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!

Had a blasty blast chatting food and social media with these badass babes @whatsgabycookin @lesliedurso @gigieats at the UCLA Restaurant Industry Conference. And a special shout out to Leslie's Stretch Armstrong arms for making this selfie a reality!
Last night I enjoyed the loveliest, mostly plant-based meal at the rad @scratchbarla @thegadareneswine pop-up @coachella. This colorful roasted cauliflower dish with cauli stem "jerkey" was one of my faves, along with the INCREDIBLE coconut custard w/mojito granita and brown sugar crumble. Coachella really has grown up!
Starting out the day with power yoga and green juice with my boo at the Hawaiian Tropic/Nanette Lepore party at one of my fave Palm Springs properties. Time to reset before round 3! 🌴👍
I am freaking giddy in love with every nook and cranny of this property. Can I please keep the bird's nest? Pretty please?!? 😍
If you're looking for some calm amidst the @Coachella storm, do yourself a favor and book one of the Outstanding in the Field long table farm dinners. Great wine and cocktails are a' flowin, and you'll get one of the most gorge meals with desert palms and the Sahara tent as your backdrop. Always such a treat, this has definitely become one of my Coachella traditions. (If you're out here, you can book thru the @Reserve app.)🌴🍷🍴👌
The fine folks @TheFareTrade featured me as their guest editor this month, and did a fun Q&A on how I've turned my passion for culinary adventure and food storytelling into a career. It was a real treat to reflect on my journey, and I hope it might inspire some of you to find what you love and figure out a way to make a living doing it! You can check it out at the link in my profile. 🙏
Feeling SO MUCH CLOSER to human after a fabulous facial @dermalogica and an awesome smoothie pick-me-up from @KreationJuice. My skin was tired with a capital T after all the boats, busses, cabs, and planes, and this was just what I needed. Now time to start logging footage and answering the mountains of emails! 👊 How do you reset and bring back balance after a trip?
Let's be honest, coming home from incredible international travel can kinda suck. What I do love, though, is getting back in the kitchen and cooking! I started off today clean with this pomegranate blueberry bowl, made with heaps of fresh fruit, kale, oats and sunflower seeds, plus some of my fave Vega powder for good measure. Now off to yoga to set my system straight!
I just feel so at home, so genuinely happy, and so truly ME by the sea. Guess that's why my parents called me The Little Mermaid growing up. 💙🌊😎 #fathominstatrip
So. Much. Seafood. ❤️ing the Anguillan style of celebrating the sea at Festival Del Mar. #fathominstatrip #beachesnresorts
I mean, is this place for REAL? I didn't know blues like this existed... 🌊🌴💙 #beachesnresorts
Sunset. Bankie Banx. Champs. Nuff said. Anguilla, I'm yours. #beachesnresorts
Poured tableside, this vibrant carrot gazpacho with the tenderest, freshest conch crudo caught by local fisherman is the epitome of polished island dining. Chef Jeremy Bearman -- formerly of Rouge Tomate in NYC -- is KILLING IT at the newly revamped @Malliouhana in Anguilla. 🙌🙌🙌
Holy crap you guys! These island avocados are HUGE!!!! This thing doesn't even fit in the frame. When I saw it at the market I freaked out, giving my fellow travelers a laugh. But who's laughing now!?! Everyone wants a taste of this California girl gone Caribbean breakfast. (Not pictured: side of Rockfield's fiery Anguillan hot sauce.)
On of the great things about this island is that as many ways as there are to eat well, there are to work it off. Think if I paddled out to that yacht the skipper would let me go down the water slide? (And more importantly, is this place even real?!?) #beachesnresorts
Salt used the be the main industry here in Anguilla, but was pretty much wiped out since the tourism boom in the 70s. Now Matthew Webster and the team at Anguilla Sea Salt are bringing back the storied artisan craft, harvesting from the pristine azure Anguillan waters. Incredible stuff! 🌊👍
After nearly 20 hours of travel, I am ADORING this rum punch! So happy to have finally arrived in Anguilla, and with such a warm welcome. Can't wait to explore more island-style eats over the next few days! #beachesnresorts
Ohio-based creamery @JenisIceCreams just opened in Los Feliz, and I'm so smitten with their Brambleberry Crisp, shown here scooped into a fresh house made waffle cone. (Apologies for the obligatory floor/mani shot, but I couldn't resist. And neither should you!) 🍧👌
Indulging in my absolute favorite springtime snack, simple steamed 'chokes with lemony garlic aioli. No joke, I just polished off two of these while lounging and watching TV, and I could probably go for two more. The obsession is real, people. So happy spring is here!
It's Friday, and that means my favorite food group -- aka BRUNCH! -- is on the horizon. If you adore smoked fish and bagels like I do, try the incredible white fish salad @fredsatbarneys. Also, hello! There's a killer rooftop patio with an LA view that just begs for a mimosa-fueled gossip sesh. Plus the best window shopping around is downstairs. Get it girls! ☀️🎣🍹

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