“People say that eyes are windows to the soul. Never was that more true than with Ali, who could only reveal himself through his eyes.”
- Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
It’s been perhaps the roughest couple of months in my life so far. I know I say that almost every second time I write a blog, but what can I say? Anyway, if you are reading this, I hope you are safe and healthy. I hope your loved ones are healthy. What have you been doing to distract yourself? I have been reading. When I say reading, I mean immersing myself in the sea of literature. The most recent masterpiece that I picked up was Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. God knows what magic runs through that man’s veins! I could not put the book down. Here’s what I have taken from the book; Amir and Hassan stand as symbols for vice and virtue respectively. We both have an Amir and a Hassan inside us. It depends on who we choose to be, in our ways. I could go on and on about the dark corners of my heart that this book crawled its way into, but I am going to stick to what I like to do best, food.
The book talks about the beautiful landscapes of Afghanistan. Its trees, its architecture and I couldn’t help but think of the delicious cuisine and all its royal flavours. I rummaged around my pantry and found some dried apricots and cherries, and I had rose extract. Hence, this cake was made.
It is extremely easy to make. You may not have the exotic ingredients but I wanted to share this recipe anyway because of how I feel about this book and the cake.
Things to keep in mind:
- Bundt pan: The quality of your bundt pan is crucial if you want your cake to come out clean and not stick. It is also important to prepare your bundt pan properly. I have had my share of heartbreaks when it comes to bundt cakes. I have used low-quality pans and no matter how well I prepare them, they always stick. So, make sure your bundt pan is of very good quality. Brush every nook and corner of the pan with melted butter (unsalted) or I prefer a flavourless oil. Then dust the pan with AP flour. You can also use a 9 or 10-inch square/round simple cake pan.
- Baking time: The baking time will vary according to the colour and size of your pan. So keep an eye on your cake.
- Dry fruits: Coating the dry fruits in the flour is a key step. Do not miss it because this will make sure they are evenly distributed through the cake.
- Flavourings: You can add up to 1/2 a tsp of ground cardamom in your cake if you love the flavour. If you are new to these flavours then I will suggest sticking to the recipe. Rose flavour, on the other hand, is very tricky so try your best to use it sparingly.
Rose and Cardamom Cake with Apricots and Cherries
- 270 g Salted butter Room temperature
- 280 g Castor Sugar
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 Egg-yolk
- 1/4 tbsp Cardamom powder (You may go up to 1/2 tsp if you love the flavour of cardamom)
- 1/4 tsp Rose extract
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 300 g All purpose flour
- 15 g Cornstarch/Cornflour
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- 200 g Chopped dried apricots and cherries
- 175 g Cream cheese room temperature
- 50 g Icing sugar sifted add more if you prefer a sweeter glaze
- 4 tbsp milk add according to preferred consistency
- Use a standard sized bundt pan, grease and flour, set aside. Preheat your oven to 175 C.
- In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and whip it using a hand held blender or standing mixer. You may also use a whisk. Cream the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs one by one, whipping after each addition, followed by the egg yolk. Keep mixing for another 30 seconds.
- Now add the vanilla and rose extract. Mix well.
- Sift all the dry ingredients (A.P. Flour, baking powder, cornflour and ground cardamom) into a bowl. Add around 4 tablespoons of this mixture to the chopped dry fruits and stir to coat. (This is to ensire that the dry fruits don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while baking).
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and the coated dry fruits into the butter and egg mixture. Gently mix until well combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour the prepared batter into the bundt pan. Spread it evenly and bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Once the cake is baked, let it cool inside the pan on a wire rack for at least 15-20 minutes before inverting it to cool completely.
- Add all the ingredients for the glaze into a medium bowl and whisk until you reach a smooth consistency. Add more milk and sugar according to your preferred sweetness and consistency.
- Pour the glaze on the completely cooled cake. Serve!