Review of Tesco’s Free From Chocolate Gateau

Being dairy free I never thought that it would be possible to eat a chocolate gateau that you could simply pick up from a local supermarket. So when I heard that Tesco’s free from range new chocolate gateaux was both gluten free and dairy free I got a little excited. My mission was then to find one to try. This was easier said then done as they always seemed to be sold out and my dedicated freezer space remained empty. Finally after several trips to various Tesco’s I managed to find one. I eagerly placed it in my basket to take home and save it until the weekend for a treat.

Onto the packaging of the gateau it was in the usual colour and style that you get with Tesco’s free from range. There is a large picture of the gateau to the front which looks highly inviting. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free, wheat free and milk free. It is also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list egg and soya are highlighted as allergens. There is also a may contain warning for peanuts and nuts.

On opening the box greeted by a fairly sweet faint chocolate aroma which intensified on my close up sniff test. On removing the gateau from the box I was a little disappointed as some of the topping had stuck to the top of the box. This meant that the swirly peak design to part of the gateaux was a little flat. It should be noted that I had transported the gateaux home safely in an upright position. The other piece of criticism I have around the packaging is that the circular plastic that holds the gateau in place is a good idea. The only downside as the the cream to the gateau is like mousse in consistency it meant that this stayed on the inside of the plastic and not on the gateau. This resulted in having bald edges to the gateau. On a positive note it did allow you to see all of the layers to the gateaux. Now the gateau itself serves 6 people is I planed to cut it up into smaller servings so that I could have it as individual treats. Sadly, this was not possible. Despite my best attempts with a good knife and lots of will power I was not able to cut out a piece of gateau to serve one person. This meant that I had 24 hours to eat a whole gateaux.

But how did the gateau taste? On biting into the gateau I was immediately struck by the varying three consistencies to the gateau. Initially you get the light airy slightly whipped texture from the mousse from the outside and top of the gateau. This is followed by the chocolate sponge underneath which was a little dry in consistency and slightly prone to crumbling. These layers were repeated throughout the gateau. Amongst this you get a hint just the right amount of what is described as a chocolate sauce which is a bit like a jam in consistency. This combined with the mousse helps balance a bit of they dryness out from the sponge. Onto the flavour this was nice but not as nice as I had personally hoped. The mousse was slightly artificially sweet in flavour but worked well with the slight bitter chocolate flavour from the sponge. The the richness from the intermittent hidden chocolate sauce just gave it that little bit extra rich indulgent flavour without it being too strong and overpowering.

So would I recommend this free from chocolate gateau? I am afraid not. The packaging design impacted on the presentation of the gateau. The chocolate sponge was a little to dry and crumbly even when combined with the mousse and chocolate sauce. Perhaps you make think that I am being a little harsh on Tesco’s or unfair. But when you have waited so long to have a chocolate gateau maybe your expectations are high. I hope that maybe Tesco’s will see my review and take some of my criticisms onboard. Because at the end of the day I think that it is great that you now have the option to be able to easily purchase a dairy free gateau at the supermarket.

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Our First Family Free From Buffet


Having food allergies can suck sometimes. Growing up I remember having take all of my own food and drinks to parties. I secretly wished that I could try the food everyone else was eating but knew that it would make me poorly. My sister knew exactly how I felt and so when my nephew was recently diagnosed as being coeliac she didn’t want him to feel the same. So at our first family get together since his diagnosis my sister decided to have a totally free from buffet. This meant that everything was gluten free and that my nephew could eat everything. She also made a special effort for me making sure that there was several milk free options for me. To be fair I’m not sure who was more excited me or my nephew. Secretly I think it was me. If you’ve seen the very clever Morrison’s free from advert that was me just like me but as a grown up. My sister did a fantastic job visiting several supermarkets and food halls to get a great range of food that we could all enjoy. In fact there may have been a bit too much food. This was fine as it meant that we spent a lovely lazy afternoon at the dinner table trying a fantastic variety of foods and enjoying each others company. So a big thank you to my sister for a fantastic afternoon. It was a true delight to be able to watch the excitement and see my nephews face light up at the possibly of being able to try everything on the table. Oh and for spoiling me too.

Review of Tesco’s Free From Spiced Pear Pies

This year I decided that I should make it my mission to start my Christmas reviews early. So when I discovered that Tesco’s had launched their Christmas free from range I had to pop in store and find out more. I had seen on social media that they had marketed an alternative to a mince pie, the spiced pear pie. This was to be first on my hit list. There were only 3 boxes left so they must have been popular. My only concern was there was a short best before date, but if I liked them they wouldn’t last long.
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I liked the simplicity of the packaging and was drawn to its purple colour scheme. The pictures of the pear pies tease you and I just wanted to give them a try. Onto the ingredients the pies are clearly labelled as a free from product and are both gluten free and milk free. Therefore perfect for dairy free me. Egg is highlighted as an allergen in the ingredients list. There is a may contain warning for nuts.
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On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with fruit pies. Nothing special if I’m honest. I was hoping for a spicy aroma that I associate with Christmas, maybe I am being a tad harsh. The pear pies the are a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy looking short crust pastry topped with a light dusting of sugar. This becomes thinner towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. On biting into the pear pie I got a slight crunch followed by crumbliness from the pastry. This did seem to result in a mouth moment as described on the front of the packaging. I was very sceptical about this statement but it was true. It didn’t take long to then discover the filling. This was a combination of pears coated in a what I would describe as a lightly seasoned winter syrup. The fruit was crunchy and worked perfectly with the gluppy syrup encasing it. The flavour of the filling was delightful. It was slightly sweet from the syrup but this was nicely complimented from the winter seasoning. As for its quantity this spot on anymore would have resulted in a soggy pie. I couldn’t believe just how nice these pies were. I much preferred them to the traditional mince pie. I hope that they prove to be very popular so that they return next year.
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So would I recommend these spiced pear pies if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? Yes I would it is fantastic to find an alternative to a traditional mince pie. I loved everything about these pies from their flavour through to their texture. They exceeded my expectations. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a yummy Christmas treat that I can enjoy. It really didn’t take long for me to finish the packet and I certainly didn’t share them.

The Allergy & Free From Show London

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After much anticipation the weekend of the Allergy and Free From Show had finally arrived. Sadly, due to a change of plans I visited on the last day. Being that it was the fourth year of visiting this had one disadvantage several stands can be sold out. So planning which stands to visit first was key. We arrived late this year so there was no big queue to get inside. Our first stop was one of the cafes to grab a nice cup of tea. We looked through the brochure to find out where the stands were that I wanted visit. This proved to be a tad difficult as there was no map inside the brochure just a list with stand numbers.
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As we were a little later than normal the show was heaving. I patiently had to wait to fight my way through the crowds to find the relevant stands. My first stop was Lovemore foods. They sell gluten free biscuits and cakes, some are also dairy free. I stocked up on their biscuits. Sadly, the cakes had sold out.
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Next I popped over to Delicious Alchemy to stock up on their chocolate brownie mixture. They have a range of cake mixes all of which are gluten free. I love them as they are quick and easy way to make a delicious cake. You simply add egg and use dairy free spread instead of butter.
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It’s great to be spoilt for choice for cakes to buy. This year I decided to treat myself to cakes and cookies from Ms Cupcake. All were vegan with some being gluten free. I opted for a choc orange cookie and a banana and cinnamon cupcake which was also gluten free.
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I popped along to meet Caroline at Biteappy. She set up her app two years ago and is in the process of ensuring that the majority restaurant menus are available online. You can then see what is safe to eat. I also meet Lyndsay from Living with CPMA. Lyndsay’s blog is a great resource for dairy free me, with up to date foods that I can have and recipes to try.
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Despite eating lots of delicious samples all the walking made me hungry. I need a puts top to refuel. So I took advantage of Venice Bakery’s stand and ordered one of their pizzas. Just delicious if you are dairy free, gluten free, vegan I recommend you try their pizza bases. They are the nicest free from bases I have personally tried.
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No trip to the show is not complete without chocolate. I topped by chocolate supply with Cocoa Libre. Their chocolate is dairy, gluten and nut free. They had sold a lot of goodies by the time I had arrived, so I opted for their cute owls and penguins.
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I personally think that it is highly important you support small independent businesses sometimes it’s just quick and easy to pop into a local supermarket. So I popped by all three stands Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s. Firstly Sainsbury’s all I can say is very disappointing. I asked if they had any new milk free products and if they were going to consider selling more savoury treats. I got advised that they could not answer this and to send an email for this information. Very poor, I expected at least some information after all it is a specialist allergy show. I did sample one of their new ginger cookies which are dairy and gluten free. I didn’t even finish it. It was fresh out of the packet but was rock hard, dry in texture and lacked flavour. I’m glad it was a free to try.
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Next Asda, they had an exciting choice of new cakes. You’ve guessed it gluten free only 😡. Come on Asda please consider people with other food allergies / intolerances when developing new products. There was a quick tomato pasta dish marketed as gluten free, but was also dairy free but not labelled as being so. I asked about what savoury dishes they had that were dairy free. To be fair the assistants were very helpful and showed me packets of their spicy bean bakes and chicken fajita crisp bakes. Both were marketed as gluten free but not dairy free even though they were which they said they had asked to be reviewed. So another disappointing supermarket stand.
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Finally Tesco’s I had a nice long chat with the guys on this stand. They were knowledgable about their products. There was a good selection of goodies to try. To be fair I had tried these in research for my blog of course 😊. I have to admit to being a tad excited my their new free from cheese flavour nachos. They are gluten and dairy free. Yes they are bright orange/ yellow but hey it’s a junk food treat I can enjoy. I never thought I could have cheese nachos. My only request again is please produce some dairy free cakes.
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In summary I had a fantastic day at the show. I met some lovely new people and discovered several new companies with some great foods to enjoy in the future. I also picked up products that I normally buy at bargain prices to take home. Yet again I came home with far too many bags filled with goodies. I can’t wait until next July to visit again.

Review of Tesco’s Free From Garlic Dough Balls

Now I am bit partial to garlic bread and frequently make my own. It is often impossible to find ready made garlic bread which is dairy free. So when I heard via Twitter that Tesco’s had just launched garlic bread balls as part their new free from range I had to investigate further. To be honest I didn’t hold up much hope as free from generally means gluten free with other food allergens included if you are lucky. To my surprise it was indeed suitable for me.
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I liked the packaging as it is the same style as the rest of the products in their new updated free from range. I liked the pictures of the inviting garlic dough balls on the front. I hoped that mine would look like this when cooked. The font of the packaging is clearly labelled as being egg, gluten, milk and wheat free. On the back it is labelled as being suitable for vegans.
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On opening the packet I was immediately hit by the strong aroma of garlic. Now I like garlic but even I was surprised by its strength. What you get inside is a disposable tray with 9 garlic dough balls with a solid oil like substance underneath. I placed the foil tray in the oven and cooked the dough balls as instructed. Once cooked the aroma of the garlic seemed to intensify. The garlic dough balls themselves cooked nice and eveningly. Under the dough balls was what I can only describe as a greasy garlic oil with a few herbs thrown in for luck. If I am honest I found this to be a little off-putting.
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On biting into the garlic dough ball itself it was crunchy on the outside and had a lighter slightly fluffy texture inside. If I am honest that was better than I expected. Onto the flavour itself it was definitely garlic in fact I found it a little overpowering. This masked any of the other flavours of the dough ball. Now I like garlic and use it a lot in cooking but I found this to be a little too much. I personally choose to leave the oil under the dough balls in the tray. It looked really greasy and not very appetising. I know this down to personal choice.
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So would I recommend Tesco’s free from garlic dough balls. I am not really sure. I think that it is great that the free from market is expanding and that I and others have a new food choice available. There was just a little too much garlic and oil for my personal taste. I think I will be sticking to my own quick and easy homemade garlic bread, sorry Tesco’s.

Review of Tesco’s Free From Crispy Choco Snaps

I had seen and heard about this cereal from others via Twitter and Facebook. They had been on my to try list for quiet some time. However, they weren’t that easy to find. I was a tad excited when I finally found them and put them straight into my shopping basket. I loved the bright vibrant packaging, with a picture of a naughty animal diving into the cereal. Ok it’s similar to that of Coco Pops but they are often of limits for dairy free me. The packaging is clearly labelled as being gluten, wheat, dairy and milk free. No allergens were highlighted in the ingredients list.
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On opening the box I hoped I may get a little whiff of chocolate. Sadly, this was not the case. I poured the cereals into my bowl in anticipation of diving in. I was a tad surprised by their size. They were a lot smaller than I anticipated. I was expecting them to be like Coco Pops they were but in a smaller version. I tried the cereal without milk initially to so that I could compare and contrast it both with and without milk. They had a texture similar to that of a rice crispie but just coated in chocolate. On biting into the cereal a nice crunch noted this was followed by a light airy texture. As for the flavour this was definitely chocolately and a little stronger than I expected, but not bad. My only criticism was that I had a bit of a residual texture left in my mouth which I didn’t expect. I had already placed my almond milk in the bowl ready to place the cereal in top. I have to confess to being a little excited to see if I then had chocolate milk. I certainly did, so that was a big tick. So what about the taste and texture of the cereal once it had been added to milk. The texture remained pretty much the same even though it was being soaked in milk. So this was a great positive.
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Now on to the flavour. It had seemed to have disappeared and I struggled to taste the chocolate, the key ingredient to these cereals. I was really disappointed with this. It was as if it had been washed away into the milk. I tasted the milk by itself and yes it did have a chocolately flavour. Now I still struggle drinking any milk and I didn’t want to have the milk to enjoy the cereals flavour. I have tried other free from Coco Pops style cereals and haven’t experienced this before. I guess it could be a great way to get a child to drink their milk. It’s great that there are more safe free from cereals especially of the chocolate variety that are become more easily available. As a child I would never have dreamt I could have a safe version of coco pops. Personally, I have tried other brands and preferred these. That said they are not as easily accessible so these may be an option for parents to get as part of their regular shop. Sorry, Tesco’s but I preferred the alternative brands that I have tried.

Review of Tesco’s Free From Creamy Iced Vanilla Dessert

Over the summer I made it my mission to try a variety of new ice creams in the name of research of course. This you used to be very difficult if you followed a dairy and lactose free diet thankfully things have improved due to the rapid expansion of the free from market. There is now a variety of ice creams to for people who have a food allergy or intolerance, with even new brands being developed as a result of the paleo diet. So I decided to start by reviewing Tesco’s free from ice cream as it was the first supermarket brand that I was aware of. It comes in one flavour, this being vanilla. It comes in a simplistic cream tub with the classic purple free from label to the front that Tesco’s use on its products. It is clearly labelled as being dairy, milk, gluten and wheat free. The only allergen highlighted in bold is lupin with the warning about may contain nuts.
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The tub was easy to open and had a nice secure lid to allowing me to re seal the contents easily and safely. The ice cream had a pleasant aroma of vanilla noted which was not to strong or artificial. The ice cream itself was a nice cream colour with speckles of vanilla noted throughout. I also liked the additional touch to the swirl design on the top of the ice cream. It took a few minutes for the ice cream to soften once it does it is easy choosing you portion size.
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On tasting the ice cream it had a nice subtle vanilla flavour which I personally thought was spot on. Its consistency was smooth and if I am honest I expected to find ice crystals as it was a cheaper ice cream, but this was not the case. I really enjoyed the combination of the flavour and texture of this ice cream. I was personally surprised by both the quality and flavour and texture of this ice cream. So if you follow a dairy, milk, gluten, or wheat free diet or are vegetarian diet why not give this a try. I think you will enjoy it. So thank you Tesco’s for producing enjoyable ice cream alternative.