This delicious Italian recipe is a proper dinner party or special occasion centre piece. It looks amazing as well as tasting fantastic. It’s not the quickest of my recipes but it’s really worth the effort. You can serve it after anti pasti with a salad and it’s a bit like a pie version of Pasta Alla Norma, so if you like that you will love this.Continue reading
this rich chocolate coated Italian cake tastes so deliciously Italian, it’s not that sweet and packed with cocoa, honey, spices and almonds. It’s traditionally served in the winter and at Christmas in Italy with a glass of wine or beer and it’s perfect after dinner with an aprés dinner cheese course. It can also be entirely plant based, as it says in my recipe notes. I find it tastes even nicer after a few days when all those delicious spicy flavours have matured.Continue reading
my big fat greek baked beans (gigantes plaki)
I have always had a soft spot for these delicious Greek baked beans, they are easy to make, all plant based and excellent with warm flatbreads (check out my pizza dough recipe to make truly fresh flatbreads) and my creamy bean hummus (takes 5 minutes) with a crisp green salad. If you aren’t going down the vegan route then they are fantastic served with a big block of feta, some olives and warm flatbreads for a tasty mezze.Continue reading
Persian love cake
When you make this cake the whole kitchen smells of roses, it’s Persian in its origins and have been making Yasmin Khans amazing Persian Love Cake for years as it’s fantastic as a birthday cake, but I wanted to do a dairy free version that also could be gluten free if you prefer. I also added ground pistachios as I love them so its got tons of nuts in it and the soft floral fragrance of cardamom and rose. It’s probably called Love Cake because it really is a romantic cake.
apple pie cake
This cinnamony Apple cake is dairy free and made with olive oil. It has bourbon vanilla and lemon juice and zest in it and I make it with spelt flour, so it’s healthier because spelt is an ancient grain packed with nutrients that processed flour hasn’t got much of.
The top goes a bit apple crumble-like and the sides go a bit biscuity but it stays moist in the middle, and all my friends really love it and can’t tell it’s dairy free. Perfect for Bonfire Night and Christmas or just for tea time. I sometimes have it for breakfast with coffee too.
italian courgette cake
This cake is Italian American in origin and it’s super moist thanks to the courgettes and the olive oil. Its packed with spices, is dairy free and has a tangy lemon icing. I tweaked it to be a bit healthier with whole meal spelt flour, and added poppy seeds to the icing. It’s perfect with a coffee for breakfast or at teatime… but would make a great birthday cake too.
Venetian carrot and almond cake
This delicious traditional Italian cake was the precursor to the carrot cake we know now and love but this is kind of marzipany without the bitterness. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity as it’s fantastic with coffee, for breakfast or with a glass of vin santo after dinner. Like a lot of Italian recipes it’s dairy free and it also has no oil or butter. It is mostly carrots, egg and almond.
savoury stuffed apples with rice pine nuts and currants
I adore sweet and savoury flavours together and this recipe from The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking nails this perfectly. I have tweaked it a bit because the first time I cooked them the cooking apples burst and so I had to start again even though they tasted amazing, so I went with Braeburn apples instead. I have also added more pine nuts and currants as I thought the recipe needed it and replaced the sugar with maple syrup as it’s low GI and used basmati rice. They are perfect as a side to a roast instead of stuffing or cold with a salad.
panforte (Italian Christmas cake)
This delicious traditional Italian cake is very dense chewy and packed with dried fruits, nuts and spices, and can I just say, there are lot of ingredients but it’s really easy to make. This recipe is softer than the ones you buy which I prefer. It’s origins dates back to the Italian crusaders who discovered it in Turkey. It kept them nourished during their sieges. Italians often cut it into pieces and wrap the morsels in parchment paper with ribbon and give the little parcels as gifts.
vegan chocolate and coconut fudge cake
I love the combination of coconut and chocolate because I love Bounty bars and this cake is really easy to make and really chocolatey for a real dairy-free egg-free chocolate fix. You can’t taste the beetroot, but it’s the beetroot that makes it fudgey. This cake has been tested on non vegans and they loved it and thought it was one of the best cakes they had ever tasted. Perfect as a birthday cake.