This Christmas one of my lovely friends bought me the most marvellous cookbook, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. It’s one of those books that leaves you with the desire to invite people round for dinner immediately, so that you can try out as many dishes as possible. Every recipe seemed to catch my eye, but one stood out more than most, principally due to the presence of pistachios, almonds and, an ingredient I don’t get to use often enough, rosewater.
It seems I may have a thing for gluten free carrot cake (I can heartily recommend the Venetian Carrot Cake), or possibly almond based cakes in general (Blueberry Polenta Cake with Lavender Syrup and Pomegranate Jewel Cake).
Maybe it’s that hint of almond taste and texture or perhaps it’s the fact that the lack of flour makes it possible to happily eat more than your fair share! (continue reading…)
At 33 years old (for another week or so at least. If anyone says the words ‘mid-thirties’ there’s a good chance I’ll slap them) I’m extremely grateful to still be close friends with the fabulous group of girls I went to school with. I didn’t realise how unusual that is until fairly recently, I clearly chose my friends wisely. Last weekend all 8 of us got together for the first time in ages for a day full of chatting and a night full of cocktails & food here in good old London town. I was hosting so obviously I had to make a cake.
Helen has major problems with gluten, so a gluten-free cake was the order of the day and I decided that rather than whipping up one of my go to gluten-free cakes (this one and this one) I wanted to try something new and a tad more flamboyant. I knew I had to consult the queen of gluten-free cakes (and flamboyantness!) Nigella Lawson.
When I laid eyes on this cake it was love at first sight. I have a well documented obsession with pomegranates and a recipe that involves covering an entire cake with them is impossible for me to resist. Add to that the fact that this is almond based with tangy lemon and orange zest and I may have discovered my new go-to cake. (continue reading…)
I’ve been thinking about this cake all week. Sitting at my desk, occasionally glazing over in front of my spreadsheets and dreaming of sticky, syrupy blueberry cake with a hint of lavender.
It’s always worrying when you dwell on a recipe so much, without actually having made it, by Friday night the fear of disappointment was upon me. I already felt defeated as I started to whip up the batter and boil the syrup. The overnight wait to test the cake was almost unbearable!
On saturday morning, after the last photograph had been taken, it was finally time for my first taste. Not to sound immodest, although I often do, but this cake blew me away, pure and simple. (continue reading…)
When my friend Rebecca comes to stay, I pretend to be a tourist. Together we visit London zoo, art galleries and museums. We wander the streets and admire landmarks, and we also spend a lot of our time on missions to specialist shops and eateries. As Rebecca is, rather stressfully for a keen baker like me, a strict vegan.
I’ve come to utterly love our weekends, not least because our Saturday nights are usually finished off with a cocktail or 2. So when she came to stay this weekend I felt she needed a treat, something to sustain her through our endless tourist ramblings. It was time to take on the challenge of vegan baking.
There was only one place to go for guidance and that was the wonderful blog, Minimalist Baker. Dana features lots of vegan recipes, all tirelessly tested and tweaked, so I knew she’d see me right. And oh boy, did she! (continue reading…)
Today’s post is for my good friend Helen. A while back she was declared gluten intolerant and condemned to a life of missing out on amazing cakes, so when I started my blog Helen requested that I post some interesting gluten free desserts. There’s only so many meringues a person can eat and whilst a coconut macaroon is heavenly, sometimes you just fancy a change.
My search for a slightly more unusual gluten free cake led me to this wonderful carrot cake. Like all good carrot cakes it’s scrumptiously moist and this is only improved by the addition of ground almonds and sultanas. As well as being gluten free it’s also dairy free, and I’m sure you could replace the eggs with flax eggs to make it completely vegan.
The cake is unleavened so it’ll stay fairly flat, but it still feels light and fluffy, I guess it’s something to do with it not being weighed down by dense, wheat flour. This lightness makes this the ideal cake for an afternoon treat or a moderately virtuous dessert. We all need a little break from wheat every now and then, so why not give it a go? (continue reading…)