Month of July: “Purple Citrus Sweet Perfume” Recipe: Orange and Hazelnut Cake with Orange Flower Syrup

“What you seek is seeking you.” Rumi

Today’s gluten free cake is my last post from Silvena Rowe’s exquisite cookbook “Purple Citrus Sweet Perfume.” July is almost over. I hope you have enjoyed seeing or better yet cooking some of her amazing creations as much as I have. Which leads me to reflect on even more amazement. Lately strange things have been happening. It seems like every day something magical or out of the ordinary occurs. I swear I am not making this stuff up!! This morning on our walk, my husband and I were talking about future plans. One of mine is to enroll in culinary classes in NYC, particularly for artisanal breads. We remembered the landmark society house tour this year and meeting a middle aged guy in our neighborhood who took classes for fun at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Suddenly there he was… in his yard gardening! Had a thought and poof! Later, at the co-op looking for the difficult to find hazelnut flour, I ran into a very dear old friend. He is a brilliant engineer and a good photographer who knew Abby and whom had taken many photos of us at Longwood gardens, PA (see below) when we were all younger and different people. He was going to Maine with his lady to a plein air workshop and paint outdoors for eight hours a day. It was wonderful to see him. It got me wondering about two themes of the day: the FUTURE and FRIENDS. Here I am unexpectedly getting ready for something new as I unravel somethings old. Wonder what lies ahead? What new miraculous relationships are waiting? By facing grief my heart is cracking open. And all alone in this studio, in my very private space, I catch little clues, like segments, leading me onward, forward, upward and backward. It’s multi directional and all I can focus on for some reason is what is directly in front of me. Rumi is right…what I am seeking is seeking me. Go figure.

Ingredients: for the syrup: 1 1/4 cup superfine sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 1/2 tablespoons orange flower water ( I used less than half) and grated zest of 1 orange. for the cake: 5 large eggs, 1 cup superfine sugar ( I used less), 2 1/4 cup hazelnut flour. to serve: greek style yogurt and pulp of passion fruits ( I could not find so omitted)

  1. To make the syrup: bring 2/3 cup of water to boil, add sugar and orange juice and simmer for 10-12 minutes until mixture gets syrupy. Cool. Stir in orange flour water and orange zest.
  2. Make the cake but beating eggs with sugar until pale and thick. Fold in hazelnut flour. Beat egg whites until stiff and glossy and very carefully and slowly, gently mix egg whites into hazelnut mixture. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until golden brown. Loaf pan 8/4 inch and pan should be greased with parchment paper in bottom.
  3. Remove cake from oven and pour syrup over cake. Serve with yogurt. (I put the syrup on the side.)

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