Moroccans are famous for their hospitality so there’s always plenty of tea and cake on offer to visitors!
Moroccan mint tea is made by steeping green tea with mint leaves and is very much a cultural tradition in Morocco. It is Moroccan etiquette to offer tea to any visitors that stop by – usually at least three glasses are offered and it would be considered impolite to refuse!
Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake
This recipe is a speciality in Morocco and has been shared with us by Nadya, the wife of our vet at SPANA’s centre in Chemaia. The cake could serve as the perfect sweet accompaniment to your Moroccan mint tea party.
How to make it?
1 (8 in) orange and almond cake, 8-10 slices
For the cake
115g (4oz) softened butter and extra for greasing
115g (4oz) golden caster sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
175g (6oz) semolina
100g (3½ oz) ground almonds
1½ teaspoon baking powder
Icing sugar for dusting
For the syrup
150ml (¼ pint) orange juice (freshly squeezed)
70g (2½ oz) caster sugar
Optional: 8 crushed cardamom pods
Ready in: 1hr 20min
Preheat the oven to 180ºC / Gas Mark 4. Place the shelf in the centre of the oven. Grease and line a 20cm (8 in) cake tin with baking parchment.
Grate the rind from the orange, reserving some for the decoration, and squeeze the juice from one half.
Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in a bowl and beat together until fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.
In a separate bowl, mix the semolina, ground almonds and baking powder, then fold into the cream mixture with the orange juice.
Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
To make the syrup, place the orange juice, sugar and cardamom pods in a pan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes, or until syrupy.
Turn the cake out into a deep serving dish.
Using a skewer, make holes over the surface of the warm cake.
Strain the syrup into a separate bowl and spoon three – quarters of it over the cake, then set aside for 30 minutes.
Dust the cake with icing sugar and cut into slices.