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Persian Love Cake

Persian Love Cake

Recipe by Faaiza Omar 
See more of Faaiza’s creations: mysweetlife.co.za
Serves: 6 – 8
Time: 2 hours

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

TO DECORATE
100 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped, as desired
5 g sugar-coated rose petals, as desired

Legend has it that this beautiful, exotic cake was originally made by a Persian woman who was madly in love with a prince. To make him fall in love with her, she fed him this cake, filled with magical love powers. Who could resist the ambrosial flavours of rose, saffron, cardamom and pistachio? We’re certainly head over heels for this beauty!

Method

Preheat a Thermofan oven to 180C. 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.