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Persian Love Cake

Candied Rose Petals

You will need to prepare these the night before you make the cake. Make sure that you buy organically grown roses. The cake does not need these as there is rosewater in the icing, nor does it need the addition of pistachios, but it makes it much more special.

*2 large egg whites
* 1/2 cup sugar (you do not need superfine sugar for this)
* Petals from 2 organic roses

Whisk egg whites in small bowl until foamy. Using pastry brush, brush rose petals on both sides with egg whites; sprinkle on both sides with sugar. Dry on nonstick rack at least 6 hours or overnight.


Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment

* 1 cup cake flour
* 14 tablespoons baker's sugar or superfine sugar, divided
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
* 3 large eggs, separated
* 6 tablespoons water
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods). Grind the seeds or use a mortar and pestle. I'd definitely suggest you use the seeds from the pods. They're much more pungent than jarred ground cardamom.

Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker's sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Whisk yolks, water, canola oil and grated lemon peel and cardamom in small bowl until smooth. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker's sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)


This icing recipe makes a lot so you can be generous with it.

* 2 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
* Pinch of saffron threads - I have read online some people say they made the icing without the saffron. It's a very important flavor component. If you don't have saffron, don't make it.

* 2/3 cup powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon rose water

Combine 1/2 cup cream and saffron in small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold.

Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form; strain in saffron cream. Straining the saffron removes any lumps that occurred while simmering the cream and the saffron threads. I recommend you strain it but you don't have to. Either way the flavor/outcome is the same.

Beat until peaks form.

Decorate the iced cake with rose petals and pistachios.

* 2 tablespoons natural unsalted pistachios -slightly chopped

Natural unsalted pistachios can be difficult to find. Whatever you do DO NOT USE roasted salted pistachios. You may find natural unsalted pistachios in stores like Whole Foods or a local ethnic market. If you are lucky you may be able to find Persian Slivered Pistachios. They can be ordered online.

Let the cake chill for one hour. It's best eaten same day, or next day to retain it's best flavor and freshness.