Saffron and Lemon Syrup Cake a recipe.
Saffron & Lemon Syrup Cake from Honey and Co, The Cookbook
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

Get immediately transported to a Mediterranean Holiday with by making Saffron Lemon Syrup Cake. This cake is as delicious to eat as it is beautiful to look at. This is a novel cake with traditional Mediterranean roots. A real delight with a tempered lemon tang from the saffron.

Based on my little bit of research, Saffron Lemon Syrup Cake is an adaption of traditional semolina flour syrup cakes from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The semolina flour and the almond flour give the cake a nice texture, even when soaked in saffron syrup.

This recipe is from Honey and Co, The Cookbook by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer and shared with their permission.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 8 people
Author: Ginger
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 13 tbsp/200 g butter
  • 2 cups/270 g cups/270g sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups / 200 g ground almonds (almond meal/flour)
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 3/4 cup / 140 g semolina flour
  • 3 tbs pastry flour
  • 1 lemon- the zest and juice
  • A pinch A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp tea baking powder
For the Syrup and Topping
  • 2-3 lemons very thinly sliced preferably using a mandolin
  • Enough water to cover the lemons x2
  • 1 3/4 cups/ 400 ml water for syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups / 250 g c/250g sugar
  • A pinch turmeric
  • A pinch saffron
Instructions
  1. Prepare lemons and syrup

    With a mandolin, or a very sharp knife, very thinly slice the lemons. A mandolin is the best tool for this job, but if you do not have one evenly slice the lemons about 1/8 inch thick. Place the lemon slices in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the pot of water and lemons to a boil and immediately turn off the heat and drain the water. Repeat one more time.

    After blanching the lemons twice, put 1 3/4 cups/400ml water, 1 1/4 cup/250g sugar, the lemon slices, and a pinch of turmeric and saffron in a saucepan. Set the pan on the burner and turn on heat to medium high. Bring to light boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 6-8 minutes, just until the syrup has thickened, and the peel has softened. Turn off the heat and bring the syrup over to your prepared cake pan.

    Arrange the lemon slices around the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Lift the lemon slices out of the syrup with a fork and arrange them partially up the sides of the pan and all around the bottom of the cake pan. The slices can partially overlap, but you want to fill the whole bottom with the lemon slices. You might not need all the slices, so save the extras for a treat. They are delicious. Pour 2 Tb of the saffron syrup over the arranged lemon slices, then set aside. Pour the remaining syrup in a 2 cup/ 500 ml liquid measuring cup and save the syrup for later. (Any small pitcher will do.)

  2. Make the cake

    In a small bowl mix the semolina flour, pastry flour, salt and baking powder until just combined. Set aside.

    Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer or by hand. You want the butter and the sugar to be thoroughly mixed together but not fluffy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, then the ground almonds and turmeric and mix together until well combined. Add the semolina flour mixture, the lemon juice and the lemon zest then mix well.

    Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan then bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Rotate the cake around to encourage even browning and baking. Continue to bake for 10-15 minutes more. The cake is done when the cake is an even golden brown and is firm to touch. A cake tester inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. 

  3. Finishing touches

    Take the cake out of the oven rest the cake, still in its pan, on a wire bakers rack. Pour the reserved syrup evenly over the entire cake. Do this slowly and carefully. You want the cake to evenly absorb all the syrup so that there are not dry spots within the cake. Once all the syrup is poured over the cake, let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes before you unmold the cake from the pan.

    To unmold the cake, put a plate large enough to rest on top of the cake pan and hold the cake, (top of plate and top rim of pan will be touching). Holding the plate and the pan together, flip the plate and the pan over so that the cake pan is now on top of the plate. Gently lift the cake pan up so that the cake releases. Let the cake rest until you are ready to serve. The cake will keep on the counter for a couple of days, wrapped in plastic wrap.

    Notes:

    1-Meyer Lemons are a good lemon choice for the cake. You want lemons that have a thin peel and not a lot of the bitter pith. I have had difficulty with the Eureka lemons from the super market. They tend to disintegrate more from being cooked in the syrup.

    2- A pinch is a relative amount. The turmeric and saffron add both flavor and color to the cake. You can start with 1/4 tea of each. Saffron is a very expensive seasoning with a distinctive taste. A little goes a long way. You do not want to be skimpy, but you do not want to overdo it either.

Recipe Notes

 

Notes: 

1-Meyer Lemons are a good lemon choice for the cake. You want lemons that have a thin peel and not a lot of the bitter pith. I have had difficulty with the Eureka lemons from the super market. They tend to disintegrate more from being cooked in the syrup. 

2- A pinch is a relative amount. The turmeric and saffron add both flavor and color to the cake. You can start with 1/4 tea of each. Saffron is a very expensive seasoning with a distinctive taste. A little goes a long way. You do not want to be skimpy, but you do not want to overdo it either.