One of the presents I got for Chanukah was this amazing cookbook! Naturally, I needed to try things out right away. Naturally, as well, I had to modify them a little, can’t ever go with the recipe just as is.
This is a light resemblance of a traditional Middle Eastern cake.
It is such an easy cake, that you can make it really last minute to feed your guests or send to your hosts prior to Shabbat (that’s what I am doing).
Here it goes:
1/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped and toasted
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup almond flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola normally, as it doesn’t have distinct smell or flavor)
zest and juice of a nice citrus – orange, grapefruit or a combination of them
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the syrup:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp sugar
1tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp orange liquor
Put together dry ingredients (cornmeal, almond flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and mix just so salt and baking powder are evenly distributed
In a big bowl beat together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy
Add vegetable oil, citrus juice and zest, and vanilla
Add the flour mixture and mix nicely, but not for too long.
Let it stand for a little bit until you preheat your oven to 350-360 F depending on your oven. Mine is, unfortunately, at some stage of dying so I have to always put a bit higher temperature, and bake for a bit longer.
Pour the batter into a prepared (greased) cake pan. Lately, precisely of my oven problems, I got used to lining my bakeware with parchment. I also use smaller bakeware. If you want your cake to look better, make it in a nice round pan.
Bake the cake for about 40-50 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup:
Mix the sugar and orange juice in a small pot set over medium heat and bring to a start of a boil. Reduce the heat, and stir for about 5 minutes until the syrup is a bit thicker than it was at the beginning. Add the blossom water and liquor and take off the heat.
Once the cake is done (the wooden toothpick comes out clean when the cake is poked in the middle), remove it to a wire rack in the pan.
Poke many holes in it with the toothpick and brush the syrup lightly and carefully all over the cake until you use all of it. Do it slowly not to overburden the cake.
Once you take the cake out, sprinkled some toasted pistachios on top.