The first episode of Bachelor seasons, where contestants arrive by limo to meet their esteemed dreamboat, is always something bonkers. But, nothing could quite prepare us for this season’s first contestant and her accompanying homemade cake in hand. 27-year-old Melbourne-based occupational therapist Brooke Cleal wowed Bachelor Jimmy Nicholson this year with her Sri Lankan love cake. And, in turn, she’s made us want to make the cake ourselves.
In a recipe shared with Lifehacker Australia via Ten, Cleal says it’s a recipe handed down from her grandparents:
“I grew up with this cake as a little girl. My cousins and I (my perfect best friends) were blessed to have this cake cooked for us by my nanna Trilby and her mother—my great granny. How lucky. The tradition has carried on. It was so special to share this cake with Jimmy on the red carpet. Mum and I had a lot of fun cooking this together (AKA me licking the spoon and mum snatching it off me). I hope you love and appreciate the aromas and beauty this cake has to offer as its so special to my family and Sri Lanka.”
How to make Bachelor star Brooke Cleal’s Sri Lankan love cake
What you’ll need:
- 1 whole egg
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 400 grams of caster sugar.
- 3 tablespoons of honey.
- 1 jar (roughly 400 grams) of pumpkin preserve, drained and chopped. P.S. You can get this at a Sri Lankan grocer.
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
- A small spring of ground cloves.
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
- 2 tablespoons of lime zest, finely chopped.
- 2 tablespoons of rose water.
- 275 grams of raw cashews, finely chopped.
- 250 grams of semolina, very lightly toasted in a frying pan and left to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line the base and sides of a square (approx.) 25 cm baking tin with baking paper. Brush the paper with some soft butter.
- Using a stand cake mixer with a bowl (whisk attachment advised) or even using your own beaters and bowl, beat the egg, egg yolks, and caster sugar until it thickens and turns creamy white. Add the zest, rose essence, honey, and all your spices here. Mix it all well.
- Chop your cashews finely, toast your semolina and drain or chop your preserved pumpkin. Your chopping skills don’t need to be perfect here since these ingredients will fall to the bottom of the cake.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large, unused bowl until big peaks form. Fold half of these through the cake mixture to lubricate the batter, then fold the other remaining egg whites in.
- Pour cake mixture into the lined tin and bake for one hour and 24 minutes. You want to make sure the cake is evenly golden brown on the top and feels firm to the touch. The centre of the cake should also be very moist (don’t use a skewer to test it).
- Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin to cool down (this can take overnight). Instead of turning the cake over, cut small squares across and lift them separately to serve.
Depending on how big your pieces are, this Sri Lankan love cake can serve up to 25 people. Speaking of cakes, the new McDonald’s McFlurry flavour is a mix of birthday cakes and fairy bread (yumo!).
The Bachelor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm on 10.