Monday, November 1, 2010

Have the Cake Challenge: Persian Love Cake

Happy in the knowledge that my turn for  a recipe at Have the Cake Challenge would come in April had selected this light chiffon cake, which I had never baked: colours perfect for the spring.

However, one was jolted out to reality  to find that one's turn was speeded up to November; so finally I  did some baking after a few months absorbed in books, papers and grading!

The original recipe for the Persian Love Cake was sourced from Epicurious.

However the colours and flavours of this Persian Love Cake suited the upcoming festival of lights Diwali: cardamom, pistachios, almonds, rose petals. Have tweaked the recipe and gone through the reviews, which were very helpful. The layers are smaller and many reviews suggest increasing the amount of egg-whites: 4, 5 and 8 in some recipes.

I have increased the amount of cardamom: a favourite from childhood where our mothers navigated the unfamiliar terrain of baking, and the vagaries of electricity. Cardamom, cashews, cloves,  orange peels, rose-essence, pistachios, almonds, golden raisins and sultanas, tutti-frutti [ colored green papaya bits stewed in sugar syrup] dates were all familiar  flavours in  Milk-Cakes, made with condensed milk.

One could not keep up with the golden Fall sunlight... and then little goblins, clowns, witches, supermen and superwomen of all sizes and ages starting interrupting. The post will be updated tomorrow with pictures of the cake in 'natural light'. I prefer photographing in natural light and have not learned the techinique in artificial light.

Indian Green Cardamom

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
4 large brown eggs, separated
1/8 tsp cream of tarter for whipping the eggwhites
6 tablespoons water [ substituted 3 tbsps of water with rose water]
1/4 cup canola oil
Grated lemon peel of one lemon = 1 1/2 tbsps
Seeds from 6-7 green cardamom pods, crushed and powdered
1 tsp Gulkand = Rose Petal Preserves

1 3/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
 A pinch or more of saffron threads
 [ this will reflect in the flavour]
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rose water

Persian Love Cake
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Prepare two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
Line pan bottoms with parchment paper.

Do not 'butter' anything!

Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker's sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl.
Whisk yolks, grated lemon peel, Gulkand, 3 tbsps of water, 3 tbsps of rose water in a  small bowl until smooth.
Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
Beat egg whites alongwith 1/8th tsp of cream of tartar, 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.
Wait for a few minutes,
Run a knife around the edge between the cake and the pan,
Gently invert onto cooling 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. Have left the cake unadorned: time and sourcing issues!


  1. Gorgeous looking cake, cant take my eyes from the click..

  2. Rich cake and the flavors are all so festive....

  3. Thanks Priya Sangeeta!
    It really tastes like Indian sweets with the flavour of cardamom and saffron.

  4. Looks very yummy. Love creamy cakes.

  5. Thankyou Chitra! The chilling-period, really melds the flavours...

  6. This looks gorgeous! love the flavours in their :)

  7. Thanks Ananda! Not a big fan of saffron flavour btu this actually worked well...felt like one of those Indian 'pastires' that are soaked in syrup... maybe I should experiment.

  8. wonderstrcuk by looking at the cake... It's done very profeesionally

  9. MAGNIFIQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bon week-end et à bientôt.


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