Saffron is used a lot in Swedish baking at Christmas time. Festivities get underway first with Lussekatter and then all the way up to Christmas, saffron is found in a multitude of baking recipes from cookies, to bread, through to cakes.
Up until I moved to Sweden, I’d never used saffron. I’d lived and worked in Turkey for a couple of years so knew of the spice and was pretty taken by its gorgeous colour, but other than that, had little experience of it.
Saffron adds a stunning colour to baked food. I mean really beautiful. You only need a pinch, too (which is good given how expensive the bloomin’ thing is). The flavour is equally distinctive. Again, only a pinch is needed (too much would result in a overpowering taste).
This cake is gluten free and made with a ready mixed blend, along with ground almonds, and there’s something special about the mixture of almonds and saffron; other-worldly, almost.
The cake is so soft and fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness, and a taste which lingers in your mouth long after you’ve eaten it. The only downside of being less sweet is that you could snaffle down half a cake in one sitting and not even notice.
I made a small cake (this one is 18cm) but you could easily double the recipe to make a larger one.