This is a seriously, pretty little cake.
Now that we're really in the midst of summer (although frankly in England, who knows what that means), I wanted to share the most perfect cake for a summer do.
If you search for Persian Love Cake, you'll find oodles of varieties, from a soft chiffon sponge laced with cardamom, to something dense and almost cheesecake like. I've opted to put my own spin on things with a fragrant, floral, spiced sponge, topped with lashings of sweetened honey-rose mascarpone.
It's a pretty easy cake to knock up, and decorating is easy - a really rustic covering of cream and a scatter of pistachios and petals - you don't need to be GBBO ready! (anyone else looking forward to the new series?!) Let's have a few more photos - and forgive the lighting being a bit second-rate - it was one of those 'so much for summer' days.
130g plain flour
1.5 tsps baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
180g castor sugar (I used golden)
55ml vegetable oil
2 tsps rose water
Seeds from 5 cardamom pods
1 tsp grated orange zest
Honey rose cream
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp rosewater
Pink colouring gel
Preheat your oven to 160C and line an 8 inch/20cm round cake tin with butter then parchment/greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, before stirring in the salt and half (90g) of the sugar.
Separate out the 3 egg yolks into another bowl, setting the whites aside for later. Into the yolks, add the water, oil and rose water. Give that a good whisk then pour into the dry flour mix. Add in your cardamom seeds and orange zest and mix until smooth - either a quick whizz with an electric mixer or beat in by hand.
Set that batter aside and go back to your egg whites. Whisk them for 3-5 minutes until they start to show a little volume. Add in the remaining sugar (90g) in 3 or 4 batches, whisking continuously, until you have a smooth, shiny, meringue-like mixture. Take around a third of the 'meringue' and beat into the cake batter to loosen the mixture, before carefully folding in the rest.
Pour the whole lot into your prepared pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is a light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the pan then transfer to a wire rack.
To make the cream, beat the mascarpone in a bowl with a wooden spoon, before spiking with honey and rose water. Marble in a little pink food gel.
When the cake is thoroughly cool, it's time to put the whole thing together. If the top of your cake doesn't look so pretty, turn it upside down for a flat surface. Slather on the cream and create little swirls and ribbon-shapes with a palette knife or the back of a teaspoon, covering all of the top and the sides - perfect to hide any baking mishaps! Decorate with pistachios and rose petals, however you see fit, and serve with something cold - I'm carrying on the theme with a little rose lemonade but a homemade concoction would be beautiful - I'm working on it!
A perfect cake to bring along to a summer soiree, or why plan the occasion around the cake - garden party anyone?
P.S Have you seen my summery Strawberry Mint Cooler?
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