Pistachio, raspberry and rose water cake

The Levant meets Greece in this rich, gluten-free dessert from The Free From Bakehouse

The cuisine of the Levant, imbued with exotic aromas. Lurid pistachios from Greece. The sense of travel and sunshine like that which so briefly, so cruelly, flirted with us last week. Of such things this cake from The Free From Bakehouse is made, along with raspberries, rose and a nutty, rich variety of gluten-free grains and nuts.

Remarkably, there's no dairy: “When I came across the fabulous raw, Greek pistachios sold by Marianna of Oliveology, I set out to create a gluten, wheat and dairy-free cake using them, with the Levant flavours of rose water and dried rose petals,” says Caroline, the founder of The Free From Bakehouse.

“Adding raspberries lifts the cake texture, making it more summery in flavour and adding a little tartness to balance it out.”

Summer-hungry eyes
It's a sight for summer-hungry eyes: a rich, golden sponge suffused with the scent of rose and hints of cool green echo in the bright dazzle of pistachios scattered across its surface. Lusty pink rose petals cling loosely to the crown like blossoms to the hair of a leading lady in a Mills and Boon-esque period drama.

It tastes delightful: moist, deeply flavoursome and joyfully rich, despite being practically a health food, given the abundance of zinging raspberries and the absence of butter or cream. How does she do it? “I get inspiration from a variety of sources: mainly travel, the diversity of cuisines in London, friends who've settled here from other continents—even ex-boyfriends,” Caroline smiles.

The rest’s a mystery. All you (and we) need to know is that it’s on her stall now, and is best served “by the slice, with more raspberries on the side—and tea!”