The name “Love Cake” piqued my interest. Love Cake? Of course I love cake. Dur.
But what the heck is Love Cake? Pushing Marjorie Daws’ enthusiastic exclamation “I LOOOOOVE DEE CAKE!!” out of my head for a moment, I found it’s a Traditional Sri Lankan cake featuring a heady mix of cardamom, cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, rosewater and cashews.
And 10 eggs.
Yes. 10 Eggs. Perfect for my contribution to this month’s International Incident Party, hosted by Jeroxie and Trix, where the theme for September is Eggs. If you dislike an eggy taste to your cake, you need not worry with this recipe as the spices shine through. But you could always drop the quantity down to 7 eggs for a more dense Love Cake.
This Sri Lankan Love Cake is a fluffy, rich, squidgy cake packed with exotic flavour. The entire cake is held together by whipping 10 egg whites, then folding it through the sugar and spice (and all things nice). Semolina grains softened in butter and chopped cashews add a little texture.
Make the neighbours drool with intoxicating scents from your oven. Hints of turkish delight, warm cinnamon and nutmeg, honey and meringue are sure to bring all the boys to the yard. (Damn right). And when they arrive on your doorstep asking what you’re cooking, you can bat your eyelashes and say “Love Cake”. Or if they’re creepy you can slam the door, run inside, and console yourself with cake. Either way. Win-win.
SRI LANKAN “LOVE CAKE”
125g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
10 Eggs, separated
500g Caster Sugar
185g Cashew Nuts, chopped finely
2 tablespoons Rosewater
2 tablespoons Honey
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Rind
1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Grease a square cake tin with non-stick spray.
Place semolina on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter.
In a large bowl beat the egg yolks and caster sugar together until light and creamy. Spoon in the semolina mixture and beat until all combined. Tip in the nuts, rosewater, honey, nutmeg, lemon rind, cardamom and cinnamon and mix together.
In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes. If the top starts to brown, cover with aluminium foil. Do not use the skewer test to check if it’s ready as this cake is very moist. Instead, lightly jiggle the cake tin and make sure there is no runny batter.
Allow the cake to fully cool in the tin. Do not flip it out of the tin! It’s quite sticky and delicate. When cooled, cut squares out of the tin and dust with a little icing sugar.