Spiced caramel and almond mud cake layers with rosewater frosting.
As soon as I saw Katherine Sabbath’s Persian Love Cake pop-up on my Pinterest feed a while back, I knew I had to make it. If you’re not familiar with Katherine Sabbath, go spend a minute and Google her name or check out her website here (you’ll want to see her cakes!). She’s a self-taught Australian baker who’s known for her bold and creative cakes. She rarely uses recipes, picks cake flavors based on how she feels that day, and decorates with whatever she has on hand. Her cakes are pure art and from what I’ve read, she sounds like the coolest chick. I’m also a huge fan of Katherine because, like me, she doesn’t like to use fondant because it’s not something that adds to the flavor of the cake. (I think we’re meant to be best friends!)
Ok, back to the Persian Love Cake. I was intrigued by this cake because of the flavor combinations: spiced caramel and almond mud cake (a mud cake, of any flavor, is going to be a dense cake and is great for stacking and decorating with lot of toppings like Katherine does) and rosewater cream cheese frosting. I’ve never used rosewater, but I’ve wanted an excuse to try it and I didn’t dare try creating my own recipe for it. Instead, I’m all about turning to a true pro for a first-time try.
The spice caramel and almond cake was a major hit in my book. I loved the caramel and spice flavors together, as well as the texture of the almond meal. To create the caramel flavor, you’ll melt white chocolate, brown sugar, water, vanilla paste and golden syrup (I used maple syrup) in a saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture is completely smooth, you’ll let it cool for about 20 to 30 minutes before beating in the eggs. At that point, you’ll add the self-rising flour (which you must use because this recipe doesn’t call for any other rising agents) and spices, and then fold in the almond meal.
The original recipe bakes the cake in one deep cake pan, but I chose to bake the cake in three separate 6-inch round cake pans. This changed my baking time from 50 minutes to 25 minutes.
As for the frosting… unfortunately, it didn’t win me over quite as much as the cake layers did. I really tried to like it, but I’m just not a huge fan of the rosewater flavor. I do think the flowery flavor pairs nicely with the sweet caramel spice cake and added salty crunch of the pistachios, but I don’t think I’d use this particular emulsion in the frosting again. (Just a personal preference. You may love it!)
I did, however, really like the other flavors and the texture of the frosting, which calls for cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, butter, a cup of powdered sugar and fresh whipped cream. I love how all these flavors worked together, and how the whipped cream gives it a light and fluffy texture. The cake is plenty sweet on its own, so the fact that the frosting isn’t overwhelmed by powdered sugar is a plus for me.
And like Katherine, you can decorate this cake with whatever you have on-hand. I went with edible pearl beads, white chocolate chips, pistachios, and crushed freeze-dried strawberries.
Final verdict for me, I love the cake and will be using it again and again… the frosting, however, probably won’t be making a repeat appearance in my kitchen.
I hope you’ll try this one. I’d love to hear what you think of all the flavors and textures. Maybe I’m the minority when it comes to a rosewater affinity?