• Turmeric adds a warm flavour and bright colour. (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
This cake is basically begging to be over-cooked to guarantee crispy tahini-laden edges.
Camellia Ling Aebischer

14 May 2021 - 10:49 AM  UPDATED 14 Apr 2022 - 4:50 PM

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A cake so easy that a baby could make it – that’s my kind of cake baking.

Sharon Salloum’s turmeric tea cake fits into this 'piece of cake' category and what comes out of the oven is the most glorious, level, almond-studded dessert - a far cry from what a baby could actually produce in any kitchen.

This cake is foolproof. For starters, it utilises the “dump and mix” method, much like a muffin, where wet and dry ingredients are combined into a batter and the whole thing gets baked. No whipping, creaming or folding. Second, it’s almost impossible to overcook.

Salloum lines the whole cake tin with tahini (read: no faffing with baking paper) which both stops it from sticking and also adds a glorious golden crust – not to mention the sweet toasted sesame smell coming from the oven as it bakes. Behind that glorious crust is a hearty, moist cake reminiscent of basbousa with a warmth from the turmeric and slight crumble from the semolina.

It’s also the second-most level cake that I’ve ever made (second to this one) so is definitely going in the back pocket for future bakes. If I ever have a layer cake on my hands this sfouf is destined to become a base layer as its sturdy texture would hold up well and well, the taste says it all.

Get the recipe
Turmeric tea cake (sfouf)

Tahini is used to grease the base and sides of the cake tin for a delightfully moist outer to this dense almond cake, perfect with a hot tea or coffee.

Do yourself a favour and buy a bunch of little bowls to pre-measure everything. You'll thank me later.

How to make sfouf

Take a large bowl and add:

  • 2 cups semolina
  • 160 g plain flour (about 1 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Mix to combine.

In a separate bowl place:

  • 1 ¾ cups raw sugar
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 250 g melted butter

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir to form a batter.

Grease a 23 cm cake tin with 2 tbsp tahini using your hands. Then, pour the batter into the tin.

Top with ½ cup raw slivered almonds and bake at 180°C fan-forced for 35-40 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Just look at that crispy tahini-scented crust.

Love the story? Follow the author here: Instagram @cammienoodle

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