Friday, March 22, 2013

French Fridays with Dorie - Ispahan Loaf Cake


Today´s chosen recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is the famous Ispahan Loaf Cake, inspired by the even more famous French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. This pâtissier extraordinaire is well-known for his macarons, many of which have unusual flavor combinations, such as the Macaron Isaphan, made with rose, lychee, and raspberry.




The Macaron Ispahan was meant to be an hommage to the very fragrant Rose d' Isfahan as well as  Isfahan, a city in central Iran. Hermé invented this Macaron on the occasion of  the presentation of the biography of the widow of former Shah of Persia, Farah Pahlavi. Over the period of several months, Hermé reportedly tried hundreds of different flavor combinations before settling on the lychee, raspberry, and rose combination.




This flavor combination has taken France by storm and as I looked at uncountable photos on numerous French blogs, I realized that there seems to be hardly a French food blog that does not have pictures and recipes of a Gâteau or Cake or Macaron à l´ Ispahan. And since only last Wednesday, I did a post on the occasion of my first blogiversary on Rose Petits Fours and everything rosy, I will keep this post short and sweet.




This cake with almond flour, raspberries and rose syrup is definitely suitable as a dessert for a ladies´ lunch.

Since I found a manufacturer of a variety of natural rose products in Bavaria that makes the most wonderful rose syrup, I did not have to order the Monin rose syrup as suggested by Dorie. However, when I served this cake, I was not successful in persuading any of my male taste testers to try it. Although this cake smells lovely while baking and definitely looks delightful, it does not seem to be for everyone.




To see all the other delightful versions of this very French Ispahan Loaf Cake, made by the dedicated members of the French Fridays with Dorie group, please click here.


Sources:
  • Rose syrup (Rosensirup) from “Bergler-Fischer” (http://www.bergler-fischer.de)
  • Backing pan called LURCH Flexi Royal Lüneburg from "Lurch" (http://www.lurch.de)
  • Vintage cake platters with rose design and linen table cloth from my collection




40 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Denise - "petite" was the theme of the day and it suited this cake recipe all too well.

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  2. This is SO pretty - I couldn't eat it - it's too pretty!!
    Mary x

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    1. Mary, you are too kind - this is a nice, small cake pan that I found a while ago but never got a chance to use before - this was meant to be "the" recipe for this particular cake pan.

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  3. My tasters love this cake so I will have a "next time" and I'll go with petite versions which are so beautiful. Your cakelets are worthy of your beautiful photos.

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    1. Kris, thanks - this is actually a cake pan that holds exactly half the recipe - so there were two of these. Not that there might not be any repeats at our house but maybe only for the ladies not the gents.

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  4. Gorgeous cake, Andrea! Love the little studs of raspberries you caught on film. :)

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    1. Jessica, thank you - the raspberries are actually a pretty and delicious addition to this cake.

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  5. Andrea, that is the cutest rose cake! Simply beautiful as are your pics. I really liked this recipe and will be making it again. Too bad it didn´t have lychees too, I wanted to try them.

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    1. Paula, thanks, somehow when I read this recipe all I could think of was that this is a cake that calls for a pretty baking pan - I think this one was a good choice.

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  6. Your cake looks beautiful! It's so tall. I'm going to look up your rose petits four post. I have a soft spot for petits fours, because on very rare occasions, my grandmother would bring some over from the bakery and we'd have a special tea together. Never had rose flavored, but lord knows, I'm looking for ways to use up all this syrup, so might as well give it a shot!

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    1. Ei, thank you for the lovely comment - you might like the Rose Petits Fours - they are a bit special but then, those dainty little cakes are meant to be eaten on special occasions.

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  7. My husband tasted it but did not like the rose idea one bit. Yours came out gorgeous and you are so lucky to find natural rose. I wonder what the difference is in flavor?

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    1. Diane, I do believe that the natural rose products from this manufacturer definitely taste better, they lack the artificial after taste and smell of some of the comercially available rose syrups, waters and extracts that are so widely available.

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  8. What a gorgeous presentation, Andrea. This is the first time we have ever tried rose syrup or extract in anything and I wish I could say that we liked it, but we didn't. I bet there is a difference in the flavor with the natural. I hope you and your family have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Elaine, thank you do much - the taste of this cake is certainly quite special and not everyone likes "flowery notes" in their baked goods. But overall this is a lovely looking and elegant little tea cake - I did half the recipe and it was just the right amount for my never before used cake pan.

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  9. I loved the top photo with the pink rose. It's beautiful!
    The cake looks very elegant too!

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    1. Sanya, thank you for the nice comment - elegant recipes do seem to call for some elegant pictures too.

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  10. I was very curious as to how Herme came to name his macaron Ispahan, and I had a feeling you would be the one to reveal that little mystery! How very interesting! It's very appropriate, I think - this flavor combination does have an exotic feel to it. Your cake turned out so lovely! What a darling presentation!

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    1. Sara, thank you for the comment - I found this bit on information while doing a bit of research on the origins of this somewhat exotic flavor combination. I was curious as to what inspired Pierre Hermé when he created his Macaron d`Ispahan.

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  11. How beautiful, such a lovely presentation in that second photo. This is a delicious recipe and I will be making it again with fresh fruit.

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    1. Nana, thank you very much - I am glad that you enjoyed this recipe so much. If you get a chance, let us know which fresh fruit is the best in this cake.

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  12. Your baking pan is fabulous! As is your presentation!!!! Yeah, this did't seem to be a winner with our menfolk...and, of course, it's one "my" hubby enjoyed!

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    1. Liz, thanks so much for the compliment - you know when I read yout post, I was smiling about the fact that your husband liked this exoticly flavored cake, of all cakes.

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  13. Andrea, I think your special little baking pan really created such a pretty cake, especially with the dusting of sugar...lovely. I tend to agree with you that this is probably better suited to a ladies luncheon.

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    1. Karen, thank you very much for your nice comment - this was definitely not a cake that the guys would rave about at the office - but lovely nonetheless!

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  14. What a fantastic cake pan, Andrea! I guess you took back home more cake to enjoy there.

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    1. Adriana, thank you for commenting - well, I did not really have to carry this cake far as I served it at home to my four "young ladies" who left but a crumb on the platter - for them, there will have to be repeats.

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  15. Another gorgeous Post, Andrea. I also liked your round decorative baking pan rather than the mundane "loaf" look I produced. Susan's individual roses were nice as well. Thank you for sharing sourcers with us. Although your sources are often European, I still like to go to their Links and look at the wide variety of offerings. Many of the stores/sources you include on your Blog are so unique and different from what we're used to. There were so many different opinions and results this week - positive and negative. I am glad the little ladies liked it. I just think it was fun to know more about this. And I noticed that you went back to the original spelling when writing about it. Once I get this move accomplished - which will be soon - I'll be able to return to reading all your Posts. They all look interesting, as usual, especially your potato series, but I just haven't had the time. It's Saturday night here in the States and the movers come Monday morning. At last.

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    1. Mary, thank you for your nice comment - I only hope that all goes smoothly with your move, that is always so stressful. Cannot wait to see you posting from your Aspen kitchen next Friday!

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  16. Your cake is exquisite! I aspire to being able to style food as beautifully as you!

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    1. Candy, thank you very much for your kind comment.

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  17. The presentation is beautiful...just as everyone has mentioned. I'm so curious about the flavor too! This looks almost too pretty to eat...almost...thank you for sharing!

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    1. Monet, thank you - hope you had a wonderful Baby Shower today - the flavor of this cake is like almonds with a hint of a floral note from the delicate rose syrup, quite nice actually if you like a rosy taste.

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  18. I think rose flavoring is one of those things you either love or you don't care for at all. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan. But your cake looks so elegant!

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth - you are absolutely right, liking rose syrup seems to be a love or hate thing - the female taste testers devoured the cake, the male testers just kindly declined the pieces of cake that were offered to them.

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  19. Andrea - the mold you picked to bake your cake in is just beautiful. It is so perfect for this decidedly feminine dessert (although, it was a large surprise that my male taster enjoyed this as well).
    I can't believe that you have only been posting for a year - it feels like it has been much longer :-)

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    1. Cher, thank you so much for the very lovely commet - time just seems to fly by, doesn´t it.

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  20. Thank you for the suggestion. When I have some time I'm definitely going to try making the Macaron Isaphan, I'm very curious. Funny that none of the men would try the cake, although I can see that this wouldn't be a cake for everybody. Your photos are gorgeous, as always. I just love the cake pan that you used.

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    1. Jora, thank you so much, wonderful cake that was received so very well by the "ladies of the house", not the guys, though. But it certainly is very pretty!

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