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.
I don’t know why shortcake is known by many as a cake because its not its a biscuit! In Scotland its know as shortbread but there again its not a bread. Anyway, its lovely and scrumptious and this combination is delightfull anytime but more so on a bright summery day served in the garden with afternoon tea 🙂
- 225g plain flour
- 50g icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 175g butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 300ml double cream
- ½ kg strawberries, hulled
- 2 tbsp fine sugar/icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to fairly hot 190c/375f/Gas5/fan oven 170c
- Sift the flour and icing (confectioners’) sugar into a medium bowl. With a table knife, cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mixture. Stir in the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the cream, and blend well. Mix and knead together until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Cover the dough with waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the strawberries. Beat the remaining cream until it forms stiff peaks, then lightly fold the strawberries into the cream.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll out each piece to a 23 cm (9 in) circle. Put the circles on a well-greased baking sheet. Cut 6/8 triangles ½ way through one of the circles without cutting all the way through and put the sheets into the oven. Bake the Shortcake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the shortcakes are golden brown.
- Let it cool down completley.
- Spoon the strawberries and cream into a heap in the centre of the uncut shortcakes.
- Cut the other circle fully into six or eight equal triangles gently so as not to break them. If you have cut properly before baking this will be easy. Pile the triangles up against the strawberry mixture, sprinkle over the icing (superfine) sugar. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
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.