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D's Orange Blossom-Rosewater Cake

When the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I were talking about a dessert to go along with our Moroccan Seafood B'stilla v.2015, he declared, "something with rosewater." Hmmm...that's sort of a polarizing ingredient, Wom.

Then I read about a Moroccan cake that included rosewater, orange blossom water, and vanilla. I figured that there were plenty of flavors there to please everyone.

D did a great job on the cake. We modified it to fit our pantry. No surprise there. The Elf added a layer of nuts with caramel and I finished it off with unsweetened whipped cream and oven-dried oranges.

  • 2 C flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • zest from 1 organic orange
  • 1½ C organic granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ C butter, melted
  • ½ C freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 2 t orange blossom water
  • 2 t rose water
  • 6 strands saffron
  • 1/3 C chopped raw hazelnuts
  • 1/3 C chopped raw almonds
  • 1/3 C chopped raw pecans
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 6 T butter, cubed
  • 1/2 C organic heavy whipping cream
  • 1 t sea salt
+ organic heavy whipping cream for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans. In a medium mixing bowl, blend the flour and baking powder together. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all oft he other ingredients together. Add dry ingredients all at once. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes - or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.  Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir constantly with wooden spoon until the sugar forms clumps and, then, melts into a thick caramel. Take care not to burn the sugar. Once sugar has melted, add the butter. Be careful because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Then slowly drizzle in the cream while stirring. The mixture will bubble and splatter when added, so take care. Let the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will foam and rise. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and all the nuts. Let cool before using.

Slice the cakes so that their  edges sit mostly flat against each other. Beat the whipped cream till nice peaks form. Lay on cake on a serving platter. Spread half of the caramel over the layer. Spoon whipped cream on top of the caramel. Lay the second layer on top of the whipped cream and repeat - caramel, then whipped cream. Garnish with orange slices if you like. Serve immediately.

The verdict: Jake said it was too much rosewater. But everyone else liked the exotic mix of the blossom essences. I liked D's addition of the caramel. It added an interesting texture - and crunch - to the cake. I would make this again, maybe, reducing the rosewater by a smidge.


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