Originally this was a honey and lemon semolina cake, where it got drenched in a syrup after cooking. It was an absolutely gorgeous cake, I made it for my 40th, but my tastes don’t run as much to sweet nearly a decade on so I decided on a variation.
It’s my last Cake Club at work this week, so I made it for them.
It is flourless cake, though it’s NOT gluten free as semolina is made from durum wheat.
125g softened butter (I used Vitalite as it is dairy free and I have a dairy intolerant colleague)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbs finely grated lemon rind
2 tbs brandy or rum or just lemon jujice
1 cup fine semolina
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
1 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
Heat oven to 200C.
Whisk soft spread, sugar and lemon rind together until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir in the brandy and the flavourings, plus the cardamom.
Add semolina, almonds and baking powder then whisk again.
Put into an oiled tin (I used a silicone loaf tin lined with a paper liner because it looks quaint)
I put candied lemon slices on it, as I had some to use up, and dotted a few pistachios around.
Reduce oven to 180C, put the cake in and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool and then poke holes all over it with a skewer if using the syrup.
Optional Topping from original recipe
2 packs shelled pistachio nuts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Toast pistachios lightly in a dry pan.
Add enough clear honey to coat them all, then add the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Heat gently to mix. Taste a bit of the syrup, if it is too sharp, add another spoon of honey.
Pour the warm syrup all over the cake.
Leave to soak in.