This recipe is an adaptation of a Lebanese dessert called Sfouf
Sfouf is really very similar to a Victoria sponge but with the flavour and the syrup it becomes delicious ,moist and exotic. Variations of this cake can be found from the Middle East along the Mediterranean. I will post a video of another variation at the bottom which i also love.
- 250g butter
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 2 oranges , finely grated zest and juice
- 4 eggs
- 50g plain flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 250g semolina
- 200g ground almonds
- 120g Greek yoghurt
- 2 oranges ,grated zest and juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks or pinch of saffron (optional)
- 275g sugar (caster or granulated)
- 500 ml water
- To make the syrup put all the syrup ingredients in a pan with 500ml water and bring slowly to a simmer, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer until syrupy, about 15 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 160 C. Butter and base line a 20cm spring form cake tin. Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs then whisk in one at a time.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through along with the orange zest, semolina and almonds. Add the orange juice and yoghurt and stir gently. Place a few skinned almonds on the top for show if you want to but this is optional of course.
- Pour into the prepared tin and cook for about 1 hour or until firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
- Remove the cake from the oven and pierce all over with a skewer. Pour half the hot syrup over the warm cake. Leave to cool.
- Drizzle the cake with the remaining syrup and serve with a large spoonful of crème fraîche if you like.
Oven Temperature: 160 C/140f/Gas 3
Try this one as an alternative.
Rich Chocolate Truffle Torte
- 80g of butter
- 150g digestive biscuits, crushed
- 397g can sweetened condensed milk
- 550g plain chocolate
- 6 tbsps flavouring* (you can try mango syrup, cherry or concentrated orange juice)
- 300ml double cream
- sifted cocoa powder to sprinkle over the top OR…
- 150g plain or milk chocolate curls, to decorate (optional)
- Melt the butter and stir in the crushed biscuits. Press into the base of a 20cm (8 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin and chill.
- Meanwhile, put the milk, chocolate and flavouring in a large bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Using a hand whisk, beat until smooth. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the cream into the chocolate mixture and pour over the biscuit base. Chill for 12 hours or overnight.
- To make the chocolate curls, melt the plain or milk chocolate and spread on a marble slab or cold metal baking sheet. Chill until just set, then, using a knife or a potato peeler, scrape across the chocolate to make curls.
- Scatter the chocolate curls or sifted cocoa over the cake.
Keep refrigerated until needed.
Lemon Meringue Pie is a famous traditional British dish., a delicious light tangy desert perfect on its own warm or cold. I dont think i know anyone who does not like lemon meringue pie.
For the sweet short crust pastry
- 225g plain white flour
- pinch salt
- 110g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tsps caster sugar
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk
- For the lemon curd
- 100g caster sugar
- 8 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 large lemons, zest and juice
- 6 medium egg yolks
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
For the meringue
- 6 medium egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter to the flour and then rub between your fingertips until a fine breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Add the sugar to the flour and butter. Using your hands, mix to a firm dough with the egg yolk,vanilla essence and a splash of cold water. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a 22cm/9in fluted loose-bottomed tin. Place the tin onto a baking tray.
- Roll out the pastry until its big enough to generously fit the tin, leaving excess pastry falling over the sides of the tin onto the baking tray underneath the tin – don’t trim at this stage.
- Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Now trim the excess pastry using a sharp knife. Bake the pastry case blind for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden and dried out – remove the paper and beans for the last five minutes. Lower the oven heat to 150 C/Gas 2.
- Meanwhile, for the lemon curd, mix together the sugar, cornflour, and enough water to make a paste, in a large bowl.
- Bring 50ml/2fl oz water and the lemon zest to the boil in a small pan. Gradually pour the hot liquid onto the cornflour and sugar, whisking all the time until smooth.
- Beat in the egg yolks, lemon juice and butter. Return to the pan. Bring it back to a boil and boil it for 1 minute. Pour into the baked pastry case and leave to cool slightly
For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well and at a high speed between each addition. Transfer the meringue into a piping bag (with a plain nozzle) and pipe the meringue on top of the lemon curd. Do this on a very warm meringue as it helps to seal the two.
- Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the meringue is crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallow-like underneath.
Oven temperature: 180 C/Gas 4
When you cook your lemon filling, be absolutely sure that you boil it for at least 30 seconds as cornstarch needs to fully boil in order for it to firm up. Have the meringue ready to top your pie as soon as you put the filling in the crust, the heat of the filling will help to cook the bottom of the meringue. Immediately put it in the oven, and refrigerate after removing it from the oven. Leaving it to cool at room temperature will cause the bottom of the meringue to become watery which causes your pie to separate.