Pecan and maple syrup marzipan – low fodmap

Ok, so why do we need a marzipan based on pecans? Well, marzipan is based on almonds and these are limited on the low fodmap diet, it also contains honey – it would be very difficult to know how much FODMAP sugars are ingested with most Christmas marzipan containing dishes – so I thought I would see if I could make an option where amount consumed doesn’t matter (from a FODMAP content anyway!) Now, although Italians probably would balk at this statement but I think my version is actually better than the original. It is really tasty and a good treat for a Christmas winters evening whilst avoiding the winter weather. Or gift wrapped for friends or family – everyone likes a home made treat.

This dish is certainly not a healthy option – despite being high in nuts and containing a natural sugar – maple and ‘brown sugar’ – it is a sweet and should be treated as such. Too many people on Instagram post recipes for ‘energy balls’ and state they are healthy because they are based on natural ingredients – sugar is sugar – despite the source. Eat sparingly and Christmas is a good time to partake.


  • 200g finely ground pecans
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 3 Medium egg yolks
  • 2 tsp liquid glucose
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp glycerine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Grind the pecans in a food processor until smooth and place them in a bowl with the sieved icing sugar – then mix together.

In a saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, egg yolks, glucose, maple syrup, glycerine and vanilla, then cook over a low heat whisking constantly until pale, light and boiling. Take care as this is HOT.

Pour the above liquid over the pecan mixture and stir well to make a smooth paste. Leave to cool, then wrap in cling film.

Makes 20 balls – I have coated them in gold and silver powder to make them great for a gift. They are just as nice eaten with a bit of hygge – curled up in front of a roaring fire with a good book . Enjoy.

Easter with food intolerance

Simnel Cake

What is Simnel cake? Simnel cake is a cake that is traditionally consumed on Easter Sunday, it is a light fruit cake with a toasted marzipan topping. The Lancashire version is a particularly fine version – recipes I have found don’t contain saffron, you can leave it out if you wish but I felt it added a nice flavouring and colour to the cake. It is a festival cake once used for mothering Sunday – see a history of the cake here

I hope you have a happy holiday this weekend – despite the cold weather!



240g of self-raising wheat free/gluten-free flour

1 flat tsp of cinnamon*

1/4 of grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp of ground cloves*

1 teaspoon of gluten-free dairy free** cocoa powder

50g of pecan nuts

50g of sultanas

4 eggs

200g of milk free margarine

Large pinch of saffron

200g of golden caster sugar


Pour approximately 1 tablespoon of boiling water on to the saffron and set aside to cool.

Weigh all other ingredients into a mixing bowl, add saffron and liquid mix, mix well.

Place in a paper lined seven-inch baking tin and bake till a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.

Trim the top of the cake flat and turn upside down to give an even working surface. Cover with rolled out marzipan* (or ready roll icing sugar* if you are following a low FODMAP diet – you can colour it pale yellow to simulate marzipan if you wish!) Roll 11 equal balls of marzipan or icing sugar to represent the disciples (minus Judas) and if you are using marzipan place the cake under a grill to brown the marzipan.


Enjoy a small piece with a nice cup of tea!

**Milk free see , lactose free, wheat free, gluten-free, Low FODMAP (without marzipan.) *Ensure these ingredients are not contaminated with wheat or gluten.