Persian love cake

ABC NSW radio 1233 with Carol Duncan on Monday 11 October 2010

Persian love cake

A few weeks ago, ABC Online’s chief political writer Annabel Crabb, created quite a flurry when she mentioned a Persian Love Cake – “I am telling you, the persian love cake is the nightingale of cakes.  Looks drab, but close your eyes and it’s heaven.”

What a tease! What is Persian Love Cake?  Carol being the foodie that she is,  couldn’t resist either, sparking a search for not only how it got its name but how to make it.

The history of its name proved to be a bit elusive, recipes not such a problem. It seems there are actually two quite different cakes, both named Persian Love Cake. So, here’s a quick run down on both.

Version 1 as described in Epicurious, is ‘a chiffon cake filled with rose-scented whipped cream is inspired by the aromatics found in Persian, Turkish, and Indian confections’.

Version 2 appeared in Australian Gourmet Traveller by Gerard Yaxley of Qom restaurant at Coolum, Queensland. He described it as…

“This cake has a nutty, caramel-flavoured base, and is topped by a creamy, nutty filling. The texture is not really cake-like – it is more like a cross between a streusel and a pudding. It is moist and almost melt-in-the-mouth, while the edge of the cake is caramelised and crispy.

I am not sure how authentically Persian this recipe is, but it is a truly gorgeous cake. Rather than lemon chiffon with rosewater buttercream, like the Epicurious version, this cake consists of almond meal, pistachios, brown sugar and Greek yoghurt.”

Although the photo of the chiffon-style Version 1 looked soft and pretty, it was the more biscuit-like version 2 that appealled. My type of ingredients that I had readily available, but more importantly it was less fiddly, which is definitely my style of cooking! If you want to try the light, fluffy, pretty version, see the recipe below or to read more go to http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Persian-Love-Cake-232273#ixzz10hZlZmsu but here’s the Version 2 recipe I tried….

Persian Love Cake (recipe by Gerard Yaxley)

Serves 8

Prep time 15 mins Cook time 40 mins (plus cooling)

Ingredients

360 grams (3 cups) ground almonds

220 grams (1 cup) raw sugar

220 grams (1 cup) brown sugar

120 grams unsalted butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

250 grams (1 cup) Greek-style thick natural yoghurt (I used Biodynamic Organic)

1 ½ tbsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ cup pistachio nuts, unsalted, coarsely chopped (had none so used pepitas instead. At least they’re green!)

Pure icing sugar for dusting and more yoghurt to serve


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC or 160ºC fan-forced.
  • Grease and line a 25 cm (10″) spring form tin.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, both sugars, butter and salt. Rub with fingers until coarse crumbs form, or pulse in the food processor.

Rub with fingers until coarse crumbs form

  • Put half the mixture into the prepared tin and press down gently with your hand to evenly cover the base.

Flatten crumbs with hands

  • Add eggs, yoghurt and nutmeg to the remaining almond mixture, and mix well until smooth.

Mix ingredients

  • Pour over the top of the prepared base, scatter the pistachios around the edge.

Spread mixture evenly over the base

  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Nuts or seeds scattered around edge & cook until golden

  • Cool in the tin on a wire rack. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt and dusted icing sugar.
  • Notes: Keeps well in an airtight container for up to a week. Can be cooked in a baking tray to make a slice.

Persian love cake


Version 1: chiffon-style cake recipe

Epicurious Persian Love Cake Recipe

Candied rose petals

2 large egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Petals from 2 organic roses
Cake

1 cup cake flour

14 tablespoons baker’s sugar or superfine sugar, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

3 large eggs, separated

6 tablespoons water

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods)
Frosting

2 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided

Pinch of saffron threads

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon rose water

2 tablespoons natural unsalted pistachios

Preparation

For candied rose petals
Whisk egg whites in small bowl until foamy. Using pastry brush, brush rose petals on both sides with egg whites; sprinkle on both sides with sugar. Dry on nonstick rack at least 6 hours or overnight.

For cake
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)

For frosting
Combine 1/2 cup cream and saffron in small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold.

Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form; strain in saffron cream. Beat until peaks form.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Garnish cake with rose petals and pistachios.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Persian-Love-Cake-232273#ixzz10hZlZmsu

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