pomegranate seeds

Gillian’s 6-minute carob cake (vegan)

5th January 2016

full cake 1

While staying with Gillian, I had the honour and privilege of spending time cooking together in her exquisite kitchen. I left fulfilled and inspired along with a favourite book tucked into my suitcase and together with a bundle of recipes. This is one of them, which we cooked together for Christmas Eve dinner. It is a celebratory cake that Gillian bakes for all birthdays, celebrations and special occasions. Sometimes using cocoa powder instead of the carob powder, and in summer decorated with fresh strawberry slices, and in winter, pomegranate seeds.

Gillian possesses a divine talent for cooking, a grace that flows through her to create a perfect balance of tastes, leaving a feeling of deep satisfaction and contentment.  Each dish is created with such pure intention and ease – a delight for the senses.

Gillians home sunriseperfect spot for teasunrise on slate stones

A few more photos of our trip – still on Paul & Gillian’s idyllic property.  I spent almost a week there, and it felt like a retreat. Waking early, painting in silence, morning tea by candlelight. Then just as the light started to change, I would bundle myself up, camera in hand, and venture out of my warm, little room walking the surrounding forest, breathing in the silence, and soaking up nature’s soft beauty in the morning golden light.

side view chocolate cake

Gillian’s 6-minute carob cake

Recipe adapted from ‘Enlightened Eating’ by Caroline Marie Dupont.

A fast and delicious treat that can be mixed right into the baking pan.  The recipe says that it is not necessary to grease the pan, but I have not been brave enough to try that.  Carob is a naturally sweet, nutritious little gem.  The taste of carob does vary – I prefer using a lighter variety.

For the best result, I make this cake the day before and keep in the fridge.


1½ cups/180g whole-spelt flour

cup/40g unsweetened carob powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup/130g coconut sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)

½ cup/110g good quality olive/neutral-tasting oil

1 cup/230g cold water

2 tsp/10g vanilla extract

2 Tbsp/26g vinegar – I use apple cider vinegar

to make the cake

1.  Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Grease an 8-inch square pan or an 8-inch round baking pan.

2.  Mix together the flour, carob, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar in the greased baking pan and stir to combine – set aside.

3.  In a large measuring jug, measure and mix together the sunflower oil, water, and vanilla extract.

4.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the baking pan and mix batter with a fork or small whisk.

choco cake in the making

5.  When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly.  There will be pale swirls in the batter where the baking soda and the vinegar are reacting.  Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

swirling batter

6.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  When cooked, remove from oven, set aside to cool completely and then, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

carob glaze

elias frosting

I love this glaze, so simple with minimum ingredients.  What is created is a thick (because of the coconut oil), pourable glaze with no nasty sugars or powders.  The coconut oil is liquid when heated, and solidifies when in contact with the cold – because of this it plays an important role in thickening this glaze.


2 Tbsp/20g cold-pressed coconut oil – melted

cup maple syrup

cup carob powder


1. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat.

2. Add the maple syrup and carob powder, mix with a small whisk or fork until smooth – set aside to cool.

3.  Remove the cake from the fridge, drizzle over the glaze.  When ready to serve, decorate with strawberry slices or pomegranate seeds and sprinkle with dried shredded coconut.

elias with cakeGoodness shared by Stacey

Baked by Gillian

Decorated by Elias

celebration salad

20th September 2015


A celebration of wonderful abundance from the garden using freshly picked kale leaves, the first of the walnuts from a tree I didn’t know we had, and the last of those pears.


celebration salad

Celebration salad adapted from ‘Vibrant Food’.

This salad is best eaten on its own, as the kale is surprisingly satisfying and hearty.  This way you also get to enjoy the joyous flavours, surprises and celebration of textures.  If you don’t have kale available, swiss chard or spinach can be used.  Because I have trouble digesting too much ‘raw’ in the cabbage family, I like to steam the kale very, very briefly.  There is also an option of eating it raw using a light massaging technique to break down the cell walls.

serves 4 – 6


for the salad 

½ cup walnuts

6 – 8  cups of young leaves Nero Tuscan Kale

1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ cup purple cabbage, finely chopped

1 small pear, slightly under-ripe, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise

½ cup pomegranate seeds

zest from one lemon

for the dressing

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp sweet balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

fine rock salt and freshly ground pepper


1.  Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.

2.  Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with maple syrup.  Toast until golden brown and fragrant, about 8 – 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, then coarsely chop.

3.  Wash the young kale leaves and remove the inner stem of the bigger leaves.  Bring a pot of water to the boil, salt it lightly and plunge the kale gently in for 15 – 30 seconds, retaining its vigour and crispness.  Drain, pour cold water over and set aside to cool.  Spin to remove excess water. Slice into ribbons.  If picking fresh from the garden, I like to add the smaller delicate leaves, keeping them whole.

If you prefer your kale leaves raw – In a large mixing bowl, toss and gently massage the chopped kale with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.  Set aside, tossing by hand every ten minutes, for about 30 minutes.

4.  Discard any limp outer leaves from the cabbage and shred finely until you have half a cup – set aside.

5.  Slice the pear into quarters, remove the core, then cut the fruit into thin slices.  Brush each piece with lemon juice, to stop browning.

6.  Prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

7.  In a large salad bowl, combine the finely chopped cabbage and kale – toss with your hands to combine. Scatter the walnuts, pear slices, and pomegranate seeds over the top of the salad. Sprinkle over the lemon zest.  Dress the salad when ready to serve.


With a new Jewish year just passed – I wish each and everyone success on their inner journey – a spark of golden light to be nurtured and glowing – may it grow brighter and brighter.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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