Tuesday Treat

Persian Love Cake with Rose, Cardamom & Figs

With Valentines Day on the horizon I just had to share this recipe… Let’s face it everyone deserves a little ‘sweet’ love!…

There is a lovely fairytale behind this cake…

“Once upon a time, there was a young Persian woman, who was madly in love with a prince. She made him this cake, filled with magical love powers, and he promptly fell in love with her; they lived happily ever after!”…

Have I sold the recipe to you?!…I can’t promise you love, but I can assure you that it is one of the easier recipes for Persian love cake that I have come across (there are many out there!), and it is of course very tasty! I found this recipe in Rukmini Iyer’s cookbook ‘The Roasting Tin Around the World’, it is a very moist cake with a lovely delicate flavour. I particularly like the mascarpone icing – it looks so pretty decorated with rose petals, pistachios and figs (if you can’t get hold of figs, don’t worry it will still taste wonderful!). Because of the mascarpone icing, it should be kept in the fridge (that’s if you don’t eat it straight away!), just make sure you allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Rosewater varies in its strength depending on the brand – I used ‘Holylama Spice Drops Rose Extract’ which is quite intense, so I only needed 2 drops of it, however, if you are using a different brand you may need more. This recipe works well with gluten free flour – I use Dove’s.

170g soft light brown sugar

170g soft unsalted butter

3 large eggs

125g self-raising flour (gluten free if required)

1 teaspoon baking powder

45g ground almonds

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cardamom pods, seeds only

Approx. 1 teaspoon rosewater or 2 drops of ‘Holylama Spice Drops Rose Extract’ (see note above)

For the Icing and Decoration:

250g mascarpone

25g icing sugar

Approx. 1 teaspoon rosewater or 2-3 drops of ‘Holylama Spice Drops Rose Extract’ to taste (see note above)

Dried rose petals

A handful of pistachio nuts, cut into slivers

2 fresh figs, thinly sliced into quarters (optional)

  1. Beat the sugar and butter together until soft and fluffy, then whisk in the eggs.
  2. Fold in the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, spices and rosewater, then pour the mixture into a lined shallow tin (26cm x 20cm).
  3. Bake in a preheated oven, 160’c fan, for 25-30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone, rosewater (to taste) and icing sugar together.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. When it is cold, spread the icing all over the cake using a palette knife, and sprinkle over the rose petals, pistachio slivers and sliced figs.

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