Honey-Rosewater-Pistachio cake (GF, DF)
Baklava and assorted Middle-Eastern pastries weren’t my favorite when I was growing up. It was the token sweetmeat you took to someone’s house when visiting family-friends or traveling back home. Fortunately for me, I did develop an appreciation for it once I moved to Toronto, maybe because I missed home or was already acclimatized to its sweetness. In fact, I quite fell in love with the crumbly crust and nutty, honey-soaked filling once my palate decided to grow up and be an adult, and Toronto is full of incredible Middle-Eastern bakeries that make fantastic Baklavas.
The inspiration for this cake came when I was knee-deep in creating gluten-free, dairy-free and sometimes sugar-free recipes for A. He was on a high dosage of antibiotics for a very long time, during which his immune system and gut flora were severely compromised. Antibiotics kill the good and the bad bacteria, thus leaving the body susceptible to a host of sensitivities and intolerance. Someday I hope to bring myself to write more about it, but if it wasn’t for my kick-ass made-from-scratch bone broth and probiotics, he wouldn’t be back to normal today. Having tried a whole host of naturopath remedies, I figured I would put him on a new diet plan to flush out the toxins in his body. This involved systemically removing certain food groups from his diet and re-introducing them slowly. It was a painful process and not very easy to juggle with a fussy patient and a full-time job. Nevertheless, it was also an exciting challenge and helped me clean out the junk in my fridge and pantry.
Making a meal or dessert completely gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free sometimes leaves much to be desired for taste. Thanks to the wonderful community of Instagram and Pinterest, I was able to draw inspiration from a lot of people who were in the same boat as me. For a special occasion, I wanted to make a Baklava inspired cake for him. It wasn’t easy but I knew that coconut flour and tapioca flour, when used in moderation, can provide structure to gluten-free cakes. I used almond flour as the base, and substituted olive oil for butter. This cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sweetend with only honey. Flavors of rose water and pistachio really tied everything together in the perfect pink bow. You’re going to love this guilt-free treat.