A couple of weeks back I had the absolute pleasure of working alongside an old friend on some recipe shoots.

Myself and Maria met whilst working in the French Alps in our early adult days, however on reflection of the mischief, we were definitely not quite adults.

It had actually been a few years since we had seen each other, but distantly admiring oneĀ another’s Instagram accounts from afar. Both residing in London (Maria sometimes on the Isle of White) and both passionate about food…. I mean, …who isn’t really!?

I was super chuffed when Maria contacted me to collaborate, her photography and styling is so enticing, and her style is exactly how I would like to be able to shoot.

We decided to meet for some dinner and a long overdue catch up. A few G & T’s later and some delicious food from local restaurant Bintang,Ā a local BYOB restaurant,Ā  weĀ set a date to combine forces at my Camden abode.

Off on my my travels soon, I need to leave my little flat which I am feeling a bit sentimental about. However, seeing these pictures of my cooking in my home is a lovely little parting gift and at least I have captured some memories though another cameras lens.

Deciding what to make was tricky, I had all sorts planned but soon realised time would not permit and also Maria would need to shoot the method process too….. No over night marinading!

I used my work colleagues as guinea pigs on the St Clements cake and tweaked the recipe to have Ā a little more coconut flour so it was less moist. I am really happy with the way the recipe worked out the second time.

When Maria arrived, I was SO excited by her box of props. Scallop edge crockery and lovely vintage spoons. Instantly I knew the photos would be considered and alluring.

Recently, Maria posted her cutlery collection below;

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 00.58.42

I am sure you can now appreciate the prop envy?

It was also great having someone take shots so I could focus on the cooking.Ā I always wish I had a kitchen side kick to capture the flour tossing action shots!


We had a great time shooting and as a mutual Icon, namely David Bowie, Ā had recently passed it seemed appropriate to listen to his sweet music all day. The perfect soundtrack to a fun filled day.

Of course, the best part of the shoot of course was getting to eat the cake after.

Thanks again Maria – Can’t wait to do it again soon!

For those of you not familiar with Maria yet, be sure to visit her website below;

Don’t forget to follow her on Instagram:


Maria Bell Photography


You will need 2 x sandwich cake tins and an electric whisk.


Lemon & Orange curd:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 3 table spoons of sifted arrowroot flour (if not paleo, cornflour is a good gluten free sub)


  • I x pack of toasted flaked almonds
  • Candied lemons and orange -click me to see recipe.Ā 

Begin by greasing the tins with the coconut oil and place to one side.

In a mixing bowl, add the coconut milk, eggs, agave nectar, lemon and orange zest. Whisk Ā together for 2 minutes ensuring the mix is evenly distributed.



Maria Bell Photography

Empty the coconut flour, baking powder and almond flour into the mix and gently fold.

Pour equal amounts of the mix into the cake tins and place into the oven at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Ensure to swap the tins over if on different shelves half way through.

Remove the cakes and leave them to cool

Whilst the cakes are cooling, squeeze the lemon and orange juice into a pan. Add the agave nectar and place on the heat. Gently sift the arrowroot into the pan (make sure you sift, it’s too lumpy otherwise). This will gradually thicken, as it approaches a liquid curd form take off the heat.


Remove the cakes from the tins once completely cool and use a knife to spread a think layer of the lemon and orange curdĀ onto one layer. Sprinkle a few toasted almonds and place theĀ 2nd sponge on top.

Spread the rest of the curd over the cake and smooth around edges and top. Coat in the almonds and pat them onto the side of the cake.



Top with theĀ candied oranges and lemons

Yumm Yummy Yummy, I’ve got cake in my tummy.






Comments (4)

  1. Great Team work!! Nico, you should take Maria along on your South East Asia tour, you girls would make wonders!

  2. Ahhhh Nico! It was SUCH a treat to be able to collaborate with you (and eat all your food, seriously I would eat it every damn day). Loved this post & hope to work with you again soooooon xxxxxx

  3. Pingback: PORK BELLY PENANG CURRY WITH CAULI RICE | The Pea & The Spoon

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