This marmalade coconut semolina cake is one of the reasons Yotam Ottolenghi and I are best friends.
Ok, he does not know that we are best friends. But I know that if he knows that I know that we are best friends, we would be best friends. For now though, his cooks books and I are tight.
There are two parts to making this popular Middle Eastern cake. The cake itself and the soaking syrup. Feel free to make it exactly as it appears in Jerusalem. However I absolutely love it without adding the syrup. That way I get to eat this as a breakfast bread, or with soups, yoghurt or even salads. And simply as a cake with some tea. See what combination works for you (that’s the fun part).
OH and the kiddoes have promised (with just a teeny weeny bit of hinting from me) to make me this cake for my next quarter birthday, half birthday and main birthday. Lucky, lucky me.
- For the cake:
- 160ml (2/3 cup) sunflower oil
- 250ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 160g (6oz) orange marmalade
- 4 eggs
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 70g (2.5oz) caster sugar
- 70g (2.5oz) desiccated coconut
- 90g (3.2oz) all purpose flour
- 180g (6.4oz) semolina (fine or coarse, up to you)
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Soaking syrup:
- 200g (7oz) sugar
- 140ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) water
- 1 tsp orange blossom water
- To serve:
- Preheat oven to fan 160 C / 180 C / 350 F / gas 4.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, orange juice, marmalade, eggs and orange zest until the marmalade dissolves.
- In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and add them to the wet. Combine everything together into a runny batter.
- Grease 2 loaf tins and line them with greaseproof baking paper. Split the batter evenly between the tins and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- This is where I stop as the cake is perfect for me but I will continue with the recipe from Jerusalem.
- Near the end of baking time, bring the syrup ingredients to boil in a small saucepan and set aside.
- Remove the cakes from the oven start brushing the syrup them with the syrup until as much syrup as you want has been absorbed.
- Let the cakes cool and remove them from the tins and serve with some Greek yoghurt.