Persian Love Cake
CARDAMOM SPONGE CAKE
3 large eggs, separated
140 g sugar, divided in 2 equal parts
55 g oil
90 ml water
Zest of 1 lemon
140 g cake flour
7 g baking powder
¼ tsp salt
5 whole green cardamom, split, seeds removed and crushed
SAFFRON AND ROSE CREAM
180 g mascarpone, at room temperature
375 ml whipping cream
115 g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp rose syrup
1 ½ tsp rose water
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 pinches of saffron
100 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped, as desired
5 g sugar-coated rose petals, as desired
Preheat a Thermofan oven to 180∞C. Grease 3 x 15-cm round cake tins with non-stick cooking spray.
For the sponge cake, place the egg yolks, 70 g sugar, oil, water, and lemon zest in a bowl.
Use an electric hand mixer to combine them and whisk until double in volume. Combine the dry ingredients and fold into the egg-yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 70 g sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy.
Using a spatula, fold a third of the beaten egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, and continue to gently fold in the egg-white mixture, a third at a time, until well combined.
Divide the mixture into the 3 prepared cake tins. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in the tins to completely cool before removing from the tins.
For the saffron and rose cream, gently whisk the mascarpone to loosen in a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer. Add the remaining ingredients and combine until thick and spreadable.
To assemble the cake, sandwich the sponge layer together with a generous layer of saffron and rose cream and sprinkle with pistachios. Decorate with pistachios and sugar-coated rose petals, as desired.