“ Brand: Duchy Originals / Type: Other Desserts / Food quality: Organic food „
Saturday night in our house is a bit of a treat. As hubby rarely gets home in time to eat with us Monday to Friday we always try to make the weekend meals something really special. Usually I cook a main course from scratch which is a bit more adventurous than during the week, we have candles, and generally make it a bit of an occasion. Sometimes I cook desert too, but sometimes I look out for something a bit special to end the meal.
I saw in Waitrose a desert called "Duchy Originals Gooseberry and Elderflower Posset" which looked rather tempting, and a bit special. Now I know Marks and Spencer are always promoting "dine in for £10 for two" but my meals never cost anywhere near that, as being veggie, and not eating meat or fish, it would be difficult to reach that figure, so I often don't mind spending a few extra pennies on something as a treat for desert.
These little puddings are made in individual glass ramekins so you can keep them afterwards and they are a nice size for home made sweets, or for little bowls of TV snacks. They cost £3.69 for two.
Duchy Originals are the brainchild of Prince Charles and he has been the driving force in building up this business, which has become very profitable, and has not only created employment in rural areas, but has also been able to plough over 6 million pounds of profit into charitable causes from environmental to health, from education to opportunity all over the UK and worldwide. His role in helping young people to start up in business is really helping some young entrepreneurs to get started, and to begin to climb the ladder in tough economic times. His work also helps to encourage and to train youngsters who are not in work to develop skills, to be more able to obtain employment and to build their morales. Recently he has provided jobs for 20 people in a factory in Cornwall, where they make delicious pies and deserts such as treacle tart, which is my father's favourite teatime treat. They also make this one there too!
All the deserts are of course organic, and this quintessentially British dish really appealed to me. I thought it sounded light and refreshing and a perfect ending to my meal, which was grilled halloumi on a bed of lamb's lettuce with a lentil and almond salad.
The ingredients in this desert are gooseberries which make up almost half of it, double cream, sugar, elderflower cordial, cornflour, and sunflower oil, and lemon juice.
The box looks gorgeous with views of gooseberries and of the desert! Making a posset is probably the easiest recipe in the world as it is basically a blend of three ingredients, cream, fruit, and sometimes sugar. The result is a decadent affair which goes really well with a contrasting texture like shortbread or almond biscuits, I often make it with lemon, but as gooseberries are not in season I thought this would be perfect.
Elderflowers which make up this desert are one of my favourite flavours, and they compliment gooseberries really well. In May I often go and pick the flowers, and make them into fritters which are out of this world.
So to the taste. By candlelight I served these little ramekins, and the creamy texture of the desert was beautiful. The gooseberries were still quite chunky and had not been allowed to lose their texture, and the subtle favour of elderflowers complimented them beautifully. In their glass dishes the aesthetic look of these was really good, as so often deserts come in plastic, which for a special meal I think ruins the atmosphere. The elderflower cordial just off set the tanginess of the gooseberries perfectly, but not too much so that they still had that sour taste. Overall I thought this was a very sensual desert and ideal for a cosy dinner party for two.
I would also say that at 227 calories each they are not the diet nightmare you imagine they would be, and being suitable for vegetarians they are excellent too.
If you are looking to create a romantic end to your dinner party you can't go wrong with these and they are ideal served with a New Zealand white sauvignon blanc wine, such as Oyster Bay, or Montana. You aren't going to get up from the table stuffed, as they are light and refreshing, and something a bit different.
You also have the comfort of knowing that the charity arm of the Duchy business is a really worthwhile cause, so in buying these you are doing a little bit to help many of our young people. You are also confident in the knowledge you are eating fruit which has not been sprayed with nasty chemicals, and that the way it was grown is protecting the wildlife and the flowers in the countryside, and that the cream used comes from cows that are reared organically too!