Ex-CK Verbier and current CK Rock chef, Laura Pope, is now the queen of all things gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan. She brings fun and flavour into foods that many once thought had to be bland. Laura has even brought out her own "Gluten Free Me" app for iPad! And it's free to download!

"As a private chef I've cooked for lots of people who are limited by what they can eat, with gluten being a real problem for many. I've often been asked to release my 'free from' recipes to the public, but I've resisted - up until now... How could I justify keeping these dishes to myself?  So now it's time to let you in on some of my best kept secrets - I hope you love them as much as I enjoy creating them." 

This month, Laura shares her delicious gluten free chocolate Florentine recipe with us... 

"These are chewy, yet crunchy, and sweetly satisfying with a little chilli kick. I love Florentines, which is why I went through many test batches to get the texture and flavour just right."

Makes 12 cookies

Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Plus cooling time


  • 75g (2⅝ oz) dairy-free spread, or butter, if you’re not avoiding dairy
  • 70g (2½ oz) caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 50g (1¾ oz) flaked almonds
  • 100g (3½ oz) dried mixed fruit
  • 100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground whole allspice
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes

Preparation steps

Heat the oven to 160℃ (320℉) fan oven or 180℃ (355℉) normal oven.
Gently heat the dairy-free spread (or butter) and sugar together in a pan until the sugar dissolves.
Mix in the flour, almonds and dried fruit.
Put a teaspoonful of the mixture into the bases of a 12-hole non-stick muffin or tart tin.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and leave to cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave, add the allspice and chilli and mix well. Spread the chocolate over the flat side of the cookies and allow the chocolate to harden before serving.
Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Laura's "Gluten Free Me" app for iPad can be downloaded for free from the App Store. And you can find out more about Laura and her culinary adventures on her website, by clicking here.


Bon appétit!