Tuesday, 23 October 2012

How to cheat at baking dairy free

How does this look? Not bad huh?

If it wasn't for the box, who'd have known?
'I want a chocolate cake - with icing on it,' wailed Baby, the other week.

To begin with, I did what I know all mothers should do and try to distract her or ignore her, but she was more determined than I. She kept up her assault on my nerves and before long I would have bought her the moon if she asked for it - just to get some peace and quiet. Now I know I shouldn't have, but despite my best instincts I gave in - sort of!

Now I didn't have any cake in the cupboard, nor did I have time to bake any. I did what I thought was the next best thing, though - I took her to Tesco. Please note. I didn't take her to Tesco just because she hollered, I was going there anyway, but her shenanigans  certainly hastened my departure!

The only problem was that Tesco didn't have any dairy free chocolate cake, with icing on. Yes, there was a gluten free one but that had dairy in. Instead, I showed her an iced carrot cake and that seemed acceptable to her so off we went, happy as Larry.

Some days, I don't about you, but I just don't have time to be the Mary Berry of the dairy free world. So then... (shock, horror) I cheat!!!

I have a few weapons up my sleeve.

In the Free From section of many supermarkets you can find mixes that are gluten free and dairy free. Betty Crimble's Muffin and Sponge Mix is pretty good (especially with chocolate chip buttons). Hale and Hearty's Classic Chocolate Cake Mix is  very scrummy but it doesn't make much cake - we made just six large muffins from one pack (maybe that's just as well though).

Would six of these do for you?
There are times however, when I don't even have time for that, which is when Honeyrose's Carrot Cake (which I can get from the big Sainos near me) comes into its own.

Now it's not quite as good as my home made carrot cake, obviously, but... actually, it's not bad at all!

It's organic, gluten free and dairy free, but, sadly, un-iced. Step forward Betty Crocker!

Betty Crocker is my all time favourite baking cheat! It comes in chocolate and vanilla 'buttercream' style and now in new 'cream cheese' style! You have to watch out if you're sensitive to milk though - it may contain milk ingredients. Intolerant, rather than allergic, Baby's been fine with it so far...

This'll go well with my carrot cake.
If you're happy with that, then Bob's your Uncle! You can transform any dairy free cake instantly. Once the tub is open it can be kept in the fridge for about a month, so you don't have to use it all at once.

If I don't have time for that, and can do without cake myself, then the aforementioned carrot cake I bought for Baby is completely ready made, complete with icing. You can get it from the 'normal' cake aisle (it's usually sat next to a banana cake, which is also dairy free). It's dairy free, soya free and organic, but sadly does contain gluten! Heigh ho! Better for my waistline :)

Lookee here!
If you're interested in baking, you might like to read the following posts:

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