Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Not everything that is GLUTEN FREE is great and gorgeous! Of course not, life isn’t like that but I have been disappointed with two of the recently launched products from M&S who have spread their “Made without Wheat” range with new dessert options. Marks & Spencers have launched a wider range of ready-to-eat GLUTEN FREE products as part of their “Made without Wheat” range. It’s quite exciting to have even more choice as a Coeliac as that often is the challenge. M&S have always been pretty good to Coeliacs with their extensive literature on their website, listings of stores with GF Products (excluding the new products as yet although on a previous posting, I have shared their emailed listing of stores with the new products).
I guess it’s down to personal taste and preference but after the joy of the Extremely Strawberry GLUTEN FREE Triffle and the New York GLUTEN FREE Cheesecake, at least I have tried them…
GLUTEN FREE MINI CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT & PRALINE CAKES (packs of 2): This was seen on the GLUTEN FREE Shelves in my local M&S and despite attending a very recent M&S Insight Evening, this has quietly been launched into stores.
These look delightful and well packaged (with plenty of plastic) so they arrive home in one piece and are cunningly wrapped in grease-proof paper which you need to peel off before attempting to eat. They have been thoughtfully designed as the protective paper does unwrap easily without pulling off any of the topping or the sponge. Described on the box as “GLUTEN FREE Chocolate and Hazelnut sponge cakes with praline milk chocolate topping, injected and drizzled with salted caramel and topped with hazelnuts in caramelized sugar.” You can’t tell me that doesn’t sound tempting and your mouth isn’t watering!
The sponge represents two-thirds of the cake with a layer of the praline milk chocolate (which was the best bit). The crunchy hazelnuts reminded me of honeycomb but the salted caramel inside the sponge was not for my taste. Indeed, I didn’t even finish one of the cakes, let alone start on the second one. These would make a great gift (for a Coeliac) that loves salted caramel as that was the overwhelming flavour but this one wasn’t for me.
GLUTEN FREE RHUBARB CRUMBLE: Launched as part of the new “Made without Wheat range” I am lucky enough to have my own allotment and grow my own Rhubarb (so find it just as easy to make my own) but this had a yellow discounted sticker on it, so I thought I would try it! It is described as “GLUTEN FREE Rhubarb compote topped with all butter almond crumble”
It is quite a small portion which I managed to stretch for three people (with custard) but it is suggested for 2 people (or 1 greedy person!) and is easily microwaved or heated-up in the oven. The topping looks crunchy and has a distinctively nutty smell when heated.
Of course, regular readers will spot in bold ALMONDS which I am not a great fan of (although I don’t mind a few) and hence my less-than-amazed pleasure from this dish. The NIBBED ALMONDS seemed to feature quite a lot in the crumble (and of course being so small they couldn’t be easily removed) in addition to the GROUND ALMONDS so the usually sweet crumble was too nutty for my taste. The Rhubarb was sweet and tart but as per the portion size (it was interesting to read that it only makes up 47% of the dish!).
I did drown it in Soya Custard but even then I struggled to eat it because of the nutty taste. I guess I will stick to making my own: which is so straight-forwards and I suspect I add too much sugar as well which satisfies my sweet-tooth.
On my blog, I’ve reviewed M&S “Made without Wheat” products including Sweet Treats: Blackcurrant Ripple Loaf, Extremely Strawberry Triffle & New York Cheesecake, Victoria Sandwich, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Mince Pies, Hot Fudge Pudding and Triple Chocolate Cookies) Savoury Items (Quiche Lorraine, Chicken & Mushroom CrispBakes) and M&S Bread products (Soft White Baps, Sliced White Boule, Soft Brown Baps and Fruit Loaf).