Sunday, 2 September 2018

Semolina Citrus and Cardamom Cake

The continuing month long journey using my Red Belly Citrus blood oranges took a cakey turn, when a post for a beautiful cardamom and citrus cake turned up in my Facebook feed, thanks to CSR Sugar. I follow CSR Sugar on Facebook and see all manner of delicious creations from them, however this cake peaked my interest mainly from the use of cardamom (yum!) and semolina. I’ve eaten cakes with semolina, just not made one. Here is the recipe as found on the CSR website, with my little tweaks noted.

For the cake:
220g butter, softened
200g CSR Raw Caster Sugar
1 lemon and 1 orange, finely grated rind and juice of each
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
200g find semolina
150g almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch fine salt
125ml natural full-fat yoghurt
3 tsps ground cardamom

For the crunch lemon syrup topping:
2 tbsps CSR Raw Caster Sugar (I added in a little cardamom pistachio sugar as well)
3 tbsps CSR Demerara Sugar plus extra to scatter

To decorate: (optional)
1 lemon, very finely sliced (I only used blood oranges candied slices, having made them the day before)
1 orange, very finely sliced
4 tbsps CSR Caster Sugar
¼ cup water

To serve:
300g mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla extract, of vanilla pods and their scraped seeds  steeped in vodka)

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C

2. Butter and line a 22cm fixed bottom cake pan (I actually used a spring-form pan).

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter, sugar, lemon and orange rind together until smooth, lightly coloured and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well between each addition to ensure they are fully combined. Scrape down the bowl.

5. Add the baking powder, semolina, almond meal, salt, yoghurt, half the lemon and orange juice and continue beating until just combined to form a smooth light and fluffy batter. Scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is mixed through.

6. Transfer to the cake pan and bake for 25-40 minutes or until golden and set in the centre when tested with a skewer. Remove from the oven.

7. Stir the remaining lemon and orange juice (I used only blood orange juice, which gave it a wonderful crimson colour), together with 2 tablespoons of raw caster sugar and 3 tablespoons of Demerara sugar. While the cake is still warm, pierce the cake all over with a skewer and slowly pour the syrup with undissolved Demerara sugar crystals all over the cake. This will form a textural crunchy citrus layer on top of the cake as it cools.

8. If you’re using the lemon and orange slices (I used only blood orange slices) to decorate the cake, add the caster sugar and water to a small pan. Bring it to the boil, and working in batches, add the sliced fruit. Boil each batch for about 2 minutes and transfer to a baking paper lined baking tray and allow to cool.

9. When ready to serve, mix the mascarpone and vanilla together. Spoon on top of the cake and decorate with sugared citrus slices, if you’re using them, then scatter with Demerara sugar for extra crunch. (I served the mascarpone separate, and used some candied slices I made the previous day, some of which were half dipped in dark chocolate).

This recipe made for a very lovely and moist cake, and the flavour of cardamom worked in very well with the citrus. The mascarpone and vanilla was delicious, and made every mouthful of cake just that little bit more decadent.

My husband took the majority of the cake to work the next day to share with his colleagues, who agreed it was a very delicious cake. They’d definitely look forward to it again!! hint hint! 

Read about my recent adventures with blood oranges: