Infusion of rosewater

On our previous trip to Paris, we found this little cafe near Montmartre and stopped for a coffee as we needed a break from the freezing cold. For those who know me, I have a weakness for pistachios. Pistachio ice-cream, pistachio macaroons, pistachio biccies… My eyes would never let me veer away from pistachio once it catches my eye on the dessert counter. This time, it was a pistachio and rosewater cake. Mmmm… Quite an interesting combination and one that I have never come across. I did have a moment of doubt – Rosewater reminded me of this pastel pink drink back in Asia called Bandung. I never liked that sweet and fake coloured drink BUT as you know, my pistachio love took over and I HAD to try the cake.

The next thing you know, the dude and I were vying for the last crumbs of this moist and fragrant cake. The combination of flavours was perfect. We were in love.

It was decided that we had to make this cake in London. We thought it would be hard to find rosewater but it was easily found at a local offy (off-license). This recipe was found on the internet and the cake was a huge success. Terribly easy to make and delicious to taste! A must-try!

Lime Yoghurt Cake with Rosewater and Pistachios
(adapted from a recipe by Rachel Allen)

For the cake
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
75g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 generous tbsp or 50g runny honey
250ml natural yoghurt
150ml sunflower/ vegetable oil
finely grated zest from 1 lime

For the syrup
150ml water
100g caster sugar
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp rose water

To start, preheat the oven to 180 deg celsius. Line the base of a 22cm spring-form/ loose-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper. (We used just a 22cm cake tin)
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir in the ground almonds and caster sugar.
Then mix the wet ingredient together – eggs, honey, yoghurt, sunflower oil and lime zest together in a medium sized bowl until smooth.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients, bringing them together with a whisk until they are just combined. Add some chopped pistachios to the mixture if you like some additional texture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 50mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 20mins.

To make the syrup, boil the water and sugar for about 5 minutes until it is reduced by half. Add the lime juice and boil for a further 2 minutes, then cool. Add rose water to taste. (Note: rosewater is quite strong so just start off with about 1 teaspoon).

With a fine skewer, make holes on top of the warm cake and spoon the syrup all over the top. Scatter the pistachios over and leave to settle for 1 hour (i.e. if you can wait!)

Serve with cream, natural yoghurt and even berries. It is quite a moist cake and keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

Side note*: Toast the pistachios before hand for a crunch in the nuts!


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