Guilt-free goodies for those with special dietary needs
With Halloween and the festive season coming up, temptation is everywhere. Holly Sands helps those with special dietary needs to navigate the candy minefield
1 Lemon, almond and blueberry cupcakes What? Gluten-free fruity cupcakes. Taste: Surprisingly light and sweet, aided by the blueberry jam inside. We’d like a bit more lemon flavour. 3/5 Dhs12 each. Sweet Connection, Green Community (050 876 3351).
2 Chocolat Stella What? Diabetic-friendly Swiss chocolate in a range of flavours. Taste: We tried the raisin and hazelnut, which was pleasantly sweet with a rich, creamy texture. 4/5 Dhs19-22. Candelite, Ibn Battuta (04 363 1602).
3 Milk truffle What? No added sugar milk chocolate truffle. Taste: Though advertising itself as truffle, the result is more like aerated chocolate, and the sweet flavour is distinctly artificial. 2/5 Dhs7. Candelite, Ibn Battuta (04 363 1602).
4 Cocoa rice chocolate What? Lactose and gluten-free Belgian chocolate. Taste: Less creamy than normal chocolate, which heightens the sweetness – it may be too sugary for some. 3/5 Dhs14. Candelite, Ibn Battuta (04 363 1602).
5 Bubble chocolate What? A sugar-free aerated milk chocolate bar. Taste: Decidedly bland. The chocolate stubbornly refuses to melt in your mouth, but at least it’s sweet. 2/5 Dhs11. Spinneys, Dubai Marina (04 367 4810).
6 Doughnuts What? Vegan, gluten-free doughnuts. Taste: A great effort: these feel like a treat. But if you’re not gluten intolerant, stick to regular versions. 2/5 Dhs7 each. Sweet Connection, Green Community (050 876 3351).
7 Butter sablés with apricot jam What? Gluten-free biscuits. Taste: Biscuits made without gluten are never great: the texture often suffers and gives way too easily. Yet the apricot jam in the centre of these is delightful. 3/5 Dhs30 for 12. Sweet Connection, Green Community (050 876 3351).
8 Jelly beans What? Gluten, gelatine, fat and nut-free sweets. Taste: There are more than 30 flavours, from banana split and caramel popcorn to pear. Each is vivid, intensely sweet and moreish. 4/5 Dhs29. Candelite, Ibn Battuta (04 363 1602).
9 Pumpkin cupcakes What? Gluten, dairy and egg-free cakes with vegan icing. Taste: The sponge is seriously dense, but the pumpkin flavour is complemented with light cinnamon spicing. 4/5 Dhs12 per cupcake. Sweet Connection, Green Community (050 876 3351).
10 Diabetic truffles What? Dark choc mint truffles with no added sugar, made by Brit brand Thornton’s. Taste: Rich, and creamy, it’s impossible to discern the lack of real sugar. They’d go down just as well as After Eights at a dinner party. 5/5 Dhs14.75. Spinneys, Dubai Marina (04 367 4810).
11 Before and after mints What? Sugar-free mints to savour after you’ve tucked into the rest of this list. Taste: There are ten flavours – while licorice and cinnamon are a bit powerful, it’s hard to stop popping the fruitier variants such as pomegranate. 3/5 Dhs10. Candelite, Ibn Battuta Mall (04 363 1602).
12 Jelly snakes What? Gummy sweets that are 99 percent fat-free, produced Australia’s The Natural Confectionery Co, which prides itself on avoiding the use of artificial colours and flavours. Taste: Nice and fruity, with a slightly chewier, more satisfying texture than some local jelly sweets. 5/5 Dhs13.75. Spinneys, Dubai Marina (04 367 4810).