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.
- 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
- 2 tsp crushed pistachios
- A few dried rose petals (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
- Squeeze the lemon for the cake mix and soak the saffron in it.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, beat in the eggs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!