One beautiful Sunday morning last autumn, my friend Christine and I took a walk on the Aqueduto das Águas Livres in Lisbon. This was the site where Diogo Alves – Portugal’s first serial killer – supposedly robbed and killed seventy people, feigning suicide.
After the visit, we had lunch at Cafeh Tehran, where I enjoyed an amazing Persian Love Cake.
I was able to recreate this cake at home, just as moist and aromatic as it was at the restaurant, even without the cardamom chantilly.
Here is how I made it.
- 200 grams (2 cups) almond flour
- 165 grams (1 1/2 cups) semolina
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 120 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125 grams (1/2 cup) white sugar
- 125 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 250 grams (1 cup) plain yogurt
- 1 orange, juiced and zested
- 50 grams raw pistachios, chopped
For the Syrup:
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup white suger
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) or or 160°C(320°F) with fan.
- Coat a 9 inch springform pan with butter and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, mix together the flours (almond & semolina), baking powder, nutmeg and cardamom.
- In another bowl, beat butter and sugars (white and brown) until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beat until smooth.
- Add yogurt, orange zest and half of orange juice (reserving the other half for the syrup), beat until smooth.
- Incorporate dry ingredients, and mix with a spatula until well combined.
- Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth it out.
- Sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios.
- Bake in the oven for about an hour, until the center is set and the top is golden brown.
- Right before the cake is ready (about 50 minutes into baking), place lemon juice, sugar and rosewater into a saucepan over medium high heat, bring it to a boil, lower the heat to simmer for 2 minutes, stir to dissolve all sugar.
- Take the cake out of the oven. Poke holes all over the surface, pour the warm syrup and the rest of the orange juice evenly over the cake.
- Let is soak and cool down in room temperature for two hours.
- Decorate with rose pedals, if desired.