Monday, June 3, 2013

Semolina, Coconut & Marmalade Cake - IHCC Something Sweet

I was in the mood to bake something for this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs theme Something Sweet with featured chef Yotam Ottolenghi, but I had difficulty deciding on a recipe as there were so many tempting cakes, muffins, tarts and breads from which to choose. I finally settled on this delicious orangey cake from his newest book, Jerusalem.

Made with semolina replacing most of the flour, this oil-based cake was very quick to put together, requiring only a spoon for blending wet with dry ingredients. I baked the batter in 2 loaf pans; it barely came half way up the sides so even though they rose, the cakes weren't very tall. 

I've learned that some things can't be rushed in baking: the step of applying syrup to the warm cakes, a process that took 20 minutes of frequent basting, was one of them. But the next part was even worse.....waiting a day to slice into them!

The texture was quite different from a typical North American cake: dense and very moist but still quite light. It was subtly flavoured with coconut, which added texture as well, but it was the orange that shone. There were layers of flavour provided by the orange juice, zest, orange marmalade and orange blossom water syrup. A small slice of this sweet cake was lovely with a cup of tea or espresso.

The recipe can be found here.


  1. Oh, I don't know if I could wait an entire day to try this cake! That would be really tough. I love orange-flavored desserts. If I were going to indulge in an Ottolenghi dessert, then this would be the recipe I would make. It looks delicious!

  2. I've been eyeing up this one too, Zosia. Yours looks gorgeous - I'm pretty sure I'm going to struggle with waiting a day to cut into it though!!

  3. This cake looks very good! I have not eaten semolina cake in ages, one of my favourites! I like it that this uses orange!

  4. As good as this cake probably smelled, waiting 24-hours to enjoy it would have been almost impossible! ;-) I love how moist it looks.

  5. That cake looks wonderful....just wondering how on earth you managed to wait a day? I struggle to even allow cakes to cool when they come out of the oven!

  6. What is the measurement of the loaf pan you baked in please? I am planning to bake this and not sure whether to halve the ingredients or not. Mine is a 9.5" x 6" x 2.5" (exterior) pan.

    1. Hi Sabella,

      I baked the batter in two pans, each 8.5" x 4.5" x 2.5", but it barely filled them half way and the cakes were quite short. The recipe head notes in the book indicate that you can use one large loaf pan and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes so I don't think you need to reduce the recipe at all for the size of pan that you have.


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