Sam’s Persian Love Cake
Prep & cook time: 45 minutes
This is one of my favourite treats, which coming from a sweet tooth is saying something. It’s similar to a cheesecake, but so at the same time much better than a cheesecake! Flavoured delicately with nutmeg and lemon. Using yoghurt instead of cream cheese means that you have a much lighter, fresher end result. Give it time to set in the fridge before serving; this will also make it much easier to cut. Chop and change with the dried fruit and nuts as you see fit – anything will do according to your taste.
360g Alison’s Pantry ground almonds (approximately 3 cups)
320g brown sugar
50g Alison’s Pantry select dates, chopped
50g Alison’s Pantry figs, chopped
120g soft butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250g Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
Zest of 2 lemons
½ tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g Alison’s Pantry shelled pistachios, chopped roughly
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Grease a 23cm springform tin with a little butter and line with baking paper.
Soak the dates in some boiling water for five minutes or so, then drain well and chop roughly.
In a food processor, blend the chopped dates and figs to get them relatively fine, then add the ground almonds, brown sugar, butter and a pinch of salt and blend until everything is properly combined.
Press half of this mixture evenly around the bottom of the lined tin. I find a flat bottomed water glass is a useful thing for this.
To the remaining mixture, add the eggs, yoghurt, nutmeg, lemon zest and vanilla paste and process until it is nice and smooth. Pour this mixture over the top of the base, smooth off, and scatter the pistachios over the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is lovely and golden. Allow to cool in the tin before removing and serving.