Aphrodisiac Lemon Saffron Tort

If you’re looking for a special recipe to share with your special someone, look no further than this Aphrodisiac Lemon Saffron Tort.

Ancient Mediterraneans were fascinated by saffron. The crocuses that bloomed early in the spring signaled a return of the Earth’s fertile season, and their bright golden stamens were infused into milk, wine, honey, and other foods. The deep yellow results were beautiful to look at, delicious, and possibly, according to modern science, helpful with infertility in men. Certain chemicals in saffron could embolden neurotransmitters that stimulate libido, which could explain why Cleopatra is said to have bathed in saffron prior to a visit to the boudoir.

Also shown in this photo are “I Heart Chocolate” tarts from Mediterra Cafe! Find the recipe here.

Aphrodisiac Lemon Saffron Tort and Vanilla Bean Chantilly Recipe 


For the cake:
1 1/4 cups Whole Milk
1 Tablespoon Spanish Saffron
1 1/3 cups Liokareas Late Harvest Lemon Olive Oil
3 large Eggs
2 large lemons zested, save for juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Limoncello, or Triple Sec
1 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
2 cups + 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

For the Chantilly:
2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 scrapped vanilla bean


  1. Preheat the Oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a spring form pan with parchment paper. To help the paper stick spray the pan with pan spray, then line with parchment. Place spring form pan on an even sheet tray and set aside.
  2. Bring your milk and saffron to a simmer, turn off heat and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes, squeeze out saffron and set aside.
  3. Combine in a large bowl and whisk together the olive oil, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, limoncello, and saffron milk.
  4. Add sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda to the liquid ingredients and whisk until combined. Do not over mix. The batter is thin.
  5. Pour batter into spring form, and place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the edges slightly brown and the cake is solid to the touch.
  6. Let cool for at least 1 hour before opening the spring form.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. Place heavy cream in a bowl of a kitchen aid fit with the whisk attachment or use a hand held mixer or beat by hand the 2 cups of heavy cream until it just starts to form body. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract or vanilla beans and continue to whisk until medium to stiff peaks form.
  9. Serve cake with Chantilly.

Recipe by Selina Progar / Styling by Brittany Spinelli / Story By Keith Recker / Photography by Dave Bryce

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