05 December 2009

Persian Butta Luv Cake

man, that's a terrible photo.  Sorry y'all.  My camera was trippin'.  That's all I got.

Hello bakers!  Sometimes I do bake things that are not Dorie-esque.  I was gonna make another Rosy Pear Tart this weekend, but a combination of my not being enthused with the amount of work nor the results, and the hostess of the party I was attending exclaiming that "I've had my heart set on one of your cakes!" made me junk that idea.  Since we were to have Indian food for dinner, I needed something that would go well with it.  I decided on the Persian Love Cake from Epicurious, a recipe I've been eyeing for a good while.

The cake as presented in the recipe is a lemon-cardamom chiffon cake, iced in saffron and rosewater-scented whipped cream and decorated with pistachios and candied rose petals.  I actually had most of the ingredients on hand, including some saffron threads I picked up at World Market long ago.   

Problem #1.  I was eager to make the candied petals but...it occurred to me that I had NO idea where to find edible roses in this town.  Nor did I want to spend several days (because I totally will) running around looking for and then paying like $20 each for them.  What to do?  I remembered that I do actually know how to make full roses out of sugar dough.  So I grabbed a roll of marzipan, tinted it, and made petals out of it.

it's about to get SERIOUS!

Nice mindless drudgery while I waited for the chicken and dumplings I was making for dinner (YUM) to cook.  Problem more or less solved.  Everyone guessed immediately that they were petals.  I was worried when I put them on the cake that they wouldn't get it.  All right now!

Problem #2
The next night I set about making the cake.  I don't know that I've ever made chiffon cake, but I followed the recipe as given.  I was a little concerned when after folding in carefully whipped whites, I still had only like 3 cups of batter.

hmm.  There is entirely too much empty space here.

I usually fill pans to 1/2 or even 3/4 full, so I was afraid, but I thought "well maybe it rises a lot in the oven?  People keep talking about the cake climbing."  Um, yeah, no.

Oh NO.

These might not look so bad, but trust me, they are about a 1/2 inch thick.  Didn't rise at ALL.  By now it is very late and I have another "All-In-One Holiday Cake" to bake (don't judge;  I needed to get rid of some fruit).  I would need like four more of these to get a presentable cake. The texture, inexplicably, was nice and soft and springy, though.   I decide to sleep on it.

The next day I decide--hang it.  I used my go-to white butter cake recipe (the one that never fails me), and added lemon and cardamom in proportional amounts.  Result?


Two lovely springy two-inch layers, which taste much like the ill fated ones of the night before.

Problem #3
I made the saffron and rosewater cream, using a whole tablespoon of rosewater (which, by the way, smells DIVINE;  I want to wear it) but I blinked for a second and got a weird texture.  Instead of soft smooth cream, I got a yellow pile of stuff that looked separated.


NO WAY could I give that to anyone. The mouthfeel was perfectly fine, but it did not look good at ALL. I used it to fill and crumbcoat, so we could still get the saffron flavor.  I whipped up some rosewater whipped cream (no time to make more saffron cream) and covered the cake.   It gave me a bit of a weird texture too, as you can see in the top photo, but not as bad.

I was afraid the guests would find it weird--lemon/cardamom/saffron/rosewater/pistachio/butter cake with whipped cream?  MAD busy--but they raved over it.  I liked it pretty well too.  Definitely worth keeping in the file.  The use of the butter cake instead of chiffon inspired the title.  Still gotta figure out that whipped cream, though...

extra:  the Holiday cake

looks pretty good, no?  I was proud.



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