Monday, November 1, 2010

November Challenge: Persian Love Cake

Posted by -Shri

Spanish Saffron..if wishes were to bring Kashmiri Saffron..
Green Indian Cardamom

Happy in the knowledge that my turn for a recipe would come in April, had selected this light Chiffon Cake, which I had never baked: colours perfect for the spring, flavours from home. However, one was jolted out to reality to find that one's turn was speeded up to November; so finally did some baking after a few months absorbed in books, papers and grading!

The idea is to bake a Chiffon Cake. The original recipe for the Persian Love Cake was sourced from Epicurious. The recipe has been updated and changed a little. The colours and flavours of this Persian Love Cake suited the upcoming Indian festival of lights Diwali: cardamom, pistachios, rose petals...

The reviews at Epicurious, 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 in Indian cuisine for both savoury and sweet dishes.

One could not keep up with the golden Fall sunlight... and then the troop of goblins, clowns, witches, supermen and superwomen of all sizes and ages starting interrupting. Hence the slight delay! 


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]
/4 cup vegetable 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;
I prefer a light touch]
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rose water

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.

I have left the cake unadorned: time and sourcing issues.
The reviews at Epicurious were really helpful. Do not butter the pans. Do not put 'whole' cardamom seeds in the recipe. Add more egg whites. These were three important suggestions that were taken into account in this recipe.


Anonymous said...

i heard all about the goodness of saffron, but have never seen or smelled it before. U sure got me curious! ur chiffon is looking pretty good!

Anonymous said...

OhMy! I am working hard to lose weight, but I will enjoy visiting and seeing all this wonderful, yummy goodness!!! :)
Happy day to you,

? said...

Thanks Crustabakes and Zuzu..
Saffron is known as a 'warm' spice and is used both in savoury and sweet dishes. I personally prefer a light touch

Katie said...

I have had this same recipe bookmarked for a few years... guess it's time to finally try it!

Vivian - Let's Try These... said...

Help.....I want to make this cake seeing as I have missed out the past two months. However, I cannot find rose water any where and would have to order it online at a cost of almost twelve dollars. Is anyone else finding difficulty with the ingredients? Thankfully I have some saffron I brought back with me from Turkey.

Rena said...

Hi Vivian! On the right hand sidebar, down below you'll find something called HELPFUL LINKS and there is a link to an ingredient substitution list. Looks like you can use any type of floral water although not sure where to get that either!

I would search on the internet how to make your own or some other substitute.

? said...

Hi Vivian,

I have found rose-water at my local Kroger Ethnic Food aisle.
Other reliable options are: Indian groceries and Mediterranean/ Lebanese groceries who stock these [ use in Baklava].

Gulkand, rose-petal preserve is also available at Indian groceries.

Shanavi said...

Interesting !! I love it..will soon try from ur blog..

Choc Chip Uru said...

What a wonderful cake with such exotic flavours - looks like a Persian dream.
You have a wonderful blog my friend :D

Choc Chip Uru
Latest: Choc Truffle Chunk Muffins + Surprise Choc Cookies