Review – Handmade Burger Co.

A burger place that can do real gluten free burgers? Yes, you aren’t dreaming.

You can order it with a gluten free bun or without a bun and coleslaw or mixed leaf salad. But remember to mention that you are gluten free, whichever way you order your burger, as the beefy patties contain a non gluten free Worcestershire sauce – but as they make the burgers to order, they’ll do the gluten free one without the sauce.

There’s a wide range of burger choices and the gluten free options are specific to each restaurant, so ask for their gluten free menu when you get there.

I choose the New York Deli burger without the bun – I love coleslaw, so I happily replaced the bun with it, they’re good enough without the buns anyway, you don’t feel like you’re missing anything, and I’m not big on Genuis’s bread and that’s the usual one that restaurants use – and we ordered plain and peri-peri chips to share.

Note; you don’t get the chips with the burger, all you get is the burger on the plate, so don’t forget to order side dishes but the sides are big enough to share.

I love pastrami, so that really hit the spot for me, but the rest of the burger fell a bit flat. The American mustard doesn’t have much flavour and makes the burger taste like it’s missing something. It was so big, I ended up taking half of the burger home and put English mustard on it when I had it for lunch the next day, it was much much better, it really brought out the flavour of the rest of toppings beautiful.

I think my disappointment with the burger is more to do with the burger I chose than the restaurant because my parents loved the burgers – my first trip was there second becuase the restuarant in Manchester isn’t that far from the hospital, where I’ve been spending more time than I appreciate in the past few months – and they couldn’t praise them enough.

I definitely loved the chips and the coleslaw and would return just for them anyway. My slight disappointment with the mustard wouldn’t stop me from returning. If I go back, I’ll be choosing a differnet flavoured burger.

Life’s too short to eat bad food.

Happy Eating!


Review – Cafe Nero

A coffee shop with something differnet to offer coeliacs. Finally! 

Drum roll please! 

A risotto! And it’s good!

Although the label itself doesn’t say it’s gluten free, as you can see, it is. I’ve checked the ingredients, and do every time I have it, and it is most definitely gluten free. 

You collect it from the fridge and they heat it up for you, so it feels like a real lunch. 

It’s got a really good flavour and mushrooms really come through and hold their own against the starch of the rice. The mushrooms are large, and there’s plenty of them,  the sauce keeps the rice moist and the rice is real risotto rice and not long grain rice as some people try to cop out with. The only complaint I have is that you can’t really taste the spinach but this is a minor problem and absolutely doesn’t take away from the taste of the dish. 

I’ve started choosing this over the wraps/sandwiches at the other coffe shops and even the Marks and Spencer’s one. 

Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this one, because it’s surprisingly good – but maybe that’s just for a coeliac product – and I don’t have anything to criticise about it. Just, well done, Cafe Nero. Now, I’m just waiting for more than one flavour of it. *bats eyelashes sweetly, hoping to convince them*

Life’s too short for bad food.

Happy eating!


Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

I’ve got a lovely Cheesecake recipe for you. It’s sweet, chocolate-ly and rather impressive when presented. Also, I hope you aren’t counting the calories if you try this recipe, there’s a lot of cream, cheese and chocolate in it. But it’s all worth it. This has been a recipe my Mum has made for years, I can’t remember a time when this cake didn’t exist in our family, so I don’t know where she originally got it from. But it really does taste like home to me. 

This cheesecake serves 8 people, or 10 if you’re being a bit stingy. 

275g chocolate chip cookies, crushed (I use Tesco’s free from buscuits and you should use your favourite)

150g plain cooking chocolate

350g cream cheese (make sure this is at room temperature to make it easier to mix)

75g caster sugar

50g chocolate to decorate

75g butter

45ml water

11g sachet gelatin

3 large egg yolks (again at room temperature)

700ml double or whipping cream

1. Melt the butter in a pain and add the crushed buscuits. Put the stumbled moisture into a spring form tin 0r a tin that the bottom can be removed on and press down well. Chill this in the fridge while you complete the rest of the recipe. 

2. Melt the chocolate. Sprinkle the gelatin on to the water. Heat the bowl gently until the gelatin is dissolved and clear. 

3. Put the cream cheese, egg yolks and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth. In a seperate bowl whip 450ml of the cream (this is 425g on the scales if you’re weighing it out) until just thick. Stir in the cheese and divide into two bowls. Add the melted chocolate to one bowl and divide the water/gelatin mixture between the two bowls. Place alternate spoonfuls of each mixture onto the buscuit base. Make swirls in the topping using the handle of a wooden spoon. Return to the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until it’s set.

4. Melt the extra chocolate (the chocolate to decorate in the ingredients), pour onto grease proof paper and spread to an 8-10cm square. When set, cut the chocolate into triangles or small squares (usually about 8, really how ever many slices you want to get out of the cheesecake). Decorate with the remaining cream and the triangle/squares of chocolate. (we usually whip it and pipe it on to the edge of the cheesecake, placing the chocolate on top of each swirl of cream).

Now, slice it, plate up, sit back and enjoy!

Happy baking and let me know what you think of it.

Life’s too short to eat bad food!


Review – Costa 

Costa Coffee is very good at offering gluten free options; they have multiple sweet options and most of the crisps they stock are gluten free too. They also stock a gluten free sandwich, well, really it’s a wrap.

This time’s version is the Coconut and Lime Chicken Wrap. 


I was looking forward to trying a Thai style sandwich, as this doesn’t really happen for gluten free lunch out options. Unfortunately, especially compared to their last few wraps, this one is a let down. The wrap included a sauce, which sounds good, but this actually caused the wrap to absorb the moisture from it and turn the lettuce soggy. This led to a dry sandwich with a very claggy texture. It could have been much improved by using the previous tried and tested formula of a flavoured mayonnaise. Somehow this holds onto the moisture much better than sauces do and stop the wrap drying out, add softness to the lettuce and the wrap. But one thing I must congratulate them on, is keeping the chicken moist. This doesn’t happen often in a gluten free sandwich as they sit on the shelf for a long time. 

All this would be excusable, if it was not the only gluten free wrap or sandwich on offer at the coffee shop. Those who can eat gluten can chose from a range of any sandwich in their entire refrigerated glass case, but coeliacs and those who are gluten intolerant, only have the option of one and that makes this all the more unforgivable. If you do not like the sandwich, the only option we have is to leave the coffee shop and look for a sandwich elsewhere.

Leave me a message and let me know what you think of the wrap. 
Life’s too short to eat bad food!

Happy Eating!


Gluten Free Ginger and Lime Cake


I’ve got another cake recipe for all you coeliacs out there. It’s a little more difficult than some of the ones I’ve posted but it is so worth it.
Okay, so ginger and lime sound like a bizarre combination, I was skeptical too when my Mum suggested we
make it but I made it anyway and I did not regret it – so stick with me on this one.

This is another BBC Good Food recipe that I have adapted for us coeliacs. This cake does take quiet a while to cook but it’s completely worth it, trust me.
This cakes serves 10-12, depending on how big you like your slices.


200g butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
175g black treacle
2 tbsp ginger syrup (you can take this from the jar that the stem ginger comes in)
200ml full fat milk
2 large eggs, beaten
325g white mix gluten free flour
About 1/4 tsp xantham gum
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
75g stem ginger
Zest of 2 limes (that’s shaving of the skin)
4 tbsp lime marmalade or curd

Zest of 2 limes
Juice of 1 lime
140g icing sugar
1 tbsp bet sugar crystals/ 5 sugar cubes


1. Heat the butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in a saucepan for a few mins, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Let this cool for 5 mins. Heat the oven to 140oC fan. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Whisk the milk into the butter mixture, add the eggs and combine. In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, xantham gum, bicarbonate and ground ginger. Pour in the butter mixture and combine, making sure the flour is thoroughly mixed in. Mix in the stem ginger and lime zest.

3. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1hr 15mins. If not cooked, bake for an extra 10 mins. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 10 mins and then move the cake to a wire rack to finish cooling.

4. Cut the cake into 2 or 3 layers – I could only get 2 but then again I don’t have a very steady hand. Spread the lime marmalade/curd between the layers and reassemble the cake.

5. To make the topping: In a bowl, mic the lime juice and icing sugar until thick and smooth. You can add a little extra sugar if it’s too runny. Put the icing into an icing bag or a sandwich bag with a tiny bit snipped off the corner. Drizzle in stripes over the cake. Crush the sugar crystal/cubes, a pestle and mortar are best, with half the lime zest into a chunky rubble and scatter over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the rest of the zest on the top. You can add slices of lime as decoration as well if you want.

And there you have it. A tasty and unusual cake. This one is even better after a day or two in an airtight tin.



Do get baking and let me know what you think of it 🙂

Is there any recipes you want me to adapt/create and post for you?

Remember: life’s too short to eat bad food!