The following tasty, fragrant and moist cake, is a version of THIS cake, a recipe for which I’ve posted here five years ago. In the version I have here, I’ve decided to substitute the milk syrup with citrus-saffron one. To enhance these flavors, I’ve also added saffron to the batter, and topped the cake with orange and blood orange slices towards the end of baking.
The saffron and citrus gave the cake a beautiful, deep yellow color, and amazing aroma. The cake was a great success and disappeared quickly. Try it and enjoy.
* The original recipe calls for only 15 minutes of baking, as the cake was baked in a larger pan, therefore needed less baking time. For baking the cake shown here in larger pan, follow the pan size and baking time from that recipe.
* If you can’t find blood orange, substitute with red grapefruit, or any other citrus fruit.
Makes: 16 squares
Prep time for the cake: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Prep time for the syrup: 5 minutes
Cooking time for the syrup: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
For the cake:
8-10 saffron threads
1 Tbs hot water
2 cups semolina
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 XL eggs
2 Tbs oil
1 medium orange
2 small blood oranges (see notes)
For the syrup:
2 cup water
1 cup fresh orange juice
Zest from ½ orange
½ cup sugar
6-8 saffron threads
¼ cup honey (preferably orange blossom)
1. The cake: preheat the oven to 340F (170C). Brush the bottom of an 8×8” (20×20 cm) square pan with a thin layer of oil. Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and add the hot water. Let steep for 2-3 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the cake, except for the oranges. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.
3. While the cake is baking, use a small sharp knife to remove the rind of the oranges, including the white part. Cut each orange in half and slice them.
4. Take the cake out of the oven and arrange the slices on top. Place back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack, to cool to room temperature.
5. The syrup: combine all the ingredients in a medium size pot and bring to an almost boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add the honey. Mix well and pour the syrup over the cake, through a fine strainer. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature.
6. Place the covered pan in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. The cake will keep, covered in the fridge, for 3-4 days.