Tag Archives: gluten free

Middle-Eastern Almond and Orange Cake with Orange Blossom Water Syrup

15 Sep

After a few months away from the blog…. I am back, hopefully on a regular basis and with fresh ideas to share with you.

As I spent a few months as a Chef at Cafe Pinson which is a gluten-free, dairy-free & vegetarian restaurant (with raw and vegan options…. ), I thought it would be great to start with a gluten-free recipe which is also one of my favorite deserts that I used to prepare in London.  

This cake is very smooth and rich in flavor as well as atypical…. Indeed, there is no butter, milk or oil… the texture comes from the boiled orange puree and the ground almonds. The syrup makes it easy to preserve for a few days and the optional chocolate layer will definitely make the difference….



  • 4 oranges washed
  • 375 g caster sugar
  • 575g almond powder
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 75 ml orange blossom water


  • 225ml orange juice
  • Zest of 2 oranges cut into julienne
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 75 ml orange blossom water


  • Greek Yogurt
  • Homemade Orange Peel  cooked in the syrup


Place the oranges in a deep pan and cover them with water. Bring to the boil and cook with the
lid on for 30-40 minutes at least then remove them from the pan and let them cool down for another
20 minutes.
Cut them in halves and remove the seeds then place them in a food processor and add
the sugar. Process 30 seconds then add almonds, eggs, baking powder and 75ml of rose
water and process another 10 seconds.

1-Boiled Orange

Pour the mixture into a 30 cm spring form cake tin lined with baking paper and bake 60
minutes at 180º.
Let the cake cool in the tin.

2-Mix Cake


Put all the ingredients except orange blossom water in a pan over a low heat and slowly bring to the
boil and simmer til syrupy. Remove from the heat and add the orange blossom water.
Pierce the cake with a skewer and pour the syrup on top of the cake.


Serve each slice with a generous spoon of Greek Yogurt on which you will sprinkle the orange peel that you cooked with the syrup.


5-Result with Choco Ganache

Gâteau Oriental à l’Orange et aux Amandes

& son Sirop de Fleur d’Oranger


  • 4 oranges lavées
  • 375 g de sucre
  • 575g d’amandes en poudre
  • 9 oeufs
  • 1 cas de levure chimique
  • 75 ml de Fleur d’Oranger


  • 225ml de jus d’orange
  • Zest de 2 oranges en julienne
  • 225g de sucre
  • 75 ml de Fleur d’Oranger


  • 1 pot de yaourt grec
  • des écorces d’orange confites ou du gingembre confit


Recouvrir de papier sulfurisé la base d’un moule a fond amovible de 30 cm de diamètre et enduire les bords de beurre mou a l’aide d’un pinceau de cuisine de la base vers l’extérieur.
Prechauffer le four a 180°C.
Mettre les oranges dans une grande casserole et les recouvrir d’eau. Porter à ébullition
et cuire à couvert au moins 30-40 minutes. Laisser reposer 20 minutes.
Couper les oranges en 2, ôter les pépins et passer les oranges au blender jusqu’à obtention d’une purée. Ajouter le sucre et blender 30 secondes.
Transférer dans un saladier et ajouter les amandes, les oeufs, la levure et la fleur d’oranger.
Verser le mix dans le moule et cuire 1H jusqu’à ce que la lame d’un couteau sorte nette.



Gluten free Almond and Chocolate Cake with greedy variations….

7 Feb

The gluten free trend is becoming stronger and stronger and many people are asking for good recipes of cakes without flour or with flour substitute.

Rice flour, chickpea flour, corn flour, coconut flour but also almond flour are among those substitutes.

As I love to cook with almond because it’s really tasty, rich but not overpowering, here is a chocolate cake recipe gluten free but full of almond flour.

I also added a few variations if you are in the mood for really greedy desert…

Result Slice


  • 5 eggs
  • 200 g of butter
  • 200 g of caster sugar
  • 200 g of dark chocolate (at least 56%)
  • 200 g of  almond flour


In a bain-marie*, melt the chocolate and butter together. Let it cool down a little.

Separate the eggs. With a whisk, mix the yolks with the sugar until you get a light and creamy mixture. Blend this with the chocolatey mixture and add the almond flour.
Gluten Free Almond Choc CakeBeat the egg whites until they are stiff and using a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Gluten Free Almond Choc Cake-2

Pour the mix into a spring-form baking tin covered with parchment paper and bake for 45 min at 180° C (380°F).

Gluten Free Almond Choc Cake-3


If you want to go for a richer version, you can add caramel sauce and nuts for example.

Swirl a large spoon of caramel sauce in the mixture before baking it and sprinkle pecans all over the surface. They will sink down otherwise, slightly help them so that they do not burn in surface while baking.

Gluten Free Almond Choc Cake-4-Alternativephoto 2

Result with Ice Cream

* You can also use your microwave. Place the chocolate (roughly chopped) and the butter (diced) in a bowl and get them melted 10 seconds by 10 seconds.

Simply Pomegranate… focus on the method and a light lunch suggestion

3 Jan

Back to Miami…. palm trees, blue sky and warm weather are still here…. No need to say that all the earthy dishes I was craving for when I was back at home are not anymore among my top 10. 

Looking at my fruit basket, I see 3 beautiful pomegranates waiting for a clever use! It suddenly reminded me of the streets of Jerusalem where you can drink a freshly pressed pomegranate juices at any stalls or cafe.


That’s it, I still don’t know yet but one of these pomegranates will be part of my lunch today and I’ll drink the juice collected as it is an antioxidant but also because I love that sweet and sour hint, the fresh and light effect it has on me.

The only thing with pomegranate is that you have to deserve it…. Either you buy the seeds or you buy the fruit and you have to deal with it. Here is the method: don’t forget the apron, don’t were anything white and clear your kitchen counter!


  • a pomegranate
  • a sharp knife
  • a wooden spoon
  • a board
  • a bowl
  • an apron


As pomegranate are really juicy, choose a board big enough to prevent the juice from dripping on your kitchen counter.

Cut the pomegranate into 2 and on top of a large bowl, knock the pomegranate skin with a wooden spoon. It will help releasing most of the seeds.

You will collect lots of juice and seeds but still you will have to finish picking the remaining seeds one by one. To make it easier, push gently the top of your half pomegranate toward the bottom to reverse it. You will have a better view of what’s remaining and it will be easier to get rid of the white membrane.

Once you have finish, get rid of the last parcels of white membrane and separate the seeds from the juice as they will get soft if kept in a liquid.


Ingredients for the light lunch suggestion*:

  • 1/2 pomegranate deseeded
  • a handful of mixed leaves
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes cut in halves
  • 3-4 generous leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp of toasted pinenuts
  • 1-2 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • a bread roll
  • 2 slices of fresh goats cheese 1/2 cm thick
  • olive oil
  • vinegar such as Xeres or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • salt & pepper


Preheat your oven to 400°F or turn it on the grill position.
Cut your bread into 2 lengthwise and place each slice of goats cheese in the center, season with salt and pepper and if you like it caramelized, add a little honey on top. Place them on a piece of parchment paper and grill them for about 5 minutes until it gets a nice golden surface.
In the meantime, prepare the salad:
Roughly slice the basil, tear into thin stripes the prosciutto and whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Assemble the components of your salad in a salad bowl and drizzle with the dressing.
Once the goats cheese toasts are ready, place them on top of the salad and serve it straightaway.

salad compo

* Of course, the variations on that salad are infinite….. here is a few ideas

  • any nuts or seeds can replace the pine nuts: pistachios, cashew, pumpkin seeds….
  • use dry fruits, mango or avocado instead of pomegranate, just think about the color
  • if you are on a gluten free diet, just crumble the cheese on top of the salad
  • instead of goat’s cheese, use crumbled feta, shaved parmesan, grilled halloumi, diced mimolette
  • substitute prosciutto with crispy bacon, turkey breasts, crayfish, bresaola…..
  • have fun with the dressing and make it Asian with soy sauce and lime, Lebanese with pomegranate molasse, French with mustard, Indian with curry….

Version Française : La grenade, méthode et recette légère


•    1 grenade
•    1 couteau bien aiguisé
•    1 cuillère en bois
•    1 planche a découper
•    1 bol
•    1 tablier


La grenade est un fruit très juteux, il est donc préférable d’utiliser une planche munie d’une gouttière ou suffisamment grande pour éviter d’inonder le plan de travail. Ceci étant dit, vous pouvez désormais couper votre grenade en 2. En maintenant une des 2 moitiés au dessus d’un bol, frappez la coque énergiquement avec le dos d’une cuillère en bois. Les graines vont se défaire d’elles-mêmes et tomber dans le bol.
En procédant ainsi, vous devriez réussir a collecter l’essentiel des graines du fruit et aussi beaucoup de jus. Pour les graines restantes, retourner le fruit en poussant la coque vers l’intérieur. Les dernières graines seront très faciles a récupérer. Débarrasser vous des quelques morceaux de membranes blanches qui sont venus avec et mettez le jus de cote afin de garder le croquant des graines.

Ingrédients pour une salade légère et fraiche:

•    les graines d’1/2 grenade
•    une poignée de mesclun
•    4-5 tomates cerises coupées en 2
•    3-4 belles feuilles de basilic
•    1 cas de pignons de pin grillés
•    1-2 tranches de prosciutto
•    1 tranche de pain type Poilane
•    2-3 tranches de chèvre frais d’1/2 cm d’épaisseur
•    miel liquide (optionnel)
•    huile d’olive
•    vinaigre de Xérès ou un bon vinaigre de vin rouge
•    sel et poivre du moulin


Préchauffez le four a 200°C ou le mettre en position grill.
Déposez les tranches de chèvre sur le pain, poivrez et si vous aimez votre chèvre caramélisé, versez un peu de miel en surface.
Faites griller le toast 4-5 minutes au four sur une plaque couverte de papier sulfurisé. Le toast est prêt lorsque le chèvre a pris une jolie couleur dorée-brune en surface.
Pendant ce temps, préparez votre salade:
Emincez grossièrement votre basilic, divisez votre Prosciutto en 3-4 bandes et préparez la sauce en émulsionnant le vinaigre, l’huile, le sel et le poivre. Ajustez selon votre gout.
Assaisonnez le mesclun avec la sauce puis dans un bol a salade, assemblez les différents éléments de votre salade de façon appétissante en finissant avec les bandes de Prosciutto. Assaisonnez de nouveau si nécessaire et ajoutez les toasts de chèvres tranchés avant de servir.

* Vous vous en doutez, il existe une infinité de variations pour cette salade mais voici tout de même quelques idées si vous êtes en panne d’inspiration:
    •    les pignons peuvent être remplacés par n’importe quel type de noix: cajous, pécans, pistaches…..
    •    remplacez la grenade par des fruits secs ou de la mangue, de l’avocat, pensez a mettre de la couleur pour rendre le plat appétissant!
    •    si vous ne tolérez pas le gluten, oubliez les toasts et émiettez simplement le chèvre sur la salade,
    •    a la place du chèvre, utilisez de la féta, des copeaux deParmesan, de l’Halloumi grillé, de la mimolette vieille coupée en dés,
    •    pensez au bacon grillé, a la Bresaola, aux queues de langoustines ou au blanc de dinde si vous voulez changer du Prosciutto
    •    et surtout amusez vous avec la sauce: asiatique avec de la sauce soja et du citron vert, libanaise avec de la molasse de grenade, indienne avec du curry ou simplement française avec une bonne base de moutarde!