Go Nuts for Orange & Almond Syrup Cake

Nuts have been used in cooking for thousands of years in most parts of the world. Vegetarians and vegans have long recognised their nutritional benefits in our diets since they provide protein, minerals and valuable fats. Nuts stabilise blood sugar levels which can be sustained over a long period of time and therefore give you more energy. Perhaps the tastiest and most valuable nut used in cooking is the almond. Not only is it a high source of protein, it is also rich in calcium, magnesium and zinc. The humble almond which was originally grown in Central and South West Asia, is now grown in North America, the Middle East and most of Europe.


Orange & Almond Syrup Cake

200g unsalted butter

grated zest of 1 orange

165g soft light brown sugar

3 eggs

80g fine semolina

125g ground almonds

225g self-raising flour

200ml plain, set yoghurt

juice of half an orange

For the Syrup:

200g granulated sugar

juice of 2 oranges

Pre-heat oven to 190C, 375F, gas 5. Grease and line a 24cm-round cake tin – loose-bottom tins are better for this. Using a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it becomes pale in colour, then add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of sieved flour. Now stir in the semolina, almonds, yoghurt, juice and flour and combine the ingredients well. Pour into the prepared tin, spread evenly and make a small hollow in the centre to encourage a flat top to the cake. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until browned and firm to the touch. Allow to stand for ten minutes before turning out of the tin and leaving to cool on a cooling rack. Now make the syrup by combining sugar and juice in a small saucepan, heating slowly until the sugar has melted then allowing to boil until it has become slightly reduced. Leave to cool off before pouring over the top of the cake – this should be done slowly so the cake can absorb the syrup.