Sri Lankan Love Cake…

 

Customs and traditions allow us to preserve important ancestral history. Unique, individual stories, wisdom and in this case recipes, passed from generation to generation. As Sri Lankan migrants, my parents continue to pass on their significant heritage to their children, and at important celebrations of the year where family gather, recipes like Sri Lankan Love Cake remind us of where it all began.

This traditional Sri Lankan cake was inspired by the Portuguese from the 1500’s. As the name suggests, Love Cake was originally made to win the heart of an admirer. It is made from cashew nuts, semolina and candied winter melon/squash called puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve).  Exotic spices and floral essences create a fragrant, sweet, spiced cake with a soft chewy inside and a crunchy crust.

There are many different variations to Love Cake, with each Aunty insisting her recipe is better than the other! Practice is also another requirement. Don’t be alarmed if you do not succeed the first time. Adjusting ingredients or oven temperatures may be necessary.

In the recipe below, I have used a bain-marie of water to create that soft chewy centre. By placing a tray of water at the bottom of the oven, the moisture stays within the cake and doesn’t dry it out.

Happy Christmas Baking…

 

IMG_2395

 

Sri Lankan Love Cake

 

Makes: 2 rectangular baking trays

Prep Time: 30 mins (Eggs need to be at room temperature)

Cooking Time: 2 hours 15 mins

 

Ingredients:

450g butter, softened

450g semolina

650g cashew nuts (pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped, keeping some larger pieces. Do not blend to a powder consistency)

12 egg yolks (at room temperature)

7 egg whites (at room temperature)

700g caster sugar

500 g preserved pumpkin (puhul dosi), finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor

50ml rosewater

2 tbsp almond essence

50ml honey

juice of 1 orange

rind of 1 lemon

2 tsp nutmeg, ground

2 tsp cardamon, ground

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp clove, ground

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced.

Grease two rectangular cake tins and line with foil and then baking paper.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.

Combine the softened butter and semolina together in a separate bowl using your fingers. Add this to the egg and sugar mixture in thirds, beating to combine.

Transfer mixture into a very large mixing bowl and using a wooden spoon incorporate the nuts, pumpkin preserve. Then add rosewater, almond essence, honey, juice and rind, stirring well. Add remaining dry spices and mix.

IMG_2386

 

Whip the egg whites into soft peaks and gently fold through the egg whites into the cake batter in two batches, do not over beat mixture. The egg whites will loosen up the mixture.

IMG_2389

 

Pour batter into prepared cake tins.

Place a large tray of water on bottom oven shelf.

Bake the cakes at 160°C for 20 mins on middle oven shelf.

Reduce heat to 150°C  and bake for a further 2 hours and 15 minutes.

If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil.

Once cooked and brown on top, remove cakes and allow to cool in trays before transferring. Cut into rectangles or squares when cool.

IMG_2390

IMG_2392

IMG_2400

 

Pin For Later…

 

Related Posts:

Gingerbread Biscuits

Cantuccini Biscotti

Check out, comment or follow me at :

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Google +

Flipboard

MIX

 

37 thoughts on “Sri Lankan Love Cake…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.