Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Persian Love Cake

I mentioned this cake last month when Epicurious did a feature on their 30 top-rated cake recipes. So many of them sounded good, but only Persian Love Cake (which, yes, I just love to say) stayed with me, almost nagging at me to give it a try. I only held off because the perfect cake-worthy event was on the horizon. Yesterday was our 19th anniversary and I finally had a chance to make this heavenly cake.

I imagine that many people, when confronted with elements like saffron whipped cream and candied rose petals might roll their eyes and move on to something simpler, say a nice pound cake. But, remember, I'm a girl who loves her three+ hour Bollywood movies. A complicated, exotically flavored cake seems only natural, at least for a special occasion.

This magical confection pulls together many flavors which I simply adore. First of all, there's cardamom. Lots of it. Based on reader comments, I added quite a bit more because that's one of my very favorite flavors. The whipping cream used for the frosting is infused with the lovely, complex flavor of saffron. There's a bit of rose water (which must be used ever so judiciously before falling in to the realm of air freshener), pistachios, and candied rose petals which I did myself using our own roses. If this is sounding just a bit too intense, keep in mind that there's a fair amount of lemon zest to keep all these flavors in check--brilliant!

In addition to adding more cardamom, I followed a number of the suggestions made in the reviews for the recipe at the Epicurious site. I didn't butter the pan, I crushed the cardamom rather than using it whole, and I added the extra egg white. What I didn't do and should have done was use superfine sugar for the rose petals. I had none on hand and mine ended up more clunky than delicate. Not that it that it kept anyone from eating it.

This combination of flavors is nothing short of heavenly. When I first read the recipe, I suspected that the flavors would combine like our favorite kulfi at Cool Moon Ice Cream--a lovely blend of cream, spicy sparkle, and nutty crunch. All those elements translate beautifully into a stunning cake, just perfect for a romantic celebration. If you need something extra special, you might want to give Persian Love Cake a try.

Recipe link here.


Chris said...

It's loverly!

I had a similar reaction to the list of top 30 cakes...mostly ho-hum, except this one that you pointed out. Can't wait to make it again.

Next time you need superfine sugar, put some regular sugar in a blender 'til it's fine.

Magpie Ima said...

Oh. Right. Thanks for the tip :-)