Gluten Free Carrot, Almond & Pistachio Cake with Rosewater Cream

Gluten Free Carrot Almond Cake 1

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.

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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).

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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…)

Salted Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Biscotti


Salt and sweet, for me it’s a life long love affair. Despite the fact that I’m as British as bangers and mash, my childhood lunch of choice was most definitely the all-American peanut butter and jam sandwich, PB and J if you will / must. (I’m sorry, I just can’t call it jelly, you have to draw the line somewhere!)


As I’ve matured (umm…) and developed a mildly crazy peanut phobia, so my tastes have evolved, but my salty/sweet love has not abated. I could eat chocolate covered pretzels until they’re coming out of my ears, but my most recent obsession is the salted chocolate chip cookie.


Having previously whipped up a very tasty batch of salted pistachio and dark chocolate cookies, I was keen to find out whether a salted biscotti would work equally well. And let me tell you, salted chocolate seems to work in just about anything! (continue reading…)

Honeyed Pistachio and Almond Granola

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I’m a breakfast obsessive. As addictions go I suppose this is one of the least offensive that I could hope for. The problem is that I’m stuck in a repetitive breakfast cycle of my own creation.

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Given the chance (which usually hinges on whether or not the grater is clean), I will happily eat the same breakfast each and every day. A whole grated apple mixed with oats, yoghurt and milled flax seeds. Prepared before I get in the shower in the morning, by the time I come out the oats have softened just enough for eating (although I’m sure they’d be nicer if left in the fridge overnight). It’s full of healthy ingredients, with the right amount of sweetness from the apple to stop it feeling like a chore to eat.

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Sometimes though, I have to shake things up and break out of my breakfast rut and that’s where this granola recipe comes into play.


Granola is endlessly adaptable and you can adjust the ingredients to your taste incredibly easily. Don’t like nuts? Leave them out. Fancy a bit of dried fruit? Whack some in there (after you’ve cooked the rest of the granola obviously!) Looking for a slightly healthier breakfast than cocopops? Why not add a little cocoa powder into the mix?


For me the completely non-negotiable add ins have to be coconut (in this case in 2 forms) and almonds, it really wouldn’t be granola without them. They are 2 of my favourite flavours and both add the essential crunch with makes granola what it is. Without them what’s the point? I may as well get back in my rut!

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Honey is also indispensable here, it’s the glue that holds the other ingredients together and sweetens the whole shebang (spelling??), so that only minimal sugar is required (and you could probably leave it out altogether and still be perfectly satisfied). For my vegan friends out there (well vegan friend anyway, you know who you are!) maple syrup will work a treat too and impart it’s beautiful mapley flavour into your breakfast situation.

I recommend lashings of yoghurt and some summery berries as accompaniments, but milk (almond milk?) would work wonders too.

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Honeyed Pistachio and Almond Granola

I’ve gone a little American with my measurements here, it’s easier than getting the scales out and granola should be quick and simple to whip up, so please forgive me my British chums!


3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup coconut shreds or desiccated coconut
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
pinch of salt
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes (if you can only find untoasted, add them right at the start)

Start by preheating your oven to 175 C / 155 C fan oven / 350 F and line a large baking sheet (with slightly raised sides) with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, oil, honey and salt until thoroughly incorporated. Next add in the brown sugar and stir that thoroughly through.

Tip the whole mixture out onto the baking sheet and put it in the oven for 30 minutes, giving it a stir around every 10 minutes and keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too dark at the edges. Finally add in the toasted coconut, stir it through and put it back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Carefully tip the granola into a large bowl to cool giving it a stir every so often to breakdown any large clumps. Once completely cooled decant it into a storage jar and enjoy! It will keep for at least a week, if not longer, but good luck resisting it!

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