Review- Tesco Free From Truffles

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 3/4 , its a bit late but here none the less , all best intentions were lost as I’ve been struck with the dreaded lurgy. 

I hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit? A grotto visit has got mini me super excited and we still have 3 weeks left- wish me luck. 

  
Anyway today I thought I’d share my thoughts on this new find from Tesco.  Free From Fondant Truffles, they are a mouthful to say, and a mouthful to eat.  Anyway the bonus is they are wheat, gluten, egg and milk free. ( I’m waiting for confirmation of nuts). 

  

So how do they taste? The thick chocolate outer is a pleasant milk chocolate, that doesn’t have that cheap  Artificial sweetness to it, however the soft fondant centre is very very sweet. If I’m honest they are not for me but then I do prefer dark chocolate. For me they sit well with a coffee after dinner ( which I assume is their intent). What is brilliant though is that there is a grown up, affordable (£2.00) dairy free truffle on the market now. 

Have you tried these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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My November Favourites 

Happy 1st of December, excited yet? Yes I am to, also very selfishly I cannot wait to open my advent calendar ( M&S beauty one in case you were wondering). I love Christmas so I’ve decided ( foolishly probably) to do Blogmas as well. You can expect recipes, ideas, reviews and a giveaway to. 

 

I digress this is about November, or my favourite finds anyway. 

First up Aldi, or their new free from section anyway.  Christmas wise they have mince pies, Christmas puddings and cakes all gluten free. The free from range in my local store is growing, and includes Newburn BakeHouse and Nairns. The prices are amazing  £1.29 for flour ( although I’ve not tried it yet) seems a great buy. The downside is that not all stores have the range yet, as some of my followers have sadly told me. Fingers crossed it will continue to be rolled out. 

 Next up is a new company Angels and Cookies they offer allergy friendly cookie dough free from the top 14 allergens, and what’s more they are delicious so if you fancy a treat for Christmas Eve grab some and get baking. 

  
Next up is Moma Bircher muesli. I found via Ocado but they sell direct to. It’s great add your juice and yoghurt leave for minimum of 5-10 minutes and eat. No added sugar either. My only down side is it has a may  contain with nuts but in fairness I keep mine at work so not a problem. 

A few more things to add, Sainsburys have both gluten free, dairy free and nut free Christmas puddings and cake ( I’ll add a picture when I get them) and keep an eye open at M&S their party food is coming in and a lot is gluten free. My personal favourites are the mini chicken Kiev and Asian belly pork. 

That’s it from me today, I’m back to the hell of trying to find a Hatchimal and de icing the car. See you tomorrow. 

Review- Angels & Cookies Cookie Dough 

  
  The name is romantic, the logo vintage, the products are super and free from the top 14 allergens. Say hello to Angels and Cookies a new company on the free from scene.  

  Their product is raw cookie doughs in 3 flavours Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Chip and Ginger & Spice. All come ready to bake and each pot can make roughly 6 large or 12 small cookies ( £7.99 a pot).   The lovely people from Angels and Cookies sent me some goodies to try and get creative with- so here are my thoughts. 

They are extremely easy to bake, preheat your oven to 180c. I took the dough out of the fridge 15 minutes before using it. You then divide it into however many cookies you want. Roll into a ball and then flatten.  You can also roll the dough between baking parchment to get a thinner biscuit, which is ideal for then cutting with a cookie cutter. 

 

Cook for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a cooling rack before tucking in. 

  
So how do they taste? In short delicious. My particular favourite is the ginger, if you go for large and soft baked it’s wonderful with a cup of coffee. If you go for a thinner, crispy biscuit you then have a perfect ginger snap ( which dunked really well). The smell whilst cooking was amazing, just perfect for the Christmas season. 

Mini me favoured the chocolate fudge, it’s satisfying for a chocolate hit, but not overly sweet or full of sugar like shop bought ones can be. I made sandwhich cookies with a chocolate buttercream filling, and they were exceptional ( my take on an Oreo if you will). 

Lastly Choc chip, well what’s not to like? They taste better than supermarket cookies I’ve tried in the past- no artificial aftertaste in your mouth.  The chocolate is dark, the dough is plain, mixed together they are a match made in heaven.  I’ve not yet tried, but I can see this working well in a home made ice cream. It’s up there on my to try list- I cannot remember the last time I had cookie dough ice cream. 
   

 
   I throughly recommend this cookie dough, as does the biggest critic of them all – my 3 year old. I have to  say she also enjoyed the baking element of the process to, and I can feel better knowing  that most of the ingredients are ( where possible) organic and free of nasties. 

Have you tried this cookie dough yet? If so let me know about your creations in the comments below.     

Review- Tesco Free From Instant Rice Noodles

I’ve never been a pot noodle fan, but in fairness it’s been so long now I cannot remember what they taste like. ( I’m assuming I’m not missing much?)  so I was a bit skeptical when I noticed these new instant rice noodle pots in Tesco Free From range the other day, but I was in a rush and thought well why not?

  
  They seemed ok for the fat and sugar content, so not too bad for a quick lunch on the go. It’s easy to prepare-empty contents into pot, pour on water, put lid on and then leave for 4 minutes et voila. 

I was amazed, the cardboard like noodles had transformed into long ribbons of rice noodle, that in fairness looked quite appealing, in a lazy sort of way. 

My tip is give it a good stir, my first mouthful was horrid, it just tasted bland, but a good mix brings out the flavour. The curry isn’t like a cheap  curry sauce flavour either, there is spice, and heat. It’s warming and satisfying all in a mouthful. 

  
I have to say I’m impressed, and although I would not want to eat them all the time, as a quick and satisfying lunch option these pots are very good. It’s encouraging to find a savoury product in a free from range that covers other allergies to – these are also dairy free. So thumbs up Tesco, keep up the good work. 

Rana’s Ingenious Flatbreads 

It’s busy busy busy here at the moment, wedding preparations are into the final few stages, wedding is in T-5 weeks!  I’m still trying to convince mini me her flower girl dress is the way forward ( she’s having none of it in case you were wondering) I needed a happy distraction, and it came in the form of Rana’s Ingenious  Flatbread Mix. 

  
The lovely peeps from Rana’s sent me this, and as I was peckish the other lunch time, it was time to give it a go. The mixture is adaptable, you can make many things including pizza bases, and cheese crackers, but to start I gave actual flat breads a go. 

The instructions are super easy, weigh out your mixture, add warm water, mix leave for 5 minutes, then mix vigorously ( I love that word) for a minute. The next step is to shape on parchment paper, but do flour the surface your dough is put on, and using a wet spatula is so much easier. Leave to prove for thirty minutes. 

Cooking is easy to, even for me. On a heated frying pan place the bread dough side down, and leave the paper on, it took about 5 minutes but as the bread is getting ready the paper starts to ballon a bit, and it’s then easy to peel off, and flip over to cook the other side. 

  
  They really are delicious, I had to bake more, mini me stole the first one. Even better the mix is both gluten and nut free, as well as egg, dairy and soya free so can be enjoyed by everyone. 

I served them simply with a balsamic and olive oil dip which worked wonderfully. My next mission is cheese crackers- I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. 

Review -Alpro Go On Pots 

I know I’ve been a little quiet this week, wedding prep has been taking over, but I’m back and raring to go.  And speaking of raring to go, this new yoghurt alternative from Alpro is great for an on the go breakfast,  or mid morning snack. 

 

  Now I was skeptical, I hate ( with a passion) soya lattes, I much prefer coconut based products taste wise, but I’ll not knock something until I’ve tried it, so Off to waitrose I toddled to pick a pot up. I went for Blackcurrant, but mango or Passionfruit are your other 2 flavour options. The pots are single annd around 85p each. 

I should point out these  Are both gluten and dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians, they do however have a “may contain” for tree nuts in the allergen list. 

 Anyway how does it taste, I was really impressed. The yoghurt is thick and creamy, with a silky texture.  There was a good layer of both fruit and yoghurt. The tangy sensation from the Blackcurrant was delicious, and not too sweet or sickly. Another bonus is that these pots are high in protein, which may have helped keep the hunger pangs at bay . I’ll definitely be trying  the other flavours. 

These pots have restored my faith in soya products- some are really delicious. 

Have you tried these new products? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: I was sent a voucher for a pot to sample.  All thoughts and opinion are my own, and honest. 

Review- Silly Yak Pastry

Yes you have read the title correctly. Silly yak (coeliac get it?) is a brand of fresh, ready to roll pastry.  The lovely folk of the company offered me some to have a trial with, so I said yes to see what I could come up with.   Before we even start I love the packaging, it has a yak on the box, what more could you want? 

 
  So my first idea was an easy, cheats gluten free Danish pastry. The pastry is a puff pastry so I thought is would work well. I cut out 10×10 cm squares, put 2 blobs of custard and 2 apricot halves, then folded operate corners in, egg washed and cooked for roughly 10-15 minutes at 180. 

  I was impressed, you don’t get as big a rise as traditional puff pastry- you won’t there’s no gluten. But you do get a lovely light pastry with a good crisp to it.  The taste is lovely, ( well very moreish) and worked well as a sweet pastry. You could add some sugar- I didn’t but I don’t personally think it altered the taste being plain at all. 

 Edit        

For my savoury attempt I tried a quiche, blind baking the case first, it was all A ok, no rise as such because of the weight of the baking beans, and no holes that the filling could escape through either. Another point to make is that this pastry rolls and handles well. You will need a well floured surface and rolling pin, as its a little sticky at first. I should also add that it was a great tasting quiche with no soggy bottom in sight- always a bonus. 

  
  You can purchase Silly Yak from Tesco, for £1.75 a pack. I also like this point, in a market where free from can be very expensive, this is reasonable. So will I be using Silly Yak again? Yes I will, it’s a great versatile product that tastes lovely. 

Have you tried Silly Yak? What goodies did you make with it? 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to review, all opinions are my own. 

Review Newburn BakeHouse Crumpets

It’s fair to say that this year has seen the launch of a whole host of new free from products. I’m not complaining, more choice is always a good thing. I was quite excited to hear the Newburn BakeHouse ( the gluten free side of Warburtons) were launching a new crumpet. 

  
Now along with trying to perfect my own, I’m not there yet but bear with me, the other crumpets out there are M&S (horrid) and Genius ( taste ok but funny texture) so I was wondering what are these going to be like. I mean in my head the bar was fairly high as I love Newburns artisan loaves so I’d assumed these would be the same high standard. The texture is very similar to their ordinary crumpets, and they toasted well, I personally like my crumpet crispy ( no puns please) so double toasted it, and went old school with just butter on. They are hands down the best I’ve tasted. They are like actually proper crumpets, no crumbly texture or stodgy mass but a proper tasty breakfast or teatime treat. 

  
  My only fault is they are expensive £2 for 4 crumpets but it’s matched with genius and given the choice between the two I’d be picking these. So would I buy them again- too right but I’ll be hiding them from the other half or he’d scoff them all in an instant. I should add they are available from Tesco and Sainsburys stores. 

Disclaimer: I purchased these myself, all views are my own and honest. 

Rana’s Artisan Bread 

  
Psst… See the loaf in the picture? Well I (Mrs usually bakes doorstops) baked it. I’ll get back to the beginning. I have the honour of becoming a brand representative for Ranas’ Artisan Bakery.  If you haven’t heard about them, they offer both baked goods and bread mixes to bake at home. The added bonus is that not only are these all gluten free, but free from the dairy, eggs, nuts and soya to. 

 So anyway I was sent a bread mix to play with- Bold Buckwheat. I’ve never been fantastic with bread making, and gluten free versions even less so, however I was optimistic as the packaging stated “just add water”. Easy enough I thought, although the funny porridge like texture of the dough I was left with did have me wondering, but never the less carry on I did ( the very clear instruction sheet helped a great deal) 

Next step is to leave the dough for 5 minutes, then stir for 1 minute before shaping your loaf on the grease proof paper provided ( a wet spatula helps). 

  
Once shaped, pop your loaf into the bag and seal, then leave to prove for an hour. Now I was worried, you can’t see through the bag and it didn’t seem to rise much , again back to the instructions which reassured me to not expectd too much of a rise, -panick averted. 
Then pop into the oven and bake for 90 minutes. It said best results with non fan oven. I’ve only got a fan oven so I thought I’d give it a go anyway. It was fine, but I’d be interested to hijack my mums aga and try in there to compare. 

  
You then have to left it Cool completely on a wire rack and bat off little (and big) hands until it does so but believe me it’s worth the wait. I was very impressed with the first attempt. It has a strong tang to it, which I loved ( even tiny tot went in for seconds) and toasted either for breakfast or as bruschetta is is delicious. I can even see it going well with our Christmas cheese board. 

 So my over all verdict is that I’m very impressed with this mix. My only slightly negative comment is the £3.99  Price tag, which does put them at the top end of gluten free artisan loaves but you do get what you pay for, it tastes lovely, has the best crust on any gluten free loaf I’ve tasted, and free from multiple allergens.

Keep reading as I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeves to incorporate these loaves. 

New product- Real Good Tomato Ketchup

  
  It’s no secret I’m fond of ketchup, and I have to admit cutting it out for operation wedding dress has been tricky.  You know a bacon sandwich just isn’t the same without it ( unless you’re a brown sauce fan I guess).  

I was really excited when new company  Real Good tomato ketchup followed me on Twitter. They make ketchup (so far) that is gluten free, nut free, reduced sugar and dairy free. This ticks all the boxes in our house, so when a bottle arrived to try out, naturally we dived in ( not literally that would be silly).  

  
  

I like the packaging, it’s simple, clear and the allergy information easy to find. These are all great factors, but the important thing is how does it taste?   

  
It has a more rustic texture than some of the sugar laden counter-parts, due to the fact that its primary ingredient is tomato paste, with this, and due to the fact the sugars are sweetener and naturally occurring  sugar from the tomatoes, the taste edges more towards a tomato purée or passata than a traditionally processed ketchup. Now this is not a bad point, I love it ( although your die hard junk food lover may not) 

This ketchup works so well with meats, and vegetables alike. I’ve also used it as a secret ingredient in a tomato/ basil pasta sauce and it was a winner all round. Would I recommend it? Yes I would, it’s less sugar and calories with a more authentic taste, what’s not to like? The ultimate judge (mini me ) even went in for seconds, which in this current fussy phase is a triumph. So well done Real Good, more of the same please. Currently this is available from Amazon, but I believe more stockiests will be added soon-watch this space. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to try, all views are my own and my honest opinion. The tiny tot’s views are most definitely honest – at 3 there is no other way.