yoghurt cake with saffron and rosewater
A recipe adapted from Claudia Roden’s The Med, yoghurt cake with saffron and rosewater is simple and light, the perfect company for summer berries. While Roden’s recipe uses lemon zest and juice, we chose Zejd’s saffron and rosewater, to add a hint of the eastern Med.
We used less than an 1/8 of a teaspoon of Zejd’s saffron so that the flavour is not too obvious. Likewise, the rosewater is more like a waft of floral essence, just enough to suggest summer. Feel free to add more if you want! Without a lot of flour, the cake is mousse-like, the yoghurt giving a tangy taste which works well with the suggestion of saffron and rosewater – none of them compete for grandeur, instead they harmonise happily.
Fresh sharp berries are a delight with this. If you feel inclined, slice up the strawberries, add a sprinkling of sugar with a teaspoon of rosewater and leave for 30 minutes to macerate.
a pinch of Zejd’s saffron (less than 1/8 of a teaspoon)
2 tsp rosewater (good quality Lebanese if you can)
4 large eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
400g full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
- You can crush the saffron threads in a pestle and mortar before adding the rosewater. Or simply add the rosewater to the saffron in a small bowl and set aside to infuse while you get on with the rest.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan/ gas 4. Butter a round non-stick cake tin (about 23cm) with a removable base.
- With an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks – take care not to over whisk as it will not fold well into the mixture.
- In a different bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add the flour, mixing well, then add the saffron rosewater mixture with the yoghurt and mix well so that all is homogeneous.
- Gently fold in the egg whites with a large spoon and pour into the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, taking care that the top doesn’t go too brown in the last 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and don’t worry when it subsides.
- Leave to cool before removing from the tin.
Serve warm or cold, with berries either fresh or macerated in a little sugar and rose water.