Saffron and Cardamom Tea Cake

A few months back I came across a page on Instagram that belonged to Faaiza Omar. A multi-talented young woman with a magnificent hand in patisserie. Faaiza creates magic in her kitchen, every single pastry she produces is absolutely gorgeous. She has a gift for combining unusual flavors that create the most sophisticated pastries. Probably some of the best that you will ever come across. I am fascinated by her work and the patience that she has to create such marvelous pieces of art. She doesn’t simply “bake”, she creates and inspires. Her love for all things French patisserie is reflected in her work, and the best part about it, is that she does everything selflessly. Faaiza is a member of the Soul Sisters Society, who have been actively involved in fundraising initiatives. She also is one the of creative contributors behind two of the initiative’s successful recipe collections (both of which I use). I commend her for the things that she has done, and the sheer perfection of her creations.

 

She recently decided to start a company that specialized in importing all the best materials and ingredients that you need to become a French pastry chef like herself. I am often in awe over how simple she makes the complex techniques look. And now thanks to her, you have access to all the goodies you need to create your own masterpieces via the stylish baker.

 

Even though I did a pastry course, it’s literally one of the things I hate to do, I lack the patience necessary to create pieces of art like Faaiza does. However, her blissful talent rubbed off on me as she inspired me to create this beautiful cake. I hardly ever bake, but when I do I make it worth the time and effort. Faaiza and I telepathically decided to use the same ingredients in a pastry on the same day, only after we were both done ,did we realize we were venturing into the same waters.

 

I created this recipe because I knew I wanted to infuse saffron and cardamom into a cake, and what goes best with those two flavors? Rose Petal of course, and so the creation of my Saffron and Cardamom cake with a rose petal butter icing came about. Very middle eastern if you ask me, but I’m into it.

 

 

 

Base recipe adapted from ‘Bake’ the recipe book.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 250g cake flour
  • 250 g castor sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 225 ml fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ – ½ tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp crushed/ground cardamom

 

Icing

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp. fresh cream
  • 2 tsp rose essence
  • pink food color

 

Method

  1. preheat your oven to 180° on the bake setting
  2. line your rectangular baking tray with wax paper then grease with butter or “spray and cook”
  3. crush your saffron in a mortar and pestle, then add some of the cream to it. This way you can easily pour it out.
  4. combine all the ingredients into your mixer and beat until well combined. Pour into your greased tray and tap the tray to even out the batter
  5. bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center.
  6. Set the cake aside to cool and prepare your icing
  7. For the icing, ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
  8. Beat the butter until pale and fluffy, then add the rose essence.
  9. Add the sifted icing sugar a little bit at a time
  10. Then add the remaining fresh cream, according to your preference. at the same time add the food color to create the beautiful pale pink color.
  11. Once the cake is completely cooled, ice it however you prefer and top with chopped pistachio nuts and edible roses.

 

A few key points to remember when making this cake

  1. Saffron is a key component in this cake, so don’t skimp on it. However, you don’t want to add too much as to overpower the cardamom. There needs to be a balance.
  2. Using rose essence is essential and not rose water. The rose water doesn’t have enough flavor in it, adding too much will make your icing too watery and it won’t come together well.
  3. make sure to bake your cake in the center of the oven, on the middle shelf. so that it bakes equally on all sides and doesn’t brown unevenly.

happy baking. tag me in your pictures if you’re making it. I promise it’s so yummy, I wouldn’t lie.

 

rizwaana

 

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