Rose Water, a distillation of rose petals available bottled in Middle Eastern, Indian, and specialty markets, can lend a fragrant note to your desserts and savory dishes.
The nose is unmistakably of roses, but of their true essence, (in other words, it neither tastes nor smells like the fake “rose-scented” bath products with which we are all too frequently olfactorily assaulted.) Added to dishes, rose water imparts a subtle floral delicateness. Below, I’ve infused it into an olive oil cake, for a dessert that feels like a walk through a summer nighttime garden. I served it to guests as the finishing touch to a summer BBQ, but the leftovers were also wonderful with coffee the next morning.
Rose Water-Olive Oil Cake
This light, moist, and fragrant Rose Water Olive Oil Cake is the perfect end to a summer outdoor meal. (This recipe was adapted from a recipe for a Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake on morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com, which was in turn adapted from a recipe from A Good Appetite: Secrets of the Cake Stand.)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 8-10 slices
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup rose water*
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- additional olive oil for greasing the cake pan
- for finishing, powdered sugar and additional rose water
- for garnish, diced stone fruits, such as peaches and plums
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper and grease with olive oil.
- Combine buttermilk and rose water.
- Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well.
- Whisk in eggs.
- In another bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ones.
- Fold in olive oil a little at a time, stirring gently until all is incorporated.
- Pour batter into cake pan.
- Bake cake until it is lightly golden on top and the sides have pulled away from the edges of the cake pan (50-60 minutes.)
- Cool for 10 minutes, then slide a knife around the edges, invert the pan against a plate, and then invert again to return your cake to a right-side up position. Sift powdered sugar over the top.
- To plate: Garnish each slice with diced stone fruits (such as peaches and plums.) Whisk together a little additional rose water and powdered sugar to make a syrup and drizzle over the cake and fruit.
- *Rose Water can usually be purchased from Indian or Middle Eastern grocers, or online.