Friday, May 15, 2015

FFWD~Ispahan Loaf Cake #FoodRevolutionDay

FFWD ~ Ispahan Loaf Cake
This week my French Friday post is a make up. It also participates with Food Revolution Day!

Today is Jamie Oliver's fourth annual Food Revolution Day! It’s a day of global awareness and action, created by Jamie Oliver and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.  It’s all about getting people inspired, to learn about the food they eat, and how to cook it!  It’s also about getting our children to make healthy choices. 
I have five grandchildren, who are all quite savvy in the kitchen. My grandsons make fresh fruit smoothies, for after school snacks, choosing fruits they delight in! My granddaughter may be a chip off my block. A future Food Blogger, she is baking her way through the “Tate’s Cookbook”.  She likes bringing the treats she bakes to her classmates at school. She is eleven! I am such a lucky grandma. My children are teaching their children to eat healthy, to enjoy their food, and how to prepare it. 

Or you could call it my nemesis 
My grandchildren and I have cooked and baked together many times! We’ve made pies, cookies, bread, crepes and other wonderful treats! They are the lucky ones. Thanks to their moms and dads, they are learning about food early! 

Our next little foodie…taking photos of her pies!
Get involved!
Mardi, our Dorista Food Revolution Ambassador, asked us to choose a recipe from “Around My French Table”, and write about what we’ve learned from it! I chose a recipe that has been my nemesis! What I learned from it?  To persevere!  

I’m quite intrigued by exotic flavors! They are the flavors I grew up with. The flavors of Lebanon and the Middle East! They are also the flavors that bring back memories of my grandmothers’ kitchen. Orange blossoms and rosewater are used in pastries throughout the Middle East. When I read, the Ispahan cake was chosen for our French Friday rotation…I was so in!! 

The not-so pretty first loaf

Pierre Herme is the pastry chef who inspired this cake, and started the rose-raspberry craze in France.
I referred to this cake as my nemesis because, when it was picked way back in March 2013, I made it twice. Both times it took me down! The first time, as I attempted to turn it out of the pan, it fell, and broke into pieces. The second time, it came out fine, but I had used almond meal instead of flour (a bad choice). The cake came out brown, not the pretty yellow that I was hoping for. Here is one more attempt, and I think I finally got it!  Happy Friday everyone! And Happy Food Revolution Day!

I made this delicious Rose Syrup…you can find the recipe on Epicurious
Looking good!
Loved this cake….glad I persevered!
Bon Appétit 

Ispahan Loaf Cake
by Dorie Greenspan from “Around My French Table"

Note:  This cake calls for Rose Syrup, NOT Rose Water!
2.5 tbsp Rose Syrup  
2 tbsp whole milk
2 C almond flour
1 C confectioner's sugar
3 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg at room temp
2.5 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 tsp rose extract
1/2 C plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 pint raspberries (but I didn't use that many)

Center a rack in oven, preheat to 350. Butter a 9x5 loaf pan and dust with flour. 
Stir rose syrup into milk. 
Put almond flour and confectioner's sugar in a sieve set over a bowl and stir to pass them through. Or, if you're me, just put them in a bowl. Whisk together. 
Beat egg whites in another bowl until they start to hold their shape, then gradually add the sugar, beating until the whites hold "firm, glossy peaks". Slide the egg whites into another bowl (and don't worry about cleaning the mixing bowl before carrying on).
Put almond-flour mixture and butter into mixer bowl and beat for 3 minutes or until very smooth.
Working at med speed, add egg yolks one at a time, beating for a minute after each. Then beat in whole egg. 
Add rose-flavored milk and rose extract and beat one more minute.
Give the egg whites a quick whisk and stir 1/4 - 1/3 of them into the batter. With a spatula, and a "light touch", alternately fold in remaining whites and all-purpose flour into batter, "as quickly and gently as you can, folding in flour in 3 additions and whites in 2". 
Scrape 1/3 of batter into prepared loaf pan, spread to even it.
Make 3 rows of raspberries down the length of the pan - dont let berries touch the sides - and then cover with half the remaining batter.
Make 3 more rows of berries, top with last of batter.
Lower oven to 300 and bake for 55-65 min or until a knife comes out clean. 
Transfer to cooling rack, let rest 3 min. Unmold, invert, let cool to room temp. 


  1. This looks fabulous, Kathy!! So very pretty! And the color of your rose syrup! Love the photo of your granddaughter. What a great feeling to see she is following in your footsteps. Her classmates must be thrilled when they see her coming down the hall. :)

  2. The loaf looks splendid! I have to try the rose syrup too.

  3. Oh, Kathy, you did persevere and what a beautiful result. I remember your making something three times before you finally thought you got it right. My person feelings that day when I read your Post was, "What kind of person would do that?" The more I got to know you, the more I realized you were that kind of never-give-it-up baker. It's wonderful that your grandchildren are into good food and cooking themselves. It demonstrated what influence you had on your children for them to pass it on to their kids. Yeah, we're the lucky ones. My heart breaks for all the hungry, malnourished children in the world who will never know this.

  4. You perseverance paid off and you made a beautiful cake! There certainly is a lesson in that good for kids.

  5. A great choice for Food Revolution Day! This is such a beautifil cake. And your granddaughter is so talented - I wasn't baking anything at 11. Looking forward to seeing you in a week's time!

  6. Yes, you finally mastered it! What a gorgeous cake, Kathy! And lucky you with the cooking grandchildren. My kids like to eat, but would rather that I do all the cooking :) I will bring my grandchildren (whenever that may happen!) into the kitchen and hope one of them gets the baking bug!!!

  7. your redo came out beautifully. I think the grandkids are just as lucky :-)
    Looking forward to seeing you next weekend.

  8. YES, you got it and it looks terrific! Love, love that you and your grandchildren cook and bake together. Lucky kids! Lucky you! xoDorie

  9. "I chose a recipe that has been my nemesis! What I learned from it? To persevere!" Perseverence is SUCH an important skill in the kitchen. This is totally what it's all about!

  10. I agree - you perfected this! It is once gorgeous cake, and many thanks fro the link to the rose syrup (and tall the variations that recipe gives). Brava - and how wonderful to have grandchildren like yours - interested and excited about food, and doing things with their grandmother! David

  11. It was one of my 'barely post worthy' cakes too! All the raspberries went to the bottom and it almost sunk... Love that you persevered Kathy! And your granddaughter, so cute. I learned to bake with my grandmother, and there's nothing better! Good thing about explaining it's syrup not water.

  12. You are determined and it worked out beautifully. Great post, Kathy, this whole
    Food Revolution Day was fun. Have a wonderful weekend.

  13. This is such an important part of learning to cook - if we let our failures stop us, we'd have to relinquish the field to pre-prepared foods. My nemesis seems to be sponge cake, but I'm going to keep trying. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Kathy, I love this post. I keep eyeing this recipe in the book as I want to make it before we truly finish and thanks for reminding me about the rose syrup recipe. What a bummer to have to make it 3 times, but I totally understand and would've done the exact same thing (that recipe will not beat me!). ;) I also loved seeing the photo of your granddaughter taking her own food photos.

  15. Dear Kathy, what a true stunner of a cake - love all the pictures but I also adore the picture of your grand-daughter taking those food pictures herself - how lucky all of your grand-children are that you cook and bake together with them and share with them all your knowledge - could not ask for more. Love that all of your family members seem to share a true love of food.

  16. This certainly did come out good. I had to try my lemon lavender cupcakes a number of tries to get that recipe correct too and applaud your perseverance. Love the picture of your granddaughter--she looks so intent, I'm sure she'll be an amazing cook!

  17. Love the picture of your future food blogger. I am glad you conquered that cake. I am going to have to look into sources for rose water and rose syrup as I know BCM has these ingredients in a few recipes.

    1. Making the syrup is quite easy…check out the recipe on Epicurious. I halved it!