Allegra McEvedy's Orange Blossom Cake

Serves:

You will need
For the cake:
200g butter (at room temperature)
250g golden demerara sugar
250g ground cashew nuts, raw and unsalted
3 eggs
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
110g fine semolina
1 level teaspoon baking powder
A good splash of orange blossom water (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt
 
For the rosemary syrup:
15g rosemary, in little sprigs
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Directions
I have to say this is my favourite: a truly stunning cake with the most incredible,
crumbly texture. All the ingredients bring something to the party - semolina
for colour and consistency, cashews for moistness and all their good oils, and
orange flower water to keep the whole thing fragrant and light. Really stunning
on its own, or makes a fab pud with a bit of fruit and a blob of crème fraîche.
Yellow cake like you've never had it before.



1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
 
2. Cream the butter and the sugar together with a mixer until light and pale. Mix in
the ground cashews. Add the eggs, one by one, waiting until each is fully incorporated
before adding the next. Stir in the orange zest and juice, followed by the semolina,
baking powder and a pinch of salt.
 
3. Grease a 25cm cake tin with a little butter, then dust lightly with flour. Shake the
flour all round the inside so that there is a fine dusting, and then tip out the excess.
 
4. Spoon the cake mix into the tin and then put into the oven on a tray to bake for
around 1 1/2 hours. (The reason for the tray is that when I did it some of the mixture
oozed out of the bottom of the tin - it could just be that my tin was broken, though it
didn't look it, but it's better to be safe than on your knees scrubbing the oven.)
 
5. When the time is up, do the skewer test to check it's cooked through. If a little bit of
the cake mixture sticks to the skewer, pop the cake back in for another 10-15 minutes.
When it is done, cool in the tin while you get on with the rosemary syrup.
 
6. Put the rosemary sprigs in a small pan with the sugar and 5 tablespoons of water.
Cook over a very low flame for 5-10 minutes until the rosemary has softened and the
sugar has turned into a thick, clear syrup.
 
7. Now sprinkle the orange blossom water over the cake. Then loosen it around the
edges of the tin with a knife and transfer it to a wire rack. Wait 5 minutes and then brush
the rosemary syrup over the cake and dot the candied rosemary sprigs across the top.



Shelf Life:
Up to a week and, believe me, it just keeps on getting better.

Best Kept: Uncovered, at room temperature.



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