Friday, March 22

Ispahan Loaf Cake

French Friday with Dorie

Like quite a few people in the group, I have been looking forward to making this exotic cake. I love roses and especially old world roses that have a lovely fragrance to them, so even while this month has been a busy one for me I didn't grumble a bit when I was out on the hunt for rose syrup and rose extract. I did find them locally which I was quite relieved about as I did not have a chance to make this until after work yesterday. 


The batter for this cake was fairly easy to put together, although I seemed to dirty quite a few bowls. You stir whipped egg whites into the batter to lighten it which I have done many times, but this was the first time I had to add additional flour along with the egg whites. I really don't understand that step at all and if anyone knows why we had to do it please let me know because it seemed to make the batter a little lumpy when I added the all-purpose flour. Why go to the trouble of sifting the almond flour and the confectioners' sugar together when you are going to add unsifted all-purpose flour alternately with egg whites at the very end? I also thought the batter would be pink after adding the rose syrup, but even though it turned the milk a pepto bismol pink it didn't make a difference in the batter.


I, of course, did not divide my batter into equal thirds and almost didn't have enough to cover the top of the cake, but I actually like the look of the raspberries peeking out at the top. My oven runs hot, so I started checking on the loaf after 50 minutes and saw that it was browning along the edges, so I tented it with foil and checked every 5 minutes until it was done at 65 minutes. 


It's a pretty cake, but I was really disappointed that it wasn't pink. (Boo!) It has a fine crumb, but is very moist. I was so tired after I baked this yesterday and fixed dinner that I didn't try it until this afternoon. John had a slice as soon as it cooled, but said it had a different kind of flavor that he wasn't sure about. We both have never eaten anything with rose syrup or rose extract before. He at least had tea that his grandmother used to make him when he was a child - rosa de Castilla, but he didn't remember it tasting like this cake. He tried another slice before he went to bed, but said it didn't taste any better than earlier. 


Before I left for work this morning, John was in the kitchen slicing another piece and proclaimed that it still tasted the same. I guess he was expecting the flavors to meld or something, but he said that "flavor" was still there and he didn't care for it. I finally tried a piece after I got home from work and I have to say that I agree with him. Roses may be one of my favorite flowers, but I don't care for the flavor of this cake. Perhaps it's an acquired taste, but I am not sure I will make it again to find out if we like it better the second time around. I have a feeling that John will be slicing a piece of the cake every time he walks through the kitchen - until it's gone - just to check to see if it tastes any better.


I wonder if we are in the minority this week and will be interested in reading what the rest of the group thought. Meanwhile, on a more positive note - I also made the chicken diable last night and that was pretty darn good. I'll be doing a catch up post about it soon.

22 comments:

  1. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one disappointed by the lack of pinkness in the cake. I thought I had purchased the wrong kind of syrup! Great looking cake!

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  2. You and your husband's conversation sounds almost identical to mine and my husband. No not a big fan of roses in baked goods either. Yes, I think we are in the minority.

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  3. I don't feel so badly about using almond meal and having a brown cake when I've only seen one pink cake so far...who knows, maybe a drop or two of food coloring helped that one out? I like the raspberries and I'm glad I drizzled a glaze with orange zest and juice over the top which was a stronger flavor...I was not excited about roses. I lived with an aunt for a year during college and she used to make rose hip tea...I was never enticed to sit with her and sip her tea. For that matter, I did not really like the smell either. And most edible garden box flowers, although pretty, don't excite my appetite when added as a garnish or added to salads even though they can be very beautiful. Guess I'm out of it? And I like your raspberries peaking out at the top...makes a prettier cake top. And I agree with you about all the steps and dirty dishes. If I bake this cake again, and without the rose flavorings, I would change some of the procedures. Don't know about you, but I had to read through this recipe 3 times before I could get it to make sense. Anyway, glad John is eating your cake; it must not be too bad.

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  4. I have yet to see a pink cake! But, your turned out great. I'm laughing at your husband because that sounds like something I would do!

    Have a great weekend!

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  5. Elaine, your cake does look very pretty with those raspberries peeking out..and the rose syrup and/or rose extract definitely seem to be an aquired taste. Personally, I am was a little surprised to learn that this flavor combination is so very popular in France, the pinkish cookies in French supermarkets all seem to contain some coloring agent as far as I can tell - the rose syrup certainly did not tint this cake pink. Looking forward to your devilish chicken post!
    Have a great weekend!

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  6. I think I only saw one pink cake, so don't feel bad about the color. Yours is very pretty and I love your baking pan.

    That chicken was good...I have made it a couple of times since. Yum!

    Have a nice weekend.

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  7. Your cake looks really good! It turned out perfect!
    We really liked it, but I couldn't find rose syrup and extract so I substituted some good quality rose water. I don't know if this made it more mild and easier to eat? But then I do really like the rose taste. And I have to agree with Susan above, I'd be the same as your husband, even if I didn't really like it, I'd keep going back for more, 'just in case...'

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  8. Oh! Can I come to your house for tea? (My husband hates all things flower-flavored, so there is no point in me making this for us.) I bet it would be a fabu hostess gift though!

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  9. Who knew rose extract was not as wonderful as it sounded? Yikes, sorry it ruined your lovely loaf - it looks like it would taste amazing! I've never tried it, but will have to just to compare!

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  10. Yup, a LOT of dirty dishes, so I was relieved that Bill actually liked this! Who would have guessed. I'm giggling at all the slices John has sampled...I think it would have been just as good with some vanilla extract :)

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  11. No, you and John are not in the minority. We didn't enjoy it either (and I had high hopes, for myself, anyway). My syrup must have had LOTS of food coloring, because mine is the only pink cake I've seen. I plan to try Diane's idea for cocktails with the leftover syrup though. Hope you are having a great weekend!

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  12. I did not bother sifting the almond flour and confectioners sugar, but rather whisked them vigorously. Since I had already read a lot of reactions to the recipe, my expectations were a little low, but i was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I am still curious about how the rose version tasted - I ended up swapping orange flower syrup and orange slices.

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  13. Betsy didn't like this one either, so you are not alone. I liked it, but then again I adore Turkish Delight and all kinds of "Dad chocolates" (ie the ones the kids don't want). Your cake looks pretty, but I agree, why isn't it pink after all of those pink ingredients?

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  14. Hi Elaine, This looks delicious. I have a recipe for 'turkish delight' and I'll need rose water for it. Hoping I can find ;) Thanks for the yummy cake ! Xo

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  15. I can almost smell it from here my friend, what a deliciously flavoured cake :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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  16. I like how the raspberries are almost peeking out too!

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  17. I'm with you on rose flavoring - I like it in a scent but not so much in baking. The finished cake does look lovely, though.

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  18. Nice, moist and crumbled cake.....
    i'm lovin it!

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  19. This looks so lovely, I love raspberries. I love the first picture with them sitting on top of the batter, very yum!

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  20. I was darn tempted to add food coloring to my batter once I realized that it wasn't going to be pink. I had the little bottle of red coloring in my hand. But since my almond flour was brownish anyway (made with almonds with the skins still on) I didn't think it would work.

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  21. Looks like your cake baked up perfectly and it looks beautiful with the raspberries baked into the slices. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the rose flavoring of this cake but I did enjoy the idea of a rose flavored almond cake with raspberries. I don't think I baked mine long enough and it fell apart when I took it out of the pan, I thought about a re-make but just didn't love the flavor or texture enough to try again, oh well!

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  22. I love the image of John continuing to taste something just to confirm that he still didn't like it. That sounds exactly like something my husband would do. Sorry you guys didn't like this one, and especially disappointing when you've been looking forward to it. I hope you like next week's recipe better!

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