In honor of the day that is coming up, you know the one, I made this themed cake. Okay, truth is I’m very thankful that my wife doesn’t believe in it. I always thought I wanted her to. I’d send flowers to her office, buy chocolates and things. But her response was always the same “everyday with you is special” – I know, how cool is that! So here’s a cake that she loves, because she’s “so special“. I first made it about 15 years ago and every once in a while, it pops up on my radar. It’s from the Bon Appetit/Epicurious site. I still have the original Bon Appetit magazine. This version looks nothing like the magazine, it’s her favorite type, a rustic look.

Don’t skip anything with this recipe (I know, this coming from a Chef who never follows a recipe!). Okay, maybe the rose petals, but only because the taste/thought of raw egg whites really puts me off. But do as you please, just make this cake. Rosewater and saffron in the frosting give it a fantastic taste. Rosewater can be overwhelming so don’t put too much, but it is essential in this cake. I made it once without the rosewater, it just isn’t the same. I also recommend doubling the recipe and using a 10″ square pan – 3″ high or 2 9×2″ round pans. I always split each cake in the middle and put either butter cream or fresh fruit or preserves (or a combination there of) in between each layer. Just gives me additional height and a marvellously flavorful cake. As mentioned, the picture below is a very rustic version of this cake, not at all decorated. I added orange marmalade (but left out the rosewater) to the frosting and poured it on top – DELICIOUS, I am told! Remember, I always say, recipes are just guides to a delicious destination. There are so many roads to deliciousness, it’s a shame to just stay on one. Happy Day – always, my love!

1 cup cake flour
14 tablespoons 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)

2 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
Pinch of saffron threads
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rose water
2 tablespoons natural unsalted pistachios

For candied rose petals:
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 non-stick rack at least 6 hours or overnight.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 9 x 2″ pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper, butter the parchment (or use a vegetable spray)
Sift flour, 7 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl
Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients 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 to the whites until they resemble thick marshmallow fluff – really
Fold whites into batter in 3 addition
Divide batter between prepared pans and bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes or less depending on the which tin you use – 1 big tin, a little longer, 2 small tins, a little less – makes sense right!
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.)

For frosting:
Combine 1/2 cup cream and saffron in small saucepan and bring to a simmer
Remove from heat and let it steep for 20 minutes and chill until cold
Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form, then strain in the saffron cream and beat until peaks form
Fill and frost the cakes
Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours – garnish cake with rose petals and pistachios.
As always – enjoy!

Persian Love Cake