Our cookbook of the week is Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow, one of Australia’s best-loved cooking stars. Tomorrow, we’ll feature an interview with its author.
To try another recipe from the book, check out: orange yogurt hearts with violet glaze and raspberries, and flourless chocolate cake with Guinness ice cream.
Pretty in pink and green, and scented with cardamom and rosewater, Poh Ling Yeow’s Persian love cake is a winner on several fronts. It’s a gorgeous, gluten-free option by nature and exceptionally easy to make.
The fairly dense, golden stunner uses a muffin method (simply mixing dry ingredients with wet ingredients), or as Yeow dubs it, a “bung-in-and-stir.” As such, it’s suitable for a wide range of skill levels and junior bakers as well.
“It’s one that I always recommend to people that are hopeless at baking because you can literally make it in five minutes and I’m not even exaggerating. There’s nothing to it,” Yeow says with a laugh. “And it has those really gorgeous, romantic, Middle Eastern flavours with the saffron, rosewater and just a little hint of cardamom.”
The cake caramelizes beautifully, she adds, resulting in dark, sticky sides with a flavour and texture reminiscent of dates. “And it’s really yum with a bit of sharp, Greek yogurt.”
PERSIAN LOVE CAKE
300 g (3 cups) almond flour
185 g (1 cup) superfine sugar
220 g (1 cup) firmly packed soft brown sugar
120 g (generous 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250 g (scant 1 cup) natural OR Greek-style yoghurt
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp rosewater
25 saffron threads
4 tbsp flaked almonds
4 tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
To decorate (optional):
Unsprayed edible rose petals
500 g (2 cups) Greek-style yogurt
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) if using convection (177°C/350°F for conventional). Grease the ring of a 24 cm (9 1/2 inch) springform pan, then line with strips of baking paper. Turn the base upside down, so it no longer has a lip. Place a piece of baking paper over it, then clamp the ring around it to secure.
To make the crumb base, combine the almond flour, superfine sugar, brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, and rub together until you have an even, sandy consistency. Divide the mixture in two and tip half into the prepared pan. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.
To make the cake batter, add the eggs, yogurt, salt, cardamom, rosewater and saffron to the remaining crumb mixture and whisk until there are no lumps. Pour over the crumb base and sprinkle the flaked almonds and pistachios over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and fully risen – you will know because the top will probably crack a little. If the top is colouring too quickly, cover with foil, then bake for a further 20 minutes. The centre of the cake should spring back when pressed gently. Cool completely, before removing from the pan and cutting to serve.
Lovely decoration ideas are edible rose petals, sliced fresh figs and a very light dusting of icing sugar. Serve with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt.
Excerpted from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow (Murdoch Books, Jan. 8, 2019).