Love Cake

This image and recipe are courtesy of Tesco.com

Topped with juicy figs and creamy white chocolate shavings, this stunning showstopper is a modern spin on a classic Persian love cake, so sit back and enjoy a heavenly slice with a cup of fresh mint tea.

Ingredients

  • butter, for greasing
  • 200g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 115ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large orange, juiced and zested

For the filling and decoration

  • 150g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 100g icing sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the whipped cream
  • 150ml Greek yogurt
  • pink gel food colour
  • 200g raspberries
  • 3 fresh figs, quartered
  • 1-2 tsp dried rose petals (optional)
  • 40g pomegranate seeds

 

Method

  1. Heat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Grease then line the bases of three 20cm springform cake tins with nonstick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in 200g caster sugar, the baking powder, spices, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add the cream of tartar and whisk into soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition, until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture is shiny and glossy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil and orange juice for 1-2 mins, until thick and creamy. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yolk mixture, then add the orange zest and beat until just smooth.
  4. Fold in the egg white mixture a third at a time, until just combined. Divide evenly between the cake tins and smooth with a palette knife. Gently tap each tin on the work surface to get rid of any large air bubbles, then bake for 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 mins, then run a knife around the edge of each tin to loosen the cakes. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Spread the melted chocolate in a thin layer onto the back of an oiled baking tray. Set aside to cool. Once set, run a cheese plane over the surface to make curls. To allow for mistakes, this amount will make more than you need (see tip, below).
  6. Whisk the cream and 2 tbsp icing sugar until soft peaks form, then stir in the yogurt. Make the icing by mixing 100g icing sugar in a separate bowl with a little water and a few drops of the pink gel food colour until you have a thick, pale pink mixture. Crush most of the raspberries, reserving a few whole berries to decorate.
  7. To assemble, put a cooled cake layer on a plate and spread over half the crushed raspberries. Top with half the whipped cream mixture. Add another cake layer and repeat with the remaining crushed raspberries and cream mixture. Top with the final cake and spoon over the pink icing, allowing some to drip down the sides of the cake. Decorate with the figs and the whole raspberries, then arrange some of the chocolate curls on top and scatter with the petals and pomegranate seeds, if using.

 

Ashford Finalist