Saffron Turmeric Cake with Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Argan Oil Whipped Cream, Almond Brittle, and Thyme
I’ve been meaning to post this for months! Since a few of you requested it, I may as well start with the backlog here. This was a really fun dish to throw together. The saffron turmeric cake was an adaptation of a chocolate cake recipe, where Dave started by replacing the cocoa powder with turmeric and went on from there. It is intensely flavorful and moist and one of the most perfect cakes we’ve ever developed.
You can see from the photo how vividly red the inside of the cake is. It turns out that turmeric, a bright yellow root most commonly sold as a powder here in the U.S., turns red when it reacts with alkaline substances. In fact, the red dot traditionally worn by many Indian women in the center of the forehead is made by mixing powdered turmeric with lime (not the fruit!).
I can’t remember why we decided to pair it with the thyme brittle and the meyer lemon sorbet (I’m sure it made sense at the time, and it worked really well), but I definitely recall that we added thyme because we had read that meyer lemon contains one of the same flavor compounds as thyme.
Our few sets of our muffin pans are still stained red from making rounds of these cakes, but it was entirely worth it.
Now, what you’ve all been waiting for: the winners of my CIA book giveaway! I used a random number generator to pick winners from the comments. The winners are Sandy, Kathryn, Vicki, Alison, Esme, and Red! Winners, please email me your addresses and I’ll have a book sent out to each of you pronto. Thanks to everyone for playing along!
Saffron Turmeric Cake
1 stick (1/2 C) unsalted butter, in 1 inch cubes
1/2 C warm water
2 tbsp turmeric
1 small pinch saffron
1 C sugar
1.7 oz all-purpose flour
0.7 oz whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Prepare muffin tins with butter and flour, and set aside.
In a large saucepan, steep the saffron in the water. Whisk the flours, salt, and baking soda together, and set aside.
Add the butter and turmeric into the saffron water, then turn on the heat and simmer until the butter melts. Remove from heat.
Whisk in the sugar, but don’t panic if it doesn’t dissolve. Whisk in the flour mixture. Whisk in the egg and then the sour cream, until the color is even.
Fill the prepared muffin tins about 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 minutes. Don’t worry about it setting fully – it will finish setting as it cools.
Makes 10 muffin-sized cakes.
Meyer Lemon Sorbet
470 g meyer lemon juice
80 g glucose syrup
80 g agave nectar
80 g sugar
100 g water
1/2 tsp guar gum (or substitute pectin or a commercial sorbet stabilizer)
Blend together. Freeze in your ice cream churner as per usual.
Argan Oil Whipped Cream
Mix to taste and beat until whipped.
Cream of tartar
Toast sliced almonds in a dry pan on the stove until they start to brown and smell delicious. Set aside.
Heat the water, sugar, and a bit of tartar in a saucepan until it is lightly golden, a bit paler than you eventually want it to be. Stir in the toasted almonds, and spread on a silpat to cool and set.