January 8/9th: Heavenly Cakes **NEW** Gluten Free Range

We are a week into January now and it is at this time of year that most of us make those New Year resolutions to start looking after ourselves a bit more. Indeed, after a Christmas period packed full of chocolate, cake and snack indulgences I'm sure there will be more than a few of you who have vowed yourselves to start looking at your diets a little more closely.

Whilst a great deal of people embark on the famous 'January diets', it is at this time we should probably spare a thought for the people who have to watch their diets on a more continuous basis - take for example people who have to eat gluten and wheat free foods:

'A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals: wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is the only medically accepted treatment for coeliac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis and wheat allergies'(thanks Wiki :D ).

When having to consider eating a diet not containing any of those things, Heavenly Cakes probably wouldn't be the first company you would think of when it comes to providing a solution for you. Well you are well wrong there !!

During the latter stages of last year, Maeve and Nigel (Founders of Heavenly Cakes) were hard at work developing a whole new Gluten-Free range. During this time they were kind enough to send me samples that they were developing alongside the original cakes when I was reviewing them. As you can see below, two examples of this were the Lemon Meringue and Marathon cakes that I reviewed last November (See HERE), they also sent along an exclusive cake to their Gluten-Free range, the Heavenly Cakes Gluten-Free Milk Chocolate Brownie with Nuts.

As you can see below by the photos the cakes themselves, looked no different whatsoever from the originals. My thoughts on how they tasted are below ... Marathon Flapjack - There were only very minor differences when it came to the base of this particular cake. It did seem to lose a touch of it's savoury oatyness, but this was more than covered up by the sweet buttery flavours and lashings of peanut butter and chocolate placed on top. It was still one truley phenomenal cake.

Lemon Meringue - Out of all the three types of cake this was the most obvious in terms of it's changed recipe. The shortbread did lose it's viscosity and was a little more crumbly and messy than the normal cake, but once again the layers above meant this was of real insignificance and it still retained most of it's biscuity charm. A delicious white chocolate and lemon combination.

Milk Chocolate Brownie with Nuts - I was a little worried at first because it didn't look at impressive as some of the other brownie products I had tried from Heavenly before. The taste was noticeably differentiated from the Heavenly Cakes brownie norm, but I'm pleased to say this wasn't a detrimental issue. I would say that on the balance of things the brownie was less cake focused, and more insanely rich in it's cocoa and nut flavours. The outer portion wasn't as crisp as one would have desired, but most importantly the inner section was gooey and softer to the bite. The presence of the walnuts and ground almonds was a masterstroke - the nuts really came through in the latter stages of the taste.

Overall I don't think anything more needs saying than a jolly congratulations to Heavenly Cakes for creating such a tremendous range of cakes for people who are restricted to these diets. Each and every one of the Gluten-Free cakes I have tried have been close to the originals - I bet if we tried a blind taste test the majority of people wouldn't even pick up on it. What makes the launch of these new Gluten-Free cakes even more extraordinary is that Maeve has managed to develop recipes for their entire range! If you are a person that has to adhere to these dietary restrictions and has somehow managed to wander on to this review then you should count yourself extremely lucky because you have just struck gold. Bravo Heavenly ... Bravo!!