The successful cakes from Thursday made me want to try a new recipe along the same lines. When I lived in Jerusalem, I had two favorite desserts: Sahleb, a hot pudding made of starches and plants with a coconut-pistachio topping, and Malabi, a cold custard with a red rosewater syrup on top. There was a small place near a car repair shop, in the industrial part of town, and it was open throughout the night; when we were cramming for exams, we used to go there and meet other night creatures: construction workers, auto industry workers, bakers, and everyone else who felt like a comforting dessert in the middle of the night.

This is a healthier, nut-based version of a rosewater pudding. Unless you enjoy a slightly alcoholic taste in your cakes, opt for rosewater made only of distilled water and rose petals.

Crust
5 pitted dates
1/3 cup walnuts, soaked for 10 mins in boiling water

Filling
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 10 mins in boiling water
1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked for 10 mins in boiling water
1-2 tsp maple syrup
juice from 1/2 orange
2 tbsp rosewater
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Earth Balance

Topping

15 cherries, pitted and chopped
splash of rosewater
splash of whiskey

For the crust and filling, follow the instructions in the lemon-lavender cake recipe. 

While the cake is in the molding ring cooling in the freezer, cook the cherries in rosewater and whiskey until fragrant and a bit soft. Let topping cool a bit, then layer on top of the cake and place everything in the fridge until it’s time to serve.

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