I am not really a celebrating-Valentine’s-Day-with-roses-and-all-things-pink kind of person. I am not, in fact, a celebrating-Valentine’s-Day-at-all kind of person.
Yesterday we did not celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead we nursed horrid hang-overs (because, hey look! We aren’t 19 anymore and alcohol is poison that makes me want to die), drove around the city in forty degree heat to pick up an oven because I set mine on fire and it really wasn’t happy about it, sat on the side of the freeway for half an hour because old cars don’t do so well in the heat and FINALLY came home and spent the rest of the evening watching Lano & Woodley. Because it is freaking hilarious.
As I am not a huge fan of the day of love, I didn’t really mind that we weren’t staring dreamily into each other’s eyes as we drifted across a lake in a giant fibreglass swan or gazing with adoration over the flickering of candlelight. What I do mind though is missing out on any opportunity to eat delicious food, especially if it is being made at a cafe/restaurant/house of chow I am yet to try. And we had made plans to eat burgers and drink beer at a much lauded local brewery- because what is more romantic than a man date? But then all the things happened (see above) and we didn’t make it to the house of beer.
So we carried V-Day forward and had our man date today instead. And it was very very good. So thank you St. Valentine for giving us a legitimate excuse to spend Sunday afternoon eating burgers and drinking micro-brewed beer.
We also ate this cake. Because even though I would rather drink beer and eat a burger than simultaneously sip a chocolate milkshake, I am still a girl. And I think that making a cake for somebody is a pretty swell thing to do- times a million when it has a name like Persian Love Cake.
This cake is rich, fragrant, indulgent, almost sultry. Pretty much how I imagine Persia, as seen through the lens of a James Bond camera man.
PERSIAN LOVE CAKE WITH ROSE MARSCAPONE (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)
3 cups almond meal (you can use half semolina)
1 tsp salt
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup brown sugar
120 soft butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup + 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1 tbsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cardamom
1/2 cup marscapone
a few drops of rosewater
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped pistachios
fresh fruit + rose petals (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Grease and line a 26cm spring-form cake tin.
Combine the almond meal, salt, sugars and butter in a large bowl and use your fingertips to mix into coarse crumbs. Spoon half this mixture into the prepared cake tin and flatten to evenly line the base.
Add the egg, one cup of yoghurt and the spices to the remaining almond mix and use a wooden spoon to beat until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake til golden- 30- 35 minutes.
While baking combine the marscapone, remaining yoghurt, rosewater, vanilla and a tiny amount of pink food colouring (optional) and whisk until smooth and creamy. It should be silky smooth and soft.
When the cake has cooled completely, spoon the marscapone mix over the top, sprinkle with pistachios and arrange your fruit.
Present to your beloved with a tiny cup of mint tea and wait for smiles of contentment.