Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie (take 2!)

My favourite dessert for many years has been lemon meringue pie. The tart, tangy lemon flavour combined with the super sweetness of the meringue all encased in a crunchy sweet pastry shell – what’s not to love?! I’ve always loved lemon meringue, in fact I have been known to have this instead of a birthday cake in the past. As a student, Sara Lee’s lemon meringue pie was something that was non-negotiable in terms of what I *needed* to live. Fortunately I soon made friends with another lemon meringue pie fan, and we often shared late night lemon meringue after gymnastics training (oh so healthy!).

Of course, Sara Lee has been out of the question since my coeliac diagnosis. For a disappointingly long time, I didn’t have lemon meringue pie in my life. Eventually I tried making my own (see here!) but at the time I only had a hand whisk so the meringue didn’t work so well (though it was an excellent arm strengthening exercise!). It tasted OK, but the texture was all wrong and there wasn’t a lovely fluffy meringue topping.

Since then however we’ve bought an electric whisk and a food processor, and my confidence and skills in gluten free cooking and baking has increased. Having seen some photos of lemon meringue cupcakes recently (which I’ll also have to try soon!) I decided it was time to give the lemon meringue pie another go. So last night I bought a couple of lemons and got going. I used the Tesco recipe and followed it pretty much to the letter (though I used Udi’s gluten free plain flour as that’s what I had in). A couple of hours later I was enjoying this…

Gluten free lemon meringue pie

Gluten free lemon meringue pie

I confess I didn’t wait for it to cool as much as I should have really so the curd was a little runny. I love warm lemon meringue though, and I don’t mind a slightly runny curd. The meringue passed the upside down bowl test when I was making it, and it’s lovely and fluffy but has browned on top (just how I like it!).

Gluten free lemon meringue pie

Gluten free lemon meringue pie

The pastry was a bit crumbly and didn’t brown as much as I’d have liked so I think I’d look to improve that next time. I’d be tempted to make more meringue too – I like a slightly thicker layer of meringue. But overall I’m so impressed and very proud of myself. It may have taken most of the evening, but in my opinion it was well worth it!

The recipe I used is available from Tesco Real Food: https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/gluten-free-lemon-meringue-pie.html

What’s your favourite dessert? Have you adapted it to make it gluten free? Any recommendations for me to try next?

Isabel’s gluten free pancake mix

Pancake day has been and gone by a quite a while, but I’m still thinking about the fabulous pancakes I had and think I’ll have to have more soon. Partly, I confess, this is due to the fact that I had them with Nutella which reminded me how amazing Nutella is. Partly though it’s down to finding yet another excellent Isabel’s Free From mix. I don’t think this brand can produce a bad product – I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from them so far. 

I’ve always enjoyed pancakes, usually only one or twice a year though. As a child we always had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, and it was always the crepe style pancakes so you could have fun trying to flip them. In those days I’d usually just have sugar and lemon on my pancakes. In recent years I’ve tended to favour thicker American or Scotch style pancakes with maple syrup but this year I felt like a change and went back to the crepe style. Unbeknownst to me, my partner had treated himself to some gluten-filled protein pancakes, but that was no bad thing as it meant more gluten free pancakes for me! I actually ended up saving half the batter and having pancakes for breakfast the next day 🙂

The mix is really easy to make; you just add eggs, oil and milk; whisk together; let it rest for a short while; and then you’re ready to go. It makes a very thin batter so is easy to spread in the pan and cooks quickly. I attempted the odd flip but really they were too thin, so I used a spatula to help me turn them. I was planning to have a few different fillings/toppings but the Nutella was so delicious that I ended up having that on all of them! 
  

Isabel's Free From Pancake Mix

Isabel’s Free From Pancake Mix

 
 
Isabel's Free From Pancake with Nutella

Isabel’s Free From Pancake with Nutella

  
The only downside to discovering another great product from Isabel’s is that they’re not as easy to find as they don’t tend to be stocked in many of my local supermarkets. I’d really like to try the Isabel’s gravy but still haven’t found that anywhere. They do however sell online and you can get the pancake mix from their website (I may have to do an online order myself to stock up on some of my favorite mixes and try out the few products I haven’t yet given a go!).

Did you have gluten free pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? What did you have on yours?

Gluten Free Favourites in 2015

I enjoyed a lot of great gluten free things last year and I’d like to share my favourites with you – these are all things I love and highly recommend. There are a lot to share so you might want to get yourself comfy…

Book: Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw

We have joked to family and friends that this is our bible, which admittedly is a little extreme for a cook book, but we use it very frequently and love pretty much everything we’ve tried for the book (the savoury recipes are better than the sweet ones in our opinion though). It’s not advertised as a gluten free cookbook, but it is gluten free as the author follows a gluten free diet (this is true of a number of recent cook books). Some of our favourite recipes include the ginger steamed fish parcels (really quick and easy to make, hardly any washing up necessary, and delicious!), the chicken schnitzel with sweet potato fries, the ginger beef kebabs and the quinoa burgers. I could go on but I’ll leave it at that for now – at some point I think I’ll write a full review of the book. It’s absolutely fantastic, and we have recommended it to family and friends who now use it too. Madeleine is releasing another book in a few months and I’m very much looking forward to that.

 

Newly discovered brand: Isabel’s Free From

This was a really tricky category as I’ve discovered a few great gluten free brands this year. Isabel’s is a definite highlight though! We really enjoy the pizza base mix (reviewed here) and the dough balls mix – we’ve even shared the dough balls with non-gluten-free family and friends who loved them! The yorkshire pudding mix works brilliantly, both for individual yorkshire puddings (reviewed here) and for toad in the hole (reviewed here). The Easy Pud Chocolate Sponge Mix is very convenient too, so all in all I’m impressed! The thing I like about Isabel’s is that everything is gluten, wheat and dairy free (or can be made dairy free) yet you really can’t tell. It’s not like the products are ‘good for gluten free’ they’re just good generally. With some other brands I feel like my partner is missing out if we share gluten free versions, but with Isabel’s I really don’t. I have a couple more mixes in the store cupboard which I bought at a show last year but haven’t had chance to try yet, but I’m sure they will be fabulous as everything I’ve tried from the brand so far is. The only mishap we’ve had was when we had no eggs in and tried an egg replacement in the yorkshire pudding mix – sadly that didn’t work so well. The instructions on Isabel’s mixes are quite specific but when I follow them they work out well. I also really like the brand’s communication – their social media accounts are great, and whenever I’ve met representatives of the brand at food shows they have been really informative and helpful. Big thumbs up to Isabel’s from me 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Notable mentions also go to Delicious Alchemy (love their chocolate brownies and their oaty cookies in particular, and again as a brand they do some great stuff on social media as well as having excellent customer service), Kabuto Noodles (especially for their rice pots), and Provena (fantastic chocolate muffin mix, and their oat bread mix is fabulous too).

Supermarket: Marks and Spencer

Gluten free festive sandwich and drink from M&S

Gluten free festive sandwich and drink from M&S

For a while now I’ve been enjoying the gluten free range from M&S – their sandwiches are my go to choice when I’m travelling, and I love their party ranges of buffet food. During 2015 though they just kept delivering great new products. There are the individual cake options you can get from most train station M&S Simply Food stores, and I love the fact they switch these up every so often – in the last few months to my knowledge there’s been a caramel pecan bar, a brownie, a fudge cake (with edible stars!), and a shortbread millionaire bar. The sandwich selection is expanding, and there are also healthier snacks too; I like the prawns with a sweet chilli dip for example. I also really like that many of their crisps are gluten free – just recently I picked up a small bag of ‘Made Without Wheat’ tortilla chips with my sandwich, and many of the regular range of crisps and snacks are gluten free too. I really like their multipacks of Cool Mini Tortillas, and the new baked Pea Snaps they do are really unique! The thing I love about M&S is their labelling – of course they have a really good ‘Made Without Wheat’ range, but lots of items within the store are clearly marked as gluten free (one example being their Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding which is a firm favourite of ours!). For Christmas most of their food was gluten free (including things like pigs in blankets and stuffings) which makes it easier for families with coeliacs to all eat the same delicious food.

Notable mentions go to Holland and Barrett who stock some great gluten free brands (mostly online rather than in store), Waitrose who have vastly improved their gluten free offering, Ocado who have a huge range of gluten free products and brands, and Tesco for ensuring plenty of gluten free Christmas food items (I tried chestnut stuffing for the first time thanks to Tesco!).

Specialist store: Freego 

There are a few online stores who offer gluten free items, but Freego stand out to me. For a start, everything is gluten free which makes it really easy for coeliacs, and they sell some items that you can’t get elsewhere in the UK. They spend time finding and testing gluten free brands from around the world and then trying to bring the best ones to customers. We particularly enjoyed the Luce’s Artisan bread mix and definitely intend to try more of this brand. Freego have a great range of naturally gluten free grains too, and some unusual ingredients that can otherwise be hard to find. They cater for many different dietary needs via categories on their website which is very easy to use. You can see some other items we tried in my review of Freego. I certainly intend to use Freego again in future for stocking up on store cupboard essentials (and the odd treat!).

Restaurant: Pizza Express

There are more and more restaurant chains as well as independents who cater for those with a gluten free diet, but my most visited place during 2015 was Pizza Express. I really like their gluten free pizzas, and they have some interesting topping combinations with regular new seasonal menus. There’s usually starter and dessert options too, and although they’re perhaps not the most exciting (salads, risottos, brownie, and ice cream), I’ve not yet had a disappointing meal at Pizza Express – and I’ve tried lots of different branches! The area we’ve moved to didn’t used to have a Pizza Express but one opened up the week before we moved, so I imagine we’ll still be visiting Pizza Express (in fact we’ve already tried our new local one and it was great). They’re always a safe option when I’m travelling, and with the discounts (we have a Tastecard) they’re great value too. I also really like that many of the gluten free options are vegetarian which is really refreshing. The current gluten free menu is available online.

Notable mentions go to Zizzi (their chocolate melt is amazing!), Prezzo (enjoyed a lovely pasta dish here whilst travelling, sadly there isn’t one near us), The Cowshed in Pattingham (our go to local restaurant from last year), and Mothertown Fish and Chips (our new local chippie).

Savoury recipe: Simply Cook Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice

Simply Cook Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice

Simply Cook Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice

It was really tricky to choose just one recipe and if I went on frequency of cooking I think it would have to be the ginger steamed fish parcels from Get The Glow which we have probably once a fortnight, but then I remembered the wonderful jerk chicken with coconut rice from Simply Cook. I haven’t yet blogged about Simply Cook but do intend to – they send you recipes and sauces/spices/stocks (four recipes per box) to make really interesting dishes, many of which are gluten free. The advantage of this over other boxes is that you can buy the ingredients so it can help you stick to a budget, or you can exclude ingredients you don’t like. We tried a box earlier last year, and since then have re-ordered our favourites which include the jerk chicken with coconut rice. You bake the chicken in the seasoning with lime, and then cook the rice with onion, stock, coconut rice, and black beans. The flavour combination is amazing – I’d never have thought of putting these together yet they work so well. The coconut rice is a revelation too – it’s delicious! I’d definitely recommend this meal (and most of the other Simply Cook dishes we’ve tried to be honest). I do plan to write a full review of Simply Cook as we really like it, but in the meantime if you’d like to try it out yourself I have a referral link which means you can get your first box for £1. We did this initially and I promise it only costs £1 – if you don’t like it or don’t want to be tied into a subscription you can turn off the subscriptions and just purchase boxes when you wish to (this is what we do as we prefer to choose the recipes and don’t want to have them every month).

Sweet recipe: Bakewell tart

Bakewell Tart (made from Phil Vickery recipe)

Bakewell Tart (made from Phil Vickery recipe)

This was a tough decision too as we have a number of recipes we make on a fairly regular basis, but the Bakewell tart is probably our favourite. It’s a Phil Vickery recipe from the Seriously Good! Gluten Free Cooking (made with Coeliac UK) – the recipe is also available online. We’ve made the pastry from scratch (following the recipe fully), and we’ve also used ready made shortcrust pastry for the base, leaving it as is or adding in the citrus flavour as in the recipe. All variants work well and it’s a recipe we turn to often when we have visitors (though sadly last time we burnt it a little as we’re still getting used to the oven in our new place!).

Notable mentions go to the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Louise at Slice of Heaven Gluten Free Cake Studio, the coffee and walnut sponge from Glutafin, the soft centered chocolate pudding from Glutafin, and the oatmeal and vanilla cookie recipe from Michael McCamley’s Gluten Free Baking.

Blogger: Gluten Free B

There are a number of gluten free blogs I follow; some of which have been blogging for a while, others I’ve only discovered fairly recently. I tend to prefer following bloggers who have coeliac disease as I know they understand what it’s like, though I do follow a couple who choose to be gluten free. I really like to read posts about living with coeliac disease (and quite enjoy writing them too to be honest – as difficult as it was, I found it useful to express my feelings on what it’s like being coeliac when you are the sort of person who prefers to blend into the background, so you may see more of these types of posts  on my blog in future). I also like to learn about ingredients I haven’t used, discover new recipes, places to eat out, and new products I might want to try. Carly is someone I’ve followed for a while on both her blog and social media, and during 2015 I’ve enjoyed seeing her adapt things to be mostly dairy free (due to her daughter needing avoid milk and eggs), seeing her produce some fabulous recipes and gluten free baking competition entries, and seeing her photography develop. She also released a gluten free and dairy free cook book which looks fantastic – I haven’t had chance to try it myself yet. She runs the ‘Fruit is not a Pudding’ blog too which I just love – I really enjoyed seeing the entries for the Christmas Fruit is not a Pudding competition. I’ve never met Carly but seem to share many of the same views as her, and really appreciate her support and friendliness (towards me and others). She recently blogged about how the gluten free trend seems to be at a peak and gluten free blogging has changed (see Have we reached peak gluten free?), and it’s given me a lot of food for thought – I’ve been having similar ponderings about my own blogging. I hope Carly does continue to blog because I really enjoy reading her posts, seeing what she has been working on, and seeing her cooking and focus change over time. I’m totally envious of her photography (check out her Instagram feed), and really admire her ethics and golden rules of social media, many of which are the same as mine – though I’m not averse to sharing photos of my breakfast as I love me some yoghurt and granola! Gluten free blogging, as with other types of blogging, has definitely changed, but I hope as bloggers we can continue to provide a useful resource for other coeliacs.

All in all, 2015 was an excellent year for gluten free discoveries and development. We moved at the end of 2015 and the town we have moved to has had a gluten free bakery and a lounge bar with a gluten free menu, both of which opened in the last few weeks. I look forward to sharing more reviews of places to eat and gluten free products via the blog in future, as well as some posts about being coeliac. I enjoy sharing my favourites too so may make this sort of blog post on a more frequent basis. I hope you found it useful 🙂

What were your gluten free favourites in 2015?

If you’d like to receive updates from Gluten Free Joeyanne please follow the blog by email or RSS (links on the right hand side) or you can like Gluten Free Joeyanne on Facebook for links to blog posts as well as more regular updates. 

Gluten free food from Freego

I recently came across the gluten free website Freego, who provide all sorts of gluten free products in the UK. Now of course, there are plenty of other websites who sell gluten free products, but something about Freego really stood out to me. All their products are gluten free and from a large variety of different suppliers, both large and small. They are passionate about finding the best products from around the world – see their About Us page for more information. I contacted the owners to find out more and was kindly offered a voucher code to try their service. The following review is my honest opinion about Freego’s service and products.

Freego logo

There are a really great selection of products on Freego, covering all manner of different gluten free flours, grains, mixes, cereals, pastas, crackers, and some sweet items. Don’t get me wrong, I love cakes and biscuits, but I do want some regular food too! The Freego website is really easy to use – you can browse by type of product or by diet (they have an excellent selection of vegan, paleo and low sugar products for example). What’s great for coeliacs is that absolutely everything in the website is gluten free. So you don’t need to worry about checking if any of the products have cross contamination risks (I’m looking at you, supermarket brand grains!).

There was so much I wanted to try, so it took me a long time to decide on the products I wanted to order. Finally I committed, and was very impressed with how straight forward the ordering process was, even with a voucher code. I instantly received an email to confirm my order and not long after I received an update with delivery tracking details. Freego offer free delivery when you order £40 or more from their website, and £2.99 if the order is less than £40. They aim to dispatch on the same day (if you order on a working day) and in the future plan to have the functionality to arrange for delivery on a specified day. I was very impressed with the speed of delivery and the communication throughout. I had to rearrange my delivery as I was away on the day it was due to arrive, and I was able to easily change it for the next day I’d be available. It arrived well packaged – a box full of gluten free goodies!

Freego order

Freego order

I’d asked for some recommendations as I know Freego have some brands they’re particularly proud of discovering and stocking (some of the brands stocked are from other countries and only available via Freego in the UK). Based on recommendation, I tried the Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta and the Luce’s Gluten Free Artisan Bread Mix. The pasta tasted great and is a really good way to get more protein in your diet, and the bread was a revelation; you get everything you need including parchment paper, baking bag, and even flour to dust on top. The instructions are very precise (adding 227ml of water in a certain temperatures range!); it felt like we were doing a science experiment (definitely a good thing for me!). The final result, despite being a little doughy in the centre, was delicious and definitely something I’d be keen to make again. I’m planning to write a full review of this in future, but may try it out again first to see if we can make it less doughy (we mistakenly used the fan setting on the oven which may have been the issue).

We also ordered some gluten free grains and flours like quinoa, buckwheat, millet and buckwheat flour and it’s great to know they’re definitely gluten free and not at risk of cross contamination (they have the crossed grain logo on to confirm the gluten free status too).  Freego have lots of different grains and flours in a variety of different pack sizes and I imagine we’ll use them for stocking our cupboards in future.

Another great feature on the Freego website is that if something is out of stock you can ask to be notified when it’s back in stock. I’ve also subscribed to their email newsletter which provides information on new products and any offers they currently have on.

Overall I’m really impressed with Freego; the variety of products available is excellent, the website is really easy to use, the delivery process is good, and the products themselves are great too. Highly recommend checking them out, and I’m sure we’ll be placing many orders with them in future. I’ll let you know if there are any other particular products I discover in future reviews.

In addition to their website, Freego have a Facebook page and a Twitter account for staying up-to-date.

Have you tried Freego? Any other stand out products you recommend I try in my next order?

If you’d like to receive updates from Gluten Free Joeyanne please follow the blog by email or RSS (links on the right hand side), Follow my blog with Bloglovin, or you can like Gluten Free Joeyanne on Facebook for links to blog posts as well as more regular updates. 

The Gluten Free Kitchen

This is part of my series of blog posts reviewing brands from the Coeliac UK Birmingham Gluten Free Food Fair I attended in September 2015. For an overview of the event, please see my earlier blog post. Other brands from the fair will all be tagged with ‘birmingham gluten free food fair 2015’ so you’ll be able to view them all from this page.

The Gluten Free Kitchen have a huge selection of gluten free products including breads, cakes, puddings, pies, and breaded chicken and fish. When I visited them they were showcasing their chocolate tarts and their bread, both of which I tried and enjoyed.

The Gluten Free Kitchen

The Gluten Free Kitchen

We ended up buying quite a few products from this stall, including:

  • Shortcrust pastry
  • Bakewell tart
  • Chocolate tart
  • Coffee and walnut cake

The bread hadn’t quite worked out as planned, so I was offered this as a free sample to try.

Goodies from The Gluten Free Kitchen

Goodies from The Gluten Free Kitchen

The pastry was really easy to use, I’d definitely recommend it. You keep it frozen and defrost before use. We used it to bake a chocolate and hazelnut tart (adapting a recipe from our favourite Gluten Free Baking book by Michael McCamley), and it worked really well. We were a bit haphazard with our pastry skills, but stuck it together and it worked amazingly. It didn’t stick to the tin either so we ended up with a surprisingly neat pastry tart case! It held together well and was nice and crisp (no soggy bottom despite the gooey middle for the filling!).

The bakewell tart, chocolate tart, and coffee and walnut cake were all great too. One thing which surprised me was the best before dates on the cakes – I bought these in September and they said they’d keep until mid-October. Because of this (and the fact we also bought lots of cakes from other stands!) we saved these cakes until last. They were still really fresh so whatever magic they put in the packaging, it works.

Aside from the pastry, the surprising star of the show was the bread. Despite appearances (the base wasn’t cooked through so the loaf had sunk a little) this was absolutely delicious – I think possibly the nicest gluten free bread I’ve had, and I’ve tried a lot! The taste was lovely – it had some seeds but not too many, and had a rich but not too overpowering nutty flavour. The texture (apart from the base) was great too, no huge holes but also not too dense. It sliced well, and lasted a good 2-3 days too. If it hadn’t been for the mishap with the base this would definitely rocket to the top of my favourite gluten free breads. One minor downside was the size; it was quite a small loaf so I’m not sure how well it would work with sandwiches. I just had slices of it with butter which was delicious.

The Gluten Free Kitchen bread

The Gluten Free Kitchen bread

The Gluten Free Kitchen are definitely a new-to-me brand I’ll be looking out for in future and hope to try more products from – everything I tried from them was really enjoyable. Full details of their products are available on their website and you can order directly from there. I also noticed from a recent tweet that they have free delivery on any orders over £30 during November:

Have you tried any products from The Gluten Free Kitchen? Any recommendations?

If you’d like to receive updates from Gluten Free Joeyanne please follow the blog by email or RSS (links on the right hand side) or you can like Gluten Free Joeyanne on Facebook for links to blog posts as well as more regular updates. 

Victorious Cakes and Cookies

This is part of my series of blog posts reviewing brands from the Coeliac UK Birmingham Gluten Free Food Fair I attended in September 2015. For an overview of the event, please see my earlier blog post. Other brands from the fair will all be tagged with ‘birmingham gluten free food fair 2015’ so you’ll be able to view them all from this page.

I spotted Victorious Cakes and Cookies at the fair and loved their stand, the jars of cookie mixes stood out in particular. Victorious Cakes and Cookies is a local business (based in Sutton Coldfield) selling cakes, cookies, and bake it yourself kits; further information is available on the Victorious Cakes and Cookies website. They specialise in gluten free due to the owner’s sister being diagnosed coeliac.

Victorious Cakes and Cookies stand

Victorious Cakes and Cookies stand

We love baking, so decided to buy one of the cookie making kits. I loved the attention to detail with these – the packaging was lovely and everything very clear so you knew exactly what else you needed to add (not much at all!).

Victorious Cakes and Cookies - Bake it Yourself White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Victorious Cakes and Cookies – Bake it Yourself White Chocolate Chip Cookies

The mix was really easy to use and very quick to make, so we were soon enjoying some white chocolate chip cookies. They didn’t last long as they were yummy!

I really like these as a gift idea, or a treat for yourself. If you don’t want the jar you can also buy the mix in alternative packaging but I’m sure we’ll find a use for the jar 🙂

Victorious Cakes and Cookies also sell vegan cookies – I chatted with Victoria and she said they’ve been exploring more gluten free vegan baking so it will be interesting to see what new products they may sell in future. Another great local business – I love the free from shows for introducing us to these.

You can buy from Victorious Cakes and Cookies online – more details on their website or their Facebook page.

If you’d like to receive updates from Gluten Free Joeyanne please follow the blog by email or RSS (links on the right hand side) or you can like Gluten Free Joeyanne on Facebook for links to blog posts as well as more regular updates. 

Slice of Heaven Gluten Free Cake Studio

This is part of my series of blog posts reviewing brands from the Coeliac UK Birmingham Gluten Free Food Fair I attended in September 2015. For an overview of the event, please see my earlier blog post. Other brands from the fair will all be tagged with ‘birmingham gluten free food fair 2015’ so you’ll be able to view them all from this page.

One of the stalls I was most looking forward to visiting at the Birmingham Gluten Free Food Fair was the Slice of Heaven Cake Studio, a local gluten free cake studio.

Slice of Heaven Gluten Free Cake studio at Birmingham Gluten Free Food Fair 2015

Slice of Heaven Gluten Free Cake studio at Birmingham Gluten Free Food Fair 2015

I’ve been following Slice of Heaven Cake Studio on Facebook for a while now, and met the owner, Louise (on the right in the photo), at last year’s fair. Her cakes are delicious, but there’s much more to it than that – her story, values and passion make it a very special brand. Louise doesn’t have to follow a gluten free diet herself, but has a daughter with coeliac disease, so most of the family meals are gluten free and they’re very familiar with having to eat gluten free. She knows what it is like for coeliacs to be so excited to eat something that most people take for granted! This inspired Louise to set up Slice of Heaven Cake Studio to enable coeliacs and others following a gluten free diet to have delicious cakes. You can read more about the background on her About Us page.

Louise sells cupcakes – I tried a coffee one last year, and we had 2 this year; lemon and salted caramel. They’re delicious – really light and fluffy with great flavours but not so sickly sweet like some can be.

Slice of Heaven also do full size celebration cakes and there are some truly fantastic designs for birthday cakes, wedding cakes and other celebration cakes. In addition, they now have a shop in Tamworth and every Friday she offers fresh bread (supplied by Wheat Free Bakery) as well as cakes. She was telling us how lovely it is to have people visit her bakery and realise they can eat anything as it’s all completely gluten free. I’d love to visit and hope I get chance to one day.

Louise is passionate about gluten free baking, and wants to make sure everything is uncontaminated and safe for coeliacs. She bakes everything by hand from her kitchen, which is a totally gluten free environment. In order to reassure her customers she has had her food tested, and her results only had 3ppm (parts per million). This is an incredibly low level (it has to be below 20ppm to be considered gluten free) and apparently nothing has ever been tested that had 0. That doesn’t mean Louise is happy though, she really wants to make hers 0!

This admirable level of control is evident when talking to her too. I hope she won’t mind me sharing this. She has been approached by larger companies about bringing her stock to their stores, but at the moment she doesn’t want to do that because it would mean using machines, getting other people to help, and losing some of that control she has at the moment. I really admire her passion, values and ethics and know she will continue to make business decisions that align with this.

The other thing that really impresses me about Louise is that she wants to encourage others to bake too. She’s happy to share her recipes, and it was her fabulous gluten free cookie recipe that gave us the confidence to start baking and experimenting with gluten free recipes (I really do recommend this, we have adapted it and used a variety of different flavours which have been tried, tested and loved by both of us and our family and friends, and I’ve recommended the recipe to others who have also got great results). I don’t know of many other brands who are so happy to share their recipes, but Louise wants to get people baking in their own homes, not just buying her products. She’s had a massive impact on us and I’m sure we’re not the only ones who are now baking thanks to Louise’s generosity in sharing recipes and encouraging people to bake.

It was so lovely to chat to Louise at the Gluten Free Food Fair and I really would highly recommend you check her bakery out if you live nearby (or are visiting), and check out the website and Facebook page for ordering cakes and discovering recipes.

I love local family businesses like Slice of Heaven Gluten Free Cake Studio – do you have any recommendations for local gluten free businesses in your area? Please share in the comments below if so. 

If you’d like to receive updates from Gluten Free Joeyanne please follow the blog by email or RSS (links on the right hand side) or you can like Gluten Free Joeyanne on Facebook for links to blog posts as well as more regular updates.