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.

DIY Daddy
Le Coin de Mel

Review of Newburn Bakehouse Gluten Free Crumpets

It can be very difficult to find a dairy free food to have as a light snack. A snack that I do enjoy as an occasional treat is crumpets. They are a quick and easy warm snack that can have a nice topping to add that little extra to tide you over until dinner. Sadly most crumpets contain milk and are therefore not suitable for dairy free me. So when I popped into a local supermarket I headed straight to the free from section to see if there were any I could try. Sure enough I found crumpets by Newburn Bakehouse which are made by Warburtons. They were both gluten free and milk free. So I decided to give them a try for lunch and save the rest later for a snack.
I liked the simple clear packaging to the top allowing you to see the crumpets inside. I also liked the bright orange colour scheme with the blue section clearly highlighting that they are gluten free. Onto the ingredients list egg is highlighted as an allergen and there is no may contain warning. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet.
On opening the packet I wasn’t really greeted by an aroma and this didn’t change on my close up sniff test. If I’m honest it’s hard to describe the aroma of a crumpet. What I was surprised by was the size of the crumpets. They were monsters much bigger than other crumpets that I have previously tried. I would only need one of these for my lunch. Onto the texture of these crumpets they looked slightly stodgy on the top and crunchy and slightly blackened to the bottom. On touching the crumpet they were springy to touch from the top and firm and slightly hard to touch underneath.
I placed my crumpet in the toaster and toasted it for 2 minutes. The texture of the crumpet hadn’t really changed on touching compared to it untoasted. The aroma hadn’t changed either. I choose to have a little jam on mine as a naughty treat. On biting into the crumpet I initially experienced two different textures. Initially it was light and slightly springy followed by a slight crunch from underneath. On further bites the crumpet was slightly gooey and stodgy in texture. It reminded me of rice that is a little over cooked and goes a little gooey. This wasn’t s negative for me as I quiet like this. On checking the inside of the crumpet the texture was actually quiet similar to this. Onto the flavour it tasted just like a regular crumpet. So that’s a big thumbs up to Newburn Bakehouse.
So would I recommend these crumpets? Yes I would. The larger size is a big bonus as it meant I only needed to eat one. The combinations of the two textures worked really well together. The fact that they taste like a regular crumpet is a big plus. So if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet why not give these crumpets a try. So thank you Newburn Bakehouse for making a crumpet that I can enjoy.

Review of Morrisons Free From Christmas Cake Slices

I popped into Morrisons and decided to explore their free from range to see what Christmas treats I could try. Sadly. It was rather limited so I opted for their Christmas cake Slices. I liked the packaging with the slices of Christmas cake stacked on top of each other. It was very inviting and made me want to get home and try one with a nice cup of tea.
Onto to the ingredients they are clearly labelled as a free from product. To the front of the packet clear wording stating gluten free, wheat free and milk free. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list egg, almonds and sulphur dioxide are listed as allergens. There is also a may contain for other nuts and peanuts.
On opening the packet I was immediately hit with an aroma that I associate with a traditional fruit cake. This remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. However, this became combined with sweetness from the icing on top of the Christmas slice. My instinct told me that this Christmas slice was going to be rich yet sweet at the same time. On biting into the Christmas slice I got an initial slight crunch from the icing followed by a moistness from the cake below. These textures worked perfectly together. Onto the flavour. Well the icing was very sweet but you needed this to compliment the richness from the cake below. I could clearly taste the various fruits in this cake. As for the mixed spice element this just seemed to be lacking. Which for me was a real shame as I love mixed spices as this is what makes a Christmas cake a special treat. On a positive note the portion size was just right.
So would I recommend these Christmas cake slices if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? I’m afraid not it just didn’t taste like a Christmas cake to me. The lack of the flavour from the mixed spices simply let it down. Sorry Morrisons but these Christmas cake slices just weren’t for me.

Review of Marks & Spencer Free From Christmas Pudding

Now I am trying to be more organised with my Christmas reviews this year. As I was in Marks & Spencer I thought I would grab something from their free from range. I opted for one of their Christmas puddings to try.
I personally liked the green packaging not at all Christmas themed but in their usual style of their free from foods. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free and dairy free. Onto the ingredients list egg and almonds are highlighted as allergens. It is also suitable for a vegetarians. There is no may contain warning. It is labelled as not being suitable for nut allergy sufferers.
On opening the packaging I was greeted by the delightful aroma of a rich Christmas pudding. It was stronger than I had anticipated. The aroma of the fruit intermingled with a hint of the combinations of the three alcohols was spot on. I had high hopes for this little pudding. I microwaved my pudding and let it rest exactly as per the instructions on the packet. I placed the plastic tub upside down and gently removed the tub. The pudding had disintegrated slightly to one side and did not keep its round consistency. I was also given one of these puddings by a friend. So I had a second one at a later date and the exact same thing happened. A little disappointing to put it politely.
Onto the aroma of the pudding this seemed to remain the same as before it was heated. This was not a bad thing as it was a lovely rich indulgent aroma combining the rich fruit and alcohol. This also didn’t change on my famous close up sniff test. On placing the pudding onto my spoon it just seemed to disintegrate and loose its structure. The fruit seemed to separate from the pudding. It just didn’t seem to hold its consistency. Onto the positives the fruit was nice and juicy. As for its flavour this was very pleasant. The flavours of the fruit, the lightly spiced sponge and the alcohol worked well together.
So would I recommend this free from Christmas pudding if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? I’m afraid not. Yes it had a lovely aroma and a nice flavour but it’s crumbling texture just let it down. Sorry Marks & Spencer but I’m afraid I have tried nicer free from Christmas puddings.

Review of Eat Real Tomato & Basil Hummus Chips

Now I am a creature of habit and I tend to have Pom-Bear crisps with my sandwiches for lunch. That said I am always looking for new savoury treats to try as an alternative. I recently discovered Eat Real quinoa chips and really enjoyed them and may have had several packets since. For some reason I forgot to try their other chips. So whilst in Tesco’s this week I picked up their tomato and basil hummus chips to try.
I liked the simple grey packaging with the splashes of purple. The pictures of the chips looked really appealing and I just wanted me dive in. Being in the free from aisle they are gluten free and labelled as suitable for vegans and therefore suitable for dairy free me. No allergens were highlighted on the ingredients list.
On opening the packet I was greeted by a pleasant aroma of tomato. The chips or shells as I like to call them were of a good size. They had a good scattering of flavouring on them. On biting into the chips there was a nice crunch noted. The tomato flavouring was spot on but I struggled to taste the basil element which I found a tad disappointing. After trying a few chips there was no greasy residual left on my fingers, just a little of the flavouring which was slightly powdery in texture.
So would I recommend these hummus chips, yes I would. I liked the shell design of this savoury snack and enjoyed their crunchy texture. The tomato flavour was nice but seemed a little artificial to me. As for the basil element this seemed to bypass my taste buds, so this was a tad disappointing. That said I still enjoyed the flavour. I personally preferred the garlic and herb quinoa chips. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or vegan diet give these hummus chips a try. So thank you Eat Real for producing another savoury treat I can have.

The Allergy & Free From Show London

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Alpro Coconut Cream

With Wimbledon in full swing I am continuing to use it as the perfect excuse to try some new dairy
free creams. Alpro kindly sent me a box of their goodies to try one of which was their new coconut cream. So I decided to save it and try it with some strawberries.
I liked the simplicity of the packaging with a picture of a coconut oozing it’s milk amongst a simple tropical theme. It is clearly labelled as being both dairy and gluten free diet and suitable for a vegan diet.
Although it is a UHT cream I placed it the fridge so that I could try it chilled with my strawberries. On opening the carton I wasn’t expecting much of an aroma because the previous creams that I have tried have all had a non descript aroma. I was pleasantly surprised I was hit by an immediate aroma of what I would describe as desiccated coconut. This intensified on my close up sniff taste. I have to admit to being a little concerned as it seemed to be an artificially sweet aroma. On pouring the cream into the bowl it had the consistency like a single cream. It was white in colour and looked like a regular single cream. On placing a little of the cream on my spoon it remained in place. On initially tasting the cream it tasted of sweet dedicated coconut. This was a little too sweet if I’m honest. This didn’t matter because after a couple of small mouthfuls this disappeared and was just a subtle faint flavour. I really liked this as it was completely different to the other creams that I’ve tried which have been pretty neutral taste with a faint nutty undertone to them. I personally liked both the taste and texture of this cream. I liked the initial sweetness that soon disappeared to a subtle flavour. It worked well chilled as part of a dessert. I shall certainly be buying some more to try as part of a warm savoury dish.
So would I recommend this coconut cream, yes definitely. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet then why not give this coconut cream a try. So thank you Alpro for producing a nice dairy free cream that I can enjoy.

Disclaimer: Alpro sent me a free sample of this product to try. All the opinions in this post are honest and are my own.