This is a traditonal cake which is made with 'love', if you are lucky enought to attend a Greek party there is always a version of this rich almond cake which has been made by an Aunt or Granny!
Cake 190g butter 1¾ cups sugar 5 x size-7 eggs 1½ tsp vanilla essence grated zest 2 oranges 1½ cups flour plus 1 Tbsp, tightly packed ¾ tsp baking powder ¾ cup semolina 1¾ cups ground almonds juice 1 orange (100ml) 30 skinned almonds natural Greek yoghurt and liquid honey, to serve (optional)
Syrup 1½ cups water ¾ cup sugar zest 1 orange 3 cloves 1 cinnamon quill
Step 1 Preheat oven to 160ºC. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs, one at a time, and beat until light in colour and the mixture is filled with air. Add vanilla essence and orange zest.
Step 2 Sieve flour into a large bowl, add baking powder, semolina and ground almonds and mix lightly with a fork.
Step 3 Add dry ingredients a little at a time, and alternately with the orange juice, to the whipped butter, sugar and egg mixture, Mix lightly after each addition until smooth.
Step 4 Transfer mixture to a well-greased and floured 23cm springform tin. Arrange the almonds on top (don’t press them in).
Step 5 Bake for 60–70 minutes. The cake will be ready when the middle is raised, or when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and leave to rest in tin for 20 minutes on a wire rack.
Step 6 Combine the syrup ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon quill.
Step 7 Run a knife around the inside edge of the cake tin to loosen the sides of the cake. Remove sides of tin. Run a bread-and- butter knife or palette knife under the base of the cake to free it. To turn the cake onto a serving plate without damaging it, invert a dinner plate onto surface of cake, then turn cake over (so it’s upside down). Remove the base of the tin then repeat the turning process using the serving plate. The cake will now be right side up.
Step 8 Using a skewer or toothpick, puncture fine holes all over the cake. While cake is still warm, pour syrup over the top of the cake and brush it over the sides with a pastry brush. Serve warm or cold with Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.