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This cake has density to it, it can be served vegan by substituting extra virgin olive oil for butter and water for milk, it will taste just as good. Traditionally its cut in small squares and each square has a pine nut or blanched almond, I've served it with toasted sesame seeds when I wanted Sfoof and was out of pine nuts and almonds. You can omit the anise, however the flavor adds a little sweetness and takes it to another level. I absolutely love this cake and I hope you will too! Sfoof is great served with tea or coffee for breakfast.
- 2 1⁄4 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup fine semolina
- 1 tablespoon anise seed, toasted and ground
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup warm water or 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons of cold butter or 5 tablespoons room temp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons turmeric
- pine nuts (to garnish) or blanched almond (to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350°F, grease a deep rectangular pan 81/4 x121/4 x2 inches deep with a tablespoon of tahini.
- Mix the semolina, flour, baking powder, anise and turmeric in a bowl,.
- Add the olive oil or butter in small pieces and with your hands mix well until all well combined ( I use a cheese shredder for the butter instead of cutting them in small bits).
- In a separate bowl combine warm water or milk and sugar and stir until its dissolved.
- Add the syrup to the flour mixture and beat with a hand beater for 5 minutes.
- Pour into baking pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds, pine nuts or blanched almonds whichever you fancy!
- Bake for about 35 minutes or until the cake has risen and is cooked inside. Test with a toothpick and if it comes out dry the cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then cut into diamonds or squares and serve at room temperature This cake will keep for a week if its stored in a sealed container in a cool place.
I will not rate this because I had some difficulties with this recipe... Not sure where I went wrong since I didn't make any changes (used the olive oil and water) to the recipe. When I got to step 5, the dough was so thick and sticky that it was impossible to mix for 5 minutes with my hand blender; I ended up kneading it with a spatula. I had to oil my hands to spread it out in the pan and it didn't rise at all during baking. Nevertheless, the flavour is wonderful - different but very pleasing, though I did find it a little too sweet. Thanks for sharing Gypsy Queen :) I will try this recipe again, in hope that it works!