Caramel rice squares (DF, LF, GF) 

In a break from my Easter egg tasting mission, I have come across this lactose free lovely.

Purchased from: Asda

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free

Description of product: A gluten and dairy free version of a millionaire’s shortbread, but made with a crisped rice style base. 

My Review:

If you are anything like me, it’s the occasions when you want a bit of a treat, or something a little different that you really miss just being able to help yourself to whatever you like. Although ranges are improving all the time, the options can still be limited. In addition I am always looking for something I can take to share with non-lactase challenged friends. 

When I came across this product, I was looking for something a bit special to take to a friend’s house for a coffee. I was surprised to see that these caramel squares are dairy as well as gluten free, as often the addition of caramel means that it contains dairy. 

The squares are a good size. They are quite rich so one at a time is probably enough. The base is made from a crisped rice style cereal, and it is good with dairy free caramel and chocolate layers, giving it a good mixture of textures. 

The combination of flavours is also a classically good one. I would say that the chocolate is a slightly darker one, but it’s not bitter at all. The caramel does not have a strong flavour, but it does taste very close to the real thing. There is a good ratio of chocolate, caramel and crispes. 

This does have the feel of a more special treat, and is great if you fancy something a bit different. 

Rating: 4/5

Easter special – Asda Free From chocolate egg (DF, LF) 

Purchased from: Asda

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free. I think this egg is also vegan, but check the packaging to be sure! 

Description of product: A dairy-free milk chocolate substitute egg with chocolate orange discs. 

My review:

I have lots of positive things to say about this delicious find! 

The egg is made of a milk chocolate substitute, and has quite a good flavour to it. I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like dairy chocolate, but it is quite close. It has a very sweet taste to it, so if you are not keen on the more bitter dark chocolates around, this might be a good one to try. 

Most dairy-free eggs tend to be small in size, but large in cost! However this one is the opposite. I was really impressed to see a decent sized egg at last, probably at least the size of a regular medium Easter egg. To make this even better, it had a small price tag in comparison to other, even smaller, dairy-free eggs I have found. 

It comes with chocolate orange discs, which I was really pleased about, as it makes it more like a standard Easter egg. Again, the discs are made with a milk chocolate substitute and are therefore quite sweet. However, the orange flavour was perfect and reminded me of a Terry’s chocolate orange. 

For cost and flavour, this is a good egg to try. 

Rating: 5/5

Easter special – Tesco Finest Caramel Flavoured Egg with Fondant Truffles (DF, LF, GF, V)

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Purchased from: Tesco

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

Description of product: The egg is perfectly described in the title – a tasty caramel egg with caramel chocolates

My review:

This egg is made from a dairy-free milk chocolate substitute.  Therefore, it has a different flavour to it than the dark chocolate eggs I have recently reviewed.

As a milk chocolate substitute, it is pretty good and has quite a creamy flavour.  I also enjoyed the caramel taste, which also has a good flavour to it, and tastes quite close to a dairy equivalent.

It comes with three chocolates, and these are also a caramel flavour – this time with more of a fondant filling.  I suppose these are like chocolates you might get in a box of chocolates and are the closest thing to a dairy-free Rolo I have found.  If you have ever had ‘Choices’ caramels these taste exactly the same to me, so I’m not sure if they are made by the same people or just very similar.

I also like the fact this is more of a traditional Easter egg, with an egg and sweets like many of it’s dairy-based counterparts.  It’s not a bad sized egg either, but due to the delicious taste, I don’t think it’ll be around too long!

Rating: 5/5

Easter special – Lindt Dark chocolate mini eggs (DF, LF)

Who doesn’t love a tasty mini egg at Easter?  Why not have a try of these lactose-free lovelies?

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Purchased from: Asda

Dairy/lactose free: Although not officially labelled as such, if you have a read of the ingredients, there are no dairy containing ingredients that I can see.  However, if you are planning to buy some for the lactase-challenged friend in your life, I suggest you take a quick look yourself to be sure they meet your requirements.  The only thing making you sick at Easter should be the sheer volume of chocolate, not the ingredients!!

Description of product: A packet of 70% cocoa dark chocolate small eggs

My review:

I absolutely love these dark chocolates.  Unlike some others which are very rich, I would class these eggs as a more ‘accessible’ dark chocolate, as they still have quite a sweet flavour to them.  If you are familiar with the ‘Lindt’ brand, you will already know the kind of taste these eggs will have. It also allows you to enjoy Lindt chocolate without the dairy aspect, which is always a nice treat.

The chocolates are quite small, so you can have one or two as a treat and as they are individually wrapped they are great for on the go.  They are also good for sharing…if you want to!

The only downside to these chocolates, or the one thing that surprised me, is that they are hollow.  I was expecting perhaps a creamy fondant filling.  Having said that, it does not detract from the flavour or enjoyment of the delicious Lindt chocolate.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

 

Easter special – Hotel Chocolat Chirp! (DF, LF, V)

In the first of my Easter special posts, I bring you a small gift idea from my new favourite – Hotel Chocolat.

Purchased from: Hotel Chocolat

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

Description of product: Three bite-sized dark chocolate chicks in a neat little box

My review:

These chocolate chicks are made from a delicious and rich dark chocolate.  I would say that the dark chocolate used here is more for dark chocolate lovers as it has got quite a strong flavour to it, rather than it being too sugary or sweet like some can be. However, as they come in a small size, they could be good for someone who is newer to dark chocolate.

The chocolate is lovely and thick, and at £2.50 for three, I think they are quite good value for money with regards to the thickness, richness and general good quality you are getting.

Each chick is individually wrapped, so you can pop one in your bag or lunchbox to take for a treat.  The packaging is also not too excessive, like it can be with some Easter gifts.

For a small and relatively inexpensive Easter treat, I would recommend giving these a go!

Rating: 4/5

 

In love with Hotel Chocolat! (DF, LF, V)

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It was recently my Birthday and I was lucky enough to receive some dairy free goodies.  I have to admit, it had been a while since I had bought anything from Hotel Chocolat for myself, and it was nice to receive a selection of treats from there to try out.

I had forgotten about the range of dark chocolate that they have available, and have been back since to try a few more!

As well as being suitable for vegans and lactose intolerant folk, it is a real treat for those that just love a bit of dark chocolate!  Personally, it was the fact that I became lactose intolerant that caused me to first begin to enjoy dark chocolate as much as I do now.

Some of the dark chocolate I have recently had from Hotel Chocolat include:

  • Rare and vintage 85% dark
  • 90% dark (more about this in a post coming soon!)
  • Hazelnut 70%
  • Orange 70%
  • 70% dark

My recommendation for those just starting out with dark chocolate is to go for one of the 70% dark bars as these have a more mellow flavour.  However, if you are a seasoned dark chocolate eater, dive straight in at 90%!  The hazelnut and orange bars are delicious if you like a bit of variety in flavour rather than just having a plain chocolate bar.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Hotel Chocolat for a little try of their chocolate bars. With Valentines Day coming up, it would make the perfect give for the lactose-free lovely in your life.

Rating: 5/5

 

Delicious gluten free waffles at Chai (DF, LF, GF)

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I know, I know.  It’s January, the month of all things diet.  And whilst this waffle is most certainly not diet, it is yummy, gluten and dairy free, so you can’t really say no.

This lactose free lovely is from Chai, a new dessert-based restaurant that has opened up in Peterborough.  There are many of these popping up here, and in a few other cities I have visited.  However, there is, as always, a rather large gap in the market for places that cater for various dietary requirements.  News of Chai arrived to me via a friend on Facebook, so I had to go and check it out.

The décor is a lovely eclectic mix of furnishing, and features art from local artists.  It really feels like something different, and has lots of unique touches.  It also has friendly staff, who are knowledgeable about their products, which is important for us gluten and lactose free people.  Although there were quite a few customers when I visited, the staff took the time to explain the menu in full, along with the specials.

Onto the main event!  There is a large range of desserts available, and the toppings for the standard waffles were also available for the gluten free version, so that meant there was no separate menu, and no missing out, either.  As you will know, this is especially important when with a group of friends who do not have dietary requirements.  We have all been there, enviously looking at the dessert next to us, whilst we have our allotted ‘free-from’ pud.  In addition, the staff were able to recommend which toppings would be suitable for my dairy-free diet, and offered sorbets in a range of flavours to replace the ice cream you would normally get with the waffle.

The waffle was absolutely delicious.  I decided to have peanut butter, banana and maple syrup on mine, and it was accompanied with mango sorbet.  All the flavours complimented each other well and it tasted like a really luxurious dessert.  It was fantastic value for money, as you can see from the picture, you really do get a decent-sized portion. There was also no extra charge for having a gluten and dairy free dessert. You would not know this waffle was gluten free unless you had been told it was, as the taste was absolutely spot-on, as was the texture.

Chai also has a range of teas and coffees available, and the menu gives lots of information about each one to help you make your choice. Soya milk is available upon request.

So, for great value for money, a beautiful setting, great service and gorgeous waffles, this is the place to be!