From the Thoughtful Foodie
PERSIAN LOVE CAKE
Lets Get caked, life is never quite the same without cake and reading between the lines I think Wanda and Roqué would adore cake but it never makes it into their repertoire of delectable things to present to one another. I’m guessing ‘flop’ springs to mind instead of the well risen fluffy cakes they may be dreaming about.
So, if you feel much the same way about baking cakes, this could be your opportunity to get into the kitchen and bake up a storm, perhaps as a surprise or as a loved up joint venture, but a note of caution! Cakes need accuracy when weighing out ingredients and sticking to the process as it is given in the recipe.
PERSIAN LOVE CAKE – Lets Get caked
The intriguing tale behind the Persian Love Cake goes something like this. There was a woman so desperately in love with a Prince she decided to bake him a cake filled with exotic spices and perfume and to that she would add her own magical love powers and he would instantly fall in love with her!
It is said there are two endings to this tale, the most obvious in that he falls in love with her and they dance off into the night and, well… the version I rather like… she ate the whole the whole thing as it was so tasty and didn’t get the prince. Whatever the ending let this be your magical carpet ride.
LETS GET CAKED – PERSIAN LOVE CAKE
6 cup bundt tin (available from amazon.co.uk) and a hand held mixer or free standing mixer. It is possible to make the cake by hand just make sure your mix all the ingredients thoroughly, especially the creaming of the butter, sugar and eggs.
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cardamom (you can grind your own or purchase it here : www.amazon.co.uk
200g ground almonds
200g unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing the pan
225g golden caster sugar
4 free-range eggs, beaten
Zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
Zest and juice of an orange
2 tsp rosewater
4 level tbsp Greek yoghurt.
It is important to make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. The result of cold eggs or butter will probably mean your batter will split meaning you might land up with a cake that has too much of a crumb in the texture.
Prepare your bundt tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and dusting with plain flour, if you are not familiar with the process; I suggest you have a look at on this video on www.youtube.com
Heat your oven to 170C/160C Fan/Gas 3/12
Sift your flour, baking powder bicarbonate of soda and ground cardamom together.
Add to this the almond flour and set aside.
In a bowl/mixer cream your butter and sugar until it is lighter in colour and looks fluffy in texture.
Add your eggs one at a time, however if your mixture starts to separate add a spoonful of the flour mixture and this will stabilize it. Stop the mixer from time to time and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat well after the addition of each egg.
Add the zest and juice of the lemon and orange and add the rosewater.
Add the dry ingredients (Flour, Almond, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda) and then add the yoghurt
Continue to beat for another minute or so until everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl mid-way to ensure that nothing is left on the sides or bottom of the bowl. The consistency of the mixture is fairly thick so don’t be tempted to add any more liquid.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and even out the top, bake for 35 minutes and then run a skewer into the middle of the cake mixture. If it comes out clean its ready, if you have cake dough on the skewer it needs to be left in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven and leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Place a cake rack over the top of the pan and flip over, it should pop out easily. If it sticks flip back onto the cake rack and using a soft thin spatula to gently ease the cake away from the sides of the pan and try again.
I have given you three alternatives for the topping, for the syrup topping the cake needs to be warm when you add it the other two can be added when the cake is cold. My suggestion is to only use one of the toppings as the cake is sweet and any more than one would make it overly sweet.
USE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THREE OPTIONS:
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup orange juice
2 tbsp rose water (if this is not available at your local supermarket then you can purchase it here: www.amazon.co.uk
2 tbsp pistachio, roughly crushed or slivered almonds.
Heat honey, orange and rose water until all ingredients are incorporated, spoon over the cake once out the oven and sprinkle pistachio or slivered almonds as well as dried rose petals if you are using them.
Cardamom Pistachio Sugar ( I would mostly use this with a cake that does not have too many peaks as it will run off the sides of the cake).
Having a bottle of Cardamom Pistachio sugar as a store cupboard staple can transport an everyday slice of toast or yogurt to the romantic middle eastern markets of long ago. Also wonderful on ice cream. As is or caramelized, its a wonderful treat in a bottle.
100g icing sugar
70g ground pistachios
½ tsp ground cardamom
Combine the icing sugar, ground pistachios and cardamom in a bowl, decant into an airtight bottle. What you don’t use as a topping for this cake recipe store for future use. Add dried rose petals for a truly Persian taste.
For a frosted Topping:
150g icing sugar
Juice of ½ Orange
Two or three drops of Rosewater, it is quite strong so be careful.
30g of roughly crushed pistachios or 30g of toasted slivered almonds.
Optional: dried or fresh rose petals. Purchase from here : www.amazon.co.uk