Annette shares her favourite recipes, craft hints and sewing ideas gathered during her many travels to far flung places.

Lucy’s luscious lovely Persian love Cake

The Love Cake has 3 must have ingredients – Rose, Cardamom, Saffron. 
Legend has it that a lovelorn woman baked this cake using magical ingredients to win the heart of a Persian prince. 
Tips 
Gluten Free: Substitute semolina with GF flour or coconut flour or replace flour & semolina with almond meal.
Dairy free: try coconut yogurt instead of dairy yogurt & use vegetable ghee instead of ghee. 
Syrup: Thin syrup soaks into the cake well & keeps it moist.Thick syrup more caramelised glaze and sweeter on the top.
Eating The cake is best eaten when syrup has soaked in overnight. Eat as soon as possible, keep leftovers for in frig but serve at room temperature.
Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 40 mins 
Servings: cut into 16 portions 
Ingredients 
120g ghee; or 6 tbsp almond or macadamia oil
2¼ cup almond meal
¾ cup of finely crushed pistachio nuts
1/2 cup semolina pre soaked and drained
¾ cup coconut sugar
1 pinch salt
Zest of 1 orange 
2 eggs large, whisked until fluffy
250g yogurt thick, Greek style – not vanilla flavoured
2 tbsp rose water
2 tsp cardamom ground
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp saffron threads crushed and soaked to extract flavour
3 tbsp pistachios sliced 
2 tbsp almond slivers 
Syrup 
½ cup honey or coconut syrup or pomegranate molasses if you don’t want as sweet
Juice of 1 navel orange
2 tbsp rose water
½ tsp ground saffron threads
3 tbsp pistachios slivered
1 tbsp of culinary rose petals or fresh petals of 1 chemical free rose bud
Directions 
1. Preheat the oven at 180C degrees or 170C degrees in a fan forced oven
2. Prepare a greased 250mm springform cake pan that has been lined very neatly with parchment paper (even if non-stick pan)
3. In a food processor, pulse together the almond meal, ground pistachios, semolina, sugar, 1 tsp of cardamom, ghee and a pinch of salt until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 
4. Spoon half the mixture into tin and press down to form an even base. 
5. In another bowl combine the eggs, yoghurt, ¾of the orange zest, rose water, soaked saffron and the spices
6. Whisk until fluffy and creamy. 
7. Add this to the remaining half of the almond meal mix and mix until combined 
8. Carefully spoon onto the base making sure the mixture is evenly spread across the base.
9. Scatter the pistachios and almond slivers all over the cake batter. 
10. Bake at 180C degrees for 20 minutes until it is golden on the top. 
11. Cover cake with foil and bake a further 20 minutes – this will avoid burning the top of the cake but make the edges nice & caramelised.
12. It will be very moist but the edges should be lovely and caramelised
13. Leave in tin to cool
Honey Syrup 
1. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup.
2. Combine honey, remaining zest and orange juice and bring it to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Then stir in the rose water and ground saffron into the syrup. 
5. Turn off the heat & half the rose petals, almonds and pistachios 
Final Step 
Poke holes all over the cake with a skewer.
Carefully spoon the warm syrup over the warm cake
Let the syrup soak in for several hours or overnight.
Decorate with fresh or dried edible rose petals and the remaining nuts. 
Let the cake ‘set’ before cutting.
Serve with rose water & cardamom flavoured yoghurt 
Other Topping options:
Violet petal,Lavender flowers; Pansy or heartsease petals; Pomegranate seeds

Persian Love Biscuits 

Mix all the ingredients at once 
Mix well & place 1/8 cup mix onto prepared biscuit tray
Cook for 10 minutes checking to see if ready