Something special for Christmas Day

Looking for a delicious alternative to Christmas pud on Christmas day? Love chocolate orange? Read on!

This Just Love vegan cake is a Terry’s chocolate orange lover’s dream! Not only that, just look at the beautiful presentation. The snowflakes and gold chocolate buttons make this cake a perfect centrepiece.

As you can see, the cake is covered with a layer of chocolate orange icing. There is no scrimping here, with it extending all the way around the sides as well as the top. It isn’t a thick layer, but is just the right amount. Inside, is yet more chocolate orange, with the cake being this flavour, too. The cake is lovely and moist and has a nice, light texture to it.

The flavour is quite rich, as you can imagine with the double chocolate orange! But this isn’t a bad thing. It just means that you can have a smaller slice – more to share with guests (or just a longer lasting treat if you are planning not to share).

Either way, if you are looking for a lactose free lovely dessert and are a chocolate lover, why not give it a try?

Purchased from: Tesco
Rating: 5/5

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Rocky Road! (V, DF, LF)

Vegan rocky road

Happy Veganuary! Being lactose intolerant, I absolutely love that more and more places get on board with Veganuary and vegan food more generally as it means more options when eating out. It’s a shame that lots of vegan products don’t make it past Veganuary, so I’m trying to try out a few and blog about them before they disappear. (Any excuse!)

Today, I decided to treat myself to lunch out, with it being a Friday and having being dieting recently. Everyone needs a treat now and then! Costa is really close to my workplace so I decided to pop along to see what was on offer.

I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the vegan toastie that has been advertised but they did have this delicious rocky road.

One little warning – it is very sickly! But that never stops me and I did manage the whole thing, despite it being quite large. As regular readers of my blog will know, full-sized lactose free lovelies always get bonus points with me, as so often they are much smaller than their dairy counter parts.

The rocky road contained plenty of biscuit pieces, vegan marshmallows and raisins. Despite its lack of dairy, there was no lack of chocolate flavour. It had a very rich, creamy chocolate flavour to it and the fact it was nice and chunky gave it a great texture and chocolate hit. I loved the combination of this with the biscuit crunch. Although us lactose intolerants don’t need to avoid marshmallows, I think the inclusion of vegan marshmallows makes this a really good option for vegans seeking a sweet treat. The ones on this rocky road were really well made, with a nice soft texture and sweet taste.

All in all, this was a well thought-out and delicious product, which I would fully recommend! Sometimes, vegan/dairy free options can feel as though they are a poor cousin to their dairy counterparts, but this is definitely not the case here. Absolutely perfect for my Friday lunch time treat.

And all dairy free milk is currently free at Costa!

Rating – 5/5

Vegan Gu – but actually! (V, LF, DF, GF)

If you have been a follower of my blog for a while (thanks, wonderful people!), you will know that I am always finding substitutes for tasty Gu products. But now, Gu themselves have finally decided to give it a go and create a dairy free version for us lactose free lovelies and vegans.

I am glad they have taken time to get this right, as I had high expectations for this pud. Luckily, it lived up to all of them!

Cheesecake has always been a favourite dessert of mine and I do miss it since I have had to ditch dairy. This chocolate and vanilla version is spot on.

Whilst the cheesecake is made of a coconut cream substitute, it doesn’t taste overly coconut flavoured. The chocolate layer is lovely and thick, and works really well with the creamy layer underneath. As well as being vegan, the cheesecake is gluten free. The biscuit base has quite a buttery taste to it, but is probably more crumbly than you would normally expect in a cheesecake. However, still delicious, so no complaints here!

I’m also pleased to note that the Gu pots are the same size as a regular version, so no missing out. Its the perfect size, as quite rich and indulgent, as you would expect from our friends at Gu.

Here is hoping they bring out some more lactose free lovelies soon!

Rating: 5/5

Puddings and sweet treats galore! (V, LF, DF, GF)

Check out this lactose free lovely! A vegan hot chocolate made with oat milk and topped with soya whipped cream.

Today I met up with my friend in Nottingham for lunch. We then decided a dessert was required and decided to visit The Pudding Pantry.

https://www.thepuddingpantry.co.uk

I have been here a few times, and the range of lactose and dairy free goodies seems to grow each time. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and serves a range of light snacks, brunch, hot and cold drinks and puddings. Not everything is dairy or gluten free, but as I have already mentioned, there is a solid range.

This is my fully vegan dessert – a Biscoff gateau accompanied by vegan peanut butter and choc chip ice cream. As you can see, the portions of both are generous, and I couldn’t finish it, even though it was delicious! I think having this alongside the hot chocolate might have been a little too ambitious! I love the pretty china that is is served on as well.

My friend chose a banana sticky toffee pudding which was also vegan.


He said it was delicious, which is also a good endorsement from someone who does not intentionally avoid dairy. I thought I would include a picture even though I did not try it to illustrate the range available.

Neither of our desserts were gluten free, but there were gluten free options available, so something for everyone! Both soya and oat milk alternatives were available.

I shall definitely be visiting again…but maybe this time I will have to try and not cram in everything on the menu!!

Rating: 5/5

Perfectly dairy-free afternoon tea! (DF, LF)

Delicious afternoon tea – all for me!

Apologies for the picture on this one as it isn’t very clear. I hadn’t planned to put this on my blog, but then my partner suggested I did and I thought, why not?

Going for afternoon tea is one of my favourite things to do. Some friends suggested we go in the Easter holidays (we are all teachers) and we picked Dobbies Garden Centre. My friend booked and asked for one of the afternoon teas to be dairy free.

Now, it’s fair to say that I have had my fair share of disappointment when it comes to having my dietary requirements met during afternoon tea. The worst I came across was a Christmas afternoon tea where they gave me a hot cross bun (gluten free) instead of a scone! And scones are my favourite part of afternoon tea! So I was wondering how this one would turn out.

I was pleasantly surprised by my experience and would recommend Dobbies for a lactose free afternoon tea!

There was a good selection of cakes, including a meringue with some kind of dairy free cream (may have been buttercream) and berries, which had obviously been put together especially for me. As you might be able to see, there was also a dairy free millionaires shortbread and a chocolate cake – both delicious. Most importantly, I was provided with scones and jam which were perfect, and not a random hot cross bun in sight! Staff came to ask which sandwiches would be appropriate for me and I had a lovely selection from the fillings I told them I could eat. Soya milk available for my tea as well, which was great as I had forgotten to bring my supply with me on this occasion.

Although I did not ask for a gluten free afternoon tea, I would be confident in asking for this if I needed it due to the care and attention paid to my requirements for dairy free. Often, dairy free/gluten free meals out can feel second rate, but I can say with confidence that it’s not the case here.

So, enjoy a lovely lactose free afternoon tea at Dobbies, complete with delicious scones!

Rating: 5/5

Wishing you all a dairy free Christmas!

I have to admit, I am really impressed by the amount of dairy free goodies available this year.  This is more of a round-up of what I have found, as I realise Christmas Eve is a little late to recommend these for Christmas!  However, have a look in the sale, you never know what might still be around, and why not enjoy the dairy free goodness into the New Year?

Asda

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Have already been enjoying these chocolate truffles.  A range of flavours, including white chocolate and raspberry, orange, salted caramel and vanilla.  All have deliciously creamy centres which melt in the mouth.  Dairy free.

Rating: 5/5

Tesco

No photo of this, but I did purchase a huge gluten and dairy free yule log.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks amazing and is big enough to share with the whole family.  Dairy free, gluten free.

Aldi

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Lovely dark chocolate nougat purchased from Aldi whilst out looking for Christmas treats.  Has a very creamy flavour to it, and is a really indulgent treat.  Would definitely recommend.  It is quite sickly, but at least that means it lasts longer…or you can share it with a dairy free friend!  Dairy free.

Rating: 4/5

Co-Op

Ok, a little disclaimer on these mini chocolate yule logs.  They are gluten free, but not completely dairy free.  They do contain butter, but this is considered low lactose, so some people with lactose intolerance can get away with eating things which contain it.  Obviously, this depends on your level of intolerance etc, so please make sure you check with a medical bod, or only eat if you know you are ok with it!

However, if you are, these really are one of the tastiest treats I have had this Christmas.  They are moist, creamy, indulgent and have a chocolate-fudge like texture to them.  I love the gold decoration on them.  Gluten free, low lactose.

Rating: 5/5

If you are unable to tolerate the butter, Co-Op are also offering cranberry and orange tiffin bites, which are dairy and gluten free.  I have not yet tried these, but if the yule logs are anything to go by, I think you would be onto a winner!

So, whatever treats you have this Christmas, enjoy and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a dairy free New Year!

 

 

Vegan and gluten free Costa Christmas! (DF, LF, V, GF)

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I have enjoyed lots of visits to Costa recently, trying out their Christmas coffee and hot chocolate selection.  I was excited to see this mince pie in their Christmas range and picked it up as an accompaniment to my hot drink.

Purchased from: Costa coffee

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free

Description: Gluten and dairy free mince pie.

My review:

I have always enjoyed a mince pie at Christmas time, but dietary requirements don’t always make this an easy choice.  However, Costa have all bases covered with this vegan and gluten free version.

The pastry is quite flaky for a gluten free version, which I really liked.  It gave it the texture of an ordinary mince pie, which was definitely a bonus, as gluten free textures can sometimes be a little dense.  The filling was delicious, if a little sweet, and also kept the pastry moist. I don’t think you could tell this was dairy free as the tart as a whole tasted no different to a regular one.  The flavours went well together.

I like the presentation of the mince pie as well with the star on top.  It made it feel very luxurious and on a par with the other kinds of pastries that Costa sell – not always the way with free from versions.  The size of the tart is quite large and it definitely fills you up.  Although slightly more expensive than a regular mince pie might cost, I feel effort has been put in to make it just as good.  For this reason, I would buy it again.

So, don’t feel left out with the Christmas treats!  Have a mince pie at Costa.

Rating: 5/5

 

 

Tasty vegan croissant (DF, LF, V)

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This year I have gone back to studying, and have been enjoying lots of tasty free from treats that I have found around the place.

I have decided not to do a full review of this, as it is probably a bit too specific to be applicable to many people.  But I had to share my excitement on finding this delicious pastry on campus.

Not only is the pastry dairy free and vegan, but it is also made with spelt and quinoa – a great combination for those who are not coeliac, but cannot tolerate wheat.  Spelt is often a kinder alternative, with a delicious flavour.

I think what makes this pastry so exceptional is the texture – light and fluffy inside and crispy outside – as well as the taste.  It is just as buttery-tasting and delicious as an ordinary croissant.

Here, I was enjoying it with a dairy free Mocha!  Great combination.

Rating: 5/5

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