Persian Honey Cakes

Makes approximately 16

These Persian Honey Cakes really celebrate the beauty of honey at its best.
The nutty orange-flavoured cakes are left to absorb a scented honey syrup. You can serve them either with coffee or tea, or as an after-dinner sweetmeat. As a dessert they are excellent with natural yoghurt.

Ingredients

  • 227g fine semolina
  • 56g icing sugar, sifted
  • 114ml sunflower oil
  • grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 114g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

for the syrup

  • 114g sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 5 tbsp triple strength orange flower water
  • 118ml water

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Method

Put the semolina and icing sugar in a bowl.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and pour it over the semolina. Stir well and mix in the orange rind and juice and then the flour sifted with the baking powder and cinnamon.

Heat the oven to Gas 3 / 325F / 170C.
Take up pieces of the mixture about the size of a ping-pong ball and form short sausage shapes, about 2 inches long. Arrange slightly apart on a large oiled baking sheet.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-50 minutes.

While the cakes are baking, make the syrup.
Put the sugar, honey, orange flower water and water in a saucepan.
Dissolve the sugar and honey over a low heat and then boil fiercely for 4-5 minutes.

When the cakes are baked, lift them out with a spatula and arrange closely together in a large shallow dish. Pour the syrup over them and leave for several hours, spooning the syrup over them occasionally. Then carefully pile the cakes on a plate, scraping up any remaining syrup to spoon over them.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS

For a rich, clear and aromatic honey try one from NV Greek Foods (Euzoea)

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