Dessert: Serves 12

This has to be tasted to be believed; it makes an amazing deep chocolatey dessert. Serve this to your guests and see if anyone can guess the secret ingredient – black olives. It's vital to use pitted olives that have been soaked in brine, rather than any that have been marinated in herbs or oil.

For the crust

200g/6 1/2oz fresh coconut (or desiccated if fresh is unavailable)

125g/4oz ground cashews

1 banana


300g/10oz plain black olives, pitted

450g/14 1/2oz dates

30g/1oz carob powder (a chocolate substitute)

1 tablespoon grain coffee

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

180ml/6fl oz water

2 tablespoon powdered psyllium husks

To make the crust, chop the coconut in the food processor until it is completely broken down. Add the ground cashews and process until mixed. Put the banana in a chunk at a time, just enough to hold it all together. Use this mixture to line the base of a 23cm (9in) cake tin.

To make the filling, break down the olives in the food processor. Add dates and process until a paste. Then add carob, grain coffee, cinnamon and vanilla, and blend thoroughly. Keeping the machine running, pour in the water. Add the psyllium gradually while the machine is on. After a minute, turn the machine off. Immediately spoon mixture on to coconut base before psyllium starts to set. Spread out with a knife, and leave in the fridge for a few hours to firm.