Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cube Your Desserts and Treats

Once more I'm bringing you a product review from a company that I connected with through the Tomoson program. As you know, on The Chocolate Cult we primarily look at products which are chocolate or made from any part of the cacao tree/bean but we do also cover items you may use when you are making or serving your own goodies at home or even if you own a small business. These Market Lane 5oz Plastic Cube Cups come with spoons so that you could be ready to go with a dessert or treat in minutes. Not only did I test these with a few types of desserts but I also checked on the washability and reusability of the cups and spoons since reduce of trash and protection of our cacao growing world is very important to our chocolate futures. I was sent a set of 20 cube cups and spoons by Market Lane in exchange for an honest review; no other form of compensation was received.

Let's look at the cups and spoons themselves to begin. The label on the box reads "Clear food-grade cups for desserts / appetizer. BPA-FREE. EXTRA STRONG. When I unpack them I'm surprised by the shape, they are taller than I expected them to be. Specifically they have a 1.5 inch base square, a 2.25" top square, and are 3" tall. The spoons are 4" long and have a very round head. Here is one cup topped by one spoon.

Next let's examine how well these cups function as bowls for quick treats such as frozen desserts and ice cream. It is a bit of a challenge to put ice cream into the bowls given their shape; you have to do it a bit at a time, pressing gently down from time to time. If you can do that, you can get one serving worth of ice cream in as you can see in the photo. Yes, by weight (minus the cups) that is exactly one serving per variety of ice cream. In case you are wondering, this is peanut butter cup, chocolate, and s'mores flavors.

How well do these cups work as dishes for desserts to set in? I made some dark chocolate mousse to test this out. I used Dr. Oetiker Dark Chocolate Truffle Mousse mix with skim milk and it should make four servings. As you can see in the photo these cub cups are a bit small for that if you wanted to add anything else to the dessert like a cream topping or fruit.  I'd recommend if you want to do that, to put the mousse for four into 5 of these cups or you could even portion control or make a four serving dessert stretch to five with this trick as well.

One problem with the shape of these cups and the spoons is that you will get remains of whatever soft you put into them in the bottom corners. The photo shows the leftover mousse. There are two ways this could have been dealt with. First, make the spoons more squared shovel shaped or two round the inside. Of course you could use a finger to get the rest of the food but that's not very good etiquette. This a design problem and really only matters if you are putting soft or semi liquid food in these cups. They would work fine for berries or nuts, for example, but those are very chocolatey, are they? Not usually.

Finally how well did these cups and spoons wash up so that they could be reused? Washing by hand was find but a bit of a challenge, again, because of the shape. Putting the cups on the top rack of an average dish washer and the spoons with the rest of your utensils worked just fine; just don't use a heat dry setting for safety. Similar concerns for cold -- these are great in the refrigerator but keep them out of the freezer or they may crack and break.

Washable and reusable cups and spoons would be a great idea if you have parties. Not only would they pay for themselves over the course of several uses compared to just disposing of plastic or paper items but you can also exercise portion control so you can be certain you have enough of any treat for up to 20 guests. Make your desserts ahead of time and then serving up on a platter or lay out on a table. If these cups sound like they would be a great idea for a party, a company event, or even just to have around your house, check them out. Remember if you follow our links you help out the company as well as The Chocolate Cult.

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