Do as the character Najid did when he was courting Elizabeth, make a Persian Love Cake for the one whose heart you wish to capture. (Or just make it for the ones you already love).
Once upon a time in Persia, an ordinary young woman fell in love with a prince.
To win his heart, she cooked a cake filled with the essence of roses and topped with a buttercream icing decorated with edible rose petals, pomegranate seeds, and pistachio nuts.
I first had a bite of this cake at a writer’s group meeting. I didn’t fall in love with the writer who made it, but I did fall in love with the cake, the spicy, sweet taste, the rosy fragrance, and the idea of it. I thought I would throw it into my novel, because the man who makes it, Najid, is Persian, and he hopes it will work its charms on his new girlfriend, Elizabeth. Poetry-quoting Najid has a romantic side.
The cake is basically easy, once you have all the ingredients, which includes fine almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill is a good one) and rose water. And you will need unsprayed rose petals, pistachios and pomegranate seeds, or candied ginger, for tossing onto the icing. It is a pretty and a tasty cake.
One word of caution, be sure to let the cake cool completely before icing it.
1 1/2C all purpose flour
1/2 C almond flour
3 T canola or other veg oil
2 lg. eggs
1 C gran. sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
2 T rose water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt.
for icing: A beautiful white glaze made of 1 1/2Cpowdered sugar, 1T rosewater,
1 1/2 tsp milk, 3T rose petals, 1/4 cup pistachios. A tablespoon full of pomegranate seeds
2 T ginger candies. (The candied ginger and the pomegranate seeds are optional but add a little zest and color).
for the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, oil, eggs, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, rose water, and vanilla extract.
- Turn speed to low and add in flour, almond flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt until just mixed.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is lightly brown on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before making the glaze.
- To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, rose water, and whole milk in a microwave-safe bowl and whisk to combine (glaze will be very thick). Microwave for 10-15 seconds to thin out mixture, then pour over cooled cake.
- Sprinkle crushed pistachios and rose petals (and candied ginger, if using). Serve.
See what happens. LOVE!