I love cooking, that has hopefully been evident from the articles I have written about food, cooking and eating!!! But whilst I love cooking (and the eating that follows) my weak spot is most definitely desserts. I can manage a half decent cake, and bang out a eatable crumble but anything more and I am a little bit stumped. So when it was suggested that perhaps I would like to find out a little bit more about Devilishly Delicious, with a view to a “Made in Great Britain” article, I leapt at the chance!
Why? Because Devilishly Delicious are a British company (based in Stonehaven, Scotland), who make a range of desserts, that require on your part an absolute minimum of effort to get the maximum of delicious results. Coming in cartons the simple packaging belies the delights that can be achieved.
The range at the moment is quite small, but this shouldn’t put you off trying them all – which is exactly what I have done!
My Devilishly Delicious journey started with what I thought might be my least favourite dessert, the Panna Cotta, I have never attempted to make one before and have eaten the odd panna cotta in restaurants, and have normally found them to be a little insipid! But I thought making one was a perfect introduction to Devilishly Delicious, and also a perfect excuse to open and taste a couple of the fruit coulis that they also make – I have been using (and loving – see my extolling below) sour cherry and raspberry, both are extremely fruity, not too overly sweet and make the absolute perfect accompaniment to a panna cotta, (I made four and as there was just two of us eating them, we of course had to try one with each coulis on it!!). I made the panna cottas in small jelly moulds with little removable bottoms (which means that any air holding your dessert in is released and your jelly or other dessert should slip out!).
When I say that they are easy to make, I was not exaggerating, you simply snip open the carton, pop the contents into a saucepan (I used a well used milk pan for all of my desserts as it is easy to pour from), bring the panna cotta mixture to the boil, boil for a couple of mins and then pop into your moulds (chef's perk while the mix is coming to the boil, grab a spoon and scrap out what is left in the carton – its yummy cold and uncooked!).
After a few hours the panna cottas were well cooled, and set. They really did slide like butter from a hot knife out of the moulds, and I liberally anointed them with the fruit coulis.
The result? So so much better than expected, the texture is perfect, not too set, but enough so that the panna cotta stands up to the rigours of a plating and being doused. It is creamy and mild tasting, not overly sweet, both fruit coulis were a delight, adding just enough sweet sharpness to create a truly delicious dessert, my presentation always leaves a little to be desired, but had I been served this in a restaurant, I would have been extremely pleased.
After the success of the panna cotta, a few days later it was time to leap in again, needing some comfort food and a hit of chocolate, I chose the Pot au Chocolat, again its a simple case of popping the contents of the carton into a saucepan, bringing it to the boil, and then leaving in the fridge to set. I served mine in little espresso cups with a chocolate tuile biscuit. The result? Absolute chocolate heaven, if you are a chocolate lover then this dessert will delight you! But I think the very best thing is the chocolate pot is not at all cloying, over sweet or heavy, which means unlike so many chocolate desserts, you really can happily eat it all. The overwhelming taste is not sugar or cream, but very rich chocolate. I adored it, and served in espresso cups with the addition of the tuile makes a very elegant dessert to follow a dinner.
Feeling on a roll, I was fairly confident that the Sicilian Lemon Pot was going to prove as easy to make and tasty as the first two. I am not the hugest fan of citrus in a dessert, so I didn’t think it would be my favourite! All the Devilishly Delicious range contain on the carton an idea to spice up or add a little extra to the dessert, and as I had friends for dinner, I took the advice and turned my lemon pot into little lemon tarts. Instead of using one large pastry case, I availed myself from M&S (I really do often make pastry but was feeling lazy!), of some individual all butter pastry cases, and after heating the lemon pot poured it in, and left the tarts to set. I also wanted to stretch the carton a little as I needed to feed six people rather than the four servings the cartons contain! (they are available in four (500ml) and two (300ml) servings). I had eight little cases and there was plenty of mix to fill each one, again just chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve. I served mine with some delicious creamy vanilla ice-cream. The result – probably one of the nicest things I have ever eaten, no exaggeration! Everybody round the table raved about them, the combination of the lemony creamy filling and the crisp buttery pastry cases was a delight. I wasn’t expecting to love them quite as much, but the Sicilian Lemon Pot was without a doubt, hands down the best of the Devilishly Delicious bunch for me, and I admit I didn’t tell anyone about the extra two lemon tarts in the fridge!!!
My love affair with crème brulee started a long time ago, I can even remember when – my first job, when I was 18 was in a law office, and at that time schmoozing certain individuals was just part of it, and it was expected that I would attend dinners with boozy young men, far too fond of the sound of their own voices, utterly convinced of their own importance, and it was at one of these particularly boring and loud dinners, my face aching from the fake smiling and my neck growing stiff from all the nodding and agreeing that I first tried a crème brulee, I ordered from the menu almost by mistake, not having time to look properly due to the red faced bore sitting next to me, actually not breathing between sentences, and only pausing to shovel food into his gob like a cement mixer eating sand, so when asked for my dessert order, I just pointed at the item on top, and it just happened to be crème brulee, when it arrived I wasn’t too impressed by the little pot on a plate, but oh my, after that first spoonful of the gorgeous rich custard and the caramelised top, I just fell in love, and for those moments of munching, there was nothing on my mind but crème brulee, I have no idea what red faced cement mixer mouth said for the rest of the meal, crème brulee had taken me! And from that day, over 15 years ago, to now, crème brulee is my favourite dessert, but it is also one I have never tried to make at home. So when I found out that Devilishly Delicious make a crème brulee, I was very excited to try it.
And of course, its a simple case of – open carton – pop in saucepan – bring to boil – pour into ramekins – leave to set. These being crème brulees, the only added bit of work needed is the demerara sugar on top, and a blow torch (or a hot grill). The result was satisfyingly creamy and unctuous, as it makes four servings, I had a go with two first, and my first go was ok, but I was a little timid with the blow torch, and didn’t let the sugar melt enough, so the second time I went at it! And the result was a perfect caramelised crunchy topping which was delicious. My favourite restaurant dessert, made at home, anytime!
Devilishly Delicious also make a range of fruit coulis, and of course I had to try a couple. As I said above, I tried raspberry and sour cherry, I poured both over a panna cotta which was delicious, and I have also had them a few times with vanilla ice-cream, and yep I have gone to the fridge more than once and taken a decent slurp straight from the bottle of both! Fruit coulis are fairly easy to make, but you can't always get the fruit and it is a phaff, especially with fruits that need pips or removing so buying them is a far easier option and the Devilishly Delicious range are extremely fruity tasting, plenty sweet enough without masking the taste of the fruit. I love cherries, and so their sour cherry coulis was my absolute favourite, and swirled into vanilla ice cream, its hard to beat.
The Devilishly Delicious range is unique because the finished results are fresh and taste just made, simply because they are!
You can find Devilishly Delicious in Waitrose, Superquinns (Ireland), Lakeland, Dobbies Garden Centres, Booths and various independent delicatessens and farm shops around the country, check out their website www.devilishlydelicious.co.uk, to find your nearest stockist!
Lets be social –