I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

August 21, 2011

Pistachio and Rose Syrup Cake

I love floral flavours-

lavender, rose, orange blossom, and I even have jasmine essence and magnolia flavouring as well. As one who'd banned from perfumes and artificial scents due to my various InTolerances, I think I appreciate them all the more.

We can only use unscented or pure eucalyptus or orange oil based cleaners in my house, and even being too close to someone overscented can set me off.
One time MiddleC was house sitting for a few months, then moved back in. The first day was terrible! I was cranky, unreasonable and felt plain angry with her. I was able to realise that it really was weird, and I wasn't resentful of her for being home, but it wasn't until that night when I started itching that I realised it was something environmental not plain mental that ailed me! Poor girl had to wash all her clothes and bedding and throw out all her forbidden smellies like soap, wash powders and the rest before I could get as close to her as normal.

Anyway, after such a success with my Lime and Coconut cake a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd continue in the spirit of things and try another super moist rich syrup cake, but this time using one of my favourite flavourings, Rose. What goes with rose, well pistachio of course, and thanks to my new Thermo, I can make my own fantastic pistachio meal whenever I want. Of course you can just use almond meal, or a mixture of both if you like and if your food processor is up to the challenge, or just buy some of the pretty little nuts to scatter over the top for serving, I won't mind.

I'm also using a (rather violently coloured) rose syrup I bought at my local Indian Supermarket. There is a really nice Alchemy rose syrup available at some places, or just make a syrup of equal quantities castor sugar and water boiled together and reduced slightly, before adding a tablespoon- or to taste- of rosewater or rose essence.

Pistachio and Rose Syrup Cake

250g Almond meal
200g Pistachio meal
1/2 cup GF Flour
250g Butter
1 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
3/4 cup lactose free Yoghurt
2 tsp gf Baking powder
Rosehip Jam, if desired
200ml Rose Syrup

Cream butter and sugar together until really nice and fluffy.

Add in eggs once at a time until well combined.

Mix together the nut meals, flour,and baking powder and then mix into the egg mix together with the yoghurt. Isn't it a pretty colour?

Put half the mixture into a lined baking tin, then dot with the jam.

Cover with the rest of the mixture, and smooth over the top.

Bake for 2 hours at 150*c. I had a tray underneath my springform tin, and I found that a couple of tablespoons of oil leached out of my cake during cooking. I would put this down to the fresh nut meal, as I've never had this problem before.

While fresh out the oven, pour the syrup over, cover and let cool in tin. If you look closely dear Readers, you might notice the little holes I stabbed in my cake to help it soak up the syrup. I wish I hadn't done that in the end as it didn't look pretty and I don't think it was necessary in the first place, so learn from my mistakes and keep your cake pretty.

I sprinkled my cake with icing sugar to hide it's little blemishes, and decorated it with whole dried rosebuds, aren't they cute? I also served it with some more yoghurt rather that cream as the slight tart note was the perfect match to the sweet syrup.

The pistachio meal made a really nice change from just straight almond, but I think it would taste nearly as nice without it, funnily enough the jam too. Rosehip jam isn't strongly flavoured so if I add it again I'll mix some rose water/essence through it to oomph it up a bit.

I feel quite exotic with my Pistachio Rose Syrup Cake sitting on my counter, and I think it looks just as nice as a bunch of real roses too!

So Dear Readers, would you rather flowers or cake on Your kitchen counter?


  1. Tough question Bec, I love fresh flowers, the vibrant colours and the floral scent. But a good cake has almost the same effect. Love your cake, your very adventurous. It's inspiring. :)

  2. I'm greedy - I want both please! :-)

  3. Wow, what a fabulous and fragrant sounding cake. Amazing!

  4. Oh my - I am loving pistachios at the moment so this sounds very tempting!

  5. What a lovely collection of flavours!

  6. Oh, I can't choose between cake or flowers! So difficult! And you do make the most delicious sounding cakes!

  7. Flowers, cake is nice but only one piece is enough for me!

    Cake looks gorgeous. Love roses.

  8. An absolutely beautiful cake! I'd like a bouquet of these please, lol!

  9. *drool*
    i'd prefer cake but my wait would prefer flowers ;D

  10. The addition of rose water/syrup must be making this so perfumy...in a nice way :)

  11. That looks and sounds just gorgeous! And hmmm can't I have both? I love flowers all round :P

  12. I love the way you decorated the cake with the dried rosebuds. Now you have both flowers AND cake on your kitchen table :)

  13. I think I'll have both thanks. Especially this gorgeous sounding cake - I can't wait to find some syrup and give this a try. Will also be passing this along to my gluten-intolerant sister who misses cakes very much.

  14. Girlfriend, your cakes are always so pretty. I'm sure they taste amazing too! But this one we'll have to pass on, because believe it or not, one of the few things we're intolerant to (anaphalactically, actually) is pistachios!

  15. Pistacho and Rose is such a good combination.. 2 of my favrouties.. id definitely want to try this out :)

  16. I love this combination of flavours. I bet it was good because it sure looks it... actually it would be lovely with the cuppa I am having right now.

  17. Oh my, I love cakes like these, heady from the scent of amazing ingredients and dense-ish, from the nut meals. It's so much more satisfying sometimes when cakes aren't airy sponges but dense, rich, luxurious!

  18. Haha that's a easy question to answer! Cake everytime :-) You had me at rose... then add the pistachio too! Ooo la la.

  19. You know...until you said all the lovely floral flavours you like, I never realised how much I too enjoy baking with them. Orange blossom and rose water are favourites. But I also LOVE flowers on my counter. Tough choice :) Beautiful cake here!
    Heidi xo

  20. I hope the late Summer or early Spring weather is shining on you today Lovelies! The weekend is beckoning and we've flung our doors open to celebrate. I hope you have a lovely weekend, wherever you are!

    Anna- It's hard when they both smell so good isn't it?

    Ninehundred- Me too!

    Carol- Thanks!

    Lisa- did you get a taste for them in the States? They certainly utilise them a lot more than we do.

    Lucy- Thanks!

    Msihua- I know, and thankyou too!

    Anonymous- Good reasoning, I love roses too.

    Jasmynetea- Now that's good thinking!

    KarenTW- Just a little piece maybe?

    Tigerfish- It is, and I loooove it!

    Lorraine- Thanks, and of course you can sweetie!

    Chopinandmysaucepan- I didn't think of it that way, but you're right! :)

    Amanda- I don't blame you, and I hope she enjoys it. Try an Indian grocery shop for the syrup.

    Celia- Thanks sweetie! Oh no, what a pain. I guess it's a bit easier to deal with than a peanut allergy? It's not something we use as much as, say the Americans do.

    Dolly- I'm so glad! Let me know how it turns out:)

    Sherilyn- Thanks so much! I hope it's an Earl Grey, tell me your favourite?

    Vickys- You got it! I hate having cakes out at cafes, as so many just disintergrate into nothingness as you bite them :( A real cake needs real ingredients!

    Emma- Glad to hear it! You're obviously a girl of taste!

    Heidi- They are so sweet and delicate Heidi. I have some mandarin liquor to try that I think will be just a bit more assertive than orange blossom, without crossing the line into plain old citrus orange. It seems to have a lot of floral notes too. Thanks!

    I wish I could send all you Lovelies a big bunch of roses or cakes- whatever your preference- but instead I will send you my virtual love :) Have a great weekend Readers Dear!