Custard Cream Biscuits (Gluten & Wheat Free, Dairy Free)

I am very lucky to have been able to stay with my partner for a long time without either of us actually having to kill the other. Which is a good thing generally, as I think that is illegal.

But the truth is that when you live with one person for that long there are more than one or two near misses (I am so near perfect that he is only ever delighted to find me still living and breathing each morning 😀 )


Anyway beyond that – having been together for so long, you do notice things about eachother. For example, he knows that I love raspberries the best in Blighty, blackberries the best in Italy, but mostly I love eating apples. And I know that he could live on nothing other than Custard Cream Biscuits. It was Fathers Day (gee thanks Hallmark Cards) in England yesterday and I thought it would be lovely to make a few really nice fresh ones for him. Traditional but using the best ingredients that I can find and not adding in any weird stuff.

I do use Custard Powder, so have a look just to check that you can find a simple one. You only need to find one with Cornflour, Sugar, Vanilla, Salt and the colour Annatto. I’m not going to stress about Annatto. If you want to know more then read this But it is perfectly fine 🙂

If you want to avoid Custard Powder then make up your own simple version with 2/3 Cornflour + 1/3 sugar, a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla extract.


I also have a lovely girlie that cannot eat gluten, so I made these gluten free, so she could enjoy them too. As you can see from the look on her beautiful face – she thoroughly enjoyed them 🙂

I have to admit …. I snaffled a few myself 😀

Custard Creams

Makes about 10 lovely big biscuits

For the biscuits:
225g / 7 oz Gluten & Wheat Free plain flour blend
60g / 2 oz of custard powder
30g / 1 oz of icing sugar
210g/ 7 oz sunflower margarine (not the spreadable stuff) at room temperature and diced
1 egg lightly beaten to break it up
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp sea salt

For the filling:
120g / 4oz sunflower margarine (not the spreadable stuff) at room temperature and diced
420g / 14oz icing sugar, sifted
6 tbsp custard powder

Sift together the flour, custard powder, icing sugar and sea salt and add into the bowl of a food processor with the margarine.
Start to run the machine on the 2:4 speed (half speed – whatever that is on your machine).
Through the feed tube add the egg and the vanilla.
Now turn the machine up and blitz for about 30 seconds.
It will look like a dry crumbly mixture.
Tip out onto a large piece of cling film. And press it so it all sticks together, cover and chill for about 10 minutes.

Line your baking trays with baking parchment.
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/ Gas 4.

Gluten free pastries need a little of a different sort of loving care to wheaten pastry. But take your time and if you have any questions then just ask 😀


Lightly flour the work surface with more gluten free flour blend.
Start by pressing the dough with your hand and encourage the edges to not split apart. Get it as close to 1cm thick as you can.


Once you are there roll the dough to 1/2 cm thickness (or perhaps a little thick is good too).
Stamp out rounds with an 8cm round cutter – or a glass or a cup.
Or make really teeny ones and use an egg cup to make them – but keep them thick so you get a real Cartoonish looking final product.
I pressed another cutter (a heart shaped one) about 1/4 of the way through the top to make a nice finish, but there is no need, you can just prick over with a fork instead, or use the tip of a sharp knife to make smiley face perhaps 😀


Place onto the baking trays.
As these contain no gluten there is absolutely no point in chilling them before baking – unless of course you are living in a very hot country and the fat has obviously started to melt in which case you can chill then for 10 minutes.
Otherwise – bang then into the oven and bake them for 10 minutes – until just beginning to colour around the edges, and when you touch the edge of the biscuit you can sense ‘firm’.
Leave these on the trays cool for 15 -20 minutes. Then transfer to a rack that can go into the fridge and firm up some more -these are super tender biscuits 🙂

For the filling, just tip all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Beat for a good 10 minutes until smooth and fluffy, adding a bit of water if you think it needs it.
Get a good dessertspoonful and spread onto one of the cooled biscuits right up to the edge – do not try pressing the biscuits to spread the mixture – they will break 🙂


And then top with another biscuits.


Pop directly into expectant ‘Father’ and Daughter No2’s expectant mouths 🙂
If you need to store them then pop in a lidded container in the fridge.



RAW! Blueberry Caramel Layer Cake

This is another of my RAW! Fresh Cakes that I sell on the market. It is devised to be able to withstand not having to be served straight from the freezer. My stomach does not like anything straight from the freezer (even my ices have to be almost at room temperature otherwise I get a terrible belly ache). And this way the flavours have a chance to be bright and beautiful instead of muted under glacial temperatures.

Again this is one that has been asked ofr – but I still have no camera – really sorry but I just don’t have the spare cash and I don’t want to stop blogging – so I hope you will bare with me.

I am very grateful to those of you that have stuck with me through this ‘no camera/strapped for cash’ period. One day I shall reward you with a slice-o-cake 🙂


RAW! Blueberry Caramel Layer Cake
No Added processed Sugar, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Soya Free, Vegan, Egg Free.

Makes 18 slices

120g / 4 oz hazelnuts
240g / 8 oz cashew nuts
120g / 4 oz walnuts
4 tsp Maca root powder (if you cannot find this no matter -but it adds a lovely flavour and is super good for you too)
1 tsp vanilla extract
240g / 8 oz Medjol dates
1 tsp sea salt

Blueberry Layer
240g / 8 oz raw cashews, ground
120g / 4 oz macadamia nuts
240g / 8 oz Medjol dates
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Lucuma powder
480g / 1 lb fresh blueberries (washed and picked over)
sprinkle sea salt

Caramel Topping
2 tsp vanilla extract
240g / 8 oz Medjol dates
240g / 8 oz ground cashew
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Line an 9″ x 9″ cake tray with cling film
If you have a dehydrator and suffer from digestive disorders then please – Soak the walnuts and cashew nuts over night. In the morning drain and dehydrate for 16- 24 hours until thoroughly desiccated.
All the nuts need to be processed to a fine flour. I use a coffee grinder for this.

For the base:
Add the dates to the bowl of the food processor with the blade fitted.
Start to process the dates. You will need to open the bowl and scrape it down several times.
Add remaining ingredients and really allow it to process until you have a stiffish dough that balls up. You may need to add a little water to get the right consistency.
Spoon into tray and press down.
Set to one side.

For the Filling:
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of the food processor with the blade fitted. Then blend together until very smooth and soft like a cream cheese.
Pour on top of the base and level off.

For the Topping:
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of the food processor with the blade fitted. Then blend together until very smooth and light and soft like a yogurt.
Just taste it now to make sure the ‘caramel’ is sweet as you like it – I don’t want it too sweet, I like the sour of the fruit to compete with the sweetness of the nuts 🙂
Pour onto the filling and spread evenly again.
Cover with cling film and store in the freezer.

This can be kept in the ice box for 3 months or in the deep freeze for a year.

Before you want to eat it move it to the fridge and allow it to soften for about 4 hours – or you can leave it covered, in a cool spot in the kitchen for about 45 minutes if you prefer.

Utterly guilt free and feels like a total indulgence.

I defy you to eat it and not only love it but feel amazingly well about an hour afterwards

It’s fine, it’s okay, it’s just what I do 🙂 

Blackberried, Fresh Pear & Frangipane Tart
 (Gluten & Wheat Free/ Dairy Free)

I am popping this one in as I found the photo as I was looking for an image that I could use for this blog. I am still without a camera, but hopefully in the next week or two I shall be able to get one.


I grow both the berries and the apples in my garden and on the allotment (must do photos when I can). So for me this an autumn pud, but some of you are in your autumn now.

There is a reason why people call this a classic combination and that is because it it delicious.

I do use conference pears as they retain a good texture and flavour after poaching. And it is the Italian in me that loves nuts in a pud.

I hope you enjoy this.

I have to dash as I am off to the market today and the weather forecast is for sunshine (swoon). I love an English Summer 😀

Blackberried, Fresh Pear & Frangipane Tart
 (Gluten & Wheat Free/ Dairy Free)
3 firm pears
90g / 3 oz blackberries
Almond Filling

120g / 4 oz ground almonds

90 / 3oz potato or rice flour
150g / 5 oz caster sugar

120g / 4 oz sunflower margarine, room temperature

2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tsp vanilla
Icing (confectioners) sugar
1 tbsp bramble jelly or blackberry jam conserve – home made if you have it is so much nicer!
pastry case
240g / 8 oz Gluten Free Plain flour

30g / 1 oz icing sugar
60g / 2 oz caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
120g / 4 oz sunflower margarine, cut into small pieces
1 egg + 1 egg white

Make up and chill the pastry.
Roll out and line the 23 cm loose based tart pan.
Line with paper and fill with beans. Bake for 25 minutes-ish 400˚F/200˚C/Gas 6. Set to one side.
Wash the berries.
Peel and quarter the pears and poach in simmering water for 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
For almond filling: Mix almonds, flour, sugar, margarine, eggs and extracts in the processor.
Turn the oven to 375˚F/190˚C/Gas 5.
Spread bramble jelly onto base of pastry then spread with almond filling.
Cut pears crosswise into thin slices. Gently press each pear half to fan slices but keep slices tightly overlapped.
Slide spatula under pears and arrange on the filling with narrow ends in centre.
Press the berries in and around the pears..
Bake until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool tart.
Sprinkle with icing sugar.


Old School Coconut & Raspberry Cake (Get the tea pot – don’t ask – just get the teapot)

I am a little limited with what I can post as I don’t have any sort of camera – they were all in the bag!

So it’s a fine excuse to give you this recipe. Absolutely one of my favourites. Never is anything like the stuff you buy when you are out and about and you will want more than the one slice – for sure!


Coconut & Raspberry

Old School Coconut & Raspberry Cake

270 g / 9oz butter
270 g / 9oz Caster sugar
270 g / 9oz Desiccated Coconut
3 large Eggs
480 g / 1 lb Plain Flour
4 tsp baking powder
300 ml / 10 fl oz dairy milk

For the topping;
240 g / 8oz Raspberry Conserve
60 g / 2 oz shredded coconut

Set oven to 350˚F/180˚C/Gas 4.
Parchment paper line or grease and flour a 20 cm cake tin.
Rub the butter into flour.
Beat together the egg and milk mixture.
Then stir together the eggs mix into all the dry ingredients.
Pour into tin.
Bake at for 50-60 minutes. You may need to cover it with a piece of paper for the last 10 minutes if it looks like it is getting too brown.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before lifting from the tin.
Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Spread the coconut onto a baking sheet and pop into the oven for maybe 5 minutes (depends how old and dry it is). Stay by the oven as when it starts to brown it will turn quickly.
As soon as you smell it, check it and if it is just turning golden remove it from the oven.
*Once the cake is cooled completely

Spread the top with the raspberry conserve and sprinkle with the coconut. This cake improves with keeping over a period of 2-5 days.

I do sometimes miss that last very important step and we get to eat it warm and fragrant and so delicious.

Rose & Pineapple Layer Cake with Lucuma Frosting

I made this recipe up as I wanted to make a Vegan cake that was really full of bright flavours and I love the flavour of rose.

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 19.19.33

Plus I had just had a fresh delivery of a few special ingredients so I wanted to add the Lucuma to something so that we could enjoy that new flavour too.

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 19.19.05

Plus it looks like a crazy 6 year old girls fantasy first bake, which I love. I was a 6 year old girl that liked to climb trees, feed chickens and poke puddles with a stick, so this was all new to me 🙂

I hope you like it as much as we did.

Rose & Pineapple Layer Cake with Lucuma Frosting

240 g / 8 oz Sunflower margarine
420g / 14 oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
240 g / 8 oz Granulated sugar
120 ml / 4 fl oz Orange juice
60 ml / 2 fl oz Rose water
120 ml / 4 fl oz Beetroot juice
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp ground golden linseeds
200g / 7 oz Rose Jam

Grease and parchment line 2 x 23 cm cake tins.

Pre heat the oven to Gas 4/ 350˚F/180˚C.

Melt the margarine.

Sift together all the dry ingredients.

Whisk together all the wet ingredients.

Whisk all the wet into the dry ingredients


Divide evenly between the two tins and smooth evenly into the tins.

Bake for 25 minutes. Swap their positions in the oven half way through the cooking time.

Cook on wire racks in the tin for 20 minutes. Then turn out and remove the parchment paper.

Cool completely.

Pineapple & Lucuma Frosting
1 pineapple
250 g / 8 oz sunflower margarine (at room temperature)
150g / 5 oz icing sugar
180 ml / 6 fl oz Agave Nectar
4 tbsp Lucuma Powder

Blend the Pineapple and stand it in a strainer to drain the juice (drink that, it is yummy)

Now pass it through the sieve to remove the largest fibres.


In a stand mixer, beat the margarine until it is soft and smooth, add in the lucuma, icing sugar, agave nectar and enough of the pineapple to make a fluffy frosting.



Spread over the two halves of the cooled cake

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Spread the top of one cake with the Rose jam.

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 19.18.16

And sandwich them together.


Melt 2 tbsp of the rose jam with the same amount of water and allow to boil. I strain this to get a rose syrup.

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 19.19.15

I then scattered the top with dried pineapple cubes, a sprinkle of spirulina powder (like a pinch!) and then drizzled the syrup over it.

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 19.18.51

Very good

Just eat it … yum

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

Italian Pear & Chocolate Cake

Monday was my birthday and I spent the day in an oddly snowy London (for March!) with my two daughters.

When I was little my Mumma would make us this birthday cake every year. In rural England in the 1960’s and ’70’s Vanilla was not obtainable so she flavoured the cream with lemon. In the method I have made a few nods to the way my mum made it, which is what I do when I make it.

It is a super cake. I really hope you like it as much as I do.

Have a great weekend.



Italian Pear & Chocolate Cake
360g / 12 oz butter, at room temperature
360g / 12 oz sugar
5 eggs
360g / 12 oz sifted self-rising flour
250 ml Strong coffee
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350˚F/180˚C/Gas 4.
Grease and line a 29 cm cake tin.


Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift the flour and salt and add together with the coffee and fold until mixed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Vanilla and Chocolate Pastry Cream
6 egg yolks
120g/4oz sugar
2 tbsp plain (AP) flour
2 tbsp cornflour
600ml/40fl oz milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
30g/1oz butter
240g/8 oz plain chocolate


In a large saucepan, beat together the eggs, flours, vanilla and sugar until nicely combined.


Set aside.
Heat the milk in a separate saucepan, bring just to a simmer.



Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then turn the heat on under the pan and whisk to the boil.


Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.


Add the chocolate to a small bowl.


Pass the cream through a sieve to remove any eggy pieces or lumps of flour.


Pass half of it directly onto the chocolate. This will encourage it to melt just right.


Give it a good stir to make sure it is all melted.


Give the surface a spray with some bland oil, then cover with a piece of cling film (touching onto the surface) to prevent a skin forming.
Place it somewhere to cool as quickly as possible.

10 pears (poached until tender) or 2 tins of pears.
Amaretto or Limoncello


Slice the Pears into 3 -4 mm slices.



Slice the cake in two.


Sprinkle the base with some of your chosen alcohol (don’t worry if you don’t want to use any, you can add a few spoons of the pear juice)


Spread the base with the vanilla pastry cream.


Cover this layer with the sliced pears.


Add the top layer of sponge.


Spread the top with the chocolate pastry cream.

I like to sieve a spoon of icing sugar and cocoa powder right on top.




email me
phone or text 0792 310 9170
or follow me on Twitter
Follow Me on Pinterest

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

Caramel Walnut Tart

You just have to make this one, it is so very delicious, it is nothing like anything you will have bought (as the nuts turn stale quickly).

You can make it Vegan too if you prefer and again, it will be a pudding that is full of flavours not just sweet.

I love this, I really hope you all do too.

Please do pop over to Facebook and ‘like’ my page


Caramel Walnut Tart

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8 oz Plain flour
3 oz icing sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 oz butter, at room temperature cut into small pieces
1 egg

Vegan Pastry:

8 oz Plain flour
3 oz icing sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 oz sunflower margarine, at room temperature cut into small pieces
1 tbsp vinegar mixed into 50 ml cold water

Sift together the flour, salt and sugar.
Now you can either put the floury mix and butter (or margarine) into a bowl and rub the fat into the flour using your finger tips or into a food processor and run until it just starts to look bread crumby, don’t go too long otherwise it will be overworked.

(Vegans this is where you will add the water and vinegar mix).

Beat the egg. Now if you have used a processor, get the mix into an ordinary bowl or onto a clean floured work surface and add in enough egg (it will be most of the egg) – or water/ vinegar mix – and mix it to a nice soft but not sticky ball of dough.
Wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge for 20 minutes.

Have a cup of tea and clean up. Preheat the oven to 400˚F /200˚C / Gas 6.

Get the pastry out of the fridge and give it 5 minutes to get rid of that fridge hardness.
Flour the work surface and roll the pastry out and line a 23 cm loose bottomed tart tin.
Line the inside of the pastry with paper and fill with some dried beans.
Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes-ish.
Remove beans and paper and pop back for another 7 minutes, or until just going golden at the edges.
Set to one side.

30g / 1 oz butter (Vegans use sunflower oil)
410g / 14 oz can Evaporated milk (Vegans use 250ml of water)
360g / 12 oz granulated sugar
180g / 
6 oz muscavado sugar
60g / 2 oz golden syrup
1 zest of an orange
1 tsp vanilla
330g / 11 oz walnuts, toasted, chopped
1 tsp salt

Stir the milk, sugar and syrup in heavy bottomed medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Increase the heat and boil it until the mixture bubbles thickly and the colour darkens slightly, about 6 minutes. If you are using a sugar thermometer then aim for soft ball – 240˚C


Remove it from the heat and stir in the salt and the orange zest then quickly add in the walnuts, butter (or oil) and put it back onto the heat and allow it to come back up to a good bubble as you stir it.


Now take it and pour it straight into the pastry case spreading, gently poke it about to spread the nuts and caramel over the case.


Set it to one side to cool.

Screen shot 2012-09-04 at 11.11.42

email me

phone or text 0792 310 9170
or follow me on Twitter
Follow Me on Pinterest

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.