Dr Oetker Dr Schmoetker

SINCE cake-making unexpectedly entered my culinary lexicon with the horrifying realisation I couldn’t just go out and buy one, I’ve relied happily on Dr Oetker for icing. The supermarket own brand fondants all seem to be ‘may contain nuts’ so it was a blessed relief to have a ready-to-roll  I could easily track down in most stores.

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Until now. If you’ve come across Dr Oetker Regal-Ice lately you will no doubt have noticed ‘may contain nuts’ has arrived there, too. All of a sudden I’ve realised we have another birthday on the horizon and I need to find out exactly what the risk is – and possibly hunt me down a safe alternative elsewhere. Continue reading “Dr Oetker Dr Schmoetker”

FreeFrom Food Awards – top picks

Unknown-9THREE YEARS ago on Mother’s Day my then five month old had his first allergic reaction and was dashed to hospital in an ambulance. Some bloody Mother’s Day.

But last night I was a guest at the FreeFrom Food Awards and it set me thinking how amazing it is that, three years back, I had no clue about allergy and no part to play in its weird old world whereas now I am privileged to know a wonderful circle of people who share a common cause. Continue reading “FreeFrom Food Awards – top picks”

The “Peppa” cake

Dairy free, nut free, egg free

IMG_8222RIGHT – FIRST  disclaimer is I have never in my entire life iced a sodding cake, so the results that you see here are (a) fluke and (b) disguised by the blurry Hipstamatic lighting, which fuzzes over the cracks and wrinkles.

That in mind, the actual vanilla sponge cake recipe itself – plundered from the very talented Gemma McFarlane’s book Gluten, Nut, Egg & Dairy Free Celebration Cakes – is a winner. What you do with the outside of it is your call.

But, even if I do say so myself, the end result was a pleasant surprise. I had left it so terribly late (the night before tot’s birthday party) to attempt to make a Peppa Pig cake, the relief was massive when I realised it had actually turned out OK. Continue reading “The “Peppa” cake”

Absolutely the BEST cake recipe ever

Nut free, dairy free, egg free (optional: gluten and wheat free)

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I CANNOT even begin to say how easy and amazing this allergy safe cake recipe is.

As usual, I left it until the last minute to get prepping for Sid’s birthday (how clearly I remember last year pledging to perfect all manner of sweet treats by the time he turned three. Ha!) and in a state of panic tweeted my worries about finding the right recipe.

Back came a link to something called ‘Wacky Cake’, an American concoction apparently created during the Depression era when fresh ingredients were rationed. It contains no egg, no dairy, no nuts and can be baked with gluten free flour, too. It uses vinegar or lemon to replace the egg and it works.

Continue reading “Absolutely the BEST cake recipe ever”

AllergyBabe writes…

I JUST HAD to add a link to a blog by a fellow allergy Mum: AllergyBabe. Our sons are exactly the same age with many of the same silly allergies. Coming after my last rant, it goes to show exactly what sort of nonsense we have to put up with. And why it is absolutely vital that allergen control should become a compulsory aspect of every catering outlet’s basic hygiene training.

So, a great piece and a great blog to follow, too…

Read it here.

 

News Flash! Allergy Hour, the supermarkets and what to do?

alarm-clock-artIf any of you lovely people are on Twitter tonight from 8.30pm it’s #allergyhour – the topics for tonight are allergy safe Hallowe’en treats and the biggie: strategies for ensuring supermarkets act on our needs.

It comes after I discovered to my horror that Sainsbury’s (at the very least the stores near me) have discontinued DS-gluten free bread in favour of their own brand stuff – so NO egg free, gluten free bread at all now on their shelves. In this pic not ONE bread product is egg free. Continue reading “News Flash! Allergy Hour, the supermarkets and what to do?”

The dishes I wishes

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Sweet potato fries – a simple allergy free option

WHEN I FIRST turned vegetarian about, ooh, 28 years ago (gulp) it was pretty standard fare when eating out to get pizza with holes in it where the salami had been picked off, a plate of peas and potatoes while everyone else chomped on chicken and more baked beans than you could shake a farty stick at.

And in truth it’s only been in fairly recent times – say, the last five to ten years – that I haven’t always been faced with the same bloody meal every time I eat out.

Continue reading “The dishes I wishes”

The catering conundrum (and some easy steps)

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Get that pinny on and get scrubbing

THE BATTLE to convince more people to cater for food allergies is double-edged.

On the one hand, you want to stress how simple it can be – some common sense, a clean kitchen, clean utensils and being scrupulous about ingredients does the trick. On the other hand, it’s vital to stress how dangerous it can be if those simple processes aren’t undertaken properly.

I understand why many run scared. Legally, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to describe their premises as 100 per cent guaranteed ‘nut free’. But, as our visit to Higher Lank Farm proved, it is possible to cater safely for both allergic and non-allergic guests.

Continue reading “The catering conundrum (and some easy steps)”