almonds and roses and oranges – oh, my

For my recent Moroccan night meal, I needed a Moroccan inspired dessert that was easy to make ahead of time. I decided to slightly alter this recipe for almond cake with orange blossom syrup by making an almond cake with rose water. Ethereal and fragrant rose water, to me, is a clear flavor trip to North Africa, Middle East and South Asia. I simply omitted the vanilla in the recipe and added 1 teaspoon almond essence and 1 teaspoon rose water essence to the batter. You can find this in a specialty grocer or an Indian or Middle Eastern shop. A little bit of rose water goes a long way! Make sure not to add too much or else your cake will taste like a bar of fancy soap. For this recipe I also used whole fat Greek yogurt and made the simple orange syrup without the orange blossom essence. The syrup added another fragrant layer to the flavor and really helped keep this nutty crumbly cake moist the next day.