I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

October 3, 2010

Chocolate Pastry

Who doesn't love chocolate? Especially when it's gluten and dairy free too!

I found this great chocolate pastry at the fantastic Allergy Centre at The Jamison centre. Now I have seen the plain shortcrust and puff style at Coles supermarket, but the Allergy Centre has a wider and yummier selection.

The Pastry Pantry is 100% gluten and wheat free, soy,trans fats, lactose, preservative, yeast and nut free too! It's also fructose friendly and IBS friendly.

It's sold in a packet of 3 sheets and each sheet makes 1 large tart, 3-4 small tarts, or 20 mini tarts.

It is nice to have a quick freezer option for entertaining, or just plain hungry days, and this is something often denied to us InTolerants, so this is indeed a valuable find!

The instructions require that you defrost the pastry for 3 hours at room temperature, so not something to whip up in an instant, but definitely do-able on even a busy day.

The pastry is a nice consistency and quite manageable as I manipulated it into the tart pan. I hate waste, and was determined to make one sheet fit. The sheet is the standard square size of other supermarket pastry which is another plus.

There, I did it! A bit of a patch job, but that will be covered by yumminess anyway. No tearing or splitting as I fiddled around and even as it dried out a little, so yet another plus!

The instructions also recommend blind baking the sheets first, but I was feeling impatient with all the mucking about and just docked it well with a fork instead. I popped it into the oven.... and waited with crossed fingers.

Riiiiiiiiiinnnnngggggg!!!!!!!! The timer went off and I ran to the oven. Smelt good... looked good, not much shrinking at all... firm texture, not soggy.... no minuses! The taste though, we'll have to wait and see.

Once cooled, I tried lifting the shell out of the pan, and it was fine with again no problems. There was a very small amount of shrinkage, and the patches had worked well, without coming away or falling off the top.

Decisions, decisions...what to put in the tart? I didn't want something too rich, so I chose raspberries, one of my bestest combinations. Isn't this pretty? Lined with ruby jewels of juiciness. I made a filling with 1 cup lactose free cream, 1 packet of 70% dark Lindt chocolate melted together, then cooled and mixed with 3 eggs. I poured this over the berries and then baked it at 170* for 30 minutes. I was concerned that the pastry might sogg a little, but again, it performed perfectly.

Now, the hardest part of all...... waiting for the tart to cool enough to devour! I let my little lovely cool at room temperature to firm up before attempting to push it out of the tin. It came away perfectly without a hitch. I tentatively held the knife over my tart, then plunged it in.... no breaking! no crumbling! no snapping either!

I have to admit that when I read the ingredient list and saw besan flour I was a little concerned as it has a distinctive flavour, but I needn't have worried as there is a nice chocolate taste. The texture isn't as short as one made with lots of butter, but it's not crumbly or rubbery either. There is a nice bit of bite to it and it holds up beautifully to being held in one hand without drooping and dropping filling in laps. A very important concern for lady-like behaviour my dears, especially when balancing a cup of Earl Gray Tea in the other hand.

I highly recommend this product and am eager to try the others in the range. It costs about $10 a packet, but well worth it as pastry making can be a real pain, and rolling it a perfect thickness is not my strongest point. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

So tell me Readers, what is your weakest point in baking?


  1. Great find, Chef! It's lovely to know there are such good options out there for my gluten-intolerant friends, thank you! My weakest point in baking? Patience. :)

  2. ooh this looks delicious! I love a chocolate tart!
    I also really struggle with pastry, I have super weak wrists so the kneading and rolling out just doesnt work for me! That and stopping after one cupcake..

  3. Good to know that it's a winner. I've tried a few GF items and it's really hit or miss!

  4. Great review, thanks for the info! The tart looks lovely - such a winning combination, raspberries and chocolate :)
    Heidi xo

  5. my greatest weakness is having to be so exact with measurements! Good to know there are some good GF items available.

  6. Wow, this really is a great find indeed! Love the raspberries in this tart.

    Bon appetit!

  7. Whee, more chocolate on here! :D Looks so yummy!

    My weakest point in baking is that it's hard for me to wait until it's ready - especially if I'm making a casserole, and I'm hungry already ...

    I also find it tricky to estimate how the dough will behave when baking. It neer seems to grow how it should: It stays flat or it grows out of the cake pan.

  8. OOOOOh thanks for reviewing this! I have seen the pastry in the supermarket for a while now but am yet to try it!

  9. My weakest point is: I don't even bake! :O

  10. I have heard great things about The Pastry Pantry's products, especially their puff pastry. They are expensive, but if the quality is first-rate I don't mind forking out a bit more than normal.

    Your tart looks delectable! :)

  11. Wow Rebecca, this is a big deal. I know how much we all missed a good pie (especially a sweet little tart even) when looking for G/F options. What a great find. Must say, your finished product is awesome.... entirely Moorish & quite yum-able :)

  12. Urm, this looks unbelievably lovely. I am so jealous, I don't think you can buy that pastry in the UK, what a treat to be able to just pick up a box from the supermarket. More tarts please InTolerant Chef!

  13. Thanks for the review. I have seen these but never bought them to try out. I will definately get some and give it a try. Particularly with summer fruit just around the corner. think of all those lucious tarts we can eat without feeling guilty about the gluten factor....!