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 was inspired by an African dessert called Muhallabye. A variation of an egg custard pie without the eggs. I always thought that this dessert was Middle Eastern because i have had similar in Turkey and Tunisia. After researching this dessert i found that its roots lay in Africa. Whether or not this is true, who knows for sure? My version makes it that little bit extra special though. 🙂
For the custard
- 8 tbsp cornflour (rounded not heaped)
- 10 tbsp of sugar
- 900 ml of full cream milk
- 200 single cream
- 3 tbsp orange flower water (or 4 tsp orange extract)
- grated rind of 2 oranges
- 50 g sliced blanched almonds
For the base
- 200g ginger nut biscuits (crushed)
- 125 g softened butter
- 1/2 tsp orange extract .
- Line an 11 x 7 x 2 inches or 8 x 8 x 2 inches dish with greasproof paper.
- At least half an hour before making your dessert prepare your crumb base.
- Crush your biscuits until they resemble breadcrumbs,add the melted butter and orange extract and empty them onto the greasproom,leveling off and covering all the dish. I used the back of a glass to tap down and flatten evenly.
- Using a large bowl combine the flour and sugar with a little of the milk,enough to make a smooth runny paste.
- Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan and put on medium heat to boil.When boiled take it off the heat. Add some of the hot milk to the cornflour mixture and stir. Quickly add this to the pan of hot milk with the single cream stir vigorously and return to the heat on a low to medium. Add the flaked almonds, orange rind and orange flower water/extract, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture is thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon take it off the heat and pour immediately onto your crumb base. Shake the tin to level it off and sprinkle the toasted coconut on the top. Leave to rest in a cold place for a few hours before serving.
- tip: Toast your coconut in a small pan on a very low heat, tossing them in the pan to get an even colour. when you can smell the coconut and there is some sign of browning take them off the heat immediately as they continue to brown for a couple of minutes longer and ruin. Transfer the to a cold bowl to help stop the process.