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.
For the syrup:
- 225g sugar
- 125 ml boiling water
- 120g powdered milk
- 2 tbsps flour
- 2 tbsp of samolina
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsps ghee or clarified butter, melted
- 50 ml water
- 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
- enough vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Dissolve the sugar in the water over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, or until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Meanwhile, combine all the dry ingredients together, and, using your fingertips or a fork, beat in the ghee or clarified butter. Add the water and knead until the mixture forms a slightly soft dough. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. Using your hands, shape the mixture into small walnut sized balls.
- Fill a deep-frying pan one-third full with oil and heat until it reaches 180 C on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden. Carefully lower the balls into the oil, a few at a time, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp, and rise to the surface. As they brown, transfer the balls to the syrup mixture. When all the balls are cooked, remove the syrup from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
A few drops of kewra or rose water can be added to the syrup before adding the gulab jamun if you like. I have even tried adding 1 tsp of orange essence.
sprinkle with grated coconut before serving if you want a better presentation.
This recipe comes from a book that I had about 40 years ago called ‘Worldwide Cookbook’ . It was one of the first luxury cakes I had ever made and it turned out great the first time. Although I can’t find reference to it now I would like to give credit to ‘Worldwide Cookbook’ .
The cake is really worthwhile the extra work that goes into it and
Devil’s Food Cake
- 125g 6 squares dark cooking (semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped
- 250 ml milk
- 175g brown sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 275g sifted self-raising flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 8 tbsps butter
- 175g caster (superfine) sugar
- 50ml water
- 1 tsp rum or vanilla essence (extract)
- 2 egg whites
- Fudge frosting:
250ml single (light) cream
- 500g sugar
- 1/8thtsp salt
- 60 g squares dark cooking (semi-sweet) chocolate, grated
- 3 tbsps butter
- ½ tsp vanilla essence (extract)
- 50g chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to moderate 180 C/160f/Gas 4.
- Put the chocolate, milk, brown sugar and 1 egg yolk in the top part of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Set the boiler or pan over low heat and simmer the mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside whilst you prepare the rest of the batter.
- Put the flour, salt and soda into a bowl. Place the butter into a second bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it is creamy. Gradually add the caster sugar, beating constantly. Add the remaining egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly mix in about a third of the flour, followed by half the water. Add the remaining flour and water, and beat until the batter is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and chocolate mixture until they are thoroughly blended.
- Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Lightly fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into three shallow greased cake tins lined with greased greaseproof or waxed paper. Place the tins in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, loosen the cakes with a knife and turn them on to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the frosting, bring the cream to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, salt and grated chocolate. Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture, covered, for 3 minutes. Do not stir. Uncover, reduce the heat to low and cook until a teaspoon of the mixture dropped into iced water forms a soft ball. Remove the pan from the heat and plunge it into a larger saucepan filled with cold water.
- When the mixture has cooled to 45 C (not °F), or the bottom of the pan is cold enough to touch, beat in the butter and vanilla. Continue beating until the frosting thickens and reaches spreading consistency. Stir in the walnuts.
- Sandwich the three rounds of cake together with three-quarters of the frosting and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, using a palette knife or spatula to make swirling decorative patterns. Leave the frosting to cool before serving.
Servings: 6/ 8