what could be better?
Also included in the box were:
Brioche Pasquier Pains Au Chocolat With Crème Pâtissière: Pretty self explanatory - pain au chocolat with added pastry cream, they are individually packaged so that they are portable although I think that they are best when warmed through in the oven.
Weetabix On The Go Breakfast Drink: Claims to have all the energy and fibre of a Weetabix cereal with milk and added extra protein but there is no way that a drink could ever replace a proper breakfast for me; I didn't find it filling at all and it had a slightly odd, processed flavour...
a2 Milk: Supposedly a lot of people who are intolerant to milk are actually only intolerant to the a1 protein found in most milk; a2 milk doesn't contain this protein and only has the easy to digest a2 protein. I can't tell how effective it is as I don't have a milk intolerance, it did just taste like regular milk though, albeit skimmed, which I am not a fan of; to quote Ron Swanson (of Park's and Recreation), "Skim milk is water that's lying about being milk".
Metcalfe's Skinny Cinema Sweet Popcorn: Sweet popcorn with 67% less sugar than regular sweet popcorn, it was quite nice if sweet popcorn is your thing (I prefer salted and buttery), I used some to make this popcorn rocky road, thereby rendering the fact that it is low sugar utterly irrelevant...
Kent's Kitchen Apricot Apple And Ginger Stuffing: I haven't actually had a chance to try this yet although I do like the sound of the flavour.
Chewits in Blackcurrant and Strawberry Flavours: The classic chewy sweet in packets of individual flavours for people who only like the red or purple ones.
Pipers Crisps Cheddar And Onion Flavour: I really like Pipers crisps, they have a lot more flavour than other brands and make a fantastic crisp sandwich.
Karyatis Meze To Go: A roasted red pepper and feta dip with rosemary crackers, packaged up to be portable. It was ok but not one of the nicer dips I've had and I wouldn't buy it, it is easy enough to put some nice home-made dip and some crackers in tupperware pots to take with you and is far nicer.
On to the rocky road; this is a fairly standard rocky road recipe, apart from the addition of the popcorn - a mixture of crushed digestive biscuits, mini marshmallows, dried cranberries (or use cherries - dried sour or glace) and popcorn are bound together with chocolate, butter and golden syrup then drizzled with white chocolate to finish. Rocky road is very customiseable, you can add some roughly chopped nuts if you like, swap the digestives for another type of biscuit, change the kind of dried fruit you use etc etc. I used the sweet popcorn from the Degustabox for this, but I would recommend using toffee popcorn as I think it would retain more of a crisp texture; the popcorn does soften a bit but retains the popcorn flavour. Rocky road is incredibly quick and simple to make, all that is involved is melting a few ingredients then mixing everything together then scraping it into a tin; the hardest part is waiting for it to set before slicing it!
Popcorn Rocky Road
- 300 g dark chocolate (or use half dark, half milk), chopped
- 100 g butter
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 50 g mini marshmallows
- 100 g digestive biscuits , broken into small pieces
- 35 g popcorn (toffee is best)
- 100 g dried cranberries or cherries
- 30 g white chocolate , chopped
- Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together in a heavy bottomed saucepan then set aside for about 15 minutes until cooled but still runny.
- Line a 20cm (8in) square cake tin with a sheet of baking parchment.
- Place the marshmallows, biscuits, popcorn and cranberries in a large bowl, pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and stir until everything is well combined and coated in chocolate.
- Tip into the prepared tin and flatten as best you can with a spatula, refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, until set then lift the slab out of the tin and cut into squares. Keep refrigerated.