Love, Lavender…and well, pickles

sri lankan love cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

daikon pickle || cityhippyfarmgirllavander || cityhippyfarmgirl

Getting a daikon in my vegetable box was met with a little ooooh, now what might I do with that? I’d never cooked with them before, hadn’t seen any recipes and quite possibly I wasn’t sure I’d even eaten any before either. Hooray for delivered vegetable boxes I say, because it completely gets you out of any cooking ruts you might have accidently fallen into. It’s now a vegetable I actively seek as, in this super simple pickle form, well it’s quite delicious.

Little sprigs of lavender are constantly gracing my kitchen window sill. We have a prolific bush out front that produces and produces. Easily adding a little purple distraction to an other wise messy and cluttered tiny kitchen. Distractions like these are most welcome.

Now it had been awhile since I had made Sri Lankan Love Cake. Quite awhile. My love for anything Sri Lankan orientated hadn’t dwindled since I had last baked it, so there was a certain amount of nostalgic mixing on putting the cake together. I had scrubbing elephants in a river to think of, small beach side swinging hammocks to fondly recall and food. Rather a lot of delicious food, that really is something else.

Love Cake recipes seem to vary a fair bit, and as I’ve never actually eaten anyone else’s Love Cake, (sounds slightly raunchy doesn’t it) I’m really not sure how my version (s) compare. Online recipes seem to have rather a lot of eggs, which I haven’t used quite so much here. I have tweaked it a little bit since the last time I baked it though, and using the rose petals rather than rose water. I like this edition a little better and visually, well it’s hard to take a bad picture if something is sprinkled in icing sugar and showered in rose petals….I think even a sausage would look good with that combination.

Sri Lankan Love Cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl  copy

Love Cake

150 gms crushed cashew nuts (cadjunuts)

150g semolina

2 eggs

4 egg whites

150g sugar

150g softened butter

2 tbls rose petals

1 1/2 tbls brandy

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, brandy, rose petals, spices and cashew nuts. Fold through semolina.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks appear and fold into mixture. Cook in a square tin, greased and lined with paper, (or well greased bundt tin as I have here). Bake at 180C for approximately 25-35 minutes or until golden.

 

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Cardamom Semolina Diamonds

Indian Semolina Balls.

That’s what I’ve got these little cardamom treats written down as. A recipe that is well entwined into my childhood memories with cardamom flavours, plump sultanas and nutty cashews. Given half the chance I would have eaten my weight in these little things. One, two…oops, ten.

I’d re-written the recipe from my mum’s recipe folder a long time ago, although had only vaguely written down the quantities and even more vaguely written down the method. I knew how they were supposed to taste, but wasn’t so sure how to get there. Then I realised I didn’t have cashews…. and I didn’t think I really wanted to roll them anyway… So that changes a few things doesn’t it.

Indian Semolina Balls turned into squares? That’s not so exciting.

Diamonds?….much more enticing.

Cashews? I never have them about…

I’ve got flaked almonds though…would that work?

Cardamom Semolina Diamonds

(Inspired from my mum, and before that a 70’s Indian Vegetarian Recipe Book)

4 tbls ghee

1 cup semolina

1 cup loose brown sugar

1 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp cardamom

toasted flaked almonds

Melt ghee in a pot, add semolina and fry until golden. Add brown sugar and cardamom, mix through. Add milk and handful of sultanas. Stir until thickens. Pour into square tin, press down and add flaked almonds. Into fridge until hardens up a bit. (or wait until mixture cools and roll into balls, replacing almonds with toasted cashews.)

10 minutes tops to make, if you’ve already got the toasted almond flakes.