Persian Love Cake

Persian Love Cake-1

This fragrant, moist cake looks and tastes like a total showstopper but is actually very easy to make. The hardest part for most people will be finding the edible dried rose leaves. If you don’t have a Turkish or Middle Eastern grocers near you they can be found online.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 12 cardamom pods, finely ground
  • 100g plain flour, sifted (you can substitute gluten free flour & baking powder to make this cake suitable for Coeliacs)
  • 275g ground almonds
  • Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  •  A few strands saffron
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A generous pinch of fine sea salt

For the syrup

  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 (half) tbsp rose water

For the icing

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 (half) lemon
  • 2 tsp cold water

To decorate

  • 2 tsp crushed pistachios
  • A few dried rose petals (optional)

 

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
  2. Squeeze the lemon for the cake mix and soak the saffron in it.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, beat in the eggs.
  4. Grind the cardamom pods in a spice grinder or a pestle & mortar. Add them to the cake mixture, along with the flour, ground almonds, rose water, saffron infused lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour, covering for the last 15 minutes so it doesn’t brown too much on top.  To check if it is ready, stick a fork in the middle of the cake – it should come out dry.
  6. Towards the end of the cooking time, make your drizzle topping. Place the caster sugar, lemon juice and rose water in a small pan over a low heat and heat until the sugar melts.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes all over the top of the warm cake and drizzle over the syrup. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  8. When the cake is completely cool, make the icing by combining the icing sugar, lemon juice and a few teaspoons of water until you have a smooth, thick icing. Spoon the icing over the cake and finish with a sprinkling of sliced pistachios and, if you like, rose petals.

Sit back and enjoy the praise!

 

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