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.


Sri Lankan Love Cake

What do I think of when I think of Sri Lanka, little island in the Indian Ocean?

Beautiful white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees. Swinging in a hammock, being hypnotized by the sound of crashing waves.

Fish on your plate at dinner time. So fresh, you can still hear the whispered words of the fisherman I wonder how much I will get for this big one?

Wild majestic elephants being heard in the near by jungle as you sip your locally grown tea.

A selection of short eats (small entree sized finger food, Sri Lankan style tapas/yum cha to go- if you will) to choose from as you wonder around in search of the next ancient Buddhist temple to discover. Sri Lankan cuisine that is so full of flavours that your taste buds want to sing every time you eat.

Ancient rock fortress, Sigiriya. With so much history within its rocky walls, that you feel quite overwhelmed at the thought of how much this amazing rock had seen.

A kind of driving that can be only described as tiring. Honk when you are going to over take, honk when you are over taking, honk when you have over taken, honk when you would like to over take…and then begin again.

A country floored by the 2004 Tsunami.

Umbrella Lovers- if you wonder down to the beach, you will be sure to find some young couples sharing some ‘alone’ time, sitting under an umbrella. These umbrellas dot the surrounding areas, as couples shield themselves from prying eyes.

Buffalo yoghurt being made in earthen ware pots, lining the sides of the roads sitting in the sun. (similar to a Greek style yoghurt- thick and creamy, and oh sooo delicious.)

Love Cake, a cake with so many different recipes and variations. Usually made for celebrations. I hadn’t actually tasted this one before, but with the ingredients and the name…

Whats not to love?

Love Cake

150 gms crushed cashew nuts (cadjunuts)

125g semolina

3 eggs

150g sugar

125g softened butter

1 tbs rose water

1 1/2 tbs brandy

1/2 tps cinnamon

1/2 tps cardamom

1/2 tps nutmeg

Separate the eggs. Whisk together softened butter, 3 egg yolks, and sugar. Add semolina, cashews, rose water, brandy, spices.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks appear and fold into mixture. Cook in a square tin, greased and lined with paper. Bake at 180C for approx 25 minutes or until golden.

(recipe taken from a local Sri Lankan cookbook and adapted.)