Hippie Baklava Cake

5 Dec

Recipe Source: For the Love of Food

Baklava is my specialty – I’ve been making my great-grandmother’s recipe for years. And while I’m not at all biased in saying it is THE BOMB, and content to make it the same way over and over and over again, this take on a classic intrigued me. It’s a baklava cake rather than pastry, meaning no phyllo to wrestle with. And further, it’s gluten, soy, dairy, egg, and grain-free!

(I’m labeling this recipe as vegan, although I know some vegans do not eat honey. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a substitute that compares in flavor – agave is a neutral sweetener – and when it comes to baklava, I am a traditionalist.)

baklava cake

I also liked that this recipe calls for almond flour, as I’ve had 2.5 lbs of it sitting in my fridge for a while, neglected. I was intrigued by the use of saffron in this recipe, and happy to use the traditional rosewater, since my family recipe doesn’t call for it. Basically – nice job, Noosh! What’s not to love?!

saffron

Since there are no eggs in this recipe, chia seed meal is combined with applesauce to create a binder. (This can also be achieved with flax seeds.) If you’re thinking about Chia pets right now, you’re not far off – the edible grade of these seeds is considered a superfood, high in protein, calcium, fiber, iron, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Chia seeds absorb water, which gives them the perfect “gloopy” texture for replacing egg. I recommend grinding the seeds fresh in a coffee or spice grinder, if you have one.

chia meal & seeds

When the chia meal, applesauce, honey, rosewater, and saffron water are combined, they’ll have a syurpy texture. Combine with dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and baking powder) to form the dough.

wet ingredients texture

The texture of this dough is somewhat crumbly and moist. In the original recipe, Noosh allowed for a range of measurements for the honey, and I used the higher end. I also sifted my almond flour, and I think these two decisions made the cake very smooth, sweet, and dense. Next time, I will scale down the honey (already done below), and perhaps not sift the flour to get the more crumbly texture from her pictures.

dough texture

I love using pistachios as a garnish – the green and purple are so lovely and eye-catching, and colors you don’t often get in baked goods. Top each slice with pistachios and a slivered almond, and this makes a unique, wonderfully allergy-friendly treat!

pistachios & almonds

Just be forewarned – you’ll want to serve this cake in small pieces – it’s very rich!

baklava cake

RECIPE – Baklava Cake
(gluten, soy, dairy, egg, grain free)

1/2 cup organic applesauce (unsweetened-just apples)
1 Tbsp organic chia seed meal
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon rose water
2 cups almond flour (Trader Joe’s)/7 ¾ oz/220 g
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon of prepared saffron (optional)

Topping
Slivered almonds
Ground pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease either an 8” glass or parchment-lined pan.

If using saffron, grind threads with a mortar and pestle, add 1/2 tablespoon boiling water, and let sit while you go on to the next step.

In mixer bowl, beat applesauce with chia meal on high for one minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides and bottom.

Add honey, rosewater, and saffron (if using) and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: almond flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and baking powder. Add to mixer bowl and beat just until incorporated. Stir once or twice just to make sure the bottom was mixed in.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a rack, slice in diamonds, and top with crushed pistachios and slivered almonds.

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8 Responses to “Hippie Baklava Cake”

  1. Jasmine December 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I CANNOT STOP DROOLING, BUT I WILL TRY TO POST THIS COMMENT ON A PERFECTLY DRY KEYBOARD, I PROMISE!!

    YOU NEVER STOP TO AMAZE ME, ENCHANT ME AND MAKE ME SING YOUR PRAISES AT YOUR CULINARY ABILITIES COMPARED TO MINE.. I AM ACTUALLY BLUSHING AT ADMITTING MY FAILURE AS A CHEF.. HOWEVER, I DID MASTER TWO RECIPES,

    1. BRAISED PORT CHOPS .. MY HUSBAND’S FAVORITE FOOD.. AND
    2. TUNA CASSEROLE … MY CHILDREN’S FAVORITE FOOD.

    AND EVERYBODY LEFT THE TABLE SATISFIED..

    • Jen December 6, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Thank you, motek. I’ve made your tuna casserole many times myself! I think it’s even on the blog here somewhere…

  2. A Tablespoon of Liz December 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    These look so good! I haven’t had baklava in aaaages, which is too bad because I love it. I love how you made it into a cake!

    • Jen December 6, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks Liz! I still prefer the original, labor-intensive classic, but this was pretty unique for a cake. Worth a try :)

  3. @soitgoes5 December 6, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Your cake was delicious! I recently used flax seeds (1T flax + 3T water) as a binder to veganize a “Better Than Meatloaf” recipe that I’ve been making for years. It was delicious and actually bound better than it ever did when I made it with eggs.

    • Jen December 6, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      Oh cool, that’s good to know! I haven’t tried making a “flax egg” yet, but I like the idea. They have a nice nutty flavor. I think it would be good in a sweet bread like banana.

  4. shanna December 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Oh, Jen–super yum! Love your photos and descriptions. The addition of saffron and rosewater makes me salivate. Heady and exotic!

    • Jen December 9, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks Shanna! Those ingredients are what most tempted me to make it :)

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