There is something truly magical about saffron. Its almost hallucinatory aromatic scent sweeps me away in an Arabian daydream and that vibrant yellow-orange colour almost seems like edible gold.
Every time I cook with this mysterious spice, it feels as if I’m preparing food for the Gods. I know this sounds silly (really really silly) but I can’t help but feel bewitched by its mystical background and utterly gorgeous perfume. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I honestly believe that every foodie on this planet is nodding in complete agreement right now.
All of us foodies know that –since we’re all so very accomplished in the kitchen- saffron is not only a brilliant spice to cook with, it is unfortunately (ridiculously) expensive. Saffron is like the Ferrari of spice, turning all other aromas into drab Volvos.( No offence to all Volvo drivers out there, though 😉 )
So what better way to honour saffron’s star status than by adding it to a super luscious cake batter? I think it goes without saying that I treasured this saffron cake like they were a new pair of Manolo Blahniks. A cake that even surpasses the magic of a “regular” saffron cake (although one could never call saffron regular) by oomphing up the recipe with the hypnotising aroma of rose water. This cake is not just a dessert, it’s an entire collection of Arabian fairy tales, all baked into one beautifully decadent expression of mind-wandering hysteria.
So be prepared, because this cake will cast a spell over you and you will never be able to lift it off (But you won’t want to, I promise!)
Saffron and almond cake with apricot and rose glaze
For the cake:
• 100gr butter
• 150gr caster sugar
• 125gr ground almonds
• 2 eggs
• 50gr plain flour
• Pinch of salt
• ¼ tsp saffron powder
• 50gr chopped dried apricots
For the glaze:
• 50gr apricot jam
• 1 tsp rose water
• Almond flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease a bundt-cake tin.
2. Mix together the sugar, butter and saffron on a low speed.
3. Add the eggs and mix through. (Try not to overwork the mixture. The best part of this recipe is that you simply have to throw it all together without much of a fuss. 😉 )
4. Sift in the almonds, flour and salt and mix until the mixture is completely smooth.
5. Stir through the chopped apricots.
6. Pour the batter into your cake tin and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
7. Leave the cake to cool down completely in the tin before you remove it.
8. While the cake is cooling, add the jam and rose water together in a small saucepan and heat on a low heat. Spread the mixture generously on top of the cake and garnish with almond flakes.