Prep. time: 2 hours
Baking time: 1 1/4 hours
The cake is actually a type of rich yeast bread (brioche).
Hints & Tips
* rose water is made by soaking rose petals in water for 15 minutes; the petals are then squeezed to obtain the desired liquid.
**you can toast the almonds in the oven or in butter in a skillet.
- Leave the granulated sugar and yeast to soak in the warm milk for 3 minutes; mix and let rest in a warm draft-free spot until the mixture has doubled in volume;
- meanwhile, soak the rose petals in the brandy for 20 minutes; remove the petals and let drain on paper towel;
- mix the saffron into the same brandy;
- place 325 g (about 2 c.) of the flour and the icing sugar into a large bowl and form a well in the centre; pour in the liquid ingredients: the milk with the yeast, rose water, egg yolks and brandy with the saffron;
- using a wooden spoon, gradually mix the flour and the sugar into the liquids until smooth; then gradually add in the butter in small dice and beat until the dough forms a ball;
- place the ball on a lightly-floured surface. Knead the dough, adding in 175 g (approximately 1 cup) more flour, using only a very small quantity at a time. When all the flour has been incorporated and the dough is smooth and shiny, place it into a buttered bowl; sprinkle lightly with flour, cover with a kitchen towel and place the bowl in a draft-free location for about an hour until the dough has doubled in volume;
- combine the rose petals, almonds, cherries and orange zest; toss the mixture with 4 tsp. of flour until well-coated; punch down the dough in the bowl; add in the fruit mixture and knead until well-distributed;
- line a large loaf pan with brown paper that has been thoroughly greased on both sides; put the dough into the pan; cover with a kitchen towel and let rest another 30 minutes. The dough should rise again and reach the top of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 105° C (210° F);
- place the loaf on the lower rack and let bake 15 minutes;
- increase the oven temperature to 160° C (350° F) and continue baking for one hour; the cake will rise above the loaf pan;
- remove the cake from the oven and let cool 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.
- Whip the cream until it thickens; add the sugar and brandy and continue to beat until it forms peaks;
- spread the cream over the cake and decorate with crystallized red rosebuds
A dessert wine from Languedoc-Roussillon (Muscat de Rivesaltes)
Hints & Tips