• Country food: cake heaven

    by  • 30/01/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Orange syrup semolina cake

    A slice of this lush orange syrup semolina cake is just the thing for grey days

    The markets are filled with the juiciest oranges right now, perfect for making this soft, moist, buttery cake to add cheer to your day. It contrasts nicely with the tangy crème fraîche on the side and makes an excellent dessert, with a small espresso coffee on the side. But really it’s an any time of day treat – we never need an excuse to eat cake here at Country Homes & Interiors magazine so why not follow our example.

    For the cake:
    150g butter, softened
    175g plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar
    grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 orange
    2 free range eggs
    100ml crème fraîche
    125g plain flour, sifted
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    125g plus 2 tablespoons fine semolina
    a pinch of salt

    For the orange syrup:
    juice of 1 large orange
    150g caster sugar
    1 teaspoon orange flower water

    Crème fraîche, to serve

    serves 8

    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well-mixed. Add the orange zest and juice, then the eggs, one at a time, followed by the crème fraîche and mix well. Add the flour, baking power, semolina and salt and fold in. Transfer to a loose-based 20cm cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until golden-brown.

    2 While the cake is baking, prepare the orange syrup. Place the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and wait until the pan has cooled, then mix in the orange flower water.

    3 Test whether or not the cake is ready by piercing it with a fine skewer; if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked, if not, bake it for a few minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. While still warm, pierce the top of the cake all over with a skewer. Pour over the orange syrup, then cover the cake and set it aside to cool and soak up the syrup, for a few hours or overnight. Serve in slices with crème fraîche on the side.

    *The Creamery Kitchen by Jenny Linford  is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available from rylandpeters.com. Photograph by Clare Winfield

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