orange, semolina and coconut syrup cakes

A few weeks ago saw a photo of some little orange cakes on instagram and upon investigation, found they were from Ottolenghi. I did a bit of digging and found a few recipes online for a semolina, coconut and marmalade cake with orange blossom syrup from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I wanted to make smaller cakes so the recipe I came up with was an amalgamation of the original recipe and one by Helen Goh, and with no orange blossom water in the house I topped the cakes with some orange syrup.

As with all Ottolenghi recipe I knew the cakes would be bursting with flavour. As well as semolina, coconut and almond meal the recipe calls for orange marmalade. I checked through my cupboards and located the last bottle of blood orange marmalade from my stash. There is another marmalade based cake recipe coming your way soon, so once blood oranges return to the shops I'll have to make another batch of marmalade.

The recipe is pretty quick to put together so these little cakes were in the oven in no time. Here's the recipe for you which makes one small loaf cake or 4 mini loaf cakes. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Orange, semolina and coconut syrup cakes – adapted from this Helen Goh recipe

90g fine semolina
35g self-raising flour
55g caster sugar
35g desiccated coconut
1 tbs almond meal
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80 g marmalade, plus extra ¼ cup for glazing
2 eggs
125 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
⅓ cup sunflower or canola oil
1 orange, zested

1 tbs water
2 tbs caster sugar
75 mls orange juice

Cake Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Grease, flour and line the bases of 4 mini loaf tins.

Place semolina, flour, sugar, coconut, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk lightly to combine.

If your marmalade is chunky, then blitz it with a stick blender. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, orange juice, oil, marmalade and zest together, then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Spoon the mixture into the 4 tins so they are just over three-quarters up the sides. Place into preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooking, make the syrup by placing the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the orange juice and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute, remove from heat.

When the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the warm syrup over the top while still in their moulds. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then use a small spatula to ease the cakes out of the moulds and onto a serving plate.

Heat the extra marmalade in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of water until warm and runny, then use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the cakes lightly. Serve as they are with a nice cup of tea or with a dollop of cream.

April has arrived which means Easter isn't too far away. This year Passover coincides with Easter, starting on Good Friday. For the past few weeks I've been chained to the kitchen baking for Passover Week, which will start Monday April 15. So far I've baked 4 items with just one left to bake. As I've been baking for the blog as well plus doing some work for Everten, it's been a busy time. I'll be glad to have a bit of a break from washing up all those dishes.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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