Food · Grain Free Recipes · Sugar Free Recipes

Gluten Free Sugar Free Carrot Cake

Finding the perfect gluten-free cake recipe is always a challenge- especially when it needs to be grain free and low FODMAP- but finding one that is sugar free as well is near impossible! Oh and did I mention diary free too???

Believe me, I’ve suffered through many a hideous solid rock cake of pure nut and no taste.

But fear not! This carrot cake is light and full of flavour.

In my pre-stomach-problems life I loved a slice of carrot cake and would always choose it over other, sweeter options. Having recently re-introduced carrots into my diet (in small amounts) thanks to the Low FODMAP diet I was delighted to adapt this wonderful recipe for my recent birthday celebrations:



340g finely shredded carrots
100g coconut flour
100g almond flour
20g unsweetened shredded dried coconut
100g artificial sweetener (sucralose preferably) or 50g Stevia
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 egg whites
280ml unsweetened soy milk (or other dairy free)
100g coconut margarine (or other dairy free)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:
680g cream cheese
100g coconut margarine (or other dairy free)
70g artificial sweetener (sucralose preferably) or 35g Stevia
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk (or other dairy free)
unsweetened shredded dried coconut for decoration
pecans for decoration

  • Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  • In one bowl combine the carrot, coconut flour, almond flour, shredded coconut, sweetener, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk until well mixed.
  • In a different bowl whisk the egg whites, milk, melted margarine and vanilla.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the carrot and flour mixture. Stir with a large spoon until a thick, sticky batter is created. Add extra milk if the batter is too thick to pour.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans, using a spatula to evenly spread.
  • If your oven is large enough then bake both cakes on the middle rack for an hour. With a smaller oven bake on separate racks for half an hour then switch racks and bake for another 30 minutes. Take out of the oven once the cakes are lightly golden brown, springy when pressed and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes before moving to a rack.
  • Once the cakes are cool, prepare and apply the frosting: Combine all frosting ingredients and mix with an electric whisk until fluffy and creamy.
  • Spread an even layer of frosting about half an inch thick across the top of one cake.
  • Position the second layer on top then spread the remaining frosting across the entire cake.
  • To decorate press the shredded coconut to the sides of the cake and create a pretty pattern on the top using the pecans…or just scatter the decorations liberally everywhere, who am I to judge?

Almond flour (sometimes known as ‘almond powder’) is really just very finely ground almonds: if you can’t find it then put ground almonds into a small blender or coffee grinder.



Shrimp Tofu Skin Rolls (& Major Announcement!)

Although tofu skin, also known as ‘bean curd skin’ can be a little daunting to use for the first time (and, if you don’t know where to look, tricky to find) it is a joy to cook with and eat. I have a great love for bean curd skin and rolls because they’re gluten free and starch free- things I struggle to eat! Dishes using bean curd skin are always on the menu at dim sum restaurants and are a reliable, tummy-friendly option for me when eating there with family and friends.

Another excellent thing about tofu skin is that it can be steamed to create an unctuous looseness that just about holds in delicious flavours OR it can be fried to wonderful crispness! Trust me, when you haven’t been able to eat anything with batter or even crisps for over a decade, anything crispy that is not celery is heaven.

For this recipe we’ll be frying them to crispness and wrapping them around a delicious prawn mix. Watch the video to see how we made them and an exciting announcement…

Oh yes, we’re going travelling in Malaysia! I absolutely cannot wait. It means the world to me that I am now able to manage my disabilities in a way that allows me to leave the country and move freely. It’s all thanks to my wonderful wife who takes such excellent care of me. I also have her to thank for introducing me to the wonder of Malaysian food and these lovely rolls in particular.

They’re a dainty little Cantonese snack but can be rather large when served in English dim sum restaurants. Personally, I prefer the small, Malaysian version- much more crunch! Interestingly in Malaysia they are also often served with mayonnaise. I’m not such a fan of that though and prefer to serve them with worcestershire sauce or soy sauce with chilli oil.

They’re absolutely delicious! I hope you enjoy making them at home. You can buy tofu skin either via online Asian shops or in your local Chinese shop.



450g raw shelled prawns
2 finely chopped spring onions

½ chicken stock cube
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
1 heaped tbsp rice flour
1 egg white

10 pieces tofu skin cut to 6×6 inches
Oil for frying
Worcestershire sauce

  • Divide prawns in half. Roughly chop one half and mince the other.
  • Mix all of the prawns, spring onions and seasonings together. If the mixture is loose and not holding together then add a little more rice flour.
  • Place a piece of tofu skin on a flat surface, rub with water on both sides and leave to soften. Do this with three pieces and by that time the first will be ready to use.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the tofu skin. Fold like a parcel and rub water around the edges to ensure sealing.
  • Heat enough oil for frying in a wok. When the oil is fully heated, turn down to medium and gently drop the shrimp rolls into the oil. Keep turning and fry until they are golden brown.
  • Dish out onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  • Serve with Worcestershire Sauce or soy sauce (also excellent with chilli oil!)


Remember that it takes slightly longer for rice flour to soak up liquid than you might expect so be careful of adding too much when it first seems the mixture isn’t sticking together properly. A mistake I repeated over and over when I first started using it!

Classical Film Reviews · Film Reviews

Classical Film Review: Halloween [1978]

Filmed in 1978, John Carpenter’s Halloween is younger than some of the other films we have looked at for the Classical Review. But… it is Halloween and this is a genuinely scary, yet also extremely tastefully well-crafted, horror cult classic.

As low-budget and rushed as the filming may have been (it was shot in just 20 days), this fabulously stylistic slasher invented many of the genre’s clichés and grossed Fifty Five million dollars worldwide. It was one of the most successful independent films ever made with its effects seen in films such as the Friday the 13th series, in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Scream and most modern horrors!

In an apogee of filmic manipulation, the suspenseful stalkings and morbid killings are seen from the subjective vantage point of the killer- a few times while looking through his mask. Other scenes are viewed through the characters in danger’s illusory point of view, accompanied by the heavy breathing of murderous peeping tom Michael Myers, who is referred to as ‘the bogeyman’ or “The Shape” in the credits.

I shalln’t talk much about the storyline because it doesn’t actually matter and no one really cares for the minutiae.

Importantly, however, this film set in motion the Puritanical, psycho-pathological principle that one’s survival was directly proportional to one’s sexual experience. Sexual awakening means not just the death of innocence but actual death! They should teach you THAT in Sex Ed- hello reduction of teen pregnancy rates. In this film, murders often occur after sexual encounters when victims are distracted and off-guard.

Steadicam is extensively used throughout the film, lending it a yet more disconcerting palpation. The audience is left spending every scene feeling disjointed, insecure, unsettled and… well, plainly paranoid! Around every corner lurks potential danger- every shadow, noise or space is treacherous- safe havens will betray you in an instant…

Carpenter deliberately pays homage in various ways to Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense’s Psycho; Halloween’s characters have names taken from the film, and the screaming babysitter Jaime Lee Curtis is the daughter of Psycho’s poor Janet Leigh, so memorably stabbed in the shower.

Often nothing is revealed when something is expected, but sometimes the unexpected is shockingly exposed!