These clementine amaretti biscuits are traditionally very crunchy on the outside and chewy and a bit marzipany in the middle. They are really easy to make and are gluten and dairy free. They are perfect at Christmas for your guests or as gifts in little bags tied with a ribbon. I serve them with coffee at the end of a meal instead of making a dessert, or after dessert.
whole roast pumpkin stuffed with rice pistachios apricots and cranberries
This really delicious stuffed pumpkin tastes and looks amazing, it makes a fantastic center piece on the table for a vegetarian dinner, Sunday lunch, Christmas or Halloween. If pumpkin isn’t in season you can use any large squash or vegetable that you can stuff. It’s packed with nuts and fruit, is perfumed with saffron and based on a traditional Turkish recipe from a cookbook by Ghillie Basan but I’ve made it a bit easier. It’s great with roast potatoes and all the trimmings of a traditional roast dinner instead of turkey or even with turkey or you can stay traditional and serve it with other middle eastern dishes and salads, it’s also perfect with labneh with garlic in it.
olive oil cake
This cake is a traditional Spanish olive oil cake. It’s usually served with a glass of black coffee. It’s got a lovely orange flavour from the orange juice and zest and tastes really Mediterranean. I make nearly all my cakes with olive oil because I prefer the texture and they stay moist and fresh for much longer. I’m also not great with dairy. Most Mediterranean countries use olive oil instead of butter in their cakes and obviously it’s a lot healthier as is most of their diet. Hope you like it as much as me. Continue reading
moroccan orange salad
I had this salad as a starter in a Moroccan restaurant in Paris and I have made it ever since. It’s divine and reminds me of that restaurant I think was called the Star. I went there twice with my boyfriend with a ten year gap between visits and when we told them that we loved it there and had come back ten years later they were very blasé and not interested, however the food was fantastic still. This salad is great as a dessert too. It’s perfumey with orange flower water so you feel transported to an exotic place in Morocco, at least I do, and it’s pretty healthy. So give it a try….
rhubarb cake with spelt
Rhubarb cake is really pretty and really delicious and I have made it really healthy. It’s created so you can also do a vegan version with egg replacer from health stores or on-line. It has the great flavours of orange zest and honey in it so it tastes amazing and it’s made with healthier spelt flour. It’s also perfect if you follow an egg or dairy free diet. I love rhubarb and think it should have a renaissance if it’s not already.
This red cabbage recipe is full of Christmas flavours and tastes super fab with the Christmas roast. It is my favourite combo of sweet and sour with orange, apple, spices and port, which work really well together. It doesn’t have to just be for Christmas or thanksgiving, but you can eat it all year round. It’s also delicious with sausage and mash or baked potatoes and perfect with ham. Everyone I know who has cooked this really loves it as much as me. Its origins are loosely based on a Danish recipe and traditionally in Denmark it is served with rich meats, such as duck and pork. I spent many a Christmas in Denmark or with Danes as a child so this tastes very comforting to me and no one does Christmas better than the Danes. It is also fab with the Boxing Day leftovers the next day and its flavour improves with age.
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1 apple, grated
1 chopped onion
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
A handful of sultanas
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
the perfect cranberry sauce
Trust me on this one, this is one of the best recipes for cranberry sauce ever, shop bought cranberry sauce doesn’t even compare to it. I think it’s the star of the show on the Christmas dinner plate and is perfect with cold cuts and sandwiches after Christmas day. For me it kind of makes Christmas food far more delicious. A friend of mine and her children so look forward to my yearly Christmas batch, not only for their Christmas meal but they love it enough to even put it on their toast.
And jars of your own cranberry sauce tied with a red ribbon make great home made Christmas presents for loved ones.
flourless orange and almond cake
One of the first times I had this cake was in the restaurant Polpo in Beak Street, London. I was then given their cookbook as a Christmas present a few years ago and it’s one of the easiest cakes to make at home, after you have boiled the oranges the rest of it is done in a blender, so there’s no faffing about with creaming in or sifting. It’s gluten and dairy free, not that you’d notice, plus it’s so delicious I was proposed to by a friend’s husband when he ate a slice. It’s delicious with a dollop of mascarpone and a coffee, as it says in the book. My friends now cook this a lot.
100g golden brown sugar
400g caster sugar
6 medium eggs or 5 large
250g ground almonds
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
Zest and juice of an orange
A little bit of icing sugar for dusting
carrot salad with orange flower water
Yes I am obsessed with carrots. Here’s another carrot salad recipe, just in case you are also a carrot person. Fragrant, fresh and delicious, this salad will transport you straight to Marrakesh
Serves 4 as a starter.
500g carrots, peeled and grated
2 large juicy oranges or 4 clementines
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of orange flower water
Juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon