Katherine Sabbath’s Persian love cake

❤ ❤ ❤IMG_8684I have been wanting to make a Katherine Sabbath cake for soooooo long! I was one of the funders for her amazing pop-up cookbook which arrived last Autumn and every so often I open it and ooh and ahh / show it off to unsuspecting visitors like an overly proud grandma with her brag book. I think she’s almost sold them all so if you know a baker in your life who deserves a beautiful present, check them out!

The recipe did not disappoint. I’ve had a few trials and tribulations with mud cakes in the past but I think the addition of almonds to the cake batter made it a lot lighter and it only took half an hour to bake. IMG_8679It has been a busy week this week. I started going to beginner tap classes in November, and I have absolutely loved them. They resulted in a routine to Puttin’ on the Ritz as part of the dance society’s annual show this week, which was essentially all of my dance dreams come true. There are gemstones from my sparkly waistcoat all around the flat, and I even found some stuck to my arm {who knows how long they’d been there}.

I made this cake for the boyfriend’s college’s Cake Club on Monday {one of my only nights without a rehearsal this week} which had a Valentine’s theme. It went down really well, although consensus was that no one could really taste the rose 🤷 it’s such a strong flavour though, that I’m pleased I erred on the side of caution and went with less rather than more. IMG_8674Katherine’s original recipe has a lush-sounding cheesecake filling which I made, but then regretted as *dramatic music* I fell into the UK cream cheese trap again. Basically, we don’t have ‘brick’ cream cheese readily available here; the stuff we have is much softer, which throws all American {and now Australian, it would seem} cream-cheese-based recipes out of whack. They end up very runny, and that was the case with the filling on Monday night.

I made a quick emergency buttercream following my own ratios which worked much better, but was a little rushed, hence the crap lighting and few photos.

IMG_8683Anyway, please support awesome ladies like Katherine and give this cake a go! It is a beauty.

Persian Love Cake

  • Servings: 12 - 16, depending on how big you cut your slices!
  • Difficulty: not too tricky
  • Print

A spiced caramel mud cake sandwiched with a rose and cream cheese buttercream and pistachios


  • I baked this as a two-layer cake in 2 x 8″ (20cm) circular cake tins.
  • I have tweaked this recipe slightly from Katherine’s original based on what I had {and didn’t have} in the cupboard, and changed the icing because of my usual UK cream cheese problem 😦
  • If you have self-raising flour, use 150g of that in place of the 8g baking powder and 142g plain flour
  • If you want to ensure that your layers are even, weigh your mixing bowl when it’s empty, and again at the end of the recipe once you’ve mixed in the almonds. Take away the first measurement from the second and divide by two, allowing for some mixture remaining in the bowl. For me, this worked out to be 600g of cake batter in each tin.

Ingredients

Spiced Caramel Mud Cake:
  • 200g unsalted butter {can be cold}
  • 200g good quality white chocolate
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs {room temp.}
  • 8g baking powder
  • 142g plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 200g ground almonds
Rose cream cheese buttercream: 
  • 100g soft, unsalted butter {room temp.}
  • 140g cream cheese {room temp.}
  • 420g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp rosewater
  • red/pink food colouring
Decoration {feel free to change up as you wish}:
  • unsalted pistachios
  • gold sprinkles

Method

Spiced Caramel Mud Cake:

Preheat your oven to 160*C and line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Chop up the butter into cubes and the chocolate into smallish pieces. In a large saucepan over low-medium heat, melt together the butter, chocolate, sugar, 1 cup {240ml} of water, the honey and vanilla. Once completely smooth, pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool down.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled to about body temperature, beat in the eggs one-by-one.

Sieve in the flour, baking powder and spices and fold through the mixture until combined. Finally, fold through the ground almonds and divide the mixture between the two tins. Bake for 30 minutes, checking with a skewer to see if they’re done.

Leave to cool completely.

Buttercream:

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until pale and smooth. If there are still flecks of butter in the mixture, warm it up slightly by microwaving it or suspending over a pan of simmering water.

Sieve in the icing sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes, starting slowly and building up speed. Next, add the rosewater and a few drops of pink food colouring and mix through.

Taste to check the levels of rose and add more if you wish.

Assembly:

Put one cake layer on whatever you’re going to serve it on. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top, and pipe icing roses on top {or just spread one thick layer of icing onto this cake}. Chop some pistachios and sprinkle them on top.

Put the second layer on top of the first and again, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top. Pipe roses again if you have enough buttercream {I was just short, so dumped the remaining on top and spread it out}. Sprinkle more pistachios on top as well as the gold sprinkles.


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