Lauren Lovatt's rose, cardamom and CBD shortbread recipe

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As part of our Veganuary series, we caught up with plant-based chef and founder of The Plant Academy, Lauren Lovatt, to explore all things plant-based. Here is Lauren’s fabulous recipe for Rose, Cardamom and CBD shortbread. A great way to get into CBD baking, it’s vegan, gluten-free and totally delicious!

Lauren’s recipe

If you ever needed inspiration to adopt a plant-based diet, Lauren Lovatt provides it.

A trained chef and founder of The Plant Academy, a plant-based cookery school in Hackney, London, she has been developing amazing vegan recipes for years. Just one look at her amazing vegan dishes has us wanting to brush up our culinary skills.

This recipe is taken from Lauren’s Plant Academy recipe ebook, which is available on the Plant Academy website. The Plant Academy offers in-depth courses on all aspects of plant-based cooking, and has just launched their online ‘Plant One’ course. It’s self-paced and fully online, so you can complete the modules whenever you have time. Perfect for getting through January and February lockdowns!


CBD baking

Lauren’s recipe features a classic flavour combination of rose and cardamom, which puts us in mind of fragrant teas and Middle Eastern-inspired sweets. However, she also uses an ingredient which is new to us when it comes to cooking - CBD.

CBD, or cannabidoil, is a naturally occurring chemical compound which comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. This is the same plant from which marijuana is derived, but they are two completely different substances. CBD is not psychoactive, but it does appear to have some calming effects.

For this reason, a lot of people rate it very highly for treating anxiety and even offering pain relief. However, at this point the evidence is mostly anecdotal.

CBD can be taken straight or added into beauty products and your cooking.

If you do want to try making some edible goodies with your CBD, there are a couple of golden rules to bear in mind.

Firstly, heat might degrade CBD, so follow in Lauren’s footsteps and use it in recipes that don’t require baking.

Secondly, CBD is fat-soluble, so make sure you’re including a healthy fat in your recipe, too. Here, Lauren has gone for coconut oil.


Erbology Rose Water

Lauren’s recipe also includes a hint of rose in the chocolate ganache part of her healthy millionaire shortbread. Here, we’ve used Erbology Organic Rose Water, which is available in a rose water shot or a larger 250ml bottle.

As well as making a flavourful, fragrant addition to cooking, rose water also has benefits for your health. It may be able help with everything from a sore throat to eye problems, scarring and menstrual pain. However, most of us know it as a calming mood-booster.

It can also be applied directly to the skin, as a soothing skin toner.

Healthy millionaire shortbread

We love this recipe because it combines new and exciting flavour combinations with a format we all know and love: the millionaire shortbread.

Classically, this afternoon treat is made with lots of butter, sugar and cream which, unfortunately, means it’s not really a good everyday snacking option.

Lauren’s version, however, is gluten-free and uses no added refined sugar (although you should keep an eye on the sugar content of the chocolate you use - it will vary depending on the brand).

The raw caramel is made with soaked dates for sweetness and flavour, while hemp seed butter and coconut oil provide a silky smooth texture.

If you like, you can also add a little Ashwagandha to the shortbread base for an added calming effect.

‘This shortbread is designed to bring a moment of calm to any day,’ says Lauren. ‘I hope you enjoy this mellow mid-afternoon treat!’

For the base:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • Ashwagandha (optional)
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Water
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1-2 pipettes CBD
  • A good pinch of salt

For the hemp caramel:

  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 cups dates, soaked
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla, seeds or essence
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

For the ganache:

  1. To make the shortbread base, first line a tray or container with baking parchment or cling film. Now, process the first set of ingredients together turning the oats into a fine flour. Now add the water and coconut oil and CBD to bring it together. We are looking for a dough that is easy to roll into a ball.
  2. At this point, add the hemp seeds, process again and season with salt. Taste .Once happy, press the dough into a mould about 1 cm thick. Make sure it is nice and even, then set in the fridge.
  3. To make the hemp caramel, first turn the hemp seeds into a butter in your blender or food processor by processing them alone until a butter forms . Then add the soaked dates and blend until very smooth, adding a little date water as needed. Once smooth, add the vanilla and coconut oil and process again. Pour over the base and set in the fridge.
  4. To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate to your bowl with the maple and rose. Then, heat the coconut milk until simmering. Pour the milk over the chocolate and stir to melt. Once the ganache is silky smooth and glossy pour it over the slightly set caramel and leave to set in the fridge.
  5. Once set, cut into squares and serve simply on a plate dusted with cacao.

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