It was my birthday last week and I decided to try and make something a little more glamorous to celebrate (why not!). It had to be grand, pink, and full of flowers. I had already planned in my head that I wanted it to be a strawberry-coconut base, since strawberries are everywhere at the moment, and that I wanted to saturate the frosting with rose water, a personal favourite. (I have the Café Gratitude ‘Sweet Gratitude’ desserts book – it is one of my favourites – so this recipe was inspired from some of their creations).
The secret, impromptu ingredient I ended up throwing in there on the day however, was a big splash of Australian Bush Flower Essences.
Midnight panic attacks
On the stroke of midnight, in the first minute of my 31st year, I was lying in bed feeling a bit anxious about silly things…like life in general…and, something I do on most birthdays, the following mental analysis: if life is a board game, where am I up to? (does anyone else do that, or is it just me?).
Before I knew it, I started twitching like a crazy person, shaking like a leaf in the wind and teeth clattering away like one of those wound up toys. What the hell was all this?! I was having a full on panic attack! It was quite ridiculous and a little bit scary and lasted a good 10 minutes before it suddenly stopped and I was back to normal, sitting there acting natural, the only give away being a very dry mouth.
Lucky for me, I have the world’s best boyfriend, who propped me up and got me to breathe deeply to help it pass and then sing me a sleepy version of ‘happy birthday’ while I sat there snivelling about how it was definitely a bad omen to ring in my 31st year with a panic attack!
Why I short-circuited
To be fair, I have had a really big year, full of all kinds of uncertainties and transitions. 9 months ago I left my corporate career to follow my dream, I didn’t really have a big plan, just a bundle of fresh enthusiasm and crazy ideas. Recently, I’ve been quite stressed about the feasibility of setting up a new business, I’ve just finished exams, and have also had a little stress over not feeling like I’ve been able to post as often as I would like on here either because I’ve been so busy. I’ve been winding myself up getting all stressed when really I need to just take a big breath and remember all the amazing blessings I have in life right now.
Cue the teeth chattering wake up call!
Flowers to the rescue
All you can do is laugh, right? (And not do it again). So – next morning, I made cake. I made the recipe below, and I sprinkled LOTS of magical, healing, bush flower essences in there.
Flower essences have been one of my most favourite things, ever since I broke up with an undeserving boyfriend years ago and a friend gave me a bottle of Rescue Remedy to help me survive the post-break-up-blues. Rescue Remedy is a special blend of five flower essences to heal stress and trauma. It contains Star of Bethlehem for shock, Rock Rose for terror and panic, Impatiens for mental stress and tension, Cherry Plum for desperation and Clematis for those strange out-of-body feelings that often occur prior to passing out.
Rescue Remedy was created by Dr Edward Bach in the ‘30s. He was a great physician and homeopath who discovered that flowers had a special healing ability inherent in them. They have very subtle vibrations that work on healing the emotional aspect of a problem. You take them as a tincture, a few drops under the tongue, or in water (or in cake) a few times a day.
The particular remedy I used, were made from Australian Bush Flowers, and had a blend of Bluebell, Boab, Christmas Bell, and Sunshine Wattle among others. The blend was called Abund and is used to help release negative beliefs and fear of lack, in turn becoming open to great abundance on all levels. Just what I needed!
So, now I’m feeling much rosier – yes – thanks to the rose cake and the magical flower essences!
And back to the cake
Hopefully I’m not the only weirdo who does weird things in the night like this. Anyway, if you make this cake, I think it is best eaten with a few days, after that, the icing starts to go a funny colour. The batter is much like how I would make a macaroon, it’s delicious. The frosting is a simple cashew one, use as much rose water as you personally like. I did try making a batch with pine nuts, I was after a more buttery taste, but I didn’t really dig it.
Illustrated Handbook of the Back Flower Remedies, Philip M. Chancellor. 2005.
Raw Strawberry Coconut Layer Cake with Rose Frosting
RAW • DAIRY FREE • GLUTEN FREE • REFINED SUGAR FREE
| makes a tall, 7 inch cake |
- 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 4 cups fine, white almond flour
- 2 cups coconut flour
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons liquid vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- In a food processor, blitz the dates with 2 tablespoons of water to form a paste – you may or may not need an extra spoonful of water.
- Add the coconut oil, vanilla, lemon and salt and blitz again.
- Take half of the paste out and set aside.
- Add 2 cups of almond flour, 1 cup of coconut flour and 1 ¼ cups of strawberries, blitz to combine. You want to get a nice dough that holds together but isn’t too wet or sticky.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and then blend the remainder ingredients. You need to do two batches like this unless you have a monster sized food processor.
- When you’re finished, transfer to the large bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix the two batches together to make sure they are the same consistency.
- Take a 7inch cake tin lined with baking paper, and fill it with half the cake mixture, if it is too sticky to work with, try putting it in the fridge for a bit first.
- Put the cake tin in the freezer while you make the frosting.
- 2 cups cashews, soaked 8 hours
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup coconut oil, liquefied
- 3 tablespoons liquid vanilla
- ½ cup raw wild honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons rose water
- A few pinches of coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons lecithin
*Optional: a few good full droppers of flower essences if you feel like you need some emo magic*
- Blend everything, except the lecithin, on high till nice and creamy.
- Add the lecithin and blend again (this will help it set).
- Pour 1 ½ cups of frosting over the cake.
- Set in the freezer.
- Once set, transfer the rest of the cake batter into the tin and smooth out the surface, pop back in the freezer to set.
- Meanwhile, pour the leftover frosting into a bowl and let it harden in the freezer for about an hour, or till nice and spreadable, then transfer it to the fridge so it doesn’t go rock hard.
- Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate.
- Use a knife to cover the cake entirely in the left over frosting.
- Sprinkle pesticide-free dried rose petals over the top, or arrange a few big rose buds on top – I snuck around the neighbourhood with a pair of scissors like a big creep, looking for roses, but came home empty handed, hence the dried option.
- Serve and enjoy.