Paradise Cakes, Bristol

IMAG1544-2Another brand I recently come across on Twitter is Paradise Cakes, based in Bristol. The company is owned by Patsy, who also happens to be the baker. She is definitely a woman of many talents!

Paradise Cakes pride themselves on offering homemade cakes delivered direct to your door, so I was very excited when Patsy offered me the opportunity to try some of her gluten free cakes.

I am very pleased to report that Patsy is as lovely in real life as she is in her Twitter communications, and to my surprise she’d brought with her two huge, and beautifully decorated, boxes of cakes!IMAG1428-2

It wasn’t until I got home and I opened them that I was able to see the saw true extent of what I’d been given. I recall my reaction being one of disbelief and delight all at the same time! 🙂

The only slight problem (or amazing bonus depending on how you look at it) was that I collected these on the same day my boyfriend went away for a stag weekend abroad….. Now I think with the best will in the world, there was no way I was going to be able to eat all this cake on my own. Check it out!!

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Vanilla Sponge

First up we have the small vanilla sponge (3 larger sizes are available) with raspberry & IMAG1439-2 mascarpone filling & vanilla butter icing. This cake was absolutely amazing and my joint favourite out of the 5 different flavours. The sponge was moist and the filling was just to my taste! The decoration of the cake was just enough to give it a touch of class and the bonus of marshmallows and white chocolate was just brilliant. Considering I had no idea what I’d be receiving and we hadn’t discussed my tastes, Patsy managed to present me with my perfect cake :).

Unfortunately I was a bit too busy eating the cake to remember to take a good photo, so by the time I did it was a little collapsed from my poor cutting skills, but you can still see that it has a great sponge to filling to topping ratio. I was still eating this cake almost a week after receiving it and it still tasted just as good.

Patsy also offers gluten free whole cakes in chocolate, lemon, carrot & coffee and explains that this extra small size is good for people who have ordered a big celebration cake, but have got a gluten free guest / friend coming who they don’t want to feel deprived! I think this is brilliant and I would certainly love to be the guest / friend being catered for with a cake like this.

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Now in my wisdom I again forgot to take individual photos of these cakes, but in this picture starting from the left hand side working in clockwise order we have; Rich Chocolate Brownie, Rocky Road, Blondie and Fruity Flapjack.

Rich Chocolate Brownie
Instead of using flour in this recipe, Patsy used ground almonds along with dark chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar. I’ve made gluten free cakes myself using ground almonds and they always seem to turn out great, and these were no exception. The only negative of this cake is that I am not a big fan of dark chocolate and the taste of this was just a little too overpowering for me, but for that very reason I know they were my boyfriend’s favourite (yes, I did allow him to have some when he got back!) as he loves dark chocolate.

Patsy advised that the brownies could also be eaten warm with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream as a dessert and I must admit I forgot to try this, as this probably would have been perfect for me as the chocolate wouldn’t have been so strong mixed with ice cream. This is definitely on the ‘to do’ list for next time.

Rocky Road

This consisted of dark chocolate, gluten free biscuits, white chocolate chunks, butter and syrup. This would normally be just my cup of tea, but again the dark chocolate element was a little too much for me, however the rest of the filling was great.

Blondie

This was most definitely my other joint favourite! Wow! These are white chocolate brownies made with gluten free flour, eggs, butter, sugar and Green & Black white chocolate. What an amazing combination! They were so moist and very moreish with a nice little dusting of icing sugar on top. These certainly didn’t make it as far as being shared out…

Fruity Flapjack

Last but not least are the flapjacks made with gluten free oats and mixed dried fruit. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these and neither was Patsy as she said that she hadn’t tried using gluten free oats before, but these were really yummy. She’d suggested that these may be good if you’re in a rush in the morning for “breakfast on the run” and she was right. They are the perfect breakfast treat!

Conclusions

As I said earlier, there was no way I could have eaten all of this on my own, so aside from saving some bits for my other half, I also gave a bit of everything (bar the Blondies….) to a close friend and her family, as I knew they’d definitely be appreciated! I also thought it’d be good to have some feedback from a family not on a gluten free diet and also to see if they noticed a difference to ‘normal’ gluten containing cakes.

The feedback I’ve received from my friends was all very positive with some favouring the Rocky Road and others the Chocolate Brownie, yet those that preferred the Chocolate Brownie preferred the Rocky Road the least and vice versa! The Fruit Flapjack was given thumbs up all round and was described as very apricoty and sweet, but not dry. The best feedback though was that they would never have known that the cakes were gluten free!

All of the cakes I received were absolutely amazing and all feedback was down to personal choice. As a fan of white chocolate and raspberry sponge the two cakes incorporating these elements were always going to be my favourites, but likewise I knew my boyfriend would prefer the brownie due to his love of dark chocolate. You certainly won’t be disappointed with any cake you choose from Paradise Cakes.

As you’ve probably already gathered from my review, I definitely intend to order more cakes in the future and if you need a cake for a special occasion or to cater for your gluten free friend, you know who to contact!

For more information about Paradise Cakes including available options and prices, please visit their website (www.paradisecakesbristol.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@paradise__cakes).

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