“Sfoof or Sfouf” is a gorgeous turmeric based semolina cake that has its origins in Levantine cuisine which I absolutely love. The free use of spices and exotic flavours such as rose-water and orange blossom water is positively alluring. The best part of this cake is the lovely golden colour, seeing that turmeric is one of my favorite spices to use in desserts. Traditional versions suggest adding sesame or pine nuts and anise seeds as the ingredients along with flour, sugar and oil. I’ve substituted the sugar syrup with Xylitol and omitted the sesame seeds and nuts for an allergy friendly version. Also, using fennel seed powder instead of the anise seeds gives this version a sweet licorice flavour which is divine! I baked the batter in my mini loaf pan for perfect portions.
Sfouf/ Sfoof – Vegan, Sugar-free & Nut Free
(A beautiful golden cake with the goodness of turmeric and fennel seeds.)
Semolina – 2 cups
Self Raising Flour – 1 cup
Turmeric – 1 tablespoon
Fennel Seeds, freshly powdered – 1 tablespoon
Xylitol – 1 cup
Water – 1.5 cup
Orange Blossom Water – 1/2 tablespoon
Rose Water – 1/2 tablespoon
Oil – 1/2 cup
Non Stick Spray, to grease the cake/ loaf pan
Spray either an 8″ pan or a mini loaf pan with non stick spray.
Preheat the oven on a fan forced setting to 200 degrees C.
Take a large mixing bowl and combine the semolina, flour, turmeric and fennel seed powder.
In a small saucepan, dissolve the xylitol in water and heat gently until dissolved.
Take off the heat and add the orange flower water and rose water.
Gradually add the syrup to the dry flour mixture and whisk in the oil.
Whisk gently until all the floury lumps dissolve. The batter is quite thick.
Scoop into the cake pan if using or, add 2 heaped tablespoons into each well of the mini loaf pan.
Bake at 170 degrees C for 25 to 35 minutes, or until skewer inserted in center comes out dry. The cake takes slightly longer as compared to the mini loaves.
Remove from the hot oven and cool on a baking rack.
Brush the top with rose water if desired or, dust with powdered xylitol & turmeric, as I did.