Saturday, 13 February 2016

Little Love Cakes

Having been struggling with a growing bump for the last few months and being so busy with other things, mainly getting the house in shape and some serious nesting (!), I haven't baked nearly as much as I usually do. 
I love to get in the kitchen and bake just about anything, I find it really stress relieving and such an easy creative outlet.

As you've probably read, if you ever pop by here, Denby were so very kind enough to send me the ultimate baking set after coming second in The Great Denby Cake Off in the Summer; 
These were the cake tins of my dreams in stunning rose gold and I honestly could not wait to get some use out of them.
So this week, being stuck in with freezing weather I decided to put them to use having this Valentines weekend as an excuse.

We don't tend to celebrate Valentine's day around here as such; 
I'm all for celebrating St Valentines feast day but we don't tend to buy each other gifts or cards;
I'm not really a fan of all the red roses and cheesy cards but I do think it is a sweet day of the year.
This evening as we were driving home I noticed there seemed to be boys and men all over carrying bunches of flowers which is rather cute to see!
If it's an excuse for people to show someone they love that they care then it can't be a bad thing.

 I set off on pinterest for some baking inspiration and I soon stumbled upon a recipe for "Persian Love Cake"
It is said to have been made by a Persian woman who baked it in order to win the heart of a young Persian Prince (I'm guessing it worked)
Apart from the fact that it had a sweet romantic story attached to it, I loved that it was made up of so many elements that I would want in a cake;
Almonds, Pistachios, Rose water, and Cardamom  
some of my favourite flavours.
 If you look around the internet you will find so many different variations of the cake;
traditionally it is a round cake layered with whipped cream.
I have composed by own miniature versions using most of the elements in the traditional cake;
I baked my little love cakes in my beautiful fluted cake tray from Denby and I love how they came out.

As the cakes are made using almond meal and semolina they have a slightly more crumbly texture so the shape of the cake tins wasn't as refined on the outside, but I still think they look very pretty.
The ingredients for these cakes are simple- you just need to be a bit more organised than me, especially when it comes to putting all the elements together, but I wouldn't call this a tricky bake.

Miniature Persian Inspired Love Cakes with Rose Cream
The Love Cakes
180 grams Almond Meal
70 grams Semolina
6 Eggs
1 Tsp Rose Water
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Lemon juice
3 Crushed Cardamom Seeds

Combine all ingredients and stir well; I actually used a hand blender for a few seconds just to made the texture a little closer as almond meal can be quite course however I'm sure it would have been fine just using a spoon or a paddle attachment on a mixer.
Lightly oil your tins with a little Olive oil- or any flavourless oil- and pour in mixture.
I baked these at 180 for about 15 mins as they are only little and baked quickly.

For the Syrup:
Put 1 cup of cold water and 1 cup of caster sugar in a heavy bottomed pan to boil, add two cardamom pods and a 1 teaspoon of rose water.
Heat for around 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened.
(when you take it off the heat it will get thicker, don't be tempted to keep it on the heat too long or it will burn) 
Brush the syrup on top of the warm cakes and allow to soak in until cooled.

For The Whipped Cream
Whip 200mls of cream, add 50g of icing sugar and two Tsp of Rose water

To decorate I piped swirls of the whipped cream on top and layered stripes of coloured water icing before sprinkling with crushed Pistachios.

Although I've given these a Valentines theme - I'm much more of a pink than a red roses girl-
These are perfect for any day of the year; 
although with all these romantic scents maybe save one for your sweetheart...

Happy Valentines!


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