A sugar free trade show

At Sweets Without we are always looking for new sugar free or no added sugar products.

Once a year there is a trade show for chocolate at Kensington Olympia. We go to search for new  products for you to enjoy.

It gives us a chance to ask existing suppliers to expand their range.  For instance Cavalier do a large praline bar currently not available through UK wholesalers but I am sure it would be popular here.

 One new supplier has some beautifully packaged mints.

A Danish sweets maker had a range of beautifully designed rock sweets unfortunately they are priced in euros so are too expensive for my market.

For me, the Holy Grail of sugar free confectionery would be a milk chocolate that is not just sugar free but doesn't contain sweeteners either and I found one that tasted fantastic, even better than a similar bar from  Hotel du Chocolate.  Also for the first time I tasted a 100% chocolate bar and thought "Wow, I love to eat this" !   Now all I need to do is to see if it makes sense for me to stock it.

 Believe it or not,  it is quite difficult to taste so many different chocolate bars in a short space of time.   It confirmed to me that compared to normal chocolate the range of no added sugar chocolate is still limited. But I believe that at Sweetswithout.we have one of the best ranges available. 

 

 

 

September 09, 2016 by Peter Simons

The weird world of sugar free sweets and VAT

It's the time of year when my distributors have lovely new catalogues with the latest ranges of sugar free sweets. I have been trying to decide which new products to stock.  I can't help wondering why the powers that be complicate things so much.  In theory VAT should be a fairly simple way of taxing things but it isn't.  

It probably sounded right at the start to say that food should not have VAT charged on it unless it was being purchased in a restaurant or cafe.  The problem then was to define "food" for tax purposes and that is where it all got a bit silly and confusing. 

Sweets and Confectionery in general have VAT added so most chocolate has VAT on it. However there is no VAT on a piece of chocolate that is sold as a "melt" to be made into a drink by being melted in a cup of hot water or milk.  Seems illogical to me.  But a logical system wouldn't charge VAT on a biscuit coated with chocolate on both sides when choc chip cookies, chocolate filled wafers and double coated biscuits all have no VAT on them.

A cake can have chocolate on it, under it and inside it and still not be standard rated.  

Finally,I do wonder if anyone can explain to me why chocolate body paint should be zero rated, when cough sweets, sugar free or not,  have VAT charged.

 

 

 

 

August 11, 2016 by Peter Simons

Why some sugar free sweets contain Soya.

When adding new sugar free sweets on the Sweets Without site we always put the ingredients and make sure that any allergens are highlighted as bold.text.  

Lecithin in sugar free sweets 

Soya Lecithin is a common ingredient in some sugar free sweets, like those that contain chocolate and toffees.  The reason for using a Lecithin is that it enables two liquids that would not normally mix together make a stable mixture (emulsion).  This is much like how washing up liquid works enabling the oil on the plate to be washed off into water. In the food  context it  helps chocolate maintain its silky smooth texture.  Though soya is the most common source of Lecithin it can also be obtained from egg yolk and sunflowers.

Though Soya Lecithin contains no soya protein the recommendation is that those people allergic to soya stay clear of it.  This is because some people who are very sensitive to soya could have a reaction to soya lecithin.

Lecithin Controversy

 Like all ingredients there is controversy with some people claiming it is added to tea just to extend the life while other claims it makes the tea better.

As a food ssupplement

Soya lecithin is also sold as a heath food supplement.   There are those who claim that it can help in corollary heart disease by stopping the build up of cholesterol  in the arteries.  Like all such claims I would take it with a  pinch of salt. but then I remember that too much salt is bad for you!   Even if these claims were true, the amount of Lecithin in sweets is so small as to have no health benefit. 

 

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March 04, 2016 by Peter Simons

Homemade stevia Truffles (no added sugar)

After Christmas we had some 100% chocolate or cocao left over.  This is essentially unsweetened extract from the cocoa bean, it has a very strong tasting and is a bit bitter.

As we also have some stevia powder I thought we would have a go at making some home made truffles. The recipe is very simple 250g 100% chocolate and 250g Double cream.  Heat the cream in a saucepan to a simmer and dissolve about 4 teaspoonfuls of stevia powder in it.  The chocolate needed to be melted gently.  We used the microwave to help with this but could have done it in a bowl above hot water.  

The cream was mixed gradually into the chocolate stirring all the time to make a smooth mixture. We tasted it to see if it was sweet enough and decided a little more stevia would be good. To  make them more interesting we added rum to some of the mixture and Peppermint Oil to the rest.

The mixture was cooled in the fridge for about an hour before being shaped and rolled in cocoa powder.

The results were very good; the truffles had a wonderful intense flavour. .

 Stevia No added sugar Truffles

February 06, 2016 by Joe Seo

No added sugar Stevia chocolate is Gourmet

Traditionally diabetic chocolate has not had a good reputation.

 The range of chocolate sweetened with stevia  we stock really does mean that if you want to avoid added sugar you can have a first rate product which no one could recognize as no added sugar.

The Cavalier range of chocolate is a good place to start.  We do the three basics Milk, Milk and hazelnut and the Plain (Dark)  plus the exotic raspberry and mango.  We have 2 filled bar collections: the classic that includes Praline, Caramel and Mocha. and a Fruity bar collection.  Personally I like the small bars as they seem to give a more interesting chocolate experience.

 The Perlege range of chocolate raised the bar as far as quality goes.  The 57 % cocoa solids milk chocolate really could be from a London chocolate boutique.  They have a range of filled bars that brings a smile to my face whenever I have one.  .  The range includes a praline and rice crisp bar for the extra texture and everyone's favourite Dark orange ganache.

 New to us is the Belvas range we currently have added two of their products to our stock.  A connoisseur's chocolate paradise, the chocolate is dark, rich and  velvety. We have the fantastic, exquisite and simple chocolate coated hazelnuts and also the dark chocolate hearts with a ganache filling.  All would make an excellent present.

 

September 17, 2015 by Peter Simons

Cavalier stevia chocolate

I am really pleased to be adding cavalier stevia chocolate  to our range. It's a brand I have wanted to supply since I started sweets without.  Part of the reason it has taken so long is that the makers have changed their distributors.

Cavalier stevia chocolate has a very comprehensive range of filled bars  the first that I am stocking are classic varieties such as Mocha, Praline and Caramel.  Over time I hope to increase the range I stock to include fruit flavoured filled bars.  Like most filled bars these are no added sugar rather than sugar free.

Cavalier is one of the most popular Stevia chocolate brands   Not only does it have a delicious taste and texture but it is also one of the few 'no added sugar' brands which is not sweetened with maltitol which some people find causes bloating.  Not everyone has this problem but if you have avoided sugar free chocolate  because of past experiences, the Cavalier range could tempt you back. 

The chocolate is a high quality Belgian chocolate with the plain chocolate containing 85% cocoa solids.   I am also very impressed with the fact that the cocoa and vanilla they use is produced to Fairtrade standards so you can be sure that it does not exploit the cocoa farmers.

The range we stock can be found here 

May 14, 2015 by Peter Simons

Sugar free or No Sugar added in Diabetic Chocolate

In the world of Sugar free sweets and chocolate you sometimes see products, particularly chocolate labelled as No added sugar.  What does this mean compared to products such diabetic chocolate described as 'no sugar' or 'sugar free'

Sugar comes in many forms, not only the familiar  bags we buy in the supermarket, but also it occurs naturally in things like fruit and honey. For Chocolate or sweets to be described as 'no sugar' or 'sugar free' the ingredients must contain no sugar from any source, natural or manufactured.  This means that that they will normally be sweetened  with a  sweetener such as Stevia or Isomalt.

A product such as the high quality plain dark chocolate  that we sell for diabetic and  low carb diets can be labelled sugar free.  However the same chocolate cannot be described as 'sugar free' if it has a fruity theme and actually has fruit such oranges or berries in it.   The natural sugars in fruit mean that this chocolate must be marketed as 'no added sugar'.  

For anyone who wants to follow a low carb or sugar free diet these products with no added sugar can be a real help because the overall sugar content is reduced.  

 

May 08, 2015 by Peter Simons

Belgian Chocolate or chocolate from Belgium ?

Much of the sugar free chocolate and Stevia Chocolate we sale comes from Belgium which isn't surprising as, according to Wikipedia, chocolate is one of the things that Belgium is most famous for.  If you are interested the other famous food items are beer, waffles and chips!  The chocolate industry is an important part of the Belgian economy and has been well established since the 18th century.   Because of its importance only chocolate that meets certain strict standards is entitled to be labelled "Belgian Chocolate". 

Is this important?  Well, when we first tasted Perlege sugar free Belgian chocolate we were really impressed  and found it difficult to believe that, unlike most of the chocolate available, it really had no added sugar.   Without reading the label, it would be difficult to recognize it as anything other than a  great high quality chocolate, perhaps from one of the smarter chocolate shops.   The delicious and intense flavour of Perlege chocolate somehow manages to meet one's need for a sweet treat without the occasionally cloying aftertaste of some more conventional brands and made us realise that Belgan Chocolate is different.  Not only that but there are suggestions that quality chocolate with high cocoa solid contents is actually good for us  - unlike the beer, waffles and chips!

As most of the high quality sugar free and diabetic chocolate comes from Belgium, the flavours reflect the favourite continental tastes.  So here at Sweetswithout we are still looking for really good sugar free and diabetic chocolate with some of the traditionally popular English flavours like peppermint and salted caramel. 

April 17, 2015 by Peter Simons

Christmas gift guide

The sugar free sweets sold by us at sweetswithout make ideal stocking fillers.

At Christmas most of us over indulge but the good news is that sugar free sweets have a lot fewer calories than sweets made with sugar (in most cases  they have 25% less calories).  That means that you can get your sweet fix without the guilt.

The other advantage is that sugar free sweets in general are better for your teeth as most of the sweeteners do not cause tooth decay.

Sugar free stocking fillers for children

de Bron Jelly bears





These bear shaped chews will appeal to children of any age (even adults).   They have been fortified with vitamin C and have all the other advantages of sugar free sweets.
Rio Burgundy sweets




Who could resist sugar free chocolate eclairs with delicious toffee outside a fantastic chocolate centre?  Any child will be thrilled to find these treats in their Christmas stocking. 
 

Carb free candy presents

RIO BURGUNDY GRAPE MINTS



These  sophisticate grape flavoured sweets with a delicious hint of a  peppermint aftertaste are packaged in a beautiful tin which is ideal for your pocket or handbag.
STOCKLEY'S SUGAR-FREE MINT HUMBUGS




Sugar free humbugs make an ideal present for the person who just can’t get into the Christmas spirit!   Of course, there is the added bonus that these sugar free sweets taste fantastic.

 

 

 

 

Balance Stevia Chocolate collection
If you love chocolate (and who doesn't) but you would still like to limit your sugar intake, Balance Chocolate sweetened with stevia is just the ticket.  We stock three favourite varieties; milk, milk with hazelnuts plus a sophisticated dark chocolate.  The use of stevia really seems to enhance the chocolate taste.  
 
Stevia featured in the news this week when Prince Charles went to the Heritage Garden at Raymond Blanc’s Hotel and Restaurant in Oxfordshire.  He was amazed at the plant’s sweetness and Chef Blanc has developed recipes using stevia.  So why don’t you try some of this delicious chocolate?    
 
  

Christmas delivery

 

Thursday 18th December is the last guaranteed second class delivery date, so please order by the 17th to ensure delivery before Christmas.
 
November 27, 2014 by Peter Simons

New sugar free sweets

We have got some new exciting sugar free sweets in our collection.

I am particularly pleased to be stocking de Bron wine gums as these are chews that are gelatine free.

For Mint lovers we have added Stockley's sugar free peppermints and we now stock a dark Stevia chocolale.

 

Click here for full range

September 24, 2014 by Peter Simons