Pumpkin seed and oats cake

Ingredients for 7 – 8 portions:

Oat, sugar and tinned fruits are from the parcel
  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g breakfast oats
  • 100 self raising flour
  • 50g sugar
  • salt
  • 50g dairy free butter – melted
  • 200ml rice milk
  • 175g mandarin segments
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


Heat the oven at 200C.

Drain the mandarin segments and set them aside. Do not throw away the syrup.

Using a blender, blend together at once, the pumpkin seeds, oats, 40g sugar, melted butter, 200ml milk. Once that is done, pour the mix in a bowl and sieve in the self raising flour and the baking powder. Add in a pinch of salt and mix until the batter is completely lumps free.

If you’ve got ramekins, grease them then spoon in each of them 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cake mix.

Place a segment of mandarin in some of the ramekins before putting them in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

In the meantime, prepare the mandarin sauce with a pinch of dried ginger powder.  Melt the remaining 10g of sugar in as small milk pan. Let it go slightly golden then add in the mandarin segments with ginger and 3 table spoons of the mandarin syrup. Keep stirring until the liquid has evaporated and the remaining liquid is slightly heavy. This should take about 5 minutes.

The Mandarin sauce

The Mandarin sauce

Serve as suggested below and allow the cake to soak in a bit of the sauce. Enjoy.

This… is egg free!


Christmassy Victoria

Christmassy spongeI was invited for an interview on Croydon Radio and decided to take a dish from the book with me, so I made a Christmassy version of the Victoria cake. You can listen to the interview here  It is a 2hrs show with DJ Tom C I am on from 1h20mins.

Please click here to see the full recipe for the sponge cake.

To make is Christmassy, you will need:

  • 1 quarter of a small pomegranate
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 small pack of crispy M&Ms
  • 3 plastic holy bush leaves
  • Strawberry jam
  • 12g Dr Oetker Jelly granules

This cake will serve 8 to 10 people with a portion worth 25 to 60p depending on if you are on a low budget or get your ingredients from a foodbank.


If I had most ingredients from a Foodbank, my extras would be as follows:

DSC06281The sponge mix 25p, I got 3 pomegranates from my local street market for £1 so the quarter I have used only cost me 10p.

DSC06279From the same market I got 20 Kiwis for £1.00 so, using 2 of them cost me 10p.

DSC06276I found the holy bush on a Christmas wreath I found in the 99p store lets value the leaves at 10p

DSC06248Then the M&Ms pack at 70p and the pack contains about 30 pieces. I used 3p worth for my cake.

All the extra used total up to less than £1.00.

If I was on a low budget my shopping list would be:

Cake mix is 25p from Sainsbury’s, dark chocolate is 79p from Lidl, butter (Stork) cost £1 and a good quality jam costs 99p to £1 either at the 99p or pound shop. I could also use supermarkets’ own brand at less than 50p. I got my pack of eggs from the 99p store. A pack of 10 fresh eggs at 99p and I only needed 2 of them as I needed 4 sponge cakes to stack.


Before you start making the cake and chocolate covering, make sure that all the prep is done as all goes very quick once the sponge is baked.

Grenades and Kiwis Kiwis: peel rinse and cut them as neatly as you can. Dab them with kitchen tissue and set aside.

Pomegranate: cut and gently remove the jewels without popping them. Gently rinse and place on a kitchen towel to dry.

Holy leaves: cut and remove the inside of the leaves as you will only use the out lines. Rinse and set aside.


Now that all the prep is done, follow the instructions on here… after you have covered the cake with chocolate, give it 2 to 3 minutes, then, start decorating. You have to wait for the chocolate to set a bit to avoid the decoration sliding off the top of the cake.Cake ready for deco

First place the Kiwis in the centre and hold them there with a tooth pic.

DSC06253Now carefully place the leaves and fill them with the grenade jewels, then, the M&Ms. Tap each item gently to make them stick on the chocolate.DSC06255

Place all in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the jelly. The jelly will help to glue every element of the decoration to the cake and also prevent the fruits from looking pale.

DSC06288To prepare the jelly, place 1 sachet of jelly in a small cup and add 5-7 table spoons of boiling water then stir quickly until all the granules melt.

Immediately get your cake out of the fridge and using you patisserie paint brush gently paint your fruits with the jelly. Just one layer will do. Place the cake back in the fridge and it will be ready to serve in 30 minutes.

The Bank Cook's Christmassy Victoria
The Bank Cook’s Christmassy Victoria

If you can, get the children involved and they will have fun doing it.

Et voila! You are done! Hap-pee Christ-Mass!

The Bank Cook update

Thank you so much for visiting the blog today. As I write , there have been over 3700 visitors to this blog. And the book has been mentioned in the Times UK, the Church Times, the Croydon Advertiser, Families First Mag and few local newspapers across the UK and a radio interview on a national radio.

the Bank Cook in the Advertiser paper
the Bank Cook in the Advertiser paper

I do hope that you have managed to print few copies and donated them to your local foodbank and various food parcels distributors. I understand that offices where food vouchers are given have also been giving away copies of The Bank Cook, which is great!

I have been receiving feedbacks and one of the most recurring ones were of small charities requesting a version of the book which will not use so much ink.

I have now done it and hope it will be much easier for you to print copies. Please click on the link below to open and save a copy before printing.

Recipes for food bank users – no background low res

If you are from a company which would like to donate copies of the book, please be sure to add your logo or info at the back so people would know that you were the kind donor. You should use the original version of the book. Click here to see it.

The printing guidelines remain the same as previously and if you need a higher resolution, please email me to nashjulie9@gmail.com or DM me via twitter @hjulienne.

any bread will do... this is a tuna & sweetcorn
any bread will do… this is a tuna & sweetcorn

For those who think you cannot reproduce these recipes based on look of the pictures, could I ask you to just take few minutes and just read the rice puddings page and the tuna & sweetcorn page? That will give you an idea on how easy the recipes are and the extra added are £1.00 or less.

Rice pudding with Kiwi (0.20p) and shortbread
Rice pudding with Kiwi (0.20p) and shortbread

Unfortunately, everything is well presented and that might be misleading, but please just take a minute to read through one or 2 recipes and you will see how much more you might get out of the food parcels.

printout of the book
Me holding a printout of the book

Thanks again for checking in.

Every blessing.


Marmalade sponge sandwich

Ingredients for 5 portions:

  • Tesco  values sponge mix
  • 100g dark chocolate tablet
  • 20ml vegetable oil (or hazelnut oil)
  • 1 orange
  • 150g marmalade
  • 1 egg
  • Butter for greasing


Carefully follow the instructions on the sponge mix package to prepare the two halves of the sandwich. Before pouring the mix to bake, grate and mix in the zest of 1 orange.

Once the haves are baked, leave to cool for few minutes and turn both of them upside down.

Score the base of both cakes and evenly spread the jam on them making sure that it is well absorbed. Now put both cakes on top of each other on the jammed side. Set aside.

Ingredients for the chocolate covering

Preparing the chocolate covering. Break the tablet of chocolate in small pieces and place them in a heat-proof bowl. Add the 20ml of oil. Now, in a small sauce pan, boil 300ml of water and place the bowl containing the chocolate pieces in it while it is still simmering.

Gently stir the contents of the bowl until all the pieces of chocolate are melted and all what is left is a very smooth, rich and glossy chocolate sauce.

The sponge is covered with chocolate

Now place the sponge sandwich on a rack or a plate, then pour the chocolate sauce on it making sure to cover all the top and the sides of the cake too. One single layer of the sauce is just enough to keep it light. Decorate the cake before placing it in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden.  30 minutes to 1 hours should be enough depending on the thickness of the chocolate covering.

The cake above was decorated with heart shapes filled with white chocolate shavings on the outer and poppy seeds in the inner heart. The fresh orange piece were lightly dipped in caramel before being placed on the edges of the cake. Make sure to decorate your cake before placing it the fridge to harden.

Share… on its own no distraction needed

This would be a great birthday cake or one to offer to friends.


La ratatouille et du couscous

La ratatouille et du couscous

Ingredients for 6 portions:

  • 1/2 medium aubergine
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper
  • 250g chickpeas (300g)
  • 1 tin vegetable soup (400g)
  • 1 medium onion
  • Garlic granules
  • 1 vegetable stock
  • Vegetable oil


This dish is meatless so, roughly cut the aubergine, peppers and onion in big pieces and set aside. Rise the chickpeas and open the vegetable soup. Set aside ready to use.

In a deep sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, then, soften and brown the aubergines and onions together with a pinch of dry thyme (2-3 minutes).


Now add the peppers and chickpeas and cover the lot with 500ml of vegetable stock. Cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat. After the 15 minutes, empty the contents of the tinned soup in the pot with garlic, salt black pepper. Stir, cover and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes on medium heat still, making sure to stir occasionally to avoid burns.

Browned dry couscous

Meanwhile prepare the couscous. Put 250g of couscous in a deep pan with a 25g knob of butter or 2 table spoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Place the pan on medium heat to brown the couscous a bit. This should take only about 5 minutes do not leave this unattended as the couscous burns very quick. Stir constantly for the whole 5 minutes. What we are looking for is a nuttier taste to the couscous. So, when this is done, remove from the hob and pour on it 250ml of boiled water. Stir to make sure that water has covered every single grain, then cover the pan with its lid. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes, the time for the couscous to absorb the water and double in volume.

Using a fork, fluff the couscous which by now should not be wet. Serve as suggested.

Bon appetit!

Vegan Stir fried rice


Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 250g white rice
  • 250g broccoli
  • 100g aubergine
  • 50g leek
  • 50g celery
  • 1 and half fresh tomato
  • 1 onion
  • Garlic granules
  • 1 chilli pepper (optional)
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dry lemongrass powder
  • Salt


Precook the rice following the instructions on the package.

Floret the broccoli, cut the aubergines and tomatoes, cut the celery and leek, dice the onion, set all that aside.

In a wok, heat 3 tablespoons of oil, then fry onions, aubergine, Leek and celery at once for 4 minutes stirring continuously.  Now add the tomatoes, broccoli, chilli and lemon grass. Stir, then add the precooked rice and 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce. Mix well, adjust the seasoning, stir from bottom to top of the wok for 5 minutes. Take away from the heat and serve. Enjoy.

Serving suggestion
Serving suggestion

I may not have much, but, I am Royalty.