A cake with enchanting magical love powers in every bite. Here’s the story….once upon a time there was a Persian woman madly in love with a prince. To make him fall in love with her, she baked him this enchanting cake, filled with magical love powers. However, there are two endings to this fairytale, in the first, the prince returns her love and they live happily ever after. In the second he doesn’t and she eats the entire cake! Yes, its that good.
There are many different versions of the cake (and the story) and this is the one that appealed to me the most. Some use cream, many use rosewater, and there are different combinations of nuts and spices. In the end I tried this one from Nadia Magazine, which ticked all the boxes for me. I love the freshness that the yoghurt and orange bring along with my take by adding some honey and nutmeg. It’s absolutely delicious, gluten free and will entice all who eat it.
CAKE (serves 8)
1 cup brown sugar or honey
Zest 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence or extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup natural Greek yogurt
2.5 cups ground almonds
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs honey
HONEY LABINEH ICING
1 cup natural Greek yogurt
2-3 Tbsp liquid honey (optional)
Zest 1 orange (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pistachios
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate (if in season)
1. To make icing, line a sieve with muslin or a paper towel and sit over a a bowl. Tip yoghurt into sieve, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-8 hours 9or overnight) to allow liquid to drain from yoghurt. You will be left with a thick yoghurt cheese, much the same consistency as mascarpone or whipped cream cheese. Mix in hone to taste, and orange zest or leave plain.
2. To make the cake, preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line a 22-23cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.
3.If you have a food processor, blitz all cake ingredients and a good pinch of salt together until smooth.
4. If you don’t have a food processor, beat together butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in yoghurt, ground almonds, a good pinch of salt and baking soda.
5. Spoon into cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is a deep golden colour. Allow cake to cool to room temperature before icing.
6. To serve, spread honey labneh over cake and decorate with pomegranate seeds (optional) and pistachios.