London Barbecue School with Branston Pickle

Just tucked away off a little side street near Peckham Rye Station is the London Barbecue School, which specialises in all things B-B-Q.

London BBQ School with Branston PickleLondon BBQ School with Branston PickleLondon BBQ School with Branston Pickle

We were to play with the Kamado Joes and experiment with marinades and sauces using the quintessential British picnic accompaniment – Branston Pickle.

London BBQ School with Branston PickleLondon BBQ School with Branston PickleLondon BBQ School with Branston Pickle

Cooking with the Kamado was completely different to any other kind of barbecue I’ve tried – it was more like an oven, in the way you could control the temperature, but gave all the meat a deliciously smokey flavour.

The Branstons team had developed a few recipes using their signature pickle, as well as their range of barbecue sauces.

London BBQ School with Branston PickleLondon BBQ School with Branston PickleLondon BBQ School with Branston PickleDSC02081

My personal favourites were the marinades made using the pickle – it was really flavourful and went really well as an accompaniment. The Tex-Mex Chicken Tacos and sticky pork chops in particular were really lovely. Branston Pickle in marinades – who knew?

Have you ever been to the London Barbecue School? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Khmer Banoffee Pie

I’ve just spent the most amazing two and a half weeks in Cambodia – mostly pleasure, but a little work thrown in too, as I ran a social media workshop for some charities while I was out there. It was an amazing Christmas – I got to catch up with some old friends, and made some new ones too.

Khmer BananasIt made me fall in love with Cambodia all over again. I adore Cambodian cuisine – and I had such a blast filling up on my favourite fruits, like mangoes, passionfruit and bananas!

You can get some pretty unusual varieties of bananas in Cambodia – like the green ones above (they stay green, even when they’re ripe) and the famous chicken egg bananas, which are tiny, incredibly sweet, and so delicious.

Cambodian Chicken Egg BananasI wanted to do something a little different while I was out there, so I put together a gluten free banoffee pie – and it was probably the most delicious thing I have ever baked.

Cambodian BananasI used three types of bananas on top, and I also made use of some ingredients I was able to get fairly easily from the markets there, like banana sugar and desiccated coconut. I really enjoyed using some unusual ingredients, especially in the base – it made a subtle difference to your usual banoffee pie, and I skipped the whipped cream on top as I find it way too sickly sweet!

Banana Sugar, Khmer Banoffee Pie RecipeGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated Coconut

Gluten Free Khmer Banoffee Pie
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I made use of some traditional Cambodian ingredients to do a twist on a classic - the banoffee pie.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cambodian
Serves: 1 Pie
  • 100g gluten free flour
  • 150g banana sugar (demerara also works!)
  • 200g butter
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 3 bananas
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder and desiccated coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. In a saucepan on the stove, melt 100g butter, 100g sugar, and all of the condensed milk.
  3. Melt over a low heat, and then bring it to a rapid boil for a minute, stirring continuously.
  4. Once it is a golden caramel, set to one side to cool until firm.
  5. In a bowl, combine the flour, coconut, almonds, baking powder and the remaining sugar and butter.
  6. In a greased 20cm tin, add the base mixture from the bowl and bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
  7. Leave the base to cool on a rack, and then top with the caramel mixture and sliced bananas.
  8. Top with cocoa powder and desiccated coconut before serving.
Gluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutGluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutThe condensed milk coconut for this was so flavourful, which I think is all down to the banana sugar in the caramel mixture.

Gluten free Khmer Banoffee Pie with Banana Sugar and Desiccated CoconutI had a great time experimenting with new ingredients – it’s always fun cooking with something new!

Do you have an unusual banoffee pie recipe? Have you ever made anything with banana sugar? I’d love to hear about it! Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Gluten-free Porridge Bread

I couldn’t let bread week on the Great British Bake Off pass me by without sharing my latest favourite recipe – a gluten-free porridge bread!

Islandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadMy grandmother made this for me for the first time, and it’s my new favourite bread recipe. It might sound odd, but it is absolutely delicious – the oats make it smell like hobnobs out of the oven, and it’s at its best eaten fresh with some butter and marmite.

Gluten-free Porridge Bread
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This bread has an absolutely fantastic crust on it - it's quite dense, but it's really comforting topped with some butter and is brilliant with soup!
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Cuisine: Baking
Serves: One Lb. Loaf
  • 300ml Yoghurt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Milk
  • 500g Gluten-free oats
  • 2 Teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • Oat Bran (optional)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Combine the yoghurt, eggs, milk, and oats with the bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. If you aren't a fan of a coarse textured bread, blend until fine in a food processor.
  4. Pop the mixture into a one pound bread loaf tin, and bake for 50 minutes.
  5. After 50 minutes, take the loaf out of the tin.
  6. Pop the loaf back in the oven for a further 10 minutes - this will create a really nice crust all over.
  7. Let cool, and eat with lots of butter!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 lb Loaf
The best part about this recipe for me is that it doesn’t taste like a sponge – which sounds odd, but a lot of gluten free bread is unbelievably bland and tasteless. This is anything but!

Islandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIslandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIslandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIt’s fuss free, and once it’s a day old it’s definitely best toasted.

Islandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIslandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadHave you ever tried porridge bread? Comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Almond Butter and Banana Overnight Oats [gluten-free]

When I began switching to a gluten-free diet, I noticed my on-the-go breakfast options becoming much more limited in choice. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day (even though brunch is my favourite), but I’m never in the mood to eat around 7am. In the past, this wasn’t that much of a big deal –  I would skip breakfast most days – or pick a croissant up from Pret on my way in.

almond butter banana

I’ve recently started a new job, and they offer breakfast – but none of it is gluten-free, and the usual coffee shops chains don’t offer much choice for those of us who can’t tolerate gluten. After a few days of getting breakfast food-envy, I started looking at other options and came across overnight oats – a healthy, delicious start to the day you can have al desko. I’ve become obsessed – I’ve tried a few recipes, but I adapted this one to best suit my personal taste. The almond butter and desiccated coconut makes it seem indulgent while still being healthy – and as you make them the night before, all you have to do is, to paraphrase the words of Dolly Parton: tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen…. and to the fridge on your way out.

kilner jar

I’ve been using this Kilner jar for my overnight oats – it’s the perfect size, without being too bulky, but with a good seal which makes it okay to shove in my handbag.

almond butter banana gluten free overnight oats

Almond Butter and Banana Overnight Oats [gluten-free]
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This is a great on-the-go breakfast for the summer months! It's gluten-free and so simple to do - and healthy, too!
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Breakfast
Cuisine: Gluten-free
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup (85 grams) of gluten free oats
  • 1 cup (240 ml) of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • Half a tablespoon of maple syrup
  • Half a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder
  • Banana
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  1. Combine milk, yoghurt and oats in your jar and stir.
  2. You can always skip the yoghurt, but it makes it creamier and adds more depth to the flavours.
  3. Chuck in the chia seeds, vanilla protein powder and maple syrup.
  4. The chia seeds help to soak up the liquid, and are a great source of fibre, protein and calcium.
  5. Then add chopped pieces of banana. The riper they are, the better!
  6. Top it off with a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter.
  7. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and your work is done, once you've popped it in the fridge.
  8. The next day, give everything a good stir before digging in!

For this recipe – or any, even – I recommend getting this Cook’s Measure from Tala. After living in New York for 10 years, half of the recipes I’ve remembered are in cups and the other half are in grams, and this measure has been an absolute lifesaver.

chia seedsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oatsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oatsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oatsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oats

Since I’ve been bringing these in I’ve found myself with much more energy in the morning, and feel more full and sated. The best part is, I know exactly what’s going into each and every pot, and it tastes better than anything shop bought!

almond butter banana gluten free overnight oats

Have you tried overnight oats? What are your favourite things to eat al desko?

Vanilla protein pancakes [gluten free]

I was introduced to this gluten free pancake recipe by a friend of mine, and its become a firm favourite. It’s a simple recipe perfect for Saturday or Sunday brunch – I had mine with some dragonfruit, figs and honey, but would also go well with maple syrup and bacon, too.

Vanilla protein oat pancakes (gluten free)

The vanilla protein powder gives it a bit of flavour which is a nice accompaniment to the oats. If you prefer a smoother texture, whizz the oats in a food processor, or go for oat flour. Personally, I’m a fan of the texture so I left them as is.

I went for the Sun Warrior blend vanilla protein powder from Planet Organic: it’s dairy, soya and gluten free.

Vanilla protein pancakes [gluten free]
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This gluten free protein pancake is a firm favourite - perfect for a morning energy boost.
Recipe type: Gluten-free
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: One Batch
  • 200g gluten free oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk (semi-skimmed or full fat)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Butter
  1. Heat the butter in a pan: pour in batter for each pancake.
  2. When the mixture bubbles, flip the pancake over – the first side is done.
  3. Repeat for the second side.
  4. The batter should be enough for four people: I made it for two, and froze the pancakes individually. This makes it easier to pop frozen pancakes in the toaster: perfect for a quick weekday breakfast.
Vanilla protein oat pancakes (gluten free)

I’m always on the lookout for interesting, gluten free breakfast options: any suggestions would be appreciated! Comment below, and be sure to follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!