“You’ve got this life and while you’ve got it, you’d better kiss like you only have one moment, try to hold someone’s hand like you will never get another chance to, look into people’s eyes like they’re the last you’ll ever see, watch someone sleeping like there’s no time left, jump if you feel like jumping, run if you feel like running, play music in your head when there is none, and eat cake like it’s the only one left in the world!”
~ C. JoyBell C.
I wanted to make a special cake to mark my 30 Year Anniversary of having Lyme disease. I’m celebrating all that I have learned, all that I have survived, and all that is now unfolding in front of me. Plus… cake! Do you ever really need a reason?
This is a simple cake to make, but it looks and tastes fancy. Perfect for a celebration! It has those beautiful Persian spices – including cardamom and orange blossom – which give a distinctive exotic flavour, and it is gluten-free. The base is sugary crisp, and the filling is light and not too rich. With a few easy substitutions this cake can also be made dairy-free if needed.
If you don’t have orange blossom water, you can omit or substitute for rose-water. It will still taste delicious. You can buy orange blossom water at many supermarkets, delicatessens, Asian or Indian grocers and even health food stores.
3 cups of almond meal, 1 cup of raw (demerara) sugar, 1 cup of soft brown sugar – lightly packed, 1/2 cup (125g) soft unsalted butter, 2 eggs, 1 cup of natural yoghurt, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon orange blossom water, 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
1 x baking-paper lined 26cm springform (10 inch) pan.
Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit). Prepare your cake tin.
Place the almond meal, sugars and butter in a large bowl.
Rub the butter through the dry ingredients until it resembles soft crumbs.
Press half of the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the springform pan. You could use the back of a spoon but I think that clean hands work just as well!
Lightly beat the two eggs. Add the beaten eggs, spices, orange blossom water and yoghurt to the remaining crumb mix. Stir together well.
Pour onto the crumb base. Sprinkle roughly chopped pistachios around the outside of the cake.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cake will not be quite firm. That’s okay – it will firm up as it cools. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from tin.
To serve, accompany the Persian Love Cake with some more yoghurt or a good ice-cream.
Variations: If you are following a dairy-free diet, this can also be made with a vegetable spread substitute for the butter. You could use a soy or coconut yoghurt too. I’ve made these variations before and they were still delicious, although the coconut yoghurt adds an additional flavour which changes the taste of the cake (but not in a bad way!)