Recipe source: Sasha O'Connor
In this post, I will show you a bit unusual recipe on the blog. Since I have not got any discovered food intolerance, I can use basic ingredients without any problems and this is the reason why I don't really post about recipes fit to the diet of people with food allergies, to be honest, there are plenty of other sites and blogs based only on this topic. But a few months ago I've started to follow the work of Sasha O'Connor, and I really love that she found inspiration in a difficult situation.
After her food intolerance was discovered, she didn't give up yummy desserts or tasty food but started to create the 'free from' versions of her favourites, then as a result of her new passion, she opened her own bakery, to share these gorgeous desserts with the public. At Lively Bakery all the products are made with love from locally produced ingredients and you can find their goods at local markets and some cafès of Nova Scotia.
When food intolerance became a word-wide problem, the first products haven't given that nice taste experience as their normal variants. By the time, creative minds -like Sasha- made their experiments with alternative ingredients, so nowadays all people suffering from any food allergy can enjoy almost every dish and dessert with the same or better taste result than the original.
Before I'll show you my chosen recipe, let me introduce Sasha...
Sasha, you have your own bakery. When did you discover that you have a passion for baking?
I started my bakery about 4 years ago, just because I did develop gluten and dairy intolerance and I really like desserts, but nothing that I tried was good as my grandma‘s. It was a lot of experiments and research, a learned a lot for the last 4 years, an architect by trade, I becomes a baker.
What’s your favourite creation that you are the proudest of?
Favourite creation, it's a difficult question… I love all my recipes. If I have to pick one –Medovnic probably is one that I am proud of most. Especially make without dairy and refined sugar.
What are your inspirations?
My inspiration was and still old classic recipes, especially the recipes from my grandma‘s kitchen. I want to develop gluten and dairy-free recipes which taste like “normal” ones.
Name your favourite ingredient you think people should be using more when they bake something at home.
If you ask me about ingredients that I think are underestimated in cooking, I will say herbs. We grow our own herbs and use them a lot at home and at the bakery.
You have a unique style in flat lay photography. Could you share your top food styling tip to get a perfect flat lay?
Food styling tip… first of all thank you for the compliment, I’m still learning every day. I guess my tip will be “Balance” nothing should be random and “Light”. Before I take pictures, even before I do the settings I think about what I want to say, what kind of message, mood, taste.
And now let's see my choice in this recipe exchange!
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour starch
- ½ cup raw cane or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 cups avocado puree -about 4 avocados- drizzled with lemon juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste
- 4 free-range eggs separated
- 1 tbsp matcha powder
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 2 tbsp xanthan gum
- 1 cane full fat coconut milk chilled
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp chocolate liquor
- Boiling water
- Chocolate ganache for the topping
- Preheat oven to 175° C. Line bottom of 9" cake pan with parchment paper. Cut a 23x5" strip of parchment, butter or oil parchment, and line sides of pan.
- Spread the crust in the bottom of the cake pan, bake for 18 minutes. Let’s it cool completely before adding fillings.
- Place the coconut milk -if you keep cane with coconut milk in the fridge 24 hours it’s separate on the coconut water and a fat, use fat only, reserve coconut water for another recipe- in the heavy bottom medium size pot, hit it up over low-medium heat add matcha powder, stirring well. Let it cool down.
- Meanwhile place the avocado puree in the standing mixer with maple syrup bit it on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add the flour, the vanilla paste and eggs yolks, mix it well.
- When the matcha latter cooled, add it into the avocado mix and bit it well on medium speed about 2-3 minutes. Add chocolate liquor.
- Using an electric mixer on high speed, whip egg whites with pinch of sea salt in another large bowl until stiff peaks form. Add a small portion of egg whites to avocado mixture and stir with spatula just until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Wrap the pan in a foil, to prevent water from coming in the pan. Place pan in a baking dish or roasting pan and add boiling water to reach halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake cheesecake until set, about 1-1,5 hours.
- Turn off the oven. Leave the oven door ajar for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Remove cheesecake from pan, transfer to a platter, spread generous layer of chocolate ganache in the top of cheesecake, and chill in the fridge at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- For serving sprinkle with matcha powder.
Many thanks to Sasha, for accepting my invitation to do this collaboration, the help with these alternative ingredients and their replacement, it was so fun to try this recipe and the new experience in taste!