Saturday, 11 August 2012

Sweets for my sweet...

You probably know the song, 'Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey...' Singing along yet? I think I'd probably complete that line with, 'Your dairy free chocolate thrills me so...'

Ooo! Yes please!
Those of you who have been following for a while, will not be at all surprised by that - you know I love chocolate. I have to be honest, if dairy free chocolate didn't exist, I just don't think I could manage life without milk.

When I first made the decision to got dairy free, I thought that chocolate eating was a door in my life that was going to be closed. Then my mother, of all people (the one who was most opposed to the idea that dairy might be the problem) introduced me to Kinnerton chocolate and I'm happy to report, that it all went uphill from there!

Since then, I have discovered that there is a positive wealth of dairy free chocolate out there. Ok, the choice may not quite be the same and most of it is dark, which has taken my milky taste buds a little while to adapt to, but it is still chocolate and therefore, in my opinion, not to be sneezed at.

So what are the options?

For Baby
Baby mainly has buttons! And, it turns out, unlike her dairy eating contemporaries, who are probably all eating Cadbury's, she has choice! Sadly this is not so true, if you have problems with nuts as well, or with soya lecithin.* However, if you don't have problems with these, there are the following options:

Actually made by Choices
There are buttons by Choices, who operate under their own brand (Celtic Chocolates - no website) but also manufacture buttons for Sainsbury's and Asda. Asda sell the chocolate orange variety, which I've not personally tried, but have been informed are rather good!!

The Sainsbury's buttons are reasonably priced - 49p, last time I looked. They're not dark chocolate as such, and okay, if you need a chocolate fix, but not all that milky, if that's the kind of chocolate you like. 

These came in very handy, for a while, when our usual ones were out of of stock, but really we prefer the buttons by Humdinger. For a while, it looked as though they had disappeared off the shelves of the shops in the UK for good, but by popular demand (result) they are now back in Tesco (much to my relief). 

Humdinger's also come in 'white'!
As dairy free chocolate buttons go (and let's face it, dairy free chocolate is not cheap) they are reasonably priced at 45p a packet. They are the nearest thing to milk chocolate that I've come across and they also come in 'white chocolate'. In this form, they are no match for Milky Bar, but Baby has no idea, as she's never had a Milky Bar, and she adores them.

The only allergens mentioned on the packet are soya (lecithin).

No respectable cake, in our household goes without Humdinger chocolate buttons as decorations. A gallery of our work exists on  a recent post about chocolate cake. A sample however, is shown here:

Our Humdinger adorned Koala!

Spot the buttons?!
Moo Free also make chocolate buttons, but prior to Humdinger's (temporary) disappearance, I hadn't sampled them, mainly because they were about twice the price of the others - 99p, last time I looked! These are sold in Sainsbury's and Waitrose, as well as in places like health food shops and also online.

They say that they are free of the following: dairy, lactose, gluten, wheat, egg, but may contain traces of nuts and soya.

They are also, I have since discovered, about half the size of some of the other chocolate buttons on the market! This is a bit of a disadvantage when you are trying to dole a few out to an impatient eager child, but I have since discovered another use for them - they are an excellent size for decorating ice cream! And will no doubt come in handy for decorating cakes, as well (sometimes you need buttons of different sizes)!!

Baby loves Peppa Pig!
Buttons, are not the only option for Baby, there are also Kinnerton's chocolate lollies. We get ours from Sainsbury's. Baby loves these too! They are made of dark chocolate and are gluten, nut, egg as well as dairy free, but do contain soya (lecithin). They're a bit pricey though, at £1.80, for a bunch of four. 

I think, that Asda also sell them, for a little bit cheaper - £1.58, but I don't live all that close to an Asda, so maybe someone who is more reliably informed could help out here.

The nice thing about these, though, is that they come in plain foil wrappers, or in wrappers decorated with characters like Peppa Pig, or Ben Ten. And Baby loves Peppa! 

Baby is not fussy about the covering on her chocolate though, oh no! She has also enjoyed chocolate lollies (otherwise known as 'Licks') which are made by Hotel Chocolat and are just wrapped in plastic. They are a bit pricey for a chocolate lolly though - £1.95 each!!! 

I have to say that I would probably never have bought one for her, if it hadn't been for The Hub dragging me into their shop one Saturday (kicking and screaming, of course). It was then that she came face to face with these lollies, with smiley faces and just had to have one. Let me just stress, she's only had these once or twice and they are rather large, but also rather expensive, so she hasn't been given the opportunity to eat a whole one, all in one go!

Like other dark chocolate products by Hotel Chocolat, they are described as suitable for Vegans (as there are no milk ingredients in the recipe) but to cover themselves, they do state that they may contain traces of milk. They most definitely do contain soya (lecithin) and may also contain traces of nuts.

Another option that Baby enjoys is chocolate coins, that are sold under Sainsbury's own label, but I suspect they are actually made by Choices.

They are gluten, wheat and dairy free, but contain soya (lecithin) and are made with coconut oil, although no other mention of nuts is made on the packet.

I keep these on hand for parties!
I keep these on hand for when we go to parties and I suspect a Treasure Hunt might be the order of the day - it's amazing how many parties include Treasure Hunts! 

I tend to keep a supply in the cupboard for 'just in case'. Of course every so often they a little 'stock control' is required, to stop them going off - that's when I finish them off... so that they don't go to waste, obviously!

So moreish!
Another offering for Baby, might actually be more suited to me, but I've included them here, because kids (except for Baby) like raisins don't they? These chocolate covered raisins, by the Fabulous Fudge Factory, I found in a large Waitrose, priced £1.69. 

Allergy advice states that they contain soya (flour) and may contain traces of nuts.

They're a bit pricey but as I find them incredibly moreish, I have to confess I've been back for more. Unfortunately, Baby isn't so keen on these as I am. What a shame! :)

My penultimate offering for the younger generation is again from Moo Free. A discovery which I happened upon today. 

Small but yummy!
Yes, I knew (thanks to Emma Hutchinson of Love Lactose Free Life - who sells them) that they existed, but I wasn't tempted to try any (because I generally regard Moo Free as quite pricey) until I came across some whilst drifting around my local health food shop. It was then that I saw some that came with honeycomb (other flavours are 'Original' and 'Juicy Sultana'). It being Friday, I felt a sudden overwhelming urge (as per the chocolate TV advert) to, 'Thank Crunchie it's Friday,' by consuming chocolate covered honeycomb. It was an urge that couldn't wait (sorry Emma)!

These bars are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, being dairy, lactose, wheat, gluten, casein and egg free, but (for anyone who is allergic to nuts) they do contain nuts.

I have to be honest, I still think they're pricey - £1.99 for three small bars, nothing like a crunchy (in that the honeycomb is just dotted over the top of the bar) but they were quite yummy. Baby didn't appreciate the honeycomb (she's a bit funny with texture and foods that stick to her teeth) but did like the chocolate, which is of the milky, almost creamy variety. 

Moo Free chocolate bars come in two sizes. The smaller ones have been found in Waitrose for a while now. These have also recently become available in larger Sainsbury's stores!

And finally! A new discovery from Zero Zebra, thanks to Twitter contact Homemade by Fleur. These organic and fairly-traded (yes, you heard me) chocolates are available from Ocado at an incredibly pricey £3.99!! That means that each of the eight dairy free chocolate animals (cute as they are) work out at 50p each (GULP!). 

The chocolate is, however, so nice and so much like real milk chocolate, that I could almost forgive them for the price - which may be due to the fact that they are German. Still, these won't be Baby's 'everyday' chocolate, but most definitely a treat that is saved for special occasions, such as Christmas and birthdays.

That said, they do produce some cheaper bars as well for £1.49 (phew!).

Impressively, they are free from the top fourteen allergens. Follow the link, for the full run down... and enjoy!

So there you have it! It turns out that Baby has quite a bit of choice. 

After all that, I think I'll have to save the rest for another day.

Please note: I ate quite a lot of chocolate in the process of compiling 'research' for this post and all of which was paid for me by me or The Hub. I'm not sponsored by anyone - this post reflects my personal opinion and opinions may vary! All prices listed were correct at the time of posting (August 2012) but may change.

Please also note: 
I'm aware that sensitivity in those who are allergic or intolerant to milk may vary. Some of you may be too sensitive to take the risk of food containing traces of milk, others will be quite comfortable with that, which is why I have tried to provide such information in this post. 

However, please be aware that information regarding ingredients may change over time. Please read labels on products carefully, just to make sure that the information hasn't changed since this post was written.

Also, I know it's still a battle for people with nut allergy or soya allergy, sorry there's not much listed here that's suitable for you. However, if you are allergic to soya, please enquire with your healthcare provider about whether you're okay with soya lecithin (used in most dairy free chocolate) - from what I understand it's meant to be alright for people who are otherwise allergic to soya. Please let me know if you find out anything to the contrary.


  1. Aah my favourite topic. My cupboard is full of Humdinger white buttons, for me they are my all time favourite dairy free chocolates. The No Moo I feel same as you I think it's expensive and the honeycomb in teeth was annoying. The No Moo buttons are great in cookies & cupcakes as a choc chip replacement but as an adult they too small for chomping on straight from the bag. I find the Kinnerton is okay but it's a little dark tasting and it's the sweet milky taste I crave :)

    1. I was a complete milky chocolate person all my life, I HATED dark chocolate. However, I can now appreciate the finer points of dark chocolate and do genuinely enjoy it. Have to say, I would still would LOVE a real Crunchie though!