Persian Love Cake w/ Candied Rose Petals & Pistachios
I have never met a Middle Eastern dessert I did not LOVE.
They are always loaded with honey, citrus, nuts and spices, and sometimes roses....petals, buds and rose water.
Fragrant is a good word for them.
There is a recipe in Ottolenghi's book SWEET for individual Persian Love Cakes, which is similar to this recipe, but he uses yogurt and almond meal.....I will try that one too....but for now, I made this amazing cake from Food & Wine that uses almond flour.
I candied the rose petals with egg whites and sugar....method here, but in the end, I just used dried rose petals, since I wanted the effect and color of the shriveled up petals. I'll save the candied petals for ice cream.
Make sure you are using roses that are pesticide free, preferably ones that you grow yourself....so you know what you are getting.
I used my beautiful Zepherine Drouhin antique climbing roses, which are very fragrant, but any rose will do!
Here is recipe for this gorgeous cake. Make sure you are baking the cake at the low temp of 320F or it will be dry.
Persian "Love" Cake (adapted from Food & Wine):
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 3/4 cups almond flour
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons rose water (1 tbsp for the batter, 1/2 tbsp of the syrup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Chopped pistachios and dried rose petals, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 320°F and grease an 8-inch spring form pan and line it with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs 1 at a time until incorporated.
Add the cardamon into to the cake batter, along with the flour, almond flour, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the rose water, baking powder and salt until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a baking rack and let cool slightly.
Make the syrup: in a small saucepan, bring the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon of rose water to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Poke holes all over the cake and pour the warm syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely, then remove from the pan and transfer to a cake platter.
Step 5 (last one!)
Make the icing. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of cold water until smooth. Spoon the icing over the cake and garnish with pistachios and rose petals, if using; serve.
I was very pleased with myself after baking and decorating this cake.......I hope you try it.