Greg and I are lucky to have a rotating dinner party with 4 of our close friends. Over the years, the food has gotten better and better… I’m always excited to see what our friends will pull out of their repertoire. We hosted the most recent dinner and I made some tapas and a big pan of paella. (I hope to post the Stuffed Piquillo Pepper recipe soon).
For dessert, I made a cake reminiscent of our times in Sevilla; an almond-yogurt cake featuring the lovely oranges in season right now. This cake has great texture because it contains both semolina flour and ground almonds. The refreshing orange flavor comes from orange zest in the batter, and an orange syrup which is poured over the warm cake. Greek yogurt is an ingredient, and a perfect accompaniment… everyone said it was better than whipped cream or mascarpone.
Almond and Orange Yogurt Cake
from Martha Stewart
12 tblsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
6 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 tblsp finely grated zest
3/4 semolina flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely ground in a food processor
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup Greek yogurt (full fat), plus more for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper; butter paper. In a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup sugar, water, and orange-zest strips. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Set syrup aside to steep.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, almonds, grated orange zest, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat butter and remaining sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately beat in the flour mixture and yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan ten minutes, then invert onto a rimmed serving plate. Using a fork, poke shallow holes (about 15) into top of cake. Pour half the syrup over cake; garnish with orange-zest strips from syrup. Let cool completely. (optional; at the last second, dust with confectioner’s sugar) Serve with yogurt and remaining syrup.