Every year for my in-laws birthdays, when I can, I try to make a cake.
I make the same cake. One that I came across a few years back, first called a “Persian Love Cake.” I’m a bit uncomfortable as I’m not 100% sure where the name cake from. I’ve read that it was made by a Persian woman to try to win the heart of a Persian Prince, but whether that’s true story, or the amalgam of flavors reminded someone of middle eastern flavors and they decided that “Persian” sounded cool, and bam, they had a cake name, I’m not sure. I haven’t delved into the history and for that reason, until I do, I choose to call it a “love cake” rather than a Persian Love Cake.
A selection of photos over different times I’ve made the cake:
The recipe I came across was from Yasmin Khan, a writer who discusses food, politics, and the intersection of cultures in the Middle East therein. It had orange, and rose, and cardamom and all the things I love. I made it, loved it, and ate the whole cake in about three days.
My father in law however, is a fan of chocolate, so I searched for a chocolate version and discovered this Butter Baking recipe. It was unbelievably good, and so easy to make. I made it first in 2016, and I’ve been making it ever since. In fact, there’s also an Orange Blossom and Nutmeg version that’s delicious.
I cannot more highly recommend this cake, it’s moist, well spiced, easy, and interesting. The textures of the base, and the smooth middle juxtapose so wonderfully. The mascarpone cuts the sweetness, and you get a splash of tart with the raspberries on top. You will absolutely not regret making this cake for your next occasion, whether it’s a birthday or a Friday.
Chocolate Love Cake
modified gently from butterbaking.com
-160g unsalted butter (0.75 cup)
-2 cups almond meal (200g)
-1 cup brown sugar (or half brown, half turbinado/raw sugar) – I use dark brown b/c I like the molasses flavor, use whatever your prefer
-1 tsp salt
-130g dark chocolate, chopped
-130g heavy cream
-1 egg + 1 egg yolk
-130g thick whole milk yogurt (greek is preferrable, nothing too runny)
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp nutmeg
-150g heavy cream
-2 tbsp white sugar (superfine is better, you can also just grind up regular sugar)
-Fresh raspberries and chopped pistachios for topping
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with baking paper, and then spray the inside ring with non-stick spray, and set aside.
In a bowl, mix together almond meal, sugar, salt, and butter. Mix it until it come together into a coarse bread crumbs or a ball. Split in half, and press half of the mixture into the bottom of your springform pan to form the base of the cake.
Then mix together chocolate and cream, and melt together over a pot of boiling water. You can also do this in the microwave, just go 20 seconds at a time, and pull out the bowl and stir. When it’s all melted together and not too hot, add in the egg + yolk + the yogurt + cinnamon/nutmeg to the chocolate-cream mixture. When that’s all nicely mixed together, add it to the bowl with the other half of the almond meal mixture and mix well until smooth. Pour the chocolate batter of the base in the springform pan. Bake for 35-40 min.
While it’s baking, make the topping.
Wash your raspberries and lie them out to dry. Chop up your pistachios and toast them if you like. I don’t, but it can bring out a cool flavor if you do.
Then either by hand or in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whisk together the mascarpone, cream, and sugar until it is nice a thick. Put it in a piping bag with a nozzle (I use a star nozzle) attached.
When you cake is cooled, pipe the cream on top in any pattern you like, and then decorate with raspberries and pistachios. Serve and enjoy!
I keep this out at room temp for about 2-3 days, or it lasts in the fridge for 1 week covered.