Friday, 5 February 2016

IKEA Blueberry Gluten Free Cheesecake

Whilst visiting IKEA over Christmas I spotted this Gluten Free Blueberry cake at IKEA, in the imported foods section. They had loads of Swedish goodies there but this excited me the most...I've been off gluten for a while now and it's impossible to find a gluten free cheesecake for some odd reason! The closest you'll come to one is Almondy Tarts, which incidentally this is very similar to.

Like the Almondy tarts, the base is made with almonds and apricots. I think perhaps they're made by the same Swedish company.

The filling is very creamy and with a nice cheesy tang, although it wasn't quite the same as real cheesecake. It was tasty though. The blueberry filling on top is sweet and fruity, but perhaps not the best fruit to use in a cheesecake...I think something like Passionfruit would have worked better. Still, this was a very tasty cake and felt like a real treat, speaking as someone who is avoiding gluten. There's a serious lack of good desserts out there for us!

Overall, if you're avoiding gluten this is definitely worth a try, it's a bit different and makes a change from the regular Almondy tarts you can get in most supermarkets now.

7.5 out of 10.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Marks & Spencer Gluten Free Salted Caramel Millionaire Slice

Recently Marks and Spencer have added a few new products to their gluten-free range, including brownies, cookies, cakes...bravo to them for that! Since salted caramel is still the "in thing" in snacks, it's no surprise they have jumped on the bandwagon. And unlike the Boots Salted Caramel slice I reviewed last year, I can report that this version from M&S was much, much better. Hurrah! (Apologies for the bad pic but I was on the bus - it was hard to get a decent shot!)

The slice consists of a base of buttery polenta style shortbread, salted caramel, chopped hazelnuts and a layer of milk chocolate. All I can say is...this slice tasted fantastic! The base is rich and buttery, softer than regular shortbread but just as nice. The caramel layer is also buttery sweet with a nice lick of salt that is neither overpowering nor was "just right". The hazelnuts brought a bit of crunch and nutty flavour but didn't overpower the caramel at all. The chocolate tops everything off perfectly with a creamy cocoa kick, making this slice the perfect combination of buttery, salty, creamy sweet flavours.

Whether you're gluten free or not, this is one seriously tasty Millionaires Slice that I'd recommend to anyone! You can find them in the sandwich section of M&S, there's also a gluten-free brownie bar and a Chocolate Cake slice.

8.5 out of 10. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Costa Gluten Free Belgian Chocolate Brownie Review

It's here...part 3 of my Gluten Free Snacks Bonanza Week! Today's review is for the deliciously squidgy, gooey Belgian Chocolate Brownie sold in Costa stores all across the country.

I've been eating these brownies for years now so I don't know why it's taken me so long to actually review them....I guess other snacks got in the way!

You can find these Brownies near the tills at every Costa in the country - even the smaller ones, which is mighty handy if you're in need of a gluten free fix! - they're plastic wrapped to differentiate them from the regular "gluten" brownies sold underneath the pastry counter. They cost £1.70 and are rectangular rather than square. The ingredients are a mixture of dark chocolate, eggs and ground almonds, with some tasty white chocolate chunks added in for good measure. They even have a hint of coffee!

These are hands down the best gluten free brownies I've tasted, and taste just as good as - and even better than - regular brownies! They're gooey and fudgey with a deep chocolatey flavour, which is nicely balanced with a little creaminess from the white chocolate. The added coffee compliments the chocolatey flavour but doesn't overpower it, bringing a nice rich, toasted finish to the brownie.

Overall, I have to say this is the best gluten free brownie out beats all supermarket brands hands down and I wish I could buy them in bulk! (Dear Costa; please give me the address of your supplier!) All my friends agree this is as good as a regular gluten-containing brownie, some even said it was better! If you're gluten-intolerant and haven't tried one of these yet what are you waiting for...make it a priority!

If youv'e tried these please share your thoughts in the comments...are they the best gluten-free brownies around? Is there better out there? Let me know!

9 out of 10. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Udi's Peanut Butter & Coconut Cookies

So for the second post of my gluten free snacks week, here we have another Udi's Cookie variety: Peanut Butter and Coconut. I know a certain coconutter who would no doubt loooove these cookies if it weren't for the peanut butter in them that would make her go pop :(

Like all Udi's Cookies they come in a plastic tray with two sections of five cookies. The cookies are super chunky and thick. These were a tad more crumbly than the Pecan & Maple variety.

However they tasted a lot better! The coconut flavour was delicious, with a delightfully light, toasted flavour. The peanut butter flavour didn't come through as strongly, which is a good thing as it meant the coconut had more of a chance to shine. The cookies had a lovely buttery, indulgent taste, and I thoroughly enjoyed them dunked in a cup of coffee (which proved tricky since they're so thick and chunky!) Overall, these are a definite gluten free winner!

8.5 out of 10. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Udi's Gluten Free Dark Chocolate, Pecan & Maple Cookies

So this week I've decided to review only gluten free snacks. I'm sensitive to gluten and have been off it for a while now, and have been a bit disappointed with many of the gluten free choices out there. It's mighty hard to find a good gluten free cookie in the shops, in fact it's impossible to find the gooey, buttery fresh ones, so we're left with only the dry, shelf stable kind to nom on :(

One of the new kids on the (gluten free) block is Udi's, a brand popular in America that has only recently made its presence felt on UK shores. They make various bread rolls, bagels, toaster pastries, and more. My local large Tesco stocks a few of their Cookie varieties, which usually cost £3.50 (too much for my budget!) but when they're half price I sometimes buy a pack.

They're currently half price in Tesco again and for £1.75 I decided to give this "Dark Chocolate Chip, Pecan Nut & Maple Flavour" variety a try.

You get ten cookies in a plastic tray split into two sections. This may not sound a lot, but the cookies are quite fat and chunky, more so than regular cookies that contain gluten.

They had a pleasant maple aroma although I could tell they were  "factory" made cookies rather than fresh...they just had that smell about them.

They tasted pretty decent...the texture was soft rather than crunchy or crumbly, with a strong vanilla edge. I could taste the maple and the pecans but oddly the dark chocolate chips didn't come through very well. Somehow, the flavours didn't really work together, maybe it's just a duff combination but it didn't taste all that fresh or moreish to me, I didn't really feel that urge to keep eating after one. I know Udi's make better flavours though because I've tried their Salted Caramel cookies before which are LOVELY. I think I must have got either a duff batch or a duff flavour here. Udi's also do a peanut butter and coconut variety, which are also nicer than these.

Overall, I have to say Udi's do make some nice cookies, they're different to most "crunchy" shelf stable cookies and most "chewy" fresh cookies, they have a soft, comforting texture which is entirely different but very nice when you get the right flavour combination. I wasn't a fan of this particular flavour, but I do like the Salted Caramel ones so my recommendation would be to try those first. I'll have a review of them up eventually!

7 out of 10. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Trebor Lemon Mint Softmints

Recently Trebor (owned by Mondelez/Cadbury) have added a new flavour to their Softmints range...a "Lemon Mint" variety. I haven't had Softmnts for years even though I've always loved them so this was the perfect chance for me to get re-acquainted. Surely Mondelez haven't ruined them like they have their entire Cadbury chocolate range?

Well, the texture is the same as ever...a nice crunchy shell yielding to a soft, chewy centre. The lemon flavour was very pleasant and brought a refreshing edge to the mint, but to be honest I'd rather just have regular Softmints, or Softfruits rather than combining fruit and mint together. It doesn't really work for me. Still, these are pleasant enough.

Overall, these are an ok flavour and a good excuse to eat Softmints again, but I think I'll stck with the originals and Softfruits. Thanks for the nudge to try these again though, Trebor/Mondelez/Cadbury!

7 out of 10.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Portlebay Lemon Sherbet Popcorn

Recently Tesco started stocking Portlebay's range of popcorn, which includes some very unusual and quirky flavours...amongst them Cappuccino, Bacon & Maple Syrup, and Lemon Sherbet, based on those famous British sweets many of us used to rot our teeth on as kids!

Unfortunately I missed the special offer Tesco were doing for these when they were just £1 so I had to pay full price, so I chose what I thought was the most interesting flavour (in hindsight I wish I'd chosen Cappuccino). The packaging was very eye-catching and the thought of sweet lemony fizzy popcorn had me excited!

Unfortunately I found it to be a bit of a letdown. The lemon sherbet flavour tasted weird with the was somewhere between savoury and sour rather than sweet and just tasted wrong and didn't work. I'm not sure if it actually contained salt but I could taste some sort of salty/savoury flavour in there...maybe it was the popcorn, maybe the bicarb to give the sherbet effect. Either way I didn't enjoy this at all and was left with regret for not choosing the Cappuccino flavour instead. I should have listened to my coffee cravings, they never lie!

Overall, this is an interesting novelty but I didn't enjoy the flavour at all. In fact most flavoured popcorn has been a bit lacklustre in my experience. I don't think anything can really beat toffee coated popcorn, although the upcoming "Yogurt Coated" popcorn from Butterkist sure sounds interesting! Not to mention their Easter Hot Cross Buns this space for reviews!

6 out of 10.