This is a cake to make if you are usually bad at making cakes. Two pluses: it uses a muffin method (what I call a ‘bung-in-and-stir’), which requires very little to no technique, and is a wonderful gluten-free option.
Think those golden baklava-ish flavours, but in a moist cake with sticky, dark caramelised sides.
- 300 g (10½ oz/3 cups) almond meal
- 185 g (6½ oz/1 cup) raw caster (superfine) sugar
- 220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup firmly packed) soft brown sugar
- 120 g (4¼ oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 250 g (9 oz/scant 1 cup) natural or Greek-style yoghurt
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp rosewater
- 25 saffron threads
- 3 tbsp flaked almonds
- 3 tbsp pistachio nut kernels, roughly chopped
To decorate (optional)
- unsprayed edible rose petals
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) Greek-style yoghurt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) fan-forced. Grease the ring of a 24 cm (9½ inch) springform tin, then line with strips of baking paper. Turn the base upside down, so it no longer has a lip. Place a piece of baking paper over it, then clamp the ring around it to secure.
To make the crumb base, combine the almond meal, caster sugar, brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, and rub together until you have an even, sandy consistency. Divide the mixture in two, and tip half into the prepared tin. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the tin.
To make the cake batter, add the eggs, yoghurt, salt, cardamon, rosewater and saffron to the remaining crumb mixture and whisk until there are no lumps. Pour over the crumb base and sprinkle the flaked almonds and pistachio nuts over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and fully risen – you will know because the top will probably crack a little. If the top is colouring too quickly, cover with foil, then bake for a further 20 minutes. The centre of the cake should spring back when pressed gently. Cool completely, before removing from the tin and cutting to serve.
Lovely decoration ideas are edible rose petals, sliced fresh figs and a very light dusting of icing sugar. Serve with a dollop of Greek style yoghurt.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.
Recipe and image from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow (Murdoch Books, RRP, $39.99).