I find deep hues of pink endlessly cheerful. Case in point; the sight of bougainvillea blooms, punnets of raspberries, beets, watermelon juice, calla lililes, orchids. The Hungry One (a green, blue and grey sort of fellow) was kind enough to let me slip great swathes of it into our wedding colour scheme (there’s a man who knows how to pick his battles).

I love that the bobbing caps that we spy on the ocean swimmers who glide in a pack from Manly to Shelly Beach and back are throbbing magenta (I also love that they call themselves The Bold and the Beautiful). One day, maybe I’ll join them.

I love that there are slim slices of it throughout our ramshackle garden. I love that it’s making a cameo in the stalks of the rainbow chard that’s currently winning the war against the slugs in the vegetable trough.

Then there are other pink hued things which prove excellent mood elevators.  A gentle sun blush of exertion on your cheeks after a late Friday afternoon swim, for one.

A sneaky glass of rose while you’ve still got sand between your toes at Daniel San, the just-opened, slightly too cool for school Japanese digs at North Steyne (but not really when you’ve got a 15 mth old in tow and you’re dining at 5.15 pm).

And a bouquet of rhubarb stems. These came fresh from my mother’s garden, she knows now that these days a bag of freshly plucked rhubarb will please me more than any posy. But if you’re looking for a sweet hostess gift, or some small trifling to give you a serotonin boost in a long afternoon, might I suggest these love cakes?

I first experimented with Persian love cakes back in February when I was searching for the right dish to pair with Spike Jonze’s Her for Oscarsfeast.

Those ones were a three textured lot, with a sandy biscuit like base and a forgiving topping that was busy with spices. They were punctuated with pistachios and tangy from the yoghurt which laced the batter. As much as I enjoyed flirting with them (I even purchased a new square shaped muffin tin just to show them off at their best), they didn’t make it into my regular baking rotation. It was the faffing of two textures. One day, perhaps I’ll have the attention span to devote to layered treats again. But for now, the bundle of chaos around my ankles while I cook means I’m wedded to the union of blitz, portion, top, bake.

There is so much to love about these cakes (to be fair, this iteration is a stretch from the original version which is heady with nutmeg), so please allow me to take liberties with the name. I love that there’s no flour, just ground almonds, some flax for nuttiness and then a smuggled tin of blitzed white beans for extra protein and body. There’s some romantic sweetness care of the rosewater- not enough to remind you of your grandmother’s bureau, but just enough to make you smile and feel like you’re on an exotic sojurn. Then there’s the tempering of the raw sugar care of the bright pink acidity of the finely diced rhubarb.

I thought they would be some perfect one handed snacks for Will and me for the week. As it turns out, my great (small) love’s palate  is not such a fan of rosewater. He ejected a mouthful as though it was pressed out of soap and proceeded to use the rest as a tambourine. I found the taste and the appearance of them so cheering that I didn’t even mind the resulting mess.Or the fact that after a trip to the beach he more resembles a cinnamon donut than a child. Or that he’s now in the habit of happily bleating ‘Dadadadada’ for everything that pleases him and ‘MUUUM’ with a clenched jaw in response to everything that doesn’t.  And besides, his outright rejection of them just left all the more for me (she writes, while he is eventually napping, finishing off the last of the batch with a cup of tea).

If a small hint of pink, small cakes, easy bakes and smuggled protein sound like things that please you, then I hope you’ll be equally as smitten with the below. May your week be tinged with fuchsia.

Rhubarb White Bean Love Cakes

Shopping/foraging

 

1 x 400 g tin of white beans/cannellini beans
1 cup/110 g almond meal
2 tbsp ground flax
3 eggs
100 g of butter, softened
100 g of raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp rosewater
1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
2 sticks of rhubarb, finely chopped (you could also substitute for 1/2 a cup of frozen raspberries)

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and line a 12 hole square muffin tin/love cake tin with slips of baking paper (you could substitute for a friand pan, or a regular muffin pan).

2) Blend all of the ingredients, except for the pistachios and rhubarb together until you have a smooth batter.

3) Portion the batter into the baking tray and top with chopped pistachios and the fine dice of chopped rhubarb.

4) Bake for 16-20 minutes, until the tops are firm and a skewer comes out clean. Eat.