"Mystery Box Madness", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). A new interesting monthly theme that IHCC has added to our weekly themes. We were given a list of ingredients and are required to select at least three, to be used in a recipe from any of our former featured chefs' or our current chef, Diana Henry. The list of ingredients for this month ; Harissa, Eggs, Safron, Pumpkin, Maple Syrup, Dates, Rose Water, Oranges, Spinach, and Chickpeas.
My choice of ingredients ; Rose Water, Orange, and Eggs ; which I've used to make ....
.... Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake.
Originally, this cake is called Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake with Summer Berries. Since I did not serve it with summer berries, so I just called it, Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake. The recipe uses lime, and I have replaced it with orange to fit the theme.
The cake is very simple to make, just mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, pour into the cake pan and bake! Easy peasy, takes just minutes.
As the name of the recipe, it uses Greek-style yoghurt as one of its ingredients. Now, Greek-style yoghurt is not easily available in the area where I live, and even if I can find it, it is pretty expensive. So I have made my own Greek-style yoghurt by using my own homemade yoghurt, placed in a sieve which is lined with double layer of cheesecloth, and place the sieve over a bowl to collect the whey, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. From 2 cups of homemade yoghurt, I got almost a cup of Greek yoghurt, and a lot of whey! Discard the whey or use it to make bread.
Homemade Greek yoghurt
To make the syrup, in a small saucepan, boil the water, sugar, lime juice, until the sugar dissolves. Here I have made some changes, I use the juice of a whole orange, make up the balance with some water to make 1 cup, use only 4 tablespoons of sugar (original recipe uses 14 tablespoons!), I know that the amount of sugar I reduced is rather drastic, but I do not like to eat overly sweet cake, taking into account that there is sugar in the cake batter. That's just my personal preference, if you like cakes that are sweet, than follow the recipe accordingly. Once the syrup is cooled, stir in the rose water.
Prepare the batter, by mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes (mine was baked for 40 minutes) until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it out to a plate, poke holes all over, and pour the syrup over the cake. Again, I have changed the method slightly. With the cake still in the cake pan, after making holes all over the cake, using a pastry brush, I brushed half the syrup over the top, making sure the syrup gets seeped right into the cake, then pour balance of the syrup all around the sides of the pan, so that the whole cake gets soaked up with the syrup.
Slice into slices to serve, with dusting of confectioners' sugar.
The cake is very moist, with soft and tender crumbs. There's only a faint aroma of the rose water, maybe because I know its there! haha! Anyway, I feel that it needed a little more rose water, not too much, maybe another tablespoon, would be nice. On the other hand, maybe the juice of a whole orange that I've used, do have some effect to the aroma of the rose water.
This is really a simple cake, and it does not have that wow factor on that first bite as some cakes do, but it is quite lovely to eat with a dusting of icing sugar and a cup of warm tea. I suppose it would be even better when served with creme fraiche and summer berries as indicated in the recipe.
Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake with Summer Berries
(adapted from "Pure Simple Cooking", Diana Henry)
1-1/4 cups water (I use the juice of a whole orange, then make up the balance with water to make 1 cup)
14 tbsp sugar (I use 4 tbsp)
juice of 2 limes (did not use this)
1 tbsp rose water
For the batter :
1-3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup ground almonds
9 tbsp sugar
a good pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
2/3 cup sunflower oil (I use canola oil)
finely grated zest of 1 lime (I use orange)
- To make the syrup, put the water, sugar, and lime juice into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 minutes. Leave to cool, then add the rose water.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan. (I use a regular 8-inch cake pan). Combine the flour, almonds, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, yogurt, oil, and zest and mix with a wooden spoon. Pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pierce all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over the warm cake. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving (otherwise the sugar sinks into the syrupy top) and serve with berries and creme fraiche.
I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week "Mystery Box Madness".