Traditional Greek Syrup Cake
One bite and all is forgiven... This is a simple, traditional Greek syrup cake that has been one of the chief causes of anguish and nostalgia whenever I walk into a continental cake shop, because I have never encountered a vegan version. So I finally got out my old Greek cooking bible and went to work converting the recipe…it was a sweet, sweet victory. I would love to know what you think! Tamara's food journal: http://on.fb.me/1qsIOlY
- 2 1/4 cups plain flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup fine semolina
- 3 eggs worth of egg-replacement (I used ‘No-Egg’ by Orgran, available at most supermarkets)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 150g/5.3oz Nuttelex (or other non-dairy butter or margarine)
- rind of 1 unwaxed orange, zested
- 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp natural vanilla essence
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp brandy, optional (make sure it’s vegan – http://www.barnivore.com)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Alternate stirring in spoonfuls of orange juice and semolina until a moist mixture forms. If your mixture is too dry, add a spoonful of water at a time until the mixture is only just a little less wet than your usual wet cake mix.
3. Beat the egg-replacements with the sugar, Nuttelex, and orange rind until well incorporated and foamy. Carefully fold this into the cake dough.
4. Grease a small square or rectangular baking tray (20-22 cm a side, roughly), distribute the mix evenly in it, and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and an inserted cake skewer comes out clean.
5. For the syrup, all you need to do is dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of hot water, then add the other ingredients (except brandy) and bring to a boil.
6. If you are adding the brandy, do so after it has boiled and been taken off the heat. When the cake is ready and still hot, pour the syrup carefully and evenly over the top. After 30 minutes the syrup should have been completely absorbed by the cake, and it is ready for eating!
7. Cut medium sized square or diamond portions, and serve either on its own, or with vegan cream or vanilla ice-cream.
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