Betty Bakes has put on her Christmas chefs hat and come up with some delightful Festive Cakes - All of which are Gluten Free of course! We can't have anyone with intolerances missing out and although I don't suffer myself, I was very kindly sent the range to give a whirl especially for Snackmas!
T-B Orange & Ginger Tiffin, All-Butter Shortbread, Christmas Meringue, Cinnamon Shortbread, Midnight Mint, Crimbo Crumble, Christmas Pudding and Christmas Snowball
Now, if I had been smart I would've weighed each bar prior to scoffing so am going to have to assume that each was around 70g with the Pudding and Snowball obviously being a lot lighter given their puffed rice composition - If anyone is even interested in said numerical happenings!
Orange & Ginger Tiffin
Nothing is more Christmassy than Clementines and all things Orange which makes this bar a pretty spiffing place to start! It smelt super citrus and real rather than artificial extract - I personally feel the stuff should be banned as its good to no one so am pleased to see peel was used here! I took a bite through the crunchy biscuit set within dark chocolate and was greeted with the most amazing taste combo of cocoa and strong Orange with undertones of what tasted like a Gingernut with its signature mild heat in the background. Each flavour was significant on its own as well as pairing perfectly with one another producing something which I would say was near perfection! A 4.5 out of 5 from me.
Another Christmas classic - Shortbread. It smelt and tasted as its name suggested.. Buttery! Texture wise, things were far softer than I envisaged. The bite to the bar wasn't crisp nor did it crumble which produced a almost chewy feel that I would liken to a very dense brownie rather than a biscuit.. Although it was still very pleasant! The sprinkle of sugar on top was a lovely finishing sweetness to what was well done but essentially, quite a plain treat. A 3.5 out of 5 from me.
Given that it was so packed with almonds and meringue pieces, this bar was a bit of a nightmare to cut and it did disintegrate in places - I did try my best to patch the bits back together for the good of a decent picture but it wasn't easy, believe you me! Popping some of this crumble into my mouth, I was surprised to discover it was full on dark chocolate and strong Bakewell which was a flavour sensation! The light, airy and dissolving meringue pieces added a sweetness as well as contrasting in texture to the abundance of crunchy almonds and squidgy sultanas, making for a spectacular mishmash of a mouthful. Another 4.5 out of 5!
Why have normal All-Butter Shortbread when you can add some festive warmth to your life in the form of cinnamon?! I see no reason to be plain and this was not the sole difference either.. The texture was far firmer with a crispness to the outside before the familiar melting interior that wasn't "cakey" and transitioning from buttery to the spicy kick of cinnamon with the sweet sprinkling of grainy sugar - Yum! A 4 out of 5!
After Eight in bar form? Surely not? I am happy to announce, oh yes! A soft base of what I assume was chocolate shortbread was the first layer of cocoa goodness before hitting a sugary sweet mint fondant that was most certainly potent and uncanny to its confectionary friend! The dark chocolate was the ideal pairing to mellow the mint slightly but I would say this is one to have with a strong coffee otherwise things might get a bit to much given the richness! Its 3.5 out of 5 from me.
Well would you look at that.. It's Mince Pie but in a bar - It wouldn't be Christmas without such a thing! The scent was uncanny to your jarred mincemeat which I could smell all day.. As well as eat of course! The base and crumble topping was fairly soft but did not crack as some of the other offerings had. It has a melt in the mouth feel once beyond the initial chewiness, with crunchy almonds for a harder feel and nutty edge. The same buttery taste of the Shortbread was apparent but boosted by a thick medley of tangy citrus, brandy and dried fruit which certainly tickled the tastebuds! A 4 out of 5.
Christmas Pudding & Christmas Snowball
Last but by no means least were the Christmas Balls.. Check out that clean cut of the knife - Impressive, right?! I have to admit.. These were the ones I was most looking forward to since Rice Krispie cakes were pretty much my life as child.. And I suspect they were yours too! These bad boys were densely packed with puffed rice to ensure for a firm, satisfyingly crunchy mouthful. The toffee used to hold the lot together was super sticky and sweet with the white chocolate of the Snowball adding further sweetness and tones of tropical coconut - Always a good pairing! I wasn't such a fan of the Christmas Pudding as the plain chocolate itself just didn't meet my expectations in terms of quality but overall did have a slight salty kick which went a long way given all the sweet elements. A 4 and a 3 respectively.
Well, that was well worth the potential diabetic future I face upon crashing from the sugar rush that's currently having me, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree! This Christmas Collection from Betty Bakes is marvellous! Did anyone notice how I failed to mention the lack of gluten throughout the post? There is little need as you really wouldn't know they didn't contain 'normal' ingredients. They are baubles above any Free From equivalent you might find in the supermarkets and can/should be enjoyed by everyone, no matter the circumstances. Thanks Betty for spoiling me and more importantly, those who need you the most - You little cracker!