Monday, February 26, 2018

Sooji/Rava & Coconut Syrup Cakes

Alright, I admit it. Again. I am obsessed with oranges. They find their way into a lot of my bakes and desserts, mostly in the form of orange zest. Why not when you can get that simply spectacular aroma effortlessly? My Microplane zester is one of my prized possessions, I couldn't possibly imagine baking anything citrus without it.

 I swear I don't sleep with the zester under my pillow, but if you suspect I do, I will forgive you. If you use one yourself, you will understand. If  not, it is time you bought one. Feel free to come back here and rave about it.

These Orange Semolina and Coconut cakes from Yotam Ottolenghi have orange zest, juice and orange marmalade in them. Now you see why I loved these. The cakes have relatively less sugar, so you can generously moisten them with the sugar syrup. You can add a splash of orange blossom water to the syrup, but only if you can source the real, natural stuff. No synthetic stuff as you will regret it (don't ask me how I know that).

The recipe is super simple and easy, the ingredients are things you will usually have in your kitchen. Be sure you use the freshest oranges you can find for the juice and zest, zest the orange before you squeeze the juice. You can use marmalade without peel or fine cut marmalade, I have used the regular stuff.

Check out my online sessions for beginners this weekend! Click  here

Ingredients(at room temperature)

Plain flour/ maida - 45 grams
Semolina/ fine sooji 90 grams
Ground almonds 1 tablespoon
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
Salt a pinch 
Dried grated coconut 35 grams

Freshly squeezed orange juice 1/2 cup / 120 ml
Orange marmalade (fine-cut or without peel) 80 grams 

Eggs 2 / 100 grams without shell
Grated zest of 1 orange  

Caster sugar 35 grams
Sunflower oil  or any flavorless oil 90 ml 
Soaking syrup:

3/4 cup / 150 grams sugar (recipe uses more)
1/2 cup or 120 ml water
Orange blossom water - 1 teaspoon

  • Preheat oven to 180C. I have heated to 170C as I have used a dark colored pan. 
  • Grease the baking tin thoroughly with baking spray. My mini bundt pan holds -- batter in each of the 6 cups. You can alternatively use a 8 1/2'' x 4 1/2 '' loaf pan lined with parchment and greased with spray.
  • Sift together the flour, semolina, salt, almonds and baking powder twice. Whisk in the coconut. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, marmalade, zest, eggs and sugar. You want the marmalade to get well mixed.
  • Gently whisk in the sifted ingredients.
  • Finally whisk in the oil. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour into the prepared pan, I have filled the mini bundt pans half full.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If baking in the loaf pan, you may need to bake 40-45 minutes. the baking time will vary depending on your oven and the pan you would be using.
  • While the cakes are baking, prepare the syrup. Heat the water and sugar, let the sugar dissolve. Turn off the heat, cover to keep it hot.
  • When the cakes come out of the oven, poke holes using a toothpick. Brush the hot syrup generously all over. Let them cool in the mini pan for a couple of minutes.
  • Place a tray under the cooling rack and invert the cakes on the rack. Poke holes all over and brush more syrup.
  • Let the cakes cool completely. Serve the cakes warm or at room temperature. 
  • To store, wrap the cakes in cling film as soon as they cool and store airtight. 

 I like these cakes best when they are slightly warm. Serve these as is or with some vanilla ice cream. The texture is slightly coarse (but nice) due to the sooji, you can add in some toasted chopped nuts to the batter if you wish.

I will be baking more simple tea cakes for summer, stay tuned! Share your favorite tea cakes with me please?

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