Hey everyone, I know every man, woman and child has been saying how hot it is in the UK right now but they are right, it is unbearably hot. It’s made worse for me by not being able to have all the windows open because of the cats, and by baking bus journeys to work. Also, I came down with the flu (who gets the flu in summer? This Girl, that’s who!) so that’s added to the discomfort. I struggled into work yesterday, feeling worse and worse during the ride to work and ended up having a panic attack, my first in a good while, then I nearly fainted. So yeah, not a great day. At least the weather is cooling down now so we can all have a break. I’m settling into work and looking forward to July, my birthday and the start of the many weddings I have to attend this year. It’s also getting closer to my holiday off work and Swansea Vegfest. All good things. Now onto today’s review.
I have always had a great love for desserts and recently I’ve come across a load of vegan desserts that I just had to buy, so here’s a bumper vegan dessert post for you.
The first product I’m going to review is Tesco’s free from blackcurrant cheesecakes. I absolutely loved cheesecake before I went vegan, I have tried the Food Heaven lemon cheesecake and felt the cheese part was too thin and the biscuit just wasn’t right. The only place I’ve had great vegan cheesecake from is a local company and that’s only at fairs and markets so knowing I can grab a pair of cheesecakes on the go and whenever I want is an extremely appealing prospect, and it helps that I love blackcurrant. These cheesecakes are a decent size, have a thin jelly-like fruit compote on top complete with whole berries, a vanilla cheesecake middle and a biscuit bottom. The fruit is tangy, sweet and works really well with the whole mix, the cheesecake is sweet, creamy and you can really taste the vanilla. The bottom is crumbly, fine and melts in the mouth. Overall, I think this is a fantastic product, really light, delicious and perfect for summer. These are a new favourite for me. I paid £1.70 for the 100g packet which contains two pots, you could share but I advise keeping them both for yourself.
Ingredients: Coconut Milk Filling (45%), Blackcurrant Compote (35%), Rice Flour, Sugar, Corn Starch, Demerara Sugar, Palm Oil, Glucose Syrup, Raising Agent (Sodium Carbonate), Thickener (Guar Gum), Dextrose, Flavouring, Salt, Coconut Milk Filling contains: Water, Coconut Oil, Glucose Syrup, Glucose Powder, Coconut Milk, Corn Starch, Stabiliser (Sorbitol Syrup), Inulin, Alcohol, Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Thickeners (Agar, Xanthan Gum), Lemon Fibre, Flavouring, Blackcurrant Compote contains: Water, Sugar, Blackcurrant Concentrate, Corn Starch, Concentrated Carrot Juice, Flavouring, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate).
Another new dessert from Tesco is their free from millionaire dessert, another great coconut milk based product with chocolate, caramel and biscuit. I’m not too much of a fan of millionaire shortbread stuff but I bought it anyway. The top of the pudding is like a thick chocolate ganache but it melts in the mouth, it’s really rich because it’s made with dark chocolate. The biscuit is soft and not too gritty although I wouldn’t say it was smooth, and it wasn’t as nice as the biscuit from the cheesecake. The caramel is quite dark with the perfect mix of sweet and salt and it has a little tang to it. I quite liked the dessert but it was a little too decadent and heavy for my liking so I probably wouldn’t buy it again but I know loads of people who would absolutely love it. I paid £1.50 for the single 80g pot. While I’m on the subject of Tesco’s vegan desserts I want to say that there’s something that’s annoyed me, they have a new banoffee dessert, also made with coconut milk which could be vegan if they hadn’t added honey to the biscuit for some reason, I mean come on Tesco! Banoffee is my favourite dessert and it’s such a simple thing they could have left out.
Ingredients: Coconut Milk, Salted Caramel (25%), Dark Chocolate (23%), Biscuit (12%), Coconut Milk contains: Coconut Milk, Water, Salted Caramel contains: Water, Rice, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Coconut Fat, Maple Syrup, Modified Maize Starch, Sugar, Flavouring, Dark Chocolate contains: Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins), Flavouring, Biscuit contains: Oat Flour, Vegetable Margarine, Oat Bran, Soya Flour, Cornflour, Sugar, Invert Sugar Syrup, Molasses, Salt, Colour (Caramel), Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate), Vegetable Margarine contains: Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Water, Salt, Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids).
While I was getting a little bit excited about Tesco’s new desserts I spotted some vegan desserts from a brand that I had never even heard of before, Freaks of Nature. I scooped up all three of their products with a massive smile on my face, they looked so good and the packaging was also really nice. All their products are made with a cashew base, which is something I’ve never tried before.
The first one I tried was the cocoa loco pudding. The chocolate was really thick, a similar consistency to the ganache from the millionaire dessert but I was surprised about how light it was, almost a mousse-like lightness, it was lovely. There’s a second layer to the pudding which is even creamier than the first but has a little bitterness to it which I didn’t actually mind. This one actually tasted like real dairy, it’s a really high-quality product and I loved it, the chocolate hazelnuts on top were another tasty addition. I paid £1.80 for the 90g pot.
Ingredients: Cashew Blend (Water, Cashews), Coconut Milk, Dates, Cacao Powder (5.1%), Coconut Oil, Cacao Butter (3.6%), Hazelnuts (3.5%), Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt.
The second pot I tried was the mango fandango pudding, this one is a vanilla posset with a mango and passion fruit coulis underneath and pistachios on top. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a posset before, vegan or otherwise, but I really liked the texture. It was bouncy and thick with a strong vanilla taste and the coulis at the bottom was fantastically flavourful, cutting through the thick vanilla posset. The pistachios on top were an interesting touch but I wasn’t sure they were needed, even if pistachios are my favourite nut. I paid £1.80 for the 90g pot.
Ingredients: Cashews Blend (Water, Cashews), Mango Purée (24.6%), Water, Coconut Milk, Passion Fruit Purée (10.4%), Coconut Nectar, Coconut Oil, Lemon Juice, Pistachios (2.0%), Tapioca Starch, Coconut Sugar, Vanilla Powder.
The last Freaks of Nature pot I tried was the Zingy Thingy pudding. Now I wasn’t sure about this one because I am not a big fan of lemon flavoured things. Boy was I wrong to be hesitant, this was the best one of the three. It’s a lemon posset with raspberry coulis underneath. The posset had the same great texture as the vanilla one but with a sweet yet tangy lemon flavour to it. I still can’t get over how much these desserts taste like real dairy. The raspberry coulis is lovely, full-bodied and fresh, adding an extra layer of sweetness and tang to the pot. Simply amazing. I paid £1.80 for the 90g pot.
Ingredients: Cashew Blend (Water, Cashews), Raspberry Purée (23%), Coconut Milk, Coconut Nectar, Lemon Juice, Coconut Oil, Tapioca Starch, Coconut Sugar, Lemon Zest, Lemon Oil.
Another brand I spotted in Tesco that I hadn’t seen before was Nush, they make almond milk yoghurts, I am not a massive fan of almond products but I decided to give them a try.
The first one I had was the blueberry flavour, I thought it had a great texture, not too watery but not as thick as coconut yoghurt. There is a sharpness and sweetness from the blueberries, and there’s also blueberry pieces in the yoghurt. It was creamy but I just couldn’t shake the almond, marzipan-like back taste to it. I paid £1.50 for the 125g pot.
Ingredients: Live Almond Milk Yoghurt (85%): Almond Milk (Almonds/Filtered Water), Tapioca Starch, Carob Gum, Live Vegan Cultures, Blueberry Puree (15%) (Blueberries, Fruit Extract).
I then tried the plain version and I wasn’t holding out much hope that I was going to like this one. I couldn’t eat it, for me almond products taste a bit like perfume and it just puts me off. These definitely weren’t for me but if you love almonds I suggest you try them. I paid £1.50 for the 125g pot.
Ingredients: Live Almond Milk Yoghurt (95%) (Almonds/Filtered Water), Tapioca Starch, Carob Gum, Fruit Extract, Live Vegan Cultures.
After my good experience with the lemon Freaks of Nature dessert, I decided to go for The Coconut Collaborative’s lemon pots. These are teeny tiny pots of lemon flavoured coconut dessert. I found that they were not as thick as a coconut yoghurt, nor do they particularly taste like coconut. The lemon flavour is strong but also really sweet and the texture is creamy. I really like these as well, and have bought several packs since. I would really like a larger pot of this stuff. I paid £2 for the 45g pack which contains four pots.
Ingredients: Coconut Cream (45%), Water, Sugar, Natural Stabilisers (Vegetable Fibre, Maize Starch, Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Agar, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum), Lemon Juice (7%), Vegetable Fat, Natural Flavours, Natural Colour.
Another new product from The Coconut Collaborative is their strawberry flavour of their regular pots. I didn’t find this yoghurt as rich as I remember them being, and the coconut mixed with the sweet tanginess of the strawberry compote is a lovely mixture. I would eat this again. I paid £1.50 for the 120g pot.
Ingredients: Live Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt (85%) (Coconut Milk (50%), Coconut Water (45%), Cornflour, Potato Starch, Pectin (from Fruit), Selected Dairy-Free Cultures (S. Thermophilus + L. Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis)), Strawberry Compote (15%) (Strawberry Pieces (40%), Grape Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavourings, Carrot Concentrate, Starch (Cornflour), Lemon Juice Concentrate).
Another brand of coconut yoghurt I purchased was Coyo. The first pot I tried was the raw chocolate, this yoghurt is really thick but melts quickly in the mouth. It has a sharpness which is contrasted by the creamy and sweet cacao flavour. However, I felt like the coconut overpowered the whole thing and it was far too rich for me. I paid £2 for the 125g pot.
Ingredients: Coconut Milk (74%), Cacao (25%) (Cacao, Fruit Extracts), Tapioca Starch, Live Vegan Yoghurt Cultures.
I also bought the vanilla variety which I found had the texture of cream cheese, maybe thicker. When you tip the pot upside down it doesn’t budge. Same as the chocolate flavour the yoghurt melts in the mouth and I felt like it had a really strong vanilla taste. The coconut didn’t taste as strong as the chocolate flavour and even though it was still quite rich I actually really liked this one. I paid £2 for the 125g pot.
Ingredients: Coconut Milk (97%), Vanilla Bean Paste (2%), Tapioca Starch, Live Vegan Yoghurt Cultures.
The last yoghurt for this post is from Alpro and it’s a soya based one from their Go-On range. I’ve tried all three of the other flavours but this is a new one on the market, strawberry and raspberry. The Go-On yoghurts are thicker than the regular Alpro yoghurts but they are still really light. I like to mix the fruit in through the yoghurt before I eat it. The berries add a sweetness and sharpness that cuts right through the yoghurt and the whole mixture is quite silky. I love this pot and think it’ll be a new staple for summer. I paid 85p for the 150g, so it’s also a really cheap option compared to the other products in this review.
Ingredients: Water, Hulled Soya Beans (13.5%), Fruits (10%) (Strawberries (5%), Raspberries (5%)), Sugar, Stabilisers (Pectin, Guar Gum), Starch, Calcium (Tri-Calcium Citrate), Acidity Regulators (Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid), Natural Flavourings, Sea Salt, Beetroot Juice Put of Concentrated Juice, Carrot Concentrate, Antioxidants (Tocopherol-Rich-Extract, Fatty Acids Esters of Ascorbic Acid), Vitamins (B12, D2), Yogurt Cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus).
The last products of this review are rice puddings, the first is The Coconut Collaborative’s offering. These were gloriously creamy, the rice was perfect and there was the right amount of sweetness. For such a lovely dessert I actually found these oddly refreshing, they are a real treat. I paid £2.25 for the two 125g pots at Sainsbury’s.
Ingredients: Coconut Cream (33%), Sugar, Short Grain Rice (10%), Water, Rice Flour, Natural Stabiliser (Potato Starch, Locust Bean Gum, Salt), Vanilla Extract (<1%).
The last rice pudding and the last dessert of this very long review is Tesco’s free from coconut rice pudding with strawberry. These were also really creamy with soft rice, they are really sweet, full of coconut flavour and the strawberry at the bottom is quite possible the nicest strawberry compote I’ve ever had. The perfect pairing. I paid £1 for the 90g pot.
Ingredients: Coconut Milk (62%), Senga Sengana Strawberry (20%), Caster Sugar, Rice (8%), Gelling Agent (Pectin), Coconut Milk contains: Coconut, Water.
What’s your favourite vegan dessert? Let me know in the comments below 🙂