April 2014 – Degustabox Product Review

April Degustabox

Continuing on from the success of Motherhood Diaries’ debut review of February’s Degustabox, I will now be reviewing the fantastic Degustabox service every month. And, each review will feature a delicious recipe using one or more of the products from the Degustabox. Can’t wait!

For more information on the Degustabox, including the services they offer, please check out my very first Degustabox review here: http://bit.ly/1uNue8V.

But, for a quick recap, Degustabox is an online retail service that offers a monthly package full of nutritional goods for a monthly fee of £12.99. Products range from condiments to organic food and drink, and each Degustabox is packed with lots of information on the products and their manufacturers/suppliers. You can sign up to receive a monthly Degustabox here: http://bit.ly/DBhomepage


You can also stay updated via Degustabox’s social networks too:

Facebook – http://bit.ly/DBUKFacebook

Twitter – http://bit.ly/DBUKTwitter

And, customers have the opportunity to receive a hefty 40% discount when signing up to Degustabox updates with their email address.

So, let’s get started!

Reviewers:

Tommy (Daddy)

Leyla (Mummy)

Aron (3 years old)

Aidan (2 years old)

Review:



This month’s Degustabox recipe

Snowcapped Chocolate Fondants using Dr. Oetker’s Fine Cooks’ 72% Dark Chocolate – http://motherhooddiaries.com/recipe-snowcapped-chocolate-fondants/

Products

DR. OETKER £1.69/each

Established over 100 years ago in Germany, Dr Oetker and the family business have developed into an internationally trusted food brand, with lots of high-quality innovative products to meet ever changing consumer needs.

“The Dr. Oetker range of Fine cooks’ Chocolate has been specially created for baking to ensure you achieve great results every time. Out Extra Dark Chocolate contains 72% Cocoa Solids which melts beautifully, and delivers an intense, rich flavour. For inspiring chocolate recipes, visit www.oetker.co.uk/chocolate.”


We received two x 150g of Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ 35% and 72% Chocolate bars for home baking.


I have to admit, I already had plans to use the 72% Dark Chocolate bar for baking our super duper Snowcapped Chocolate Fondants (http://motherhooddiaries.com/recipe-snowcapped-chocolate-fondants/), so I sneakily ate the entire 35% chocolate bar by myself (not all in one sitting of course!)

Our opinion – The chocolate was very sweet, but very yummy, and tasted exactly like the gorgeous topping you can buy that hardens on ice cream. I’ve always preferred the taste of baking chocolate to normal chocolate brands. The quality by comparison sometimes can be astounding!


Seeing as my son and I had discussed making some chocolate cakes prior to receiving the Degustabox, I thought the best product to choose from the Degustabox was Dr. Oetker’s 72% Extra Dark Chocolate for our yummy chocolate puddings. You can find the full recipe here: http://motherhooddiaries.com/recipe-snowcapped-chocolate-fondants.

Our opinionThe extra dark chocolate had a bitter aftertaste, but it was the perfect healthy addition to the chocolate puddings.

CRABBIE’S – £2.19 Strawberry & Lime OR Raspberry

The roots of the distinctive Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer stretch all the way back to the early nineteenth century when pioneer, John Crabbie, set sail from the port of Leith, Edinburgh, in search of the finest spices and ingredients from far-off lands.

Crabbie’s recipe is made with 4 closely-guarded secret ingredients, which are combined with ginger that is shipped from the Far East and steeped for up to 6 weeks to produce its deep, spicy flavour.

“To give Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer its uniquely refreshing taste, we blend steeped ginger and the finest exotic spices for up to 6 weeks. And we’re just as creative with our other varieties. Our Strawberry & Lime flavour fuses zesty lime with scrumptious strawberries, and we use real Scottish raspberries in our raspberry flavoured alcoholic ginger beer.”


My husband’s ears pricked up when I told him we had something alcoholic to drink in the Degustabox, but his mood sunk as quickly as it lifted when I told him it was ginger beer. He’s a huge fan of beer – ginger beer, on the other hand, not so much… But we both decided to pour ourselves a glass and taste this new raspberry flavoured ginger beer.

Our opinion – Very sweet, but very refreshing. You can definitely taste the raspberries and the classic ginger beer taste comes through. It almost reminds me of those newly flavoured ciders you can get, but with a much easier aftertaste to bear. I’m not a huge fan of very sweet drinks, so I could probably only stomach one bottle of the Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, but I can imagine those who aren’t lovers of that distinct alcoholic taste in drinks will lap these drinks up as they taste just as sweet as some soda drinks sold in supermarkets.

CLEARSPRING – £1.29 each

Clearspring’s goal is to get organic food back on the dining table so that people can enjoy the same quality of foods as their grandparents did. Each of Clearspring’s food products has a distinct flavour and quality that comes from the finest quality ingredients and respecting local food traditions. All Clearspring foods are vegan, free from dairy and animal derivatives, sugar-free and GM-free.

“Miso soup on the Go is as simple as just adding water. Rich in satisfying flavour, low in fat and full of concentrated goodness. Ideal for a quick and healthy lunch or a light but satisfying snack. Each miso block is freeze-dried, locking in all the nutritional benefits. Vegan friendly and can be enjoyed by everyone.”


Our opinion – Very easy to prepare, just literally add the Miso Soup blocks to your mug with hot water. Surprisingly flavoursome as some packet soups in the market tend to taste quite watery and bland. But, you can definitely taste the authentic Japanese flavours coming through. The beauty of these is they’re handbag-sized, lunchboxed size and they’re healthy, so I offered some of the soup to my boys, and they both really enjoyed them! It’s nice to offer a variety of foods to my boys to try as I believe this approach will allow them to develop quite a keen pallet for trying new things. (just like their mummy and daddy! ;-))

LINDT – £0.80 each

Since 1845 LINDT has been dedicated to producing the world’s finest chocolates. It all started in a small pastry shop on Marktgasse in Zurich’s old town in 1845. Confectioner David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his 29-year-old son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann, who also trained to be a confectioner, dared to do something new: they decided to make chocolate. In particular and in keeping with the new fashion that came from Italy – solid bars – just like François-Louis Callier in Vevey and Phillippe Suchard in Neuchâtel had already done.

“Lovingly created by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers, Lindor allows you to melt away into a moment of pure bliss. Now you can enjoy blissful moments anywhere you go with the Lindor 38g Treat Bar. You choose the moment we’ll provide the bliss.”


Our opinion – We are quite familiar with Lindt’s Lindor Truffles, which I’m not a huge fan of myself, again because the chocolates are simply too sweet, but these Lindt bars don’t disappoint! My boys, including my husband, lapped these up, but I couldn’t manage even just one bar. You still get the classic soft centre and the smooth chocolatey-ness, which melts in your mouth with a nice cuppa. Very indulgent!

GO SPLASH – £2.45 Blackcurrent OR Orange Pineapple OR Lightning Red

Go Splash™ makes 48ml pocket-sized flavoured bottles, each enhancing 6 litres of water without the need for refrigeration. You simply squeeze the preferred amount in your water and away you go! There are a number of flavours to choose from and each bottle contains no added sugar and is low in calories (less than 2kcal per glass).

“Go Splash makes water exciting and helps you to create your favourite drink without adding sugar and lots of calories. Each pocket sized bottle flavours 6 litres of water and doesn’t need refrigeration. Wherever you are; simply squeeze the preferred amount of Go Splash in your water and enjoy it your way!”


Our opinion – There is a new craze going around and Go Splash have definitely come up trumps with this genius idea of offering consumers the ability to squeeze sugar-free flavouring into the water on the go without the need for carrying large concentrated juice bottles around. The blackcurrant flavoured bottle makes 30 x 200ml glasses of what literally tastes like blackcurrant Ribena and the beauty of it is that I can carry this everywhere to sweeten mine and my boys’ drinks if needs be. Such a clever and innovative idea, which I believe will really kick off and make regular concentrated juice bottles obsolete.

CAWSTON PRESS – £1.00

Cawston Press pride themselves on being master blenders. At harvest time they pick the finest fruit brimming with flavour and then press it immediately, combining different varieties to create blends of apple juice bursting with healthy goodness. Each drink contains no artificial sweeteners, artificial colourings or preservatives.

“We think there might be room in your fridge for a better soft drink. One with better ingredients, without preservatives, additives or artifical sweeteners. It’s time to love sparkles again. Cawstonpress.com / Facebook.com/cawston press / @cawstonpress #lovesparkles.”


Our opinion – Cawston Press have come up with a very refreshing and tantalisingly healthy apple and rhubarb sparkling water, which tastes organic, yet refreshes you on a hot summer’s day. Ok, we haven’t quite experienced a hot day yet, but a nice sunny and dry day will suffice for this quenching drink. The sparkling flavoured water isn’t too sweet (perfect for me!) and you can taste the fresh ingredients of rhubarb and apple quite clearly.

KEOGH’S – £1.00

For over 200 years, Keogh’s have turned the craft of potato growing into an art. Keogh’s started in the fertile lands of North County Dublin where the soil nutrients, rainfall, and temperature are ideally suited to grow potatoes. Over many generations, they have specialised in a vast range of fresh produce, from potatoes to strawberries and lots in between!

“Keogh’s Farm is a family owned and run potato growing and crisping business based in North County Dublin, an area famous for producing Ireland’s finest potatos. Our Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar crisps are gluten free and available on www.ocado.com and the “World Foods” sections of Tesco UK.”



Our opinion – Packed full of flavour, the Irish cider vinegar shines through, making these crisps incredibly tasty. I absolutely love salt and vinegar crisps and I enjoyed the Atlantic Sea Salt and Irish Cider Vinegar even more. Aron, my eldest, isn’t a huge fan of such strong flavours, but he really enjoyed these crisps. And, Aidan, who is a complete carbon copy of me in terms of taste, thoroughly devoured these crisps in 2 minutes flat! We will definitely be buying these crisps again.

MORNFLAKE – £1.20 each

Mornflake have been milling oats in the South Cheshire countryside since 1675, making them the longest established miller of oats and cereal in the UK. 15 generations later, they are still independently owned and managed by the direct descendants of the original miller, William Lea. Originally Mornflake milled oats off farmers, but now they contract supplies from them and sell the milled product directly.

“Enjoy a delicious bowl of cereal on the go, with the new Mornflake Superfast Pots! Mornflake Superfast Pots become a ready-made bowl of cereal by adding a splash of cold water and come complete with a handy spoon. Choose from Raisin, Honey & Almond Granola and Fruit & Nut Muesli.”


Our opinionLiterally all you need to do is to add cold water to get a ready-made bowl of cereal, which is really handy on the go. My husband took both of these pots to work and he told me that both pots tasted delicious and favoured the Raisin, Honey & Almond Granola over the Fruit & Nut Muesli, which had more of a bland flavour to its counterpart. The portions are very generously sized, so they are a filling breakfast treat, which will keep you going up until lunchtime.

MCVITIE’S – £1.30 each

McVitie’s story begins with an apprentice baker called Robert McVitie, who was born in Scotland in 1809. In 1830, Robert and his father, William, opened a ‘provision’ shop in Rose Street, Edinburgh. Robert’s baking was so popular he managed to open more shops and expand the business. The first original ‘Digestive’ biscuit was born in 1892 where the secret recipe is still used today. In 1924, McVitie & Price began to concentrate on biscuits because they travelled so well and would keep fresh on their long trips, and in 1925 the Homewheat Chocolate Digestive biscuit (AKA McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives) was born through the blending of biscuit and chocolate. McVitie & Price introduced the Jaffa Cake in 1927 which is a simple combination of apricot, sugar and tangerine oil to form a sealed layer of jam. The classic Penguin bar was introduced in 1932 by William McDonald, a biscuit manufacturer in Glasgow and became a McVitie’s brand in 1946. In 1985, Hobnobs were launched and huge demand led to the introduction of the chocolate variety in 1987. Boasters were launched in 1988 and became the top selling branded Special Treat Cookie, which is still going strong today. 1999 was the year when the Digestive family was further extended, with the launch of Milk Chocolate Caramel Digestives, and in 2012 McVitie’s Breakfast Biscuits were born.

“Jaffa Cakes Mini rolls – Tropicool and Berry Burst: Grab some zesty mischief this summer with our scrummy new mini rolls! Individually wrapped, you can now pop our mini rolls in your freezer and enjoy frozen as a light, refreshing summer snack.”


Our opinion – Easily the boys’ favourite, these Jaffa Cake Mini Rolls are absolutely scrumptious, frozen, chilled or at room temperature. We decided to test the rolls at all temperatures and at frozen temperature, the rolls didn’t quite freeze but became a more chewy bar with very cold jam in the middle. The chocolate snaps off when frozen and the boys really enjoyed every layer, eating around the chocolate exterior, then munching through the sponge to get to the jammy middle. I asked the boys which their favourite was and they both said that the Berry Burst tasted the best. My favourite was the Tropicool as it was less sweet and zestier. Very refreshing and extremely tasty!

What did I like most about April’s Degustabox?

The Go Splash bottle, which I have literally taken everywhere with me to boost my bottle of water and, occasionally, my boys’ sippy cups.

What to watch out for:

The Keogh’s crisps are Irish Cider Vinegar flavoured, so it should be fine to offer to minors – they won’t get drunk off the cider! J

Rating:


5 out of 5 – Fantastic range of products, which really opened up my eyes to the types of products that are around that I wouldn’t normally have picked up off the shelf. I shall be buying every one of these products in the future.


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Leyla Preston (564 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 6. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/