Persian Love Cake
Persian Love Cake
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This moist cake scented with rosewater, citrus, and aromatic spices will bring the flavors of the Middle East to your kitchen. Serve for an unexpected dinner party dessert, Valentine’s day treat, or for a Sunday afternoon tea with friends.

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS

For The Cake Batter:

  • 1 ¼ cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 ¾ cup (200g) almond flour
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, softened or at room temperature, plus more for greasing the cake pan
  • 1 cup (225g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • Zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater

For The Lemon Drizzle:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 drops of rosewater

For The Cake Glaze:

  • 1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 drops of rosewater
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons edible dried rose petals
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios

DIRECTIONS

  1. Get ready. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients. Set a fine mesh sieve or sifter over a large bowl. To the sieve, add the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and ground cardamom. Tap the sieve with the palm of your hand until everything falls into a fine powder in the bowl. Add the almond flour and use a whisk to combine.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar. Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer with the beaters. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high, until the mixture is pale, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl about halfway through. The goal is to incorporate air into the mixture.
  4. Add the eggs and yogurt. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time. Mix each until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula between each addition. Add the yogurt and beat again until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the zest and juice of ½ lemon and ½ orange, and the rosewater. Mix again.
  5. Combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Beat until the batter becomes thick and cohesive, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. This should only take a minute or two.
  6. Bake the cake. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool. Leave the cake to cool in the cake pan for 2 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack, remove the parchment and leave it to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  8. Add the lemon drizzle. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice and rosewater until the sugar is completely dissolved. Use a thin skewer or toothpick to poke tiny holes evenly across the surface of the cake. Pour the lemon drizzle evenly across the cake and let it soak in.
  9. Make the glaze. Gently stir the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make icing that’s smooth and thick yet pourable. Stir in a few drops of rosewater to taste.
  10. Ice and serve. Spoon the icing over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Leave for 5 minutes for the icing to set slightly and then decorate with rose petals and pistachios. Leave to set completely before slicing and serving.
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