Saturday, 2 March 2013
Cooking Like a Star, Delia Stylee - Orange and Greek Honey Syrup Cake
I think it is safe to say that you know where you are with Delia. There is some unwritten gastronomic rule somewhere that says that every Delia recipe will deliver. Your dinner party will be amazing. Everyone will swoon over your pudding. Your bolied egg will be perfect, for Delia showed you how to boil that egg. And whilst a lot of what I have just written is just a little tongue in cheek, it’s very rare a Delia recipe fails you. It’s food that makes you happy.
And that brings me rather neatly to cake, and I will speak for the group here; cake makes you happy. In that way they’re a bit like flowers, or balloons. They make you smile, and even if you decline a slice, (What is wrong with you?) they’re nice to look at. Pretty little things.
So, when I realised that March is the not only the month of white rabbits, but the month of Delia Smith on ‘Cook like a star’ hosted by Zoe at Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo at Eat your Heart Out and Mich at Piece of Cake I had to start with cake and as it’s a month nearer to what should be the start of some warmer weather (one of these years, I will be right…) I chose something Greek, and who knows, if I wish really hard and my punt on the Euromillions this evening comes off, then tomorrow I might be eating something similar sat outside some taverna somewhere *crosses fingers*.
Cakes with a soaking syrup usually don’t dry out so you can choose to eat this over a few days if you like. It’s a very moreish, tasty, zingy cake though quite crumbly despite the syrup soaking. Probably the semolina/cornmeal content. It does need the yoghurt topping because of this in my opinion. If I made this again, I would go for something richer like ever so slightly sweetened mascarpone spread over the top. That would be tremendous!
Greek Orange and Honey Syrup Cake, adapted from Delia Smith’s ‘How to Cook, Book Three’.
For the cake:
2 small oranges (weighing about 9 oz/250 g)
4½ oz (125 g) ground almonds
6 oz (175 g) well-softened butter, plus a little extra for greasing
6 oz (175 g) golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
9 oz (250 g) semolina (I used fine cornmeal)
4½ level teaspoons baking powder
For the syrup:
8 fl oz (225 ml) Greek mountain honey
5 tablespoons orange juice
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1½ inch (4 cm) cinnamon stick (I used a tsp of ground cinnamon)
For the topping:
7 oz (200 g) Greek yoghurt
1½ oz (40 g) unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons Greek mountain honey
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C)
First, cut the oranges into chunks, removing the pips. Then tip the whole lot – flesh, pith and zest – into a food processor and whiz it to a thick purée.
Next, put all the other cake ingredients into a large bowl and, provided the butter is really soft, just go in with an electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture.
When combined, fold in the orange purée, spoon the mixture into a prepared 10 inch springform tin and smooth the top with the back of the spoon.
Now place the cake on the centre shelf of the oven and bake it for an initial 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) and bake for a further 40-45 minutes, or until it is golden brown, springy in the centre and has shrunk slightly from the sides of the tin.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. To do this, simply combine the honey and 5 tablespoons water with the cinnamon stick in a small saucepan, place it over a gentle heat, bring it up to simmering point and let it simmer gently for about 5 minutes. After that, take the pan off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the orange and lemon juices. (I just threw it all in together and heated the mixture!!)
Leave the cake aside to cool for 5 minutes, then remove it from the tin to a wire rack to cool, with a large plate underneath. Make a few holes all over it with a skewer before pouring the syrup over it. (It will look like there is far too much, but don’t worry, the cake will absorb more than you think, and any that is not absorbed can be poured from the plate back over the cake.) Then, when the cake is absolutely cold, place it on a serving plate, cover it and leave it in a cool place overnight, though I served it a few hours later.
Just before serving, spread the top of the cake with the Greek yoghurt, sprinkle over the pistachios, drizzle with the honey and serve cut into chunky slices.
This is a big cake. Serves 8 – 10 comfortably.
I am submitting this recipe to March 2013's 'Cook Like A Star' blog hop hosted by Zoe at Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo at Eat your Heart Out and Mich at Piece of Cake. See other amazing Delia recipes below!