Tuesday, 2 April 2013

semolina, coconut and orange syrup cake

I am a huge fan of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes. He isn't scared of strong flavours, the recipes often challenge my preconceived ideas of what ingredients 'should' work together and the methods are usually fairly straight forward. What's not to love? Below is my variation on the semolina, coconut and marmalade cake that can be found in the recent book Jerusalem. I didn't really fancy the loaf shape suggested in the book so I used one 22cm spring form tin. Also, I couldn't find orange blossom water in my local shops so instead created a delicious lemon and rosewater syrup instead. I found it really worked well but feel free to stick with the original if you prefer.


180ml sunflower or vegetable oil
240ml orange juice (roughly two large oranges)
160g orange marmalade (fine cut or peel-free)
4 medium eggs
grated zest of 1 orange

70g caster sugar
70g dessicated coconut
90g plain flour
180g semolina
2tbsp ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder

200g caster sugar
140ml water
1 tbsp orange blossom water (or 2 tsp rosewater (or to taste) and 2 tsp lemon juice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN/gas mark 4. Grease and base line your tin.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients until fully combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients then add the dry to the wet and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be quite runny.
  4. Bake in the oven for around 45-60 mins or until a skewer comes out cleanly.
  5. Towards the end of the cooking time combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a gentle heat then remove from the heat. 
  6. When the cake is cooked remove it from the oven and use a skewer to make small holes all over. Carefully pour over the warm syrup making sure you use it all. In Jerusalem they recommend brushing the syrup over and waiting for the syrup to be soaked in before repeating then continuing the process until all the syrup is used. I am far to impatient to do this but by all means feel free to do it yourself. I found with my method all the syrup got used and nothing bad happened so all is good.
  7. Leave the cake to cool down a little before removing from the tins to cool completely. 
  8. Serve with greek yogurt or creme fraiche, flavoured with orange blossom water if you fancy. 


  1. hello, this looks yummy would like to make it, I have semolina flour is this OK? or should i use something less fine like cornmeal or polenta? i haven't seen just semolina here, just the flour thank you

  2. hmm...not sure about the semolina flour to be honest. I think the slightly more coarse texture of the semolina helps the crumb of this cake. Give it a go if you like although I think I might be inclined try out cornmeal/polenta instead. :D

  3. This sounds so yummy, and I do have a big container of semolina I impulsively bought. =)

  4. Hi, can I skip the marmalade or replace it with something other than jam?


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