Rosewater and Cardamom Cake
Roses are one of my absolute favourite things in the world. Inspired by a childhood spent playing outside in the garden, I am completely enamoured with the beautiful flowers and their sweet scent. Both of my Grandmothers have beautiful rose gardens, and I have spent many happy days with them over the years pottering around in the garden and picking flowers to take home.
My first experiment using rosewater in baking was a raspberry and rose jam which I made for Christmas last year. I loved the subtle fragrant flavour the rosewater added, and since then I’ve been dying to try it out in more recipes.
While looking for a wheat-free cake recipe, I stumbled across this one by Nigel Slater, which I adjusted slightly for simplicity and personal taste. The recipe calls for rosewater and cardamom, a lovely combination that gives this cake a delicate aromatic flavour. This cake is perfect to enjoy on a sunny afternoon, served with natural yoghurt and a cup of your favourite tea.
- 220g butter, softened
- 220g caster sugar
- 275g ground almonds
- 3 eggs
- 150g polenta, fine grade
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 lemons, juice & zest
- ½ tsp cardamom seeds, ground
- 1 lemon, juice & zest
- 5 tbsp clear honey
- ¼ tsp cardamom seeds, ground
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- Sliced almonds, icing sugar and spray-free/food-grade rose petals to decorate
- 1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C on bake. Line a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
- 2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (either in a mixer or by hand). Add in ground almonds and mix to combine.
- 3 .Lightly beat eggs with a fork, then stir in to the mixture.
- 4. Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Combine with polenta and baking powder in a bowl.
- 5.Juice and zest 2 small lemons. Add the juice and zest to the cake mixture, then fold in polenta, cardamom and baking powder.
- 6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin, levelling the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C, then turn down heat to 160°C and bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.
- 1.Once you have taken the cake out of the oven, begin making the syrup.
- 2. Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle until finely ground.
- 3. Heat lemon juice, honey and cardamom in a saucepan, dissolving the honey and then bringing to the boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes until it forms a thin syrup. Remove from the heat and add rosewater.
- 4. While the cake is still in its tin, spike holes in the top using a skewer, then pour the warm syrup over it.
- 5. Leave to cool, then remove from tin and decorate with icing sugar, sliced almonds, and rose petals. Serve with natural unsweetened yoghurt.