Most of us do, but this is a love cake, Persian Love Cake, and it comes from Yasmin Khan’s The Saffron Tales, popping up on t’interwebby. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have to make room for The Saffron Tales before long.
Boy Urchin it was who prompted a wee spell with the mixing bowl, keen to extend his lessons, or more likely keen to eat cake. It’s largely his own work, finished off before breakfast. Sadly I’ll have to wait until the school bus returns before sampling, so no tasting notes just yet.
Firstly, as always, the essentials:
200g unsalted butter; 150g caster sugar; 4 eggs; 12 cardamom pods; 100g plain flour, sifted; 275g ground almonds; zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon; 1 tbsp rose water; 1 tsp baking powder; pinch of fine sea salt. And for the drizzle topping – 2tbsp caster sugar; juice of half a lemon; half tbsp rose water. Finally the icing and decorations – 150g icing sugar; juice of a lemon; handful of pistachios, roughly blitzed; scattering of rose petals.
Pre-heat oven to 160C/Gas3. Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then when thoroughly combined beat in the eggs.
Place the cardamom pods in a mortar and work with pestle. Discard the pods and grind the seeds finely before adding to the mixture, along with the flour, almonds, lemon zest and juice, rose water, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 45 mins, checking the middle before removing.
By the time the cake is due out you will have prepared the drizzle topping. Melt the caster sugar, in the lemon juice and rose water. Put the hot cake on a wire rack, still in the tin, and poke holes over the surface with a cocktail stick before drizzling with the syrup.
Once completely cool make the icing and spoon over the cake before finishing with the pistachios and rose petals.
Wait patiently for school bus. Go on had a bit of love cake to the smiles round the kitchen table when the family gathers for tea. It’s as easy as it sounds.