Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday baking - lemon yoghurt cake with orange blossom

This weeks Thursday baking is brought to us by Jessica:

This cake didn't initially leap out at me from the book. I don't think 'Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Orange Blossom' as a title really does it justice when it is packed full of such interesting flavours and textures. If I was coming up with a name for it, I'd call it something more evocative like 'Middle Eastern syrup cake', because of the distinctive use of pistachios, semolina and orange blossom water in the flavouring. I was eventually drawn to it because Susan Fleischl described it as a 'great dinner party cake', which appealed when I was looking for something to make for my Book Club- a slightly special desert cake which would still be nice the next day or so. The lemon flavour really isn't that pronounced, so I'm glad I included some orange zest in both the cake and syrup. I might even include some more if I was making it again. The cake has a pleasantly 'grainy' texture, which doesn't really sound that pleasant, but you'll have to believe me that it is. It's very moist and crumbly and refrigerates well.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Orange Blossom Susan Fleischl

250g butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
zest of 1 lemon (I also used the zest of an orange)
150ml yoghurt
250g semolina
2 tsp baking powder
200g shelled raw pistachios, ground in a food processor

1 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
few drops of orange blossom water

To serve
mascarpone icing sugar (I stirred the icing sugar into the mascarpone rather than dusting the cake with it)

Preheat the oven to 165C. Grease a 22cm round cake tin and line it with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, with the zest and yoghurt and slowly beat together. Sift the semolina with the baking powder and gently fold into the mixture with the pistachio nuts. Bake for 40-50 minutes (it took an hour for me for the cake to cook) Leave to cool in the tin.To make the syrup, boil the first three ingredients together for 1 minute. I also added some lemon and orange zest. Remove from the heat and stir in a few drops of orange blossom water to taste (be careful, it has a strong flavour and can end up tasting like soap if you use too much!).Remove the cake from the tin and place on a plate. Pour the hot syrup over the cool cake and leave it to soak in. Dust with icing sugar, if desired, and serve with mascarpone. This cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container but is best eaten on the day it is made.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds gorgeous. Very important to have good cake at book groups! I do love semolina, am surprised at how useful it can be in the kitchen. And I totally agree with you about the soapy taste of orange blossom water, I find it a bit overpowering and tend to just add extra orange juice/zest.


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