Cake: Dutch Love Cake

posted by Southern 05-16-102 8:54 PM

Dutch Love Cake (Sri Lanka)

1-1/4 cups semolina meal
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups raw cashew nuts, finely chopped
4 tablespoons rosewater
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
9 egg yolks and 5 whites
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons honey

Warm semolina in a dry pan over medium heat until fairly hot to the touch. (Be careful not to let it brown.) Pour into a bowl and stir to cool. While the semolina is still a little warm, use a wooden spoon to mix in softened butter. Add lemon rind, spices, and salt. Mix well. Cover and set aside for 2 to 4 hours. Meanwhile, mix cashews with rosewater, almond extract, and vanilla. Cover and set aside.

When ready to bake, grease a 9-by-13-inch pan and line with three thicknesses of waxed paper. Generously butter the top layer of paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Beat yolks and sugar in a large bowl, until they have doubled in bulk and become thick, creamy, and very light in color. Then beat in the semolina-butter mixture, a little at a time. Add honey and beat well. Fold in cashew mixture. Separately, beat egg whites with lemon juice until they hold firm peaks, then fold into the cake mixture.

Spoon batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce heat from 300 to 250 degrees F and bake until the cake is evenly golden-brown and the top feels firm (another 30 minutes). Cover with paper or foil if cake begins to brown too much as it bakes. Test for doneness with skewer or wooden toothpick. Remove pan from oven when the cake pulls away from the sides but is still slightly moist in center. If cake is very moist in the center, switch off oven, cover pan with paper or foil, and leave inside for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Let cake cool completely in pan. Tastes best after 2 days. Keeps well for 2-3 weeks in a tightly covered tin, stored in a cool (but not refrigerated) place. Cut into small squares before removing from pan.

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