17.07.2019
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16.01.2019

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8-12

A beautifully aromatic cake with olive oil, almonds, semolina, tangy lemon, and the gorgeous tones of cardamom and rose. No need for a mixer; this cake comes together in minutes, whether you are making it as a Vasilopita or just a delicious cake to enjoy any time of year.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a small bunch of roses on a wooden surface. Next to them are two vintage cake servers.

As you probably guessed, this recipe was supposed to be up before New Year’s. The period just before Christmas was quite intense work-wise, plus I took on the task of cooking a NY’s Day meal for my family, so posting this took a back seat. Then I spent some time pondering whether it made any sense to write about Vasilopita (Greek New Year’s Eve cake) in the middle of January.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a small ceramic bowl full of small dried rosebuds. Some rosebuds are also scatterd around the bowl on the distressed wooden surface.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A closer view of the cake (half visible), next to which a some roses (half visible).

I decided to go ahead for two reasons. One – this is a delicious cake. I might have made it as a Vasilopita but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed any time of year. Two – Here in Greece we “cut Vasilopitas” as late as February sometimes (in offices, clubs etc.)! If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out last year’s post where I explain more about it. And in case I’ve confused you, there is no standard recipe for this cake. Each household has their own and some people even like to experiment and make something new every year. So this is what I made, and we all loved it.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: the cake in the top part of the photo. To the bottom are some roses and a small bowl of turkish delight.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: The roses, with their stems cut off, sitting on the wooden surface, their open petals facing up.

The idea came after I saw an Instagram post about Persian love cake. It seems there are several versions of this, but the one I saw had cardamom, lemon and rose water, and was made with almond meal. If you see my Vasilopita from last year, which has almonds, cardamom and mandarin, you will get how my mind made the connection. Also I’m going through a bit of a rose phase at the moment, so it didn’t take me long to decide on these flavours for this year’s cake.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: The cake with the cut roses next to it. To the left of the plate are the cake servers.

I went for an olive oil cake because I wanted something that would come together quickly and without the use of a mixer. If we’re making this for New Year’s, chances are we have a whole load of other things going on in the kitchen. You may think the combo of oil and almond meal is too much (almonds have their own oils) but in this case the result is far from heavy. To be honest with you, I don’t know why this is. Maybe it’s because there are less almonds than in other recipes, maybe it’s because I’ve also added semolina… I am no expert, so I can’t pretend to know the science behind this. What I do know is that the cake is delicious, and keeps really well. I hope you give it a go!

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A side view of a slice of cake on a plate. Also on the plate are some small pieces of turkish delight.

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A side view of the cake. A slice has been cut so the inside of the cake is visible.

Don’t forget, if you make any of my recipes I would love to see them. Please tag me on Instagram (@thefoodiecorner) or use the #thefoodiecorner hashtag so I can find them and share in my stories!

Almond Cardamom Rose Cake with Semolina and Olive Oil www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: The cake on the ceramic plate, some cut roses to its left. To the bottom right of the photo are a bowl of turkish delight, some rose leaves and a small sieve with icing sugar in it.

Ingredients

130 gr almonds, ground into a fine sand-like powder (you can blitz white almonds in a food processor for this)

110 gr flour, all purpose

90 gr semolina, fine

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp cardamom, ground

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest

260 gr sugar

150 ml olive oil (use a mild tasting one)

4 eggs

120 ml lemon juice

2 Tbs rose water

icing sugar to sprinkle

chopped, rose-flavoured lokum (Turkish delight), rose petals or small dried rosebuds (the ones used for tea), to decorate

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 150C fan assisted (170C conventional). Line a round 24cm cake pan with baking paper so that the paper comes up the sides. The batter for this cake is runny so if the pan is a springform it may leak during cooking.

Step 2

In a large mixing bowl whisk the ground almonds, flour, semolina, baking powder and cardamom. Using a whisk helps separate clumps without the need for sifting (which bores me).

Step 3

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and lemon zest. Add the olive oil and whisk until smooth. Continue with the eggs, whisking until incorporated, then the lemon juice and rose water.

Step 4

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and beat with the whisk to incorporate. The cake batter should be as smooth as possible. Pour it into the prepared pan.

Step 5

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs.

Step 6

Remove the cake, let it cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack. When completely cooled sprinkle the top with icing sugar (put some in a small colander and tap it on the side to get a nice fluffy layer of sugar). Decorate and serve!

Note: If you are making it as a Vasilopita, insert a foil wrapped coin after baking. Just lift the cake and pop it in in a random spot (avoid the centre). Make sure it doesn’t go in too far so it’s not visible from the top. With this cake the coin has to go in after baking as the batter is too runny to keep it in place. For more on this see last year’s post here.

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