Monday, 25 November 2013

Oo! Ah! Christmas Chocolat! 2013

Wow! Only a week to go before the Advent countdown begins. I'm so not ready, how about you??

As a result, it means that I'm a bit behind on the chocolate front (apart from on Face Book & Twitter, where I've tried to keep folks abreast of new developments), but here, finally, is my post for this year! I've started with the higher end of the market, but don't worry - I think there's something for almost everyone here!

Hotel Chocolat I think The Hub is pretty amazing anyway, but last Christmas, as far as I'm concerned, he did rather well. For Advent he bought me this Advent calendar from Hotel Chocolat. 

One for the grown-ups!
It was not just any advent calendar, but a classy, smooth, sophisticated calendar. For this year's version see hereDefinitely one for the grown-ups, it contains: '24 fabulous Christmas sculptures!!' There's a price to pay for this quality of chocolate though - it's £12.50!

Hotel Chocolat's dark chocolate, is made with soya lecithin (most people allergic to soya are okay with soya lecithin, but not all). Their chocolate may contain traces of tree nuts and peanuts but it should be okay for most of the dairy free. They warn that their chocolate 'may contain milk', but we've not suffered any adverse reactions that I've been aware of, and 'Baby'' quite sensitive - that said don't just take my word for it, if at all concerned - avoid, avoid, avoid! 

But there's more to chocolate at Christmas than Advent calendars, right?

At Easter, Hotel Chocolat produced some 'Tiddly Chicks,' but for Christmas, here we have some Tiddly Penguins. 

The penguins are back!
Personally, I think they look a little bit like the scary penguin in the Wallace and Grommit film, The Wrong Trousers, but Baby seemed quite taken with this little chap. Mind you, he was made of chocolate!!

There are eight little penguins in the box, which cost £5.50. This year, Hotel Chocolat have also produced some chilli-flavoured penguins - the chilli might keep 'Baby' off my chocolate!! Though these are a little more costly - priced £7.00!!

Don't think anything will keep her from this jolly little chap, though! Who has returned, after last year, priced £2.50. Good stocking filler, but a big big for 'Baby' to eat all in one go - would make for some interesting nappies, if she did!!

Anyone for Rudolph?
New to Hotel Chocolat this year, is this little pillow pack of Santas (GRRR! Father Christmas, to me). For £2.50. Also a good stocking filler, methinks!

Montezuma's is another chocolate brand which is slowly spreading across the south. Similarly, they have produced a dark chocolate Advent calendar, see here. Again, their chocolate 'may contain...' but 'Baby' has survived eating a few of their dark chocolate turtles, so I think we're OK, but may need more trialling to be sure. I only tried them, because the shop assistant's kids are cow's milk protein intolerant and have been okay and because the shop assistant's seemed quite knowledgeable about the way in which they're made! 

Montezuma's Advent calendar is slightly cheaper than Hotel Chocolat's, priced at £9.99, and can be purchased from their stores, and online via their website or Amazon.

Meanwhile, Montezuma's also have some chocolate snowmen! 

I make it eight in a box... for the moment! :)
Priced £4.99 for a rather larger pack of eight, but you can buy three for £14, if you're buying in bulk. Bit too bulky for 'Baby's' stocking methinks, but maybe mine?? :)

Moo Free
Sweeter tooths may prefer the cheaper, more 'milky' chocolate calendars, such as that of Moo Free chocolates. Their Advent calendars are sold through various Health Food shops and online, at Love Lactose Free Life, Free From for Kids, Tasha's Dairy Free Delights and Amazon (prices vary).

Moo Free chocolate, by the way, is definitely free from all dairy and wheat/gluten. It is not made with soya, but may contain traces of soya. 

One for 'Baby' and one for...  me??
I've already bought 'Baby' one of these Moo Free chocolate Santas as they were such a success last year. Without the cardboard packaging this year, they are available at Waitrose.

Choices - by Celctic Chocolates
Meanwhile, Celtic Chocolates 'Choices' dairy free, gluten free Advent calendars can be found in Sainsbury's Free From section, along with a selection of other Christmas goodies, as well!
Plenty for everyone!
Celtic Chocolates are made with soya lecithin.

Currently, the chocolate coins can be bought at £2.50 for two packs. The Advent calendars are £2.49 and the selection nets are pried at £2.99

Holland and Barrett
Holland and Barrett have stocked 'Choices' before, but this year produced their own, which is dairy free, gluten and nut free! 

Larger than many free from Advent calendars!
Larger than many dairy free calendars, let's hope that the chocolates inside are too! These now cost £3.19. AND there is 20% off most of their range of Christmas free from goodies at the mo, so head on down there!

If you very are specifically dairy, soya, nut free and trying to avoid sugar, you may prefer to look out for Plamil. They produced an Advent calendar along with these chocolate snowmen. Plamil products are harder to find, but some health food shops sell them and they can be bought online too.

Enough to share?
I've not bought them before, but thought I might give them a go this year, so opted for the snowmen from our health food shop.

And last but not least, don't forget to check out:

D & D Chocolates! They have loads of their own novelty chocolates available, including some Christmas tree decorations (I couldn't find any, last year)! All their chocolate is dairy, gluten and nut free. AND if you can't have chocolate, they make carob too!

Well, I think that's my tour of the dairy free chocolate, for this year. If you're struggling to find them locally, check out our online recommendations as well as Vegan sites, such as Alternative Stores. Do drop us a line if you know more, meanwhile, here are a few of our other posts on a similar theme:

Oo! Ah! Chocolat!
Oo! Ah! Christmas Chocolat! (2012)
Zero Zebra dairy free chocolate

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