It is almost impossible to resist becoming enchanted with these beautiful mini love cakes. The delicate flavour of rosewater and the tanginess of the cream cheese are complemented by the satisfying crunch of crushed pistachios. Adorned with sweet, plump, gold-kissed figs and jewel-like cubes of Turkish delight, these mini cakes are sure to win hearts! The use of almond meal and dark brown sugar lends a lovely sticky, rich profile that can’t be achieved with just flour, butter, and eggs alone.
WHAT YOU NEED
For the spiced caramel and almond mini loaves
200g unsalted butter, chopped into chunks
200g good quality white chocolate, chopped
⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup hot water
2 tbsp honey or golden syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup self-raising cake flour or self-raising flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 cups almond meal
For the rose cream cheese
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
100g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 cup icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
½ tsp rosewater
2 tsp lemon juice
3–4 drops pink food colouring
⅔ cup thick (double) cream, whipped
For the assembly and decoration
Large piping bag lined with a star nozzle
1 cup crushed pistachios
40g Turkish delight, chopped into small cubes
3 fresh figs, sliced into wedges
Edible gold leaf (optional)
WHAT TO DO
To make the spiced caramel and almond mini loaves
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced. Grease the holes of an 8-capacity (230 ml) mini loaf tin and line the base and sides of each cavity with baking paper.
Place the butter, chocolate, sugar, water, honey or golden syrup, and vanilla into a large heavy-based saucepan. Stir the ingredients over medium–low heat with a silicone spatula for 5 min or until the chocolate melts completely and the mixture is smooth. Set aside for at least 20 min to cool, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture one at a time and beat in well using a hand-held mixer or whisk. Sift in the flour and spices and mix until well combined. Fold in the almond meal until well combined.
Fill each cavity to three-quarters full. Bake for 30 min or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool completely.
Tip: You can speed u pthe process for cooling your cakes by placing the whole tray in the refrigerator, covered with a clean tea towel, for an hour or so.
To make the rose cream cheese
Using a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, rosewater, and lemon juice on high for 2–3 minutes or until pale and fluffy.
Add the food colouring until the desired colour is achieved, stirring to combine thoroughly.
Gently fold in the whipped cream until combined and then cover and set aside until needed.
Tip: If your filling appears to be too soft to pipe neatly onto your cakes, place it in the refrigerator for 20–30 minutes to firm up to a more workable consistency.
For the assembly and decoration
Pipe the rose cream cheese in swirls onto each mini loaf. Adorn each cake with crushed pistachios, a scattering of Turkish delight cubes, and segments of fresh fig.
If you like, add a decadent lustre to the topping by decorating with a scattering of gold leaf.
These cakes are best served at room temperature. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. It’s best to bring them back to room temperature before serving, but straight from the fridge is yummy too.