Category Archives: Desserts

Desserts for that after dinner delight

On the tenth day of a gluten free Christmas …crackers for the cheese board

For the tenth day of Christmas we taste tested gluten free crackers. If you are planning to serve a cheese board post dinner, then we have done all the hard work for you, by reviewing the crackers on offer. There is so much availability and choice now in all the main supermarkets, so it was simply a case of which crackers we preferred!

It is very rare, actually like most things we have taste tested, for me to be served crackers with a cheese board when eating out. In fact I can actually only think of one occasion where this has happened in the twenty plus years I have been diagnosed as a coeliac and that was in a very posh hotel about sixteen years ago!

Although some coeliacs can be lactose intolerant, most of us aren’t and so we would enjoy cheese as a course to finish off a special meal and how wonderful it would be if one could be served gluten free crackers with it too.

As always, all of the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.

On the ninth day of a gluten free Christmas …yummy desserts

For the ninth day of our 12 days of Christmas we taste tested gluten free desserts – I know…. it is a tough job I do…..

Some of the desserts we tried were frozen and not labelled specifically gluten free. EU allergen legislation demands that if gluten is present as an ingredient on pre-packaged food, then it must be declared as an allergen on the packaging – see the FSA’s website – EU allergen law. This means that if gluten (which includes barley, wheat, oats and rye) is not declared as an allergen on the packaging then it is safe for coeliacs to eat. I have stated oats, because, as I have mentioned previously, some coeliacs cannot tolerate oats (even if they are labelled as gluten free), so if in doubt, please leave it out.

There was quite a bit of choice for this day, so, it would be really lovely to see some of these offered on Christmas menus. If you can make desserts suitable for coeliacs, then even better, but if you don’t have the time, or the kitchen set up to make gluten free desserts safely, then please look at some of these desserts that you can offer.

If you do want to make a dessert that’s not just fruit, then take a look at our KISS Campaign from last year – there may be some ideas there for you.

As always, all of the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.

On the fifth day of a gluten free Christmas …sweet biscuits

Yummmmm gluten free biscuits for Christmas… In pre-coeliac days my house would have had a few different boxes of yummy biscuits to eat – not the normal run of the mill ones either. There would be boxes of proper Scottish shortbread and Family Favourites to name but a few. My poor dad would always end up with the hovis, the ginger nuts and all the ones the rest of us didn’t like – it’s a dad thing!

In recent years there has been a huge increase in the availability of gluten free food, especially sweet gluten free food. However, this year more than ever, a few manufacturers, and thus retailers, have really pushed the boat out and provided some slightly-different, slightly-special Christmas food. One of these Christmas themed items is the gluten free biscuits in the form of flavoured shortbread – chocolate chip, toffee pieces, cranberry…so exciting.

However, oats seem to have crept into most of the mainstream manufacturing of biscuits and it’s nigh on impossible to find some without. Like distilled rye & wheat based spirits, and wheat starch with the gluten removed, the presence of ‘gluten free’ oats causes many arguments amongst coeliacs. The official line is that it’s only the milling process that renders ‘normal’ oats unsafe and thus specialist gluten free oats are okay. Yet, the anecdotal line is that a lot of coeliacs react to them, even if they are specialist gluten free oats. Some countries don’t allow products to be labelled as gluten free if they contain oats (gluten free or not) – and yet some countries do. My view, and this is probably because I am one of those who cannot tolerate oats, gluten free wheat starch or wheat/rye/barley based spirits, is that if in doubt leave it out. Certainly if you are catering for coeliacs I would take the hard line and definitely not include any of the questionable items – that way you have a catch all.

So, not only was I excited that there were varieties of flavoured shortbread, but also that they were oat free! It seems that some of the biscuit manufacturers may be listening!

As always, all of the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.