Cooking North African-Inspired Citrusy Sweets On The Queen Latifah Show

Posted on February 4, 2014 by & filed under food.

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I first fell head over heels with rose water backpacking through Northern Africa. The delicate floral flavoring is used around the globe in many applications from Middle Eastern candies like Turkish delight and baklava to Southeast Asian sweets like bandung and Indian rice puddings. When used sparingly, it adds a subtle aromatic quality unlike any other. And it’s particularly wonderful when added to sweet dishes using winter citrus, like my orange rosewater polenta cake.

So when Curtis Stone rung me up to come cook my favorite citrus dish for the Queen (Latifah, that is!), I happily obliged and went to my exotic cake. I mean, she’s on fire right now with the Grammys and the Super Bowl appearances.

Though I’d love to take credit for being the first to bake using rose water, it’s been utilized in baked goods for quite some time now. In fact, up until the 19th century, bakers across the globe commonly used rosewater before vanilla became popular. It also is a nice accompaniment to citrus, so we decided to riff on an old recipe from Gourmet Magazine to make something truly unique for the Queen and her court.

You can find the recipe here. And of course, be sure to watch the show Tuesday on CBS!

Morning score at Goodwill. Went to donate clothes, then fell in love with this rad vintage Italian tin. Giving is a great thing!
Looking for the best places in Phoenix and Scottsdale to eat for the #SuperBowl this weekend? My list of the best bites is up at the link in my profile. This here's @pavlemilic of @fnbrestaurant, an absolute MUST if you're into exploring local Sonoran produce, grains and wines!
Admiring my 90's @heathceramics haul from an antiques shop in Eugene + this awesome woodworker's cheese board made from hickory and maple. I'd say I made out like a bandit, less the @nongskhaomangai sauce that was taken by TSA.
I'm out like this carpet. So long PDX and PNW. It's been real. You and your ridiculous teal floors will be greatly missed. #oregontrufflefestival
Well, that's one way to make new friends at the dinner table. Some just guy busted out a giant Tupperware FULL of white Alba truffles last night. Well played, sir. Well played. #oregontrufflefestival
Amazing Oregon white truffles foraged underneath the Douglas Fir forest. The bounty of the Pacific Northwest never ceases to amaze me.
Morning forage. #OregonTruffleFestival
Yesterday I got to tour the @WillLeatherGoods studio, owned by an incredible craftsman that got his start selling belts on the Venice Boardwalk and is now making some of my favorite, most delicious leather goods in all the land. These shoes, I can't even...
Truffles for dessert, and I don't mean chocolates. White Oregon truffle ice cream with crispy candied proscuitto and truffle poached pear from Red Wagon. Mind blown. #OregonTruffleFestival
Needing an afternoon pick me up, and boy did these guys deliver. Thanks for the glorious Geisha and kick arse chai kombucha, @coffeeplantroaster.
Good things come in pink boxes.
So much amazing local Oregon truffle action that the adorable pups hunted this morning. Fave bite was the lightly smoked pork belly, duck fat and jalapeño terrine with white and black truffle oil. Don't get it twisted, this oil is legit, just amazing truffles infusing light olive oil. Totally changed my opinion on the stuff. #OregonTruffleFestival
Holy f you guys, this place's dessert menu includes an entire section dedicated to whiskey + chocolate pairings, with candies made by their in-house chocolatier. My fave was the toasted coconut with alder wood smoked sea salt in organic semi sweet chocolate paired with Highland Park 12 yr Orkney. Uhm-aze!
Snapping a selfie with @blackberryfarm's champion truffle hunting dog Tom at the prelims of the #OregonTruffleFestival Juriad competition. Normally I'm not a celeb stalker, but this guy's the bawse!
Silver lining to weather delays: flights got diverted to Portland and I get to show @mkretovics @nongskhaomangai, one of my fav PDX eateries. Now time for a quick coffee tour for my first timer, then off to Eugene we go!
Really thrilled for @reesewitherspoon and @cherylstrayed for their Oscar nominations for the film "Wild." I found the movie totally inspiring as a solo female traveler, and wrote about its relation to my experience for the LA Times. My good friends @dametraveler reposted the piece on their site, which you can check out at the link in my profile. (Photo taken backpacking Karijini National Park, Northwestern Australia, 2007, #TBT) #darlingescapes #bbctravel
Super excited to be shooting more this year, and the burgers at Cassell's were a dream subject. They're tasty, but my fav item at the newly resurrected K-Town diner is the tuna melt made with perfectly poached belly and melty cheddar that oozes onto the griddle as it cooks, turning into a crackly, cheesy chip. Check out the gallery and story now @ link in profile.
Last night I roasted a chicken with lemon and thyme for Sunday supper with @mkretovics. It's one of my favorite #justonepot meals because I get to use the leftovers for salads, soups, and sammies all week. It's the gift that keeps on giving!
It's a perfect day for an Irish coffee, and I have to admit that Tom Bergins' seasonal pumpkin spice is freaking phenomenal. Glad I took the bartender's word on it since the whole PSL thing isn't normally my style. But damn, the real pumpkin, fresh ground nutmeg and subtle sweetness of the fresh whipped cream hug my soul on a rainy day like today. I may be fashionably late to fall, but it tastes so good.
Weekend forecast is looking even brighter because of this fantastic bouquet decked out with edible elements like flowering kale, kumquats, chamomile, and lavender. Thanks @clementinefloralworks and 
@mkretovics for always making my day and knowing me so well. This is my favorite arrangement yet!

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