Monday, 19 June 2017

Sfouf – Lebanese Curcuma Cake (Vegan)

 


It is late morning. We are sitting on the stairs in our backyard. The Sunlight is visible on the tree tops. The Sun will soon rise up higher and engulf our world in sweltering heat. Another very hot day is about to unfold. We are feeling listless. It is heat-induced lethargy. The Sun rises higher and golden hues spread further down. We see a spotted dove in our Magnolia tree.  It seems to be thirsty. The water pot is duly filled up.


Ginger tea arrives and we love to sip a  hot mug of steaming tea. Before the heat makes working impossible, we clean our backyard, a pumpkin climber is guided to climb the branch fixed on the ground. We notice the Dove again, now sitting next to the bird pot and intently watching our activities. We realized that we had forgotten to keep millets in the food table. The needful was done.


Later in the day, we got down to baking   Sfouf.
Sfouf is a sweet almond cake from Lebanon. Sfouf gets its beautiful golden hue from Turmeric. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. It has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. This definitely makes Sfouf healthy. Aniseed gives it a beautiful flavour. This is a simple, healthy, low fat and easy to make cake


Sfouf – Lebanese Curcuma Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine Semolina
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 + 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons aniseed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup almonds (blanched, peeled and halved)

Instructions

  1. Grease and line the bottom of one 8 inch round cake pan. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Boil water. Add aniseed, cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain and keep aside anise tea till lukewarm.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together semolina, all-purpose flour, baking powder, turmeric powder and caster sugar.
  5. Add anise tea, oil to dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Decorate with almond halves.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes. Check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it is done, Else, bake for another 5-6 minutes.
  9. Remove from the pan after 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and invert onto the cooling rack.
  10. Slice when cold

My Tip   Substitute water with milk. In that case, add just ground aniseed. You may also use toasted sesame seeds and pine nuts for decoration
 

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