Pomegranate Rose Cake (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Pomegranate Rose Cake (Vegan & Gluten-free)


Coming back to writing posts can be quite a struggle for me. Just saying hi seems silly and I end up always trying to explain myself for my absence here. I know the frequency is a little bit irregular lately however it is not because of a lack of inspiration but mostly my plate has been full. Full of life, projects, interests and paths merging and crossing along my path. I take a different turn sometimes and then I realize I want to be on this blogging path again and I miss it. I’ve been calling in different unexpected things into my life which I’m grateful for and consequently I’ve been doing a lot of teaching. Today I’m sharing  a cake for the heart. When I see it, it makes me smile because it looks so romantic. Originally I wanted to call it Persian Love Cake like the inspiration behind it but I opted for Pomegranate Rose Cake because the two components play the major starring role in this cake, at least visually.

Since teaching is something that seems to come to me naturally, I realize in many ways it is the best way to get my message across. As I explore what my message is I realize that it is simply to spread beauty. Pomegrantes and roses are both so beautiful and just seeing them uplifts my spirits. Things can be that simple. Just adding a little or a lot of beauty to your plate or wherever. Basically I believe we all crave beauty and connection and communicating that in person has the power to change the way information is absorbed. Watching someone cooking on a  YouTube video is not going to bring me the same results as a teacher teaching me live. All the senses are at work and not to mention the tasting that goes on. That alone is probably the single most important part of learning how to cook. Knowing this has changed the way my food tastes dramatically.

My desire to share what I know is growing and I feel that I can create a greater impact on the lives of more people by teaching. Thinking about how things are going to develop are secondary at the moment. I really want to simply enjoy how things evolve and see where things take me. It does fill me with a sense of purpose and happiness to be able to share my knowledge. Hopefully many people can benefit from my knowledge and spread the word of the benefits of a plant-based diet to others.

Other times I spend days just conjuring up ideas about what to post here and the ideas are overflowing. Then there are periods of silence and then I turn to others things. It all sounds unspectacular but figuring out this process of how creativity works is always fascinating to me. Ideas are like planting seeds and then waiting for the sprout to appear can time quite a bit of time. This Persian Love cake was such a process as well. It started off with the name and I knew “that must be delicious”.

After the initial inspiration the next part of the process is usually doing some research as to what ingredients and techniques  it is comprised of and what flavours are involved. From there on I make a decision based on the availability of ingredients and their seasonality. Traditionally Persian love cake is a pistachio and rose water based cake but I wanted to implement a very Persian or Iranian ingredient that I especially love to use in the fall, the pomegranate.

The jewel-like arils are to me the epitome of beauty in food and are just so lovely in combination with roses. To really boost the bright red colour I opted for using a super nutritious vegetable. Beets add a vibrant hot pink/red colour and also a lot of nutrients and a pleasant earthiness. If you haven’t tried beets in a sweet context it may seem strange the first time but I can honestly say that it works. Creating balance as a contrast to the he earthiness I always pair it with something citrusy or sour and the pomegranates do just that. You could also add some lemon juice and zest if you like your desserts tart.

Finally, I encourage you to adapt the recipe to your taste. You could possibly substitute frozen raspberries for the beetroot which would change the taste a lot but I’m sure it would taste delicious. Enjoy the process! It makes the difference between good and great and if you share this recipe on social media don’t forget to tag me #vegan__art. Thanks for stopping by!

Much love, Aleksandra

Pomegranate Rose Cake (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Base ingredients:

100 g (1/2 cup) raw unsalted pistachios, shelled

100 g (3/4 cup) dried finely shredded coconut
2 Tbsp (30 g) ground flaxseed

1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
100 g (about 6-8) soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 can coconut milk, reserving two tablespoons of the coconut water
30 g cornstarch
1 cup chopped raw red beet
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar or your choice of raw liquid sweetener
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
1 1/2  tsp rosewater
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp raw coconut butter or coconut oil (warmed to liquid)1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds (divided)
fresh or dried rose petals for garnish
1. Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil.
2. To prepare the crust, process the pistachios, coconut, flaxseeds, cardamom and sea salt in a food processor until it forms fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
3. To make the filling, in a food processor combine the coconut milk , beet, coconut nectar, sea salt vanilla, rose, and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut butter, and process for a minute until blended.
4. Combine the reserved coconut water with the corn starch. Bring the mixture to a simmer (not boil) and add in the corn starch mixture stirring continuously until it starts to thicken. Remove immediately from the heat. Add the cornstarch mixture to the filling and blend the whole mixture again for about a minute.
5. To assemble the cake, pour the filling over the crust. Place the cake in the fridge to firm up for about 4 hours until set before unmolding.

Garnish the top of the cake with the pomegranate seeds around the top and bottom of the cake on the plate.  Scatter rose petals on it as well. Store the cake in the fridge.


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