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Friday 11 April 2014

Let Her Eat Cake: Saffron Yoghurt Honey Cake

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
For the icing:
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 150g butter (very soft)
  • the rest of the saffron yoghurt mixture
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Lemon zest, to decorate
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. 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.
  3. Using a pestle and mortar or similar, grind the threads into powder.
  4. Stir into the yoghurt (watch it turn gloriously yellow!) and set aside.
  5. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
  7. 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.
  8. Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
  9. Stir in the lemon zest, honey and half of the saffron yoghurt.
  10. 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.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin for a few moments before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.
The icing:
  1. Sift the icing sugar into a clean bowl. 
  2. Add the butter and beat together until well combined.
  3. Stir in the remaining saffron yoghurt, squeeze of lemon and the honey and beat well again.
  4. Use a piping bag or pallet knife to spread onto the cooled cake, and decorate with lemon zest and maybe a drizzling of honey. 

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