It's definitely spring time, no matter what any weather says, and that means bright, sunny, daffodil yellow things. Chicks and buttercups and whatnot. And saffron! If you're a bit shy about cooking with saffron (like me) then this a great recipe to start on. It's pretty foolproof and those little red strands will turn into a glorious, sunshine yellow in no time.
Saffron Yoghurt Honey Cake
Preparation time: 35-40 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
You will need:
For the cake:
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads
- 4 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 200g butter, softened
- 180g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 250g self-raising flour
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp honey
- 100g icing sugar
- 150g butter (very soft)
- the rest of the saffron yoghurt mixture
- squeeze of lemon
- 1 tbsp honey
- Lemon zest, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
- Place the saffron threads in a heavy-bottomed pan and place over a low heat for 1 minute, until just heated, be careful not to burn them.
- Using a pestle and mortar or similar, grind the threads into powder.
- Stir into the yoghurt (watch it turn gloriously yellow!) and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
- Add a quarter of the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour and beat well. Repeat with rest of the eggs, beating well in between.
- Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
- Stir in the lemon zest, honey and half of the saffron yoghurt.
- Dollop into the tin, smooth over the top and bake for around 40 minutes, or until it's golden and risen, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for a few moments before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.
- Sift the icing sugar into a clean bowl.
- Add the butter and beat together until well combined.
- Stir in the remaining saffron yoghurt, squeeze of lemon and the honey and beat well again.
- Use a piping bag or pallet knife to spread onto the cooled cake, and decorate with lemon zest and maybe a drizzling of honey.