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YOGURT LOVERS PERSIAN LOVE CAKE

Barb Hodgens

Posted on October 14 2018

You’re going to fall in love with this Persian Love Cake! 

So much more than a romantic name, it has a sublime texture and flavour nuances that will move you to make it time and again. The story goes that a woman, madly in love with a prince, baked this cake and imbued it with magical powers to make him fall in love with her. There are two endings to the story; one where the cake didn’t work (and she ate it all herself) and another where they lived happily ever after.

Our gluten-free version is so good that you will want to have it all to yourself too. It is an exotic dessert cake for all yogurt lovers and spice lovers alike; made with almond meal, homemade yogurt, coconut sugar, dreamy spices, citrus zest and a hint of rose water. And it’s love at first sight too; so gorgeous decorated with pistachios and dried rose petals.

The yogurt enriched batter ensures the cake is moist and light, while the contrasting nut crumb base is sweet, crunchy and deliciously caramelised. The enchanting middle eastern flavours go perfectly with lashings of extra homemade yogurt to serve. Or for a richer dessert experience, why not dollop on cultured cream(homemade probiotic sour cream)

It is hard to believe a cake this beautiful could be so simple to make. No complicated techniques or equipment are required. In fact, it’s an old-fashioned, one bowl creation that can be thrown together and in the oven in under 15 minutes. Making it is a sensory experience though; you have to get your fingers into the batter to get the right dose of love in there.

Traditionally this cake is has made with dairy milk yogurt. The one pictured has been made with organic cow's milk yogurt but goat milk yogurt or coconut yogurt may also be used.

INGREDIENTS

Nut crumb base
3 cups almond meal
½ cup butter (120 grams) or coconut oil at room temperature
1 cup coconut sugar

Yogurt cake batter
1 cup homemade yogurt
Zest of 1 orange
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of rosewater (optional)
1 teaspoons of nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup pistachios – lightly chopped
Edible rose petals or dried rose petal tea for decorating (optional)
2 cups of homemade yogurt to serve

METHOD

1.  Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2.  Line the base of a 9 inch / 23 cm springform cake tin with baking paper then grease the sides with butter or coconut oil.
3.  To make the crumb base, combine the almond meal, coconut sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, and rub together with love (and your fingertips) until you have an even, sandy crumb consistency.
4.  Pour half the crumb into the prepared tin. Use the back of a spoon (or your fingers) to press the mixture into a firm, even base plus approximately 1 cm up the sides. Set the base aside to mix the cake batter.

5.  Add the eggs, homemade yogurt, salt, baking powder, cardamom, nutmeg and rosewater to the remaining crumb mixture and whisk with a spatula until you have a smooth batter.
6.  Pour the batter over the crumb base and then sprinkle with chopped pistachio.
7.  Bake for about 30 - 40 minutes. Take a peek at the cake at 30 minutes, if the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil, then bake for a further 10 minutes. The centre of the cake is designed to be moist, but it should spring back when pressed gently.
8.  Cool completely, before removing from the tin or cutting to serve.
9.  Decorate with additional pistachio nuts and edible rose petals.
10.  Serve cold with a generous dollop of homemade yogurt, homemade cultured cream or coconut yogurt.

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