Gluten free treats from Manna Dew

On Saturday I found myself in Battersea park for the Formula E racing . The extra bonus to a day out watching racing cars was that I remembered the Mann Dew was close by.

Manna Dew is a 100% gluten free Patisserie and Bakery Cafe serving breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas situated on a classic London cobblestone street in Battersea. The Patisserie does not use refined sugar instead opting for sugars such as agave and coconut sugar. ( Macaron the only exception )

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I walked from the park following the directions on Google maps which took about 12 mins. Manna Dew was a smaller shop than I expected but once inside I was impressed with the quality of the interior, and the cleanliness.   A real little gem. The array of patisserie delights was mind blowing along with the aroma of freshly baked bakery goods and the smell of fresh coffee. The choice was a little overwhelming for me. I rarely find a shop where I can safely induldge in such amazing gluten free treats .

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The bakery goods looked great, the French baguettes, yes baguettes! looked Amazing , seeded buns and focaccia looked and smelt so tempting hard to believe they didn’t contain gluten.

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Due to having Crohn’s disease as well as being intolerant to gluten means gluten free grains are only for treat days. I find that too many gluten free grains affect me if eaten regularly. But for a Coeliac or someone who is gluten intolerant this place is a dream come true you !

I could see that the staff were very busy, a young family with three children were enjoying a pre booked afternoon tea, another group of people were sitting outside in the sunshine while a delivery for Deliveroo was being sorted and sent on its way.

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As I was short for time and needed to get back for the Formula E big race I made an order to take away. I chose a chocolate brownie, a mini carrot cake and a toasted Italian focaccia for my husband. I am intolerant to yeast otherwise I would have chosen the chicken focaccia which looked amazing.

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I had a short chat with Muhammed who kindly gave me a raspberry passion fruit tart to try as he said it was one of their signature patisserie tarts and I he wanted me to try it. A very generous gift.

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I dashed back to the Park to enjoy my picnic. My husband was very impressed with the toasted focaccia saying he couldn’t tell that it was gluten free. In fact he thought it was nicer than most regular gluten focaccia sandwiches. We shared the decadent chocolate brownie, an intensely chocolatey slice, gooey and very rich . A big hit and something I would order again. I enjoyed the carrot cake all to myself, again really delicious and light.

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The special patisserie raspberry and passionfruit tart was saved until we were home. Amazingly it survived intact.

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The raspberry passionfruit tart was indeed a triumph, a biscuity pastry with a tangy filling and fresh fruit. So glad I was able to try this. I enjoyed it and would order again. My husband said he would of preferred a more simple pastry case.

I would love to see added to the range some grain free treats too I think they would be very popular, I for one would be back in a flash to try them .

Do pay Manna Dew a visit if you live in London or are visiting London in the near future. Locals can also have delicious gluten free treats delivered to their door with Deliveroo and JINN . Places like this will not survive unless we show our support to indie shops like this delightful one.

Why not book a trip soon , there is currently a special offer on afternoon tea, check the website for details.

You can follow Manna Dew on Twitter @mannadew

Website mannadew.co.uk

Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm

Sat & Sun 10.30am – 6pm

169 Battersea high street SW11 3JS

 

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Free From Christmas festival

Yesterday Sunday 14th December was the very first Free From Festival in London. Organised by Freefromfestival The venue was BL_NK in Old street, East London and had an entrance fee of £5 which could be purchased online or at the door. It was a cash only event with live music and stalls open from 10.30 until 5.30pm Offering all kinds of free from products, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free etc

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My gluten free purchases.

 

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Bread from Romeo’s Bakery.

 

I bought my tickets in advance and then also won a couple more just a few days before the event. When I realised where in London it was I nearly decided not to go, its quite a trip from Dorking Surrey! But my husband kindly offered to drive me as he was also keen to come along.

We arrived in east London at 11.30am on the most beautiful sunny day, extremely cold and blustery but a lovely day for a drive through the centre of London and over Tower bridge. I took in all the sights as if I was on a sight seeing tour bus.

Parking proved to be very easy, we found a free parking space in an adjacent road. BL_NK was quite easy to spot on Old street but there were no Free From Festival signage. There was though a welcomer who was on the door to make sure you didn’t miss the venue. It would be good to see a large banner next year. I’m sure more people would have come in, if it had been more clear what was going outside.

Outside were 3 stalls, I felt for them because it was bitterly cold. A stall selling the most delicious looking buckwheat pancakes with delicious savoury and sweet fillings available.

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A wine stall called L’ATYPIQUE

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Selling natural wines @LATYPIQUEWINES

and a Polenta stall selling hot sliced polenta La Polenteria  I didn’t explore the stall which I regret .

 

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The extreme cold and wind drove us inside quickly. After checking out the website today, I wish I had tried some. Maybe next year!

Inside in the warm were some interesting looking stalls. It was as I had expected, relatively small. But this was the first year and I’m sure by next year year there will be more stalls eager to be part of this exciting event so near to Christmas. A perfect opportunity to show off your Christmas products etc.

Freego  a gluten free online shop offering ‘the worlds best gluten free’ They search out the best gluten free products to offer on the site. At the festival there were mince pies, christmas puddings, bread mixes and posh chocolates that were also dairy free. There were samples of things to try including the mince pies which were very good. This is a site I haven’t used yet, but after chatting yesterday I certainly will go online and have a look.

 

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Romeo’s gluten free bakery The bread looked absolutely delicious there was an array of sizes and types of bread including onion, seeded, foccacia etc. I bought two small loaves for the family. Unfortunately I am also yeast intolerant so I couldn’t try the bread but my son and husband said it was some of the nicest gluten free bread they had tried. We wish we had bought far more to put in the freezer.

 

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Mini Magoos is allergy free award winning cereals . We bought some granola to try which looked very nice. The main ingredient appears to be toasted coconut flakes with blue agave nectar, almonds etc

 

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Conscious Organic raw chocolate had five new flavours to try and buy. with an offer if you bought 4 bars , So I did!

All chocolate is gluten free dairy and refined sugar free. some are sweetened with rice syrup some with agave nectar .

 

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Elvira’s secret pantry was an artisan italian bakery gluten free, dairy free and yeast free. Also some cakes were made using birch sugar ( xylitol ) I chose a selection of 3 mini cakes in a beautiful box . The pumpkin and chocolate cake I found quite dry and crumbly, I preferred the carrot and pistachio cake which was a little more moist . Elvira also sold quiches etc and other savoury products which looked very nice. All products were well displayed and presented.  The cakes contain lots of veggies, nuts etc . You can find Elvira at Crystal palace food market.

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Pistachio and carrot cake

Pistachio and carrot cake

 

Foodamentalists I have been following this company for a while now on Twitter but not managed to meet the man behind this exciting company so it was good to meet Steven and have a chat about the company and plans for the future. The company is 100 % gluten free . The stall was packed with delicious looking products from sweet christmas treats like mince pies and Christmas cakes, savoury pies and delicious looking pork pies. A selection of foodamentalists mixes to were for sale. Worth coming to the festival for this stall alone! We chose lots of goodies to take home for the freezer and Christmas goodies to eat over the next couple of weeks. Including a very lovely looking Christmas cake.

 

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Love bites A raw organic vegan stall, selling fresh salads, juices and chocolate tart. Can you guess what I chose!

 

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Antillia delights a stall selling a selection of well labeled wheat free, gluten free and dairy free bakes. My worry here was that the wheat free products were made using organic Spelt flour . I queried this at the time and checked again on twitter today. My understanding is that spelt flour is still considered a type of wheat ! I was also then concerned about the gluten free cakes being made in the same location. I was given a helpful reply on twitter from @antilliadelight ” GF items are prepared apart from WF items and as GF is a very serious concern extra caution is taken to prevent cross contamination”

I didn’t feel confident at the time to buy anything from this stall although everything looked very good and well displayed.

LiveSmart 360 chocolate with a purpose…. this was a stall selling chocolate with extra health benefits. This was very expensive. not really sure about this.

As with most gluten free and free from products all the stalls were quite pricey with the exception of Foodamentalists who were good value for money.

Would I visit again next year? Yes,  I think I would make the trip if I knew there were a few more stalls confirmed . I would be particularly be interested in a grain free low sugar stall. Possibly a bigger venue might be needed too.

 

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We queued outside for one of the buckwheat wraps. Mine had egg, cheese and spinach. Really delicious and thrilling to be able to eat out from a stall, with so many intolerances this Never happens.

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We took them back inside and listened to more live music. They were really delicious and perfect on a freezing day.

Follow Free from festival Twitter here > freefromfestival

Facebook > freefromfestival

Here’s hoping for an even bigger and better event next year

 

 

 

 

 

Review of The Gluten Free Kitchen, North Yorkshire

The Gluten Free Kitchen is a bakery and shop selling in store and online. They also have a selection of products available in a number of Waitrose and Booths supermarkets and some National trust properties.

Chef Sue Powell and business partner David Fleming have been producing home baked gluten free products since 2005. The business is based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Products include ready to roll pastry, cakes muffins , savoury tarts, crumbles, bread etc

you can visit their website here to see more of their products www.glutenfreefood.info

Sue from The Gluten Free Kitchen asked if I would like to review their products, I was very happy to do so and I was sent a parcel containing a lovely selection of their products. I was very impressed by the packaging and chill pack inside the cold box. Everything had stayed perfectly fresh.

I also like their product packaging and leaflet very professional.

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My family of 5 gluten eaters who mainly eat gluten free helped me test all the products today. They had a great time!

Coffee and walnut muffin – gluten and dairy free £2.05 A good size muffin with a lovely coffee flavour.  Moist cake with a delicious frosting.

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Bakewell tart – £2.00 gluten and dairy free . A big favourite with us all. Very good pastry, even better than the ready rolled pastry. A good size tart easily shared.

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Apple crumble –  gluten, dairy and egg free £2.29 nice apple filling with a good crumble top, some thought the crumble had a slight floury taste. But overall good. Perfect for one.

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Lemon drizzle pudding – £2.29 A sharp lemon flavoured individual sponge, moist pudding easy to warm in microwave. very nice

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Ready roll pastry –  gluten and dairy free £2.25 was easy to use, rolled out well and cooked nicely. I made a chicken pie topped with the pastry. Rather broke up when cut into slices and some felt it left a slightly floury taste in the mouth. Overall all felt if you couldn’t eat regular pastry this would be a very good alternative. A convenient product easily stored in the freezer ready for use.

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homemade Chicken pie

Carrot cake muffin – £2.05 A moist cake with large pieces of walnut inside and delicious frosting , a little crumbly.

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Chocolate cake muffin – £2.05 gluten , dairy and egg free.  A big favourite with my tasters. One saying it was the best chocolate cake he had tasted! good strong chocolate flavour and a scrummy chocolate topping.

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Goats cheese and red onion tart – still to be reviewed . looks delicious

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The gluten free bread from The gluten free Kitchen is also dairy soya and egg free. There is an oven crust loaf, white rolls , seeded loaf and seeded rolls which have added sunflower and flax seeds.

If you live in North Yorkshire or will be holidaying in this beautiful area of the UK. It is well worth taking a trip to Leyburn and dropping into the shop and bakery for some gluten fee and dairy free homemade baked goodies. I would love to hear your views!

Dont forget you can order online too. Minimum order is £20, delivery charges are on the website.

We really should support our local gluten free bakeries and shops who produce virtually homemade products far superior to the mass produced products filling our supermarket shelves.

you can follow @glutenfreeGFK on Twitter

on Facebook The Gluten Free Kitchen

I would love to see some grain free and refined sugar free products added to the range possibly in the future.

These products were sent to me free of charge but this hasn’t effected my impartiality.

Review of Incognito cakes cheeky little monkey gluten free cake mix for children

As Incognito cakes were offering a discount on their new cake mix recently, I decided to order the children’s cake mix so that I could review it for my blog as it is both gluten free and dairy free. The cheeky little monkey cake mix has been shortlisted for the free from food awards in two categories.

My parcel arrived today just in time for a Mum and Baby group I attend tomorrow. I’m sure the little ones will love the little monkey picture on top of the cakes.

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The instructions on the reverse of the packet are child friendly and fun

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I was just worried to see a long list of ingredients and e numbers. I think the e numbers are from the little monkey disks provided to top the cakes. When I make a cake from scratch I only use gluten free flour and cocoa powder, butter, eggs and a refined sugar substitute like dextrose, or a small amount of sugar. I imagine the extra ingredients are added to ensure the cake mix has a longer shelf life.

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To the cheeky little monkey mix I needed to add an egg, oil and water or milk, if not making dairy free.

The mix recipe suggests vegetable oil but I would urge you to use a healthy oil like coconut oil.

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The instructions were very simple, put the egg, cake mix, oil and water into a bowl and mix. Couldn’t be easier, great for children.

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The mixture was very runny and I found it quite tricky to spoon the mixture in to the rather squashed paper cases, saying this the cakes rose well in the oven and looked good.

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I allowed the 11 cakes to cool, then mixed the icing sugar provided with a little water and piped on to the cakes adding the monkey disks provided.

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they did look perfect!

For the price £6.99 I would expect a higher quality both in packaging and cake mix and I was unable to get 12 cakes out of my mixture. Sadly I would not buy these in future at the current price.

The family tried the cakes this evening, they felt the taste of the chocolate cheeky little monkey cakes was quite mild flavoured, but probably good for little ones. We all liked the texture, quite springy. The family all agreed though that they had eaten better cakes made from mixes.

I honestly think a price review is essential, £3 would be a fairer price for the mix. Then they would be good value for money.

I am sure the little ones and their mum’s will enjoy the fun looking cakes tomorrow

incognitocakemixes.co.uk

follow on twitter @incognitocakes

A visit to The Healthy Cook Company in Kingston

Today was the first day of the Christmas park and ride from Chessington world of adventures to Kingston upon Thames, a great excuse to pay a visit to my favourite shop in Kingston, Healthy cook company in Old London road. This road is easy to spot as it has the famous leaning telephone boxes at one end, it is just off the main shopping street.

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Healthy cake company is a bakery and cafe offering an assortment of gluten free, dairy free, egg free and some sugar free produce.

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The cafe is quite small so well worth arriving early for lunch as I did today. There is a cosy friendly feel to the cafe and while small, there is a huge array of produce. I struggled to chose!

As you enter on the right hand side there is a bakery section with warm homemade gluten free and yeast free bread. Sealed and boxed cakes ready to take home. I grabbed a loaf straight away incase I missed out.

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Today I decided to sample one of the lunches that was on offer, I chose the toasted soda bread with salad and homemade humous and spinach pesto, this was £3.50 followed by a homemade gluten free mince pie.

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My lunch was very good, as was my freshly made mince pie with perfect pastry. I enjoyed this with a cup of tea.

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Trisha and her staff were busy with lots of customers including a dad who had come in to collect a fabulous looking Free From Thomas the tank engine chocolate cake for his 3 year old son. He let me have a quick look, it was beautifully decorated. What a lucky boy! I’m sure it will taste very yummy. Birthday and celebration cakes can be ordered online.

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Now came the difficult decision of what to select to take home. Eventually I chose an individual  carrot and raisin cake, a chocolate cake, a flap jack and lemon and poppy seed muffin and 2 chocolate brownies sweetened partly with date syrup. All gluten and dairy free. Think I will have to freeze some.

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If you are planning a Christmas shopping trip to Kingston upon Thames in the next few weeks . Don’t forget to look in on Trisha at her award winning bakery and cafe the Healthy cook company.

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I have tried Trisha’s cakes and bread before, they are always very good and well worth taking a break from shopping to go and sample.

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The Iced gluten and dairy free carrot and raisin cake was overall winner of the free from awards 2009

check out Healthy cook company on Facebook

@HealthyCookCo on twitter

32 Old London road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT26QF

Gluten free delights at Selfridges, London

Yesterday we headed up to London. While we were there we popped into Selfridges as I had heard that they now have a gluten free section in the food hall.

The gluten free deli is not easy to spot as hidden amongst the regular deli. But well worth seeking out! In a separate display case was an array of pies, quiches and fresh filled pasta. Pies and quiches made by Wagfree food. I chose a quiche Lorraine, Mr S who could have chosen any pie or quiche from the main section chose gluten free roasted pepper quiche, these cost £2.79 each.

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I asked the assistant if they had a gluten free bakery area. She directed me to the regular cake area and once again there was a special display case clearly marked and closed off from the gluten filled cakes. My eyes were out on stalks! Everything looked delicious! Then I remembered I’m supposed to be staying low sugar. Oh well , just one cake wouldn’t hurt?  We chose a coffee and walnut cake to share costing £3.45 very restrained, I really wanted to have one of each. I think these cakes also come from @wagfree

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The bakery assistant also pointed out more gluten free products, gluten free bread on top of the cake display case and an array of biscuits from Peace of cake on a separate stand. You do need to keep your whits about you as half the stand was gluten filled biscuits and brownies. Which could have been disastrous if I had not automatically read the small print. I chose some gluten free and dairy free Apricot Abricotines from Peace of cake London.

I could have honestly spent all day and a great deal of money in Selfridges but had to dash. But decided to visit again soon when we had more time

I can recommend a visit, so exciting to be able to buy such lovely food which is gluten free too. The more we all support, the more likely these sections will grow and we will have even greater choice.

Wag free baked goods are also available in Brixton from their main cafe and bakery. I hope to visit and blog about that soon, watch this space!

We searched for an appropriate picnic spot around Selfridges and came across one of the delightful gated gardens, unfortunately it was private only available to local residents. But by this time we were starving so stood at the garden entrance staring in longingly at the pretty park benches inside and munched on our gluten free quiches. Now I thought that my own homemade pastry was pretty good, Until I tasted wagfree’s beautiful pastry, light and melt in the mouth.  The quiches were really very good.

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When we returned home we enjoyed the cake with a much needed cuppa. Once again I quite like my own cakes but this was I have to admit well worth the money. The sugary icing on the top was delicious as was the creamy filling inside the light coffee flavoured cake. But thankfully not overly sweet. Another triumph!

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I look forward to my next visit to Selfridges and especially the Food Hall. Better start saving!