Mr CC and I are in the process of moving. That perhaps makes it sound more organised than it is – basically, we’ve sold our place and we’re looking for a place to move to (did anyone say ‘stress’?). I’m trying to wind down my larder cupboards...currently so well stocked that the Russian army could drop in unannounced and all enjoy several courses. That was a favourite phrase of my mother’s; I’m not sure why it was always the Russian army rather than any other country – perhaps she felt it conveyed scale?
Anyway, as Confucius never said: the task of clearing larder cupboards begins with the first bag of semolina. Hence this week’s bake of semolina cake. Unusually for me, it’s a dairy free bake.
The semolina gives the cake a different texture to classic sponge; perhaps a little more bite, but in a pleasing rather than gritty way. As with all syrup cakes, this is best made a day in advance and left to absorb.
200g plain flour
225ml olive oil – I used the light one suitable for baking
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Grated zest of one orange
225g caster sugar
Large pieces of orange peel from 1 orange