Rule of Crumb Chocolate Eclairs (DF, LF, GF)

eclairs

Purchased from: Sainsburys

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free

Description of product: Gluten free pastry filled with dairy free cream and covered in a layer of chocolate sauce

My review:

On my travels around the various supermarkets, health food shops and other outlets that may sell diary free treats, I have seen a few versions of gluten free cream cakes and goodies.  However, until now, I haven’t encountered a dairy free ‘cream’ cake.

I picked these up in the free from freezer section of Sainsburys, and had a glance over them, not for one minute thinking they would be dairy free.  So I was very excited to discover that they were and had to buy them for this reason alone!

The box contains six quite small eclairs, which need defrosting at room temperature for about 90 minutes before eating.

I was really impressed with the overall flavour and texture of these cakes.  The taste of the pastry, cream and chocolate worked really well together.  The texture of the cream was quite light.  Although the cream had a slightly neutral taste, it was by no means so bland that you couldn’t taste it.  I felt that the pastry itself had a good flavour, and was close to what you would imagine a ‘real’ choux pastry to taste like.  The texture of it was also good, as gluten free cakes can often be quite dry.  This was certainly not the case with these ones.  The layer of chocolate was fairly thick and added a nice sweetness to the overall taste.

I would definitely recommend these eclairs for anyone who is gluten or dairy free and needs a cream cake fix!

Rating: 5/5

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Thank Crunchie it’s Friday! (DF, V, LF)

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Purchased from: The Natural Food Company, Nottingham

Dairy/Lactose free: Dairy free and suitable for vegans

Description of product: ‘Honeycomb’ covered in dark chocolate.  Like a dairy free Crunchie

My review:

As dairy free chocolate is usually so expensive, I often reserve it as a Friday treat.   And what better Friday treat than a Crunchie?  However, when you are dairy free or vegan, this isn’t always an option.  But this delicious alternative is perfect for when you need a little pick-me-up at the end of the week!

I was really impressed with this chocolate bar as a substitute.  There is a really good amount of the ‘honeycomb’ centre and the size and thickness of the bar is quite generous.  The taste and texture are very similar to a Crunchie in my opinion, except the centre is probably a little more dense.  There is a satisfying crunch as you bite into it.

It is covered in a layer of dark chocolate which complements the filling really well and balances out the sweetness of it.  My only criticism would be that the chocolate is quite a thin layer, and as a bit of a self-confessed chocolate fiend, I would like to see the covering a little thicker.

All in all, though, the perfect treat for a Friday snack!

Rating: 5/5

Tesco Chocolate Melting Middle Puddings (DF, LF, GF)

 

choc puds

If you have become dairy free recently and miss Gu, this one is for you!

Purchased from: Tesco

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free, but not suitable for vegans

Description of product: A gluten free chocolate cake dessert, with a melt-in-the-middle chocolate sauce.

My review:

Luxury desserts are hard to come by when you are dairy free.  Additionally hard if you want to avoid gluten as well.  Sometimes this is just what you want when you are entertaining, or if you just want a really special treat.

I was initially disappointed when I opened the puddings as they seemed quite small in size.  However, these melting middle puddings are very rich and chocolatey in taste, and the size is probably about right.

They are very easy to cook, as they just need to be popped into the microwave for a few seconds.  I originally wondered if this would be long enough, but it really was the perfect amount of time to keep the middle nice and gooey.

The flavour of these puddings is amazing.  You wouldn’t know they are dairy and gluten free, and you could serve them up to anyone without them guessing.  They have a lovely light texture, and the melting chocolate in the middle really is a delicious treat and nice contrast to the light cake.  They have a strong chocolate flavour to them, and are very rich.  I think they would taste delicious with cream, too!

As I initially said, if you miss Gu, these are for you!  My friends and I absolutely love Gu at a get together, and I really hate missing out on this treat.  These melting middle puddings are 100% the closest dairy and gluten free things I have found to my beloved Gu.

Rating: 5/5

Valsoia soya ice cream (DF, LF, GF)

With the weather warming up, I have found a delicious new ice cream to enjoy.

Purchased from: Ocado

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free

Description of product: A tub of dairy free vanilla and chocolate ice cream

My review:

The texture of this ice cream is fantastic.  It is light, airy and easy to scoop from the tub.  It isn’t hard at all.  The chocolate ice cream has little pieces of chocolate studded into it.

I like the fact that you get two different flavours of ice cream in the tub.  This means you don’t have to choose between buying one flavour over another.  You also get to combine the flavours if you wish to create a dessert, or just have two flavours of ice cream in a cone!  When dairy free can equal expensive, its nice to be able to get two flavours for the price of one.

I usually don’t enjoy chocolate dairy free ice cream, as I don’t find the flavour that nice.  I was pleasantly surprised to try this one.  It has a very rich chocolate taste and I particularly enjoyed the little pieces of chocolate embedded in it.  There was a nice creamy flavour to it, and tastes very similar to a dairy chocolate ice cream.  The vanilla ice cream tends to be my favourite dairy free flavour.  This one is also delicious.  It has a nice creamy taste to it and quite a subtle vanilla flavour.  The two go really well together and complement one another nicely.

Rating: 5/5

 

 

 

Lactose free cheese from Tesco! (LF, V, DF)

I am absolutely in love with cheese!  It has always been a staple of my diet, and one of the things I was most heartbroken to lose when I began a lactose free diet.

Things have come a long way since those days.  There are lots of different options on the market for the lactase challenged – some delicious, some not.  Recently, I have noticed an increase in the different cheeses on the market, and decided to try and review a few.

cheese 1

Tesco Lactose Free Mascarpone

Purchased from: Tesco

Lactose/dairy free: Lactose free

Description of product: Soft mascarpone cheese, made with cow’s milk but without the lactose!

cheese 2

Tesco Soya Alternative to Cream Cheese

Purchased from: Tesco

Lactose/dairy free: Dairy free and suitable for vegans

Description of product: A dairy free, soya alternative to cream cheese

My review:

Taste

I enjoyed the taste of both the cheeses, but they did have a slight difference in flavour.  You can tell that the mascarpone is made from cows’ milk from the creamier flavour.  It has a very rich flavour to it.  The soya cream cheese does taste just like a regular cheese, and although it isn’t as creamy, the flavour is still just as enjoyable.

Texture

The mascarpone has a lovely soft texture to it, easy to use, spread and scoop from the tub.  With it being made from cows’ milk, it just has the same kind of texture as a regular cream cheese would.

Unfortunately, the soya cheese doesn’t have the same kind of texture as regular cheese and is quite hard in the tub.  However, you can spread the cheese onto crackers without much difficulty and it has a nice thick texture once on your favourite cracker!

Uses

I have used the mascarpone for cooking, and it worked really well as a pasta sauce.  With the flavour of it, I am sure you can use it for lots of different things.

The soya cheese was used for spreading, which worked really well.  However, with the texture, I am not sure it could be used for cooking.

Summary

Both cheeses had a good taste and I would definitely recommend them and buy them again.  However, I think they are probably better for different uses.  In addition, if you are vegan, the soya cheese is a great alternative to a cream cheese containing cows’ milk.

Rating:

Mascarpone: 5/5

Soya cheese: 4/5

 

 

 

Flora Freedom Spread (LF, DF, V)

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I have to admit to being a lover of ‘real butter’, which is, in fact, very low in lactose. Therefore, I can get away with having it sometimes.  However, it is not an option for every day.  I usually purchase Lactofree Spreadable, as it has such a delicious buttery taste, which I just haven’t found in its sunflower spread or soya counterparts.  Unfortunately, I had run out and there wasn’t any of my usual brand in the local shop, which lead me to trying Flora Freedom instead, and I have to say, I am glad I did!

This product has a really good texture to it and is easy to spread onto toast, crackers or bread.  It has quite a creamy taste to it, and is close to a buttery flavour, which is always a winner in my book!  Having tried other spreads in the past, I can honestly say I didn’t enjoy the taste of them on their own, for example, on toast, with no other flavours to mask it.  But this spread tastes just as good on it’s own when paired with your favourite bread or cracker.  The taste isn’t exactly like butter or a buttery spread would be, but it has a nice taste to it.

I can’t, unfortunately, comment on if it is any good for cooking and baking, as this isn’t something I have tried yet. Feel free to drop me a comment if you have tried it out.

Purchased from: Co-Op

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free and packaging states it is suitable for vegans

Description of product: A substitute for dairy-based butters and spreads.

Rating: 4/5