Archive for January, 2010

The new Lactofree adverts made me chuckle!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I recently saw an advert for Lactofree milk on tv which made me laugh.

I had been wondering if people with a lactose intolerance could actually drink this.  I’ll buy some on my next shopping trip and let you know what I think.

 

Which Dairy Free Margarine Is The Best?

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Margarine testing.

I decided to test different widely available dairy free margarines to see which, in my opinion, is the best.

I tested for:

  • Best on toast
  • Best in a sponge cake
  • Best for pastry and
  • Best for butter cream

The contenders:

Pure soya margarine – not very good for baking.

Pure Sunflower margarine – nice for most baking.

Pure organic margarine – not very good for baking.

Stork pastry margarine – good for pastry but not for sponge cake or butter cream, it is too waxy.

Sainsbury’s Free From margarine – good flavour for general baking.

Tomor Kosher margarine – I didn’t like this at all. It is very waxy.

Supermarket block baking margarine – The baking margarine does state not suitable for milk allergy sufferers due to manufacturing process. Good for pastry but not for sponge cake or butter cream.

Vitalite margarine – best margarine for baking and spreading.

Suma soya margarine – not very good for baking.

White vegetable fat – ok for pastry, not much flavour obviously. This can be used to give a ‘royal iced’ look to an egg free cake including piping and scrolls. More about this later.

On toast

We thought Pure soya and Sainsbury’s Free From were really nice but the best was Vitalite. This could be because it tasted saltier than the others, it has a nice buttery flavour.

Sponge cake

We thought Pure organic had a nice flavour. It was hard to decide which we preferred out of Pure sunflower and Vitalite. They both had a good flavour and texture.

Pastry

We found Sainsbury’s Free From and supermarket baking margarine both had a good flavour.

The best was Stork pastry block margarine and Vitalite.

Dairy free butter cream

Mixing in twice as much icing sugar to margarine. You just need to mix the sugar in gently or the mixture will split.

The best margarine for this was the Sainsbury’s Free From and Vitalite. The Vitalite didn’t seem to split as much as the others.

And the winner is…

we recommend - Vitalite.

So in my opinion, if you are to have one dairy free margarine in your fridge it should be Vitalite Dairy Free spread.

Let me introduce myself

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Me and my family.

Me and my family.

I have been cooking meals for people with special diets since leaving catering college at 18, first as a chef in a private hospital, then in a home for children with severe learning difficulties. Catering for a range of special diets, I became determined to offer the same choices to everyone so began researching and experimenting with different ingredients. I went on to work in a bakery, became a head pastry chef and later started my own company, Iced Gem Cakes, making celebration cakes, specialising in special dietary requirements.

Shocked by the poor quality of gluten and dairy free cakes available in shops, I asked people with special diets what they missed eating. The answer was always the same – puddings, cakes and sausage rolls. I set to work creating a range of gluten free and vegan cakes and soon started supplying local shops.

I’ve spent years conducting taste tests with family, friends and groups for people with special diets, and it was at a meeting of my local coeliac group I met the respected food writer Marguerite Patten. She tasted my cake, liked it and asked if I had ever thought of writing a cook book. So the idea for this website was born.

Understandably, many people think they have to give up their favourite foods when they discover they have a food intolerance or allergy. They are put off by bland, processed special diet cakes in supermarkets and long for good, homemade food. This needn’t be the case, and here you’ll find a wealth of family favourites that taste just as good – if not better – than conventional recipes.

I hope you find my recipes useful and enjoy following my blog.