Hotel Chocolat – Classic hot chocolat (LF, DF)

I thought I would continue on the theme of hot chocolate for my first post of the year.  I was lucky enough to receive some for Christmas.

Purchased from: Hotel Chocolat

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free.  I cannot see any gluten or dairy containing ingredients on the list, however, it does not say vegan or gluten free on the packaging, so please use caution if these things apply to you.

Description of product: Flakes of 70% dark cocoa hotel chocolat chocolate, which you can stir into hot milk to create a hot chocolate.

My review:

I was excited about trying this hot chocolate, especially as I love pretty much all things hotel chocolat, including a hot chocolate which I had when I visited Liverpool – here is the link if you want to check out my review of that:

Hotel Chocolat (DF, LF, V, GF)

The hot chocolate mix that I received was probably quite similar to this.  I loved that the mix was little flakes of chocolate, as it gave it a really luxurious and special feel to it, and makes it stand out from the usual powders that you buy.

I mixed mine with soya milk, which is my go-to milk alternative.  However, at their café, Hotel Chocolat use coconut milk, so I am sure it would work just as well with that.  In addition, because it is one you add to milk you could just as easily add it to cows’ milk for a friend who does consume dairy, or lactofree milk if you are lactose intolerant but prefer the taste of cows’ milk.

Once mixed, it does make for a delicious hot chocolate.  It has that rich chocolate taste which you associate with Hotel Chocolat and a great texture where it melts into the milk. As this is a dark hot chocolate, it does have a slightly less sweet taste than you might be used to.  If, like me, you are a bit of a dark chocolate addict, I don’t think you will find it problematic!  But if you have more of a sweet tooth, add some regular or vegan marshmallows, depending on your preference, and you will enjoy it just as much. (Tried and tested!!)

As regulars to my blog will know, I like to keep it positive and only add products that I have tried and enjoyed.  Whilst I cannot fault this hot chocolate in taste or texture, there were just a few logistical downsides which I feel I must mention.

As you can see from the picture, the hot chocolate comes in a cylindrical container.  Inside, the flakes ae kept in a small plastic packet.  Getting the flakes out of this packet can be a little bit tricky and a bit messy!  In addition, the instructions are quite precise about how to make it up.  This does make it a little more time consuming than I would like.

So, as long as you have plenty of time, I would highly recommend this hot chocolate.  I have enjoyed having it as my bed time drink.

Rating: 5/5




Instant hot chocolate recipe (DF, LF, V)

I just have to stress, this is NOT my recipe.  Instead, I include a link to it that I found on Pinterest, because I believe it is so good that every lactose free lovely needs to know about it!

Now, if you have been lactose or dairy free for a while, you will know how time consuming making a simple hot chocolate can be.  This is because the instant hot chocolate mixes that you just add hot water to all contain some kind of powdered milk.  So, in order to make one, you can only have drinking chocolate, which you can do one of two ways – with hot milk (bit of a faff) or with hot water (not that creamy).

This hot chocolate recipe has revolutionised all that!  It contains coconut powdered milk, so that you can make your very own hot chocolate mix, that you just need to add water to!  Fantastic for on the go, or if you are short of time.

I have made some, and it was quick and easy.  It makes lots, so if stored in an air-tight container will last quite some time.  And I can confirm it is absolutely delicious.  Lovely and creamy, sweet and, I would say, better than those instant hot chocolates which do contain dairy.  I thought it might be quite heavily coconut flavoured, but it really isn’t.

The only things I would say are, that next time I might use slightly less of the sugar, but that is probably only down to taste.  Also, it recommends adding three tablespoons to hot water to make it up, but I added 4 teaspoons and that was enough.  Here are the conversions from ‘cups’ that I used, in case that is of use to anyone:

1 cup of coconut sugar = 16 tablespoons of coconut sugar

3/4 cup of coconut milk powder = 12 tablespoons coconut milk powder

1/2 cup cocoa powder = 8 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

I found the coconut sugar and coconut milk powder at The Natural Food Company in Nottingham.  However, I later found some coconut milk powder at a larger Holland and Barratt store, so it is probably worth a look online.  One small jar of coconut sugar and one packet of coconut milk powder made one tub of instant hot chocolate powder, which looks like it will probably last me a while!  Also, whilst on my hunt for coconut powdered milk, I found powdered soya milk, so this might be worth a try for an alternative.

Let me know what you think if you give it a go!

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?



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


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.



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


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)


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)


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

Morrisons free from white choc and strawberry fondants (DF, GF, LF)


Having seen an advert on TV recently for Morrisons’ free from Christmas range, I decided to pop along to see what was available.  I have to say, I was expecting a bigger range, but I am pretty lucky that my local Morrisons has the biggest free from range of all the supermarkets in the area already, so there were a few new additions to try out.

Purchased from: Morrisons

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free

Description of product: Strawberry flavoured dairy alternative white chocolate truffles

My review:

As you may recall, I recently posted a blog about a delicious white chocolate alternative I had found in a health food shop.  I was really pleased to see something different in Morrisons, as I would say that flavoured white chocolates are even more rare in the dairy free world than a bar of white chocolate.

I was not disappointed.  I was a little surprised on biting into the chocolate, as I expected some kind of gooey strawberry filling.  Instead, there was a soft, white filling, with a strawberry flavour.  I found that the filling melted in your mouth and tasted really good.  Although it was not what I was expecting, I was really impressed with the texture and taste.

The white chocolate itself has a good flavour.  It is quite similar to the one I reviewed recently, and again, quite sweet.  However, I found that it was quite close to a white chocolate flavour.

I thought the two flavours went really well together and complemented each other.  I loved the blend of textures, with a harder outer shell and a soft fondant middle.  Missing out on having a decent box of chocolates with a variety of flavours and textures is one of the most disappointing things about being dairy free, so it is wonderful to start seeing alternatives like this on the market.

Looking at the packaging, I would suspect that they will only be in store for the Christmas season, which is a little sad, but they have a ‘best before’ of July next year, so probably worth stocking up on!

I think lactose free lovelies everywhere would be happy to get these in their stocking this year!

Rating: 4/5


Dairy free Christmas comes to Aldi (DF, LF, V, GF)


I know, I know, it is a bit early for Christmas!  But us dairy free people know that when it comes to delicious vegan goodies, there is a limited supply, and if you snooze, you lose!

On a trip to Aldi this week, I found some dairy free Christmas items.  I won’t do a full review, as I am being good and waiting until 1st December to open this advent calendar.  However, a heads up to all my vegan and dairy free followers that Aldi has Moo free advent calendars and Moo free selection boxes in stock, alongside their own-brand dark chocolate reindeers.

The only problem may be saving them until Christmas!