Chocolate Rose Cake with Beetroot (no butter and no sugar)


We featured another sugar free cake on TV last week. This time its chocolate with beetroot which is at its peak on the island this month. I love it as an ingredient as it is so versatile, great with savory or sweet dishes. There is something so wholesome about it.

You do not need a mixer for this cake, gently fold in the dry ingredients gently into the liquids, and after baking I sprinkled it with rosewater. The result is heavenly. My heaven will be immersed in rose water.

You will need:

250g self raising flour
2 spoons cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 spoon oats
1 teaspoon cornflour
A few drops good vanilla essence

Sieve the flour and mix all the dry ingredients together until the appearance is consistent.

in another bowl mix:

4 eggs
1 spoon cider vinegar
250ml ricotta
1 medium cooked beetroot, peeled and chopped
200g dates chopped into small pieces or 200g stevia

Use a hand blender or liquidizer to bring the mixture to a very smooth paste.

Fold in the dry mix into the liquid mix, gently, a little at a time and work fast.
Pour the cake batter into a prepared cake tin. i use 23 cm springform.
Bake in a preheated oven ay 160 C for 35 minites.

Remove from oven and while still watm, pierce the surface all over using a skewer or a toothpick.
Pour 5 spoons rosewater

Allow to cool before removing from the cake tin.


And it did disappear very quickly :)

Easy Carrot and Orange Cake: no butter, no sugar

I am featuring a number of new cake recipes on TV and I love this one.  The photo is the one we made on the show, too hot to remove it completely out of the cake tin as our time is very limited when cooking live.   The pretty cake stands that will be featured on my blog over the next few weeks are available at La Coccinella

The cake is moist, sweet with just natural sugars and the flavor of carrot, oranges and cinnamon are simply divine.  You will need:

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100g oats
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix these 5 ingredients together in a large bowl

  • 180g grated carrots
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges 

Mix these 2 ingredients together in another bowl 

  • 120ml olive oil
  • 200g golden raisins
  • 4 eggs 
  • Juice of 2 oranges

Blend these 4 ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and consistent.

Preheat oven to 160C.

Prepare a 23cm cake dish and grease it if necessary.

Having the ingredients organised in the three bowls, work quickly to put the cake in the preheated oven as skin as the ingredients are mixed together as the raising agents start to activate as soon as they come into contact with the water.

Add the carrot mix to the flour mix and combine making sure that the carrots are covered with the flour.  Add the  blended liquids.  Fold in using a large metal spoon.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35 minutes without opening the oven.  Check with a wooden skewer and if required bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes.  Mine was ready in 40 but it depends on your oven and environmental conditions.

For tv , I dusted some icing sugar and used simple decorating accessories but at hime we leave it without, with nit one hint of processed sugar.

A brief absence from my blog due to reorganizing my commitments to devote my new participation in the island’s top rated daytime show and a book to accompany the show.  Although our programme  is not in English you can watch live every Wednesday afternoon via tv streaming by clicking here. 

Traditional Irish Stew in the heart of the Mediterranean

Originally posted on Good Food Everyday:


St Patrick’s day has become very big on the island. When I first arrived here a couple of years ago, I remember my surprise one sunny day in March driving down the coast road during St Patrick’s weekend. I could not get over the crowds, different shades of green gathered for an evening of joviality. As the hype soared the traffic came to a standstill and I sat in my car absorbing the electric atmopshere, the anticipation, the excitement brought on by the sense of expectancy.

So is St Patrick’s big here because of the Catholic connection or is it simply an excuse for more merriment ? I somehow feel that the current Ambassador of Ireland and Mrs Hennessy promote Ireland exceptionally well and as the highlight of the Irish year approaches, I share my pieces with you about Irish food. The Ambassador and Mrs Hennessy are donating a generous…

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Kwarezimal for Lent

Eggless and with no added fat, my recipe based on Helen and Anne Caruana’s old recipe from their book Is featured on Littlerock this month.

For My mini kwarezimal of last year click here.

Converting processed sugar to natural sugar: banana coconut cake

On TV this week, I featured a new cake which proved to be a success, not only in the taste and texture but also in the response from our audience.  

In a Mediterranean Diet we go back to old traditions to the days when processed food was not around.  I have been testing a line of new recipes for the last 5 years and here is one of my favorite ones. 

For the banana and coconut, nearly-all-in-one cake with no butter and no sugar you wil need:

3 cups self raising flour  
2 cups dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a few drops good vanilla extract
1 cup ricotta
4 eggs, separated, egg whites beaten until they stand in peaks
4 bananas
juice of one lemon
1 spoon cornflour

and for the processed sugar:
1 1/2 cups golden raisins  soaked in just enough water to cover for a few hours or overnight.  Then simply use a hand blender to process to a pulp.

in a large bowl sieve the flour and cornflour.  Add the bicarbonate of soda and coconut.  Mix.
In another bowl use a hand blender to process the bananas, lemon juice, egg yolks, vanilla, ricotta.  
Add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix in using a metal spoon.
add the beaten egg whites.  Mix in gently.
Immediately pour the cake mix into a prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170c for 35 minutes. 


Broccoli mint soup and this weekend’s catch !

My soup today is a combination of broccoli and mint, fresh mint, cooked mint and dry mint, producing a delicious soup with a depth of minty flavour.

You will need:


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head fresh broccoli
1 natural organic stock cube
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 potato potato, peeled and diced
A large fist of fresh mint, chopped some leaves kept for garnish
1 teaspoon teaspoon dried mint
Salt if required
100ml plain yoghurt
Fresh gbejna , one per portion.


Cook the chopped onion and garlic over low heat. Add the chopped potato and dried mint and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, stir and half the fresh mint. Add the stock cube and enough water to immerse the vegetables. Bring to boil on strong heat. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just soft. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Do not cool down on the stove to retain the color of the vegetables. Add half the remaining fresh mint and the yoghurt and use a hand blender to whizz it until it is smooth. Add seasoning if desired.

Reheat and to serve add the remainder of the herbs. Stir. Serve in soup bowls with a fresh gbejna and garnish with some mint leaves.

That was this weekend’s catch of sardines before the bad weather hit us again…