Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt 3

I think I’m with a lot of people on the fact that I prefer carrots in raw form. Boiled or steamed ones can be mushy and bland, even the good ones! There’s something so satisfying about that cold, crisp snap of a carefully cut stick along with the slightly green aroma they tend to have when raw.

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt

That said, you can tell me to eat any vegetable once roasted and chances are high that I’ll love it – cauliflower and Brussels sprouts being prime examples. In the UK especially we seem to have resigned those veggies to the ‘boil-to-death’ bitterness which makes them infamously unpopular with children. Roasting helps to caramelise and enhance the natural sugars plus it adds more texture. They become soft and buttery inside with burnished, crispy exteriors.

As carrots are naturally sweet, roasting makes them even more candy-like (no wonder carrots are so f-ing good in cakes! ….Now I’m feeling a strong need to make a roasted carrot cake ASAP). This sweetness can get a bit overwhelming and monotonous as a side so I added a yogurty dressing for contrast. It’s creamy and cooling thanks to the herbs with nuttiness from toasted pumpkin seeds. It swings back into a more savoury spectrum with a special little ingredient: Black garlic.

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt 2

Black garlic has become a lot more easily available thanks to the publication of the new Ottolenghi book, Plenty More, which calls for it in a few recipes. My mum and I hadn’t seen it in the supermarkets before reading through that book but now, thank goodness, it’s stocked in Sainsburys! The garlic isn’t raw, it’s slow roasted and milder with an added bonus of not giving you garlic breath. Cos mate, no matter how much parsley or lemon you eat after raw garlic touches your tongue, you’d still be tasting it for hours.

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Maple, Vanilla, Flax Roasted Almonds and Pecans

Maple, Vanilla, Flax Roasted Almonds and Pecans

 Hey hey! I’m back. I am alive. I didn’t mean to just leave for like 3 weeks but there was only so much I could do last weekend (when I got home) with jet lag and the impending return to school.

I also discovered that during the two weeks in which I was away, the sun started setting approx. 500% earlier than usual. Coupling that with the regular afternoon rain sessions we’ve had, by the time I was getting home after school this week, it was so dark that my camera couldn’t even focus on stuff. THAT’S PRETTY DARK GUYS.

But I did turn pecans and almonds into crystallised, golden, snack drugs for your eyes and for my eating.

Maple, Vanilla, Flax Roasted Almonds and Pecans

Can someone explain to me why it’s impossible to buy roasted almonds with interesting sweet flavours in the UK? I’m jealous of America with all of the vanilla roasted almond snack packs. I want snack packs! I want vanilla almonds! *grabby hands*

I’m pretty glad / mad that these are so easy to make. Glad because they’re DELICIOUS. Mad because the recipe makes a lot and I have no self control when it comes to eating these.

Pretty sure you know what I mean if you’ve had candied almonds or pecans before.

Maple, Vanilla, Flax Roasted Almonds and Pecans

In other news! I am…

..waiting for my New York film to be developed soo I’ll probably do a little post about the (ridiculous amount of ) food I ate soon.

.. stunned to be Saveur’s pick for their ‘Sites We Love’ this week  – there’s an interview thing here : )))))

.. also incredibly thrilled to say that there’s a little spotlight on me in the *just* released ‘Baked’ issue Nº 2 of Cherry Bombe Magazine (seriously one of the coolest magazines I’ve ever read. It’s all about women, food and fashion). Check out page 35, where you will also find a surprise fact,  eh heh heh 😉

Maple, Vanilla, Flax Roasted Almonds and Pecans


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Healthy Banoffee Parfaits (with date caramel & stove-top granola) (WF)

Banoffee Parfait title

As evident from my instagram, I am majorly into breakfast foods. Give me a piece of sunflower seed toast, a selection of nut butters and some maple syrup, and I can whip up a multi-layered toast snack that will kill any craving, for real.

Banoffee Parfait x-35

As I’m usually trying to cram food into my face as fast as possible in the mornings (firstly, I am hungrayyy, secondly I’ve only got about 10 minutes to make and eat my breakfast and coffee during the week), I go for yogurt and muesli (an addiction I’ve stuck to for pretty much 75% of my mornings for a year, so far). I make and eat my toast creations when I get home, as I have more time for ‘creativity’ a.k.a lets see how many layers we can get onto this piece of toast, and call it a meal.

So naturally, I’ve come to realise, I. LOVE. LAYERING. FOOD.

Granola + Banana

Date Caramel + Yogurt

(Heck yes I painted my nails for that .gif – look how un-chipped they are compared to how they usually are! Yes it was mango scented nail varnish, and cost £1 more than the regular stuff. Also, yep, I did manage to knock the bottle over, getting nail varnish ALL OVER MY HANDS. Do you realise how impossible it is to get it off of your skin without nail varnish remover? No no, water doesn’t. work. and you just end up spreading it onto more of your hand if you try and wash it off. Oh man, that was a stressful 10 minutes of my life there).

It’s so much fun, there are so many combinations and variations; with just one swap of an ingredient, you have a whole new thing! aaand that usually leads to a mega-inspiration-thought-train of new flavour combos and ingredients to layer.

Banoffee Parfait x-39

I also realised that I’m not one for sticking to meal criteria because I will eat breakfast at pretty much any time of day (and I usually enjoy eating it when it’s not morning…pancakes for dessert = correct life choices)

So with all the breakfast/dessert/layering/yogurt/museli thinking going on, it’s no wonder breakfast parfaits popped up. I think I’d heard of them before, and there’s something slightly parfait-like about those granola-yogurt-fruit compote cups they sell in M & S (although those really aren’t good). But where to begin with the flavours?

Banoffee Parfait

Well since a) it’s not really prime time for fruits at the mo, b) I’m British, and c) I still had my mind on breakfast/dessert type situations, I thought breakfast-ising (new word, yes?) banoffee pie would be an excellent place to start, cos it’s already a parfait wannabe. (just in case: Banoffee pie is a no-bake pie consisting of a crushed digestive biscuit and butter base, dulce de leche filling, sliced bananas and whipped cream top)

I didn’t think layering dulce de leche into this breakfast-dessert would be right, so I went with a quick, utterly addictive date caramel.

You will literally want to just sit around and eat it with a spoon. From the pan. Ending up burning your mouth, and then eating more because now you’ve burned your mouth, it doesn’t matter any more and you have no reason to not eat more hot caramel (I can neither confirm, nor deny, that this didn’t happen…)

Banoffee Parfait x-51

The whipped cream layer was easy enough to sub for a more breakfasty counterpart; changing it for yogurt and stirring in half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, for flavour and those gorgeous speckles (a.k.a nature’s sprinkles).

The buttery biscuit base was also an easy swap (hah, I had to throw that link in there. Ahhh classic Masterchef): I just made a mega easy, stove top granola sweetened with honey, and I threw in chopped almonds too, for extra crunch!

I layered it all up in some jars, put the lid on and shoved them into the fridge. I ate the left over components for my dessert.

This, my fine, freckled friendlings (okay, you’re probably not freckled, but it sounds better; Let’s just accept the alliteration and move on), was ah hundrahd pah-sahnt (if you didn’t catch that, that’s how I like to say 100%) ridiculously delicious.

Off the charts, for something so simple. Decadent breakfast or lighter dessert? You decide!

(I hope you realise that this means, come late-spring/summer, you will most likely have to face me throwing more of these at you, but layered with treats such as loganberries, peaches, rhubarb, coconut and pistachios)


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The Best Mac and Cheese (with tortellini)

Mac and Cheese-title

I have a confession,

It’s something only a few people that know me in real life know;

I hardly know anything about pop-culture (well, I do like pre-2006 when I used to watch TMF and theHits… now, I consider it an achievement if I know Rhianna’s latest song).

I don’t do it, I don’t know it, I can’t understand it.

Mac and Cheese-14

You know my Harry Styles / Taylor Swift reference in my deep-dish cookie post? Yeah that one. It’s literally the only celebrity news I know of (and I’m not even sure how I found out about it…)

Because of my complete and utter failure at knowing celebrity couples, rappers, names of songs, the names of the 1D crew (honestly, I don’t even want to know…), remembering actors names or any kind of meme reference to pop culture, any time I manage to use one in any situation I get a ‘ding’ from my friend Bea (a.k.a a point, but saying ‘ding!’ on the rare occasion that it happens is WAY more fun).

Do you know how many I’ve had since we started this a few months ago?



Mhmm, 3 points.

That is it.

1 for the whole Harry Styles thing I mentioned above, and 2 for understanding this.

If you think I’m exaggerating this, you’re in for a hilarious treat (I genuinely laugh SO MUCH whenever I see it probably because I created part of it, so I’m sorry if you don’t find it funny at all)

I’m not even making this up, when Bea was talking about Ryan Gosling, I actually said

“isn’t a gosling a baby swan or something?”

(p.s. I googled it later, its a baby goose)

and it led to a photoshop-off:



(Well, Bea used Paint… guess which one is hers AHAHAHA)  CRYING.

So, to further this whole thing, Bea challenged me to a pop culture quiz.

I did better than I expected! (p.s that’s a full 5 minutes of 3 British accents, you’re about to experience…):

Not too bad right? not until you see how many more I actually failed at:

SO. I think we all learned a little more about me today, didn’t we?

yeah, that was nice, it’s like we’ve bonded more now.


OKAY, to the mac and cheese guys!



.gif-ception!                        (I think I should get a ‘ding’ for that reference…)

wow, so sorry if you just came here for a recipe for cheese-covered carbs and got caught up in an unwanted amount of failure and ducks. I promise, I’m talking about the mac and the cheese from now on.

Well, it isn’t strictly mac and cheese because we didn’t have macaroni… so I used fusilli and penne instead. But that’s just a technicality right? You’ll forgive me once you know that I went and put FREAKIN TORTELLINI IN IT TOO. Uh, yeah.

Mac and Cheese-83

I used spinach and ricotta, but it would be bonkers with some kind of pumpkin-filled ravioli, or even…. four cheese ravioli…(? is that pushing it..? Do the cheese police come for you if you have pentuple cheese recipes?)

Regardless of that, I’ve found two other ingredients which will make the cheese sauce of you DREAMS. Ready?

Mac and Cheese-9

Cream cheese and buttermilk. Tangy dairy, in other words. They just makes it 1000% better, more cheesy, more tangy, more flavoury (word?). Just the best, basically.

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White Chocolate, Coconut and Banana S’more Bars (gluten free)

White Chocolate, Coconut and Banana S'more Bars


I’m back

I know, what is this madness? Izy make two posts in two days? Me no understand.

I AM ON A ROLL. (and making up for last week’s post absence)

and I’m making another s’more bar recipe ahahah (I obviously have a penchant for toasting marshmallows)

3White Chocolate, Coconut and Banana S'more Bars

Today, I’m guest posting over at the Free People’s BDLG 25 Blog with these insanely delish White Chocolate, Coconut and Banana S’more Bars! They’re gluten free and so simple;

They’re essentially a coconut macaroon topped with chocolate, marshmallows and a hidden roasted banana layer.

It’s roasted, people. Do you know how good banana tastes once it’s been shoved into an oven for half an hour?

White Chocolate, Coconut and Banana S'more Bars - TEARGIF


Everybody who tasted these bars adored them, even my friend who hated coconut! 😮

And be prepared for awesome because, guys…

…I broke out the scrabble tiles for the step-by-step photos (that’s what I was using them for, if you saw my pics on instagram a few weeks ago)

So click over to the BDLG 25 Blog get the recipe 😉


White Chocolate, Coconut and Banana S'more Bars - FORKGIF

Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars

Today, I’m mixing things up a little.

We’re going to start with a .gif,


If that isn’t enough to make you start weeping

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars


I think when it’s exam time, my body goes into full on crazy-food drive. Last year it was the cinnamon roll pull-apart bread.

This year.


Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

A complete 180 from those classy, intricate croissants.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars (I think that’s about 4 separate dessert entities combined)

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

What is a s’moreo? Well it’s just a s’more made with oreos instead of graham crackers.

But then I transformed into a cookie bar, and layered with peanut butter and chopped peanut butter cups too.


When I made these, I think that I just needed some soul food – and I’m pretty sure that these bars are what it would look like if I had a soul,

I’m joking.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

Obviously it would be cinnamon-sugar toast.

(p.s I’m kidding about the no-soul thing…)

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

My friend and I ended up spending a good amount of time talking in Napoleon Dynamite quotes this week, (and yes, yes we’re learning his dance) in case you were wondering about that youtube clip above……. (this video made me cry, several times; If you have no idea what I’m talking about because you haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite yet, GO DO IT NOW – well, after you’ve made these bars actually)

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars -ingredients

5 layers of pure enjoyment: crushed oreo base, peanut butter, milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows, chopped peanut butter cups. ( I totally tried writing the text on with chalk, and it TOTALLY failed.)

Minimal skill, time and ingredients required = maximal enjoyment.

Fair warning though – you might want to tell people that the bars contain oreos….that dark base can be extremely misleading (i.e. I think everyone thinks they’re majorly burnt when they see them)


You can totally see my glasses in the corner of that .gif… (and my glittery nail varnish 😀 )

p.p.s I got the most views in a month I’ve ever had last month, thanks for spreading the croissant tutorial around, I LOVE YOU ALL.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars


(I think that was the least cohesive piece of text I’ve ever written, my brains are scrambled from the bio, chem, maths and stats revish at the mo, I apologize)


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DIY Geneva Cookies – Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

 First of all – just want to acknowledge the fact that I constantly kept referring to these as ‘Genovia’ Cookies (when typing and thinking about them – I’ve managed not to actually say it yet).


As in “I-am-the-Princess-of-Genovia”-Genovia.

The made up land in the Princess Diaries.

Even now, when I think of the name without looking at the title of the post, I’m like “Okay, it’s not ‘Genovia’, what is it? Is it ‘Genova’? No that sounds wrong..” and I literally can’t remember that it’s ‘Geneva’ for a good 5 minutes.

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

These cookies must be messing with my mind – probably because they are SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS.

I can’t stop eating them.

Yesterday there were 50 cookies.

Today: 32.

and I don’t even know how it happened.

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


In the UK, you can’t find Pepperidge Farm Cookies – I know, it’s not like they’re the best cookies ever, but as far as packaged cookies go, Pepperidge Farm’s are pretty damn fine.

You can occasionally find a package of white chocolate chip ones in Whole Foods for like £3.50 (Errrm, no. Whole Foods – I love you, but I’m not going to pay that much for cookies), but it’s not like there are even any alternative British cookies that are remotely similar to things like Geneva cookies :(

So what do you do when you can’t buy them?

Give up and be thankful that you’re not going to have another package of cookies taunting you in the cupboard?

HAH. no!

Ima make them :)


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


It did occur to me that there could be a package of these cookies in one of the two huge boxes of goodies (this is one of them) that my awesome, amazing, super generous blogging friend Erica sent me for Christmas (OMG I’m so excited to open them, you cannot BELIEVE), but I knew I would have to wait for them, and I had some candy canes just begging to be crushed up.

So I made the cookies.

and then, I topped them with different things:

– chopped pecans (the classic)

– toasted, dessicated coconut

– and crushed candy canes with a drizzle of white chocolate…


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


Oh lordy,

I’m so incredibly glad I made them.

They are insanely good.

Even if you live in America with access to Geneva cookies, or have a package of Geneva cookies in your cupboard, you NEED to make these. They are 100 million times better:

– the cookie is buttery, crispy, light and crunchy. A bit like the Brussels Cookie in fact

– the chocolate (I used a mix of semi-sweet and 70%) was so much more chocolatey and smooth

– the toppings were fresh and mega flavourful


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


When you taste them, and realise how ridiculously good they are, you will laugh –


– at how you used to think that the packaged version was tasty.


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


Home made pretty much always wins.



DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

I devoured that hot chocolate – including ALL those mini marshmallows – just FYI.

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Toasted Vanilla Bean Raspberry Cakes with Almond and Coconut


Suspicious; that is how I feel at the moment.

Suspicious about the fact that my desk, over the past few weeks, has apparently become a wasp graveyard. Is it the jam that I ate on toast this morning which attracts them to me? Who knows..maybe its just my *flicks hair* sweet personality. Hah.
All I can say is that I’m finding a few scattered around / on my desk every few days. I can’t even save them because the’re already lifeless. It’s pretty unsettling stuff.

Suspicious for that split second when ‘temperature testing’ a cookie tray I just took out the oven (a.k.a touching it with my bare hands)…’so hot I can’t feel the pain yet, or cold?’

I’m suspicious of the size of the cake wedge left. I could have sworn it was more ‘Pac-man’ and less ‘6 o’clock’ shaped earlier.

Weather suspicion is a major constituent of my life. 60% chance of rain tomorrow eh iphone, last time you said that it was more like 200%. Pssht, I’m bringing my raincoat.

How comparatively easy one rando question in my maths homework was; I got an answer without 5 billion decimal places? What? that can’t be right..

…..and this oreo. Didn’t oreos used to be larger?


These cakes, what is that flavour?? It’s kind of fruity, fragrant and warm, must be some kind of magic in there.

Toasted Vanilla Bean Raspberry Cakes with coconut and almond from Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon on Vimeo.


Vanilla? It’s just the vanilla?

Well, a whole vanilla bean, cut up, lightly toasted and then ground up.

Man have I been missing out. Did you know vanilla could ever taste this good? I sure didn’t, I barely even notice it most of the time.

The perfect balance of earthy, autumnal flavours and fruity, tangy flavours are within these beauties. (FYI addictive cake batter alert).

Raspberries, coconut, almond and yogurt. Toasted vanilla.

It’s fricking delightful.

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How to Toast and Grind a Vanilla Bean (with step-by-step video and images)

Ever wonder to yourself “What the heck can I do with this vanilla bean now I’ve scraped the seeds out?”

Of course, you’ve probably heard of making your own vanilla extract by placing a few of those babies in some vodka for a few weeks, but pshht, sometimes, you just don’t have the patience to wait for that! So what can we do? WE IS GONNA TOAST IT UP BABY!

This works with whole vanilla beans (for those too liable to cut their fingers while scraping out the seeds *cough* me *cough*) or just the de-seeded vanilla pod! There’s intense vanilla goodness in the whole thing; but how do we access it quickly and easily? Let me explain!!

To get the flavour out of the vanilla there are two ways I’ve mentioned – soaking it in alcohol for a while and toasting:

  • When the vanilla is soaked in vodka, most of the flavoursome essential oils are dissolved into the alcohol, flavouring it – however this does take a while, and the alcohol dilutes the flavour so we resort to toasting!
  • You may be familiar with the idea of toasting certain things such as nuts, coconut, oats, flours ect… to increase the flavour of the ingredients  this is done because when you toast something (i.e. heat it for a short period of time with a relatively high heat, until kinda crisp) the oils inside the ingredient heat up, and are released. Fat is a flavour enhancer and carrier, it makes things be damn tasty… you know what I’m talking about. Then by grinding the bean up, we are increasing the surface area:volume ratio (basically, there is more delicious surface area of the vanilla bean available to our tastebuds), giving us access to the vanilla-scented-oil within!
It’s as simple (or complicated…) as that.
This method literally takes about 5 minutes from start to finish, you don’t even need a fancy grinder to get the vanilla bean to a fine texture, a pestle and mortar works wonders!! This toasted vanilla bean powder is pretty dang intense flavour wise and will give your baked goods that awesome vanilla bean speckled look (don’t worry, it doesn’t make them look burnt or weirdly coloured)!

I use a whole toasted vanilla bean in my new video and upcoming post for Toasted Vanilla Bean Raspberry Cakes with coconut and almond. The first few scenes of the video show the prep for the toasted vanilla bean, so give it a look if you want:

Toasted Vanilla Bean Raspberry Cakes with coconut and almond from Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon on Vimeo.


You can also grind it into sugar to make really flavourful vanilla sugar! I used a pestle and mortar for mine, but you can easily pulse it together in a food processor or just rub it into the sugar with your fingertips
Also, a quick shout out to Xanath Ice Cream in San Francisco where I got 2 free vanilla beans from; you can get ’em too if you go into the store and ask :)

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Toasted Coconut-Hazelnut Butter (+ how to clean your blender in 10 seconds)

If one of my friends orders an ice cream flavour I was considering, even if I wasn’t dead set on getting it, I suddenly become slightly angry that they’ve ordered it because now I have to get something different (I don’t like to have the same things as other people in certain situations too).

This happened in a weird way the other day when I managed to sabotage myself.

I had used up most of my hazelnut butter on the filling of these delicious things – and as I was scooping it out of the jar, I was silently starting to panic. Seriously, ‘I’m running out of hazelnut butter, what the heck am I going to do!?’

It’s not even like I’ve been addicted to it or anything, it has literally taken me 5 months to eat this one, tiny jar of it. But I was just freaking out about the fact that I wouldn’t have any more.

I realised I could just make some myself – but then started thinking about how many other people have a recipe for hazelnut butter on their blog.

REAL TIME UPDATE: Okay a huge fly-that-I-thought-was-a-bee just flew in front of my computer screen, and I majorly jumped. Man! Talk about scary-and-a-half!

Anyways, as I told you, with certain things (especially food) I don’t like to copy other people. So halfway through making hazelnut butter, I just thought ‘Well coconut is pretty tasty, I can add some in and make it a coconut butter too. Actually, I’ll even toast the coconut so there’s more coconut flavour.’ which is how the most delicious nut butter ever was made, it’s even spreadable straight from the fridge!!!

(p.s. if you find some other recipe posted before mine for  a Toasted Coconut-Hazelnut Butter, can you just leave me in my unembarrassed ignorance? What you don’t know, can’t hurt you and make your brain laugh at you all night)

Now, you may be thinking, ‘how the heck can I come up with some magical way worthy enough to get this coconut-hazelnut butter into my face?’ (except on toast, apples or with a spoon). Oh, have I got you covered man; I have some recipe-cards (ha, unintentional pun now intended) up my sleeves coming soon…*

Ooh, ooh, one more thang: are you super annoyed when having to clean blenders and other Indiana-Jones-esque machines? YOU CAN TOTALLY CLEAN IT WITHOUT HAVING TO STICK YOUR HAND INTO THAT DEATH TRAP, and it only takes a few seconds to do. Its a win-win-win sitch:
easy, delicious nut butter, no cut fingers, clean up extra fast.

Hoorayyyy! Read the text below the typed recipe (after the break) to find out how!

* Check out these Banana, Honey and Toasted Coconut-Hazelnut Butter Crostini with Fleur de sel

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