From Sri Lanka with Love Cake

Having been fortunate enough to have travelled to Sri Lanka more than once and to have been entertained in local homes, I have fallen in love with the country and its people. Food there is prepared from fresh very early every morning with great care and attention using only local ingredients. One lovely memory whilst there was eating fresh cashew nuts by the side of the road. I have come across this cashew cake in several traditional cookery books and have written this recipe with ingredients readily available. The cashew nuts give a lovely creamy texture to the cake and help keep it moist too. It is delicious with fruit for dessert or simply with coffee. It is often prepared for special occasions and would thus make a gorgeous wedding cake, no wonder it is known as ‘Love Cake’.

Ingredients

125g fine semolina

5 eggs – separated

225g caster sugar

60g butter, melted – cooled

100g cashew nuts, very finely chopped (use a food processor)

15ml (1 Tbsp) rosewater

15ml (1 Tbsp) honey

2.5ml (½ tsp) each – ground nutmeg, ground cardamom & ground cinnamon

Zest of ½ lemon

Icing sugar to dust

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
  2. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thick and creamy. Add the semolina and melted butter and mix well.
  3. Add the finely chopped cashew nuts, rosewater, honey, spices and lemon zest and mix once more.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  5. Pour into a lined 9-inch square baking tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer is inserted in the middle and comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool and serve dusted with icing sugar and cut into triangles.

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