Did you ever bake sfouf before? Boy, oh boy. You're in for a treat! Sfouf is a Lebanese cake made with semolina and turmeric. What we'll do here is show you how to turn this classic Levantine treat both vegan and sugar-free while retaining all its mouthwatering virtues.
We were blown away by how good sfouf tastes. We use semolina a lot in our kitchen, but more when making bread than sweet bakes. The combo of semolina, turmeric and our selected plant-based ingredients deliver an incredibly airy and fluffy cake, with such a warm orange colour and a delicate and pleasant flavour.
If you had Lebanese sfouf before, you may remember that the classic recipe is not vegan, as it's got eggs, dairy milk, and sometimes gee or butter. However, we have taken a different approach, and just like all our other recipes, we strived to remove as many allergens as possible. And so we made our sfouf fully vegan, without using eggs or dairy; just healthy plant-based ingredients.
Moreover, like most other classic bakes globally, sfouf also comes with a generous dose of white sugars. We've been eating sugar-free for almost two decades now. In fact, out of nearly 400 hundred recipes on Foodaciously today, we have only used white sugars just once or twice! That's why we made our sfouf without using a single grain of refined sugar. Instead, we opted for maple syrup, a healthier and tastier alternative that is also vegan-friendly.
We also enjoyed experimenting with various toppings for our cake. We tried pine nuts, crushed pistachios, and sesame seeds. All excellent choices if you want to pick any of them! We ended up using sesame seeds because they are the cheapest of the three, and we loved their delicate contribution to the overall flavour profile of the recipe.
Overall, sfouf has become one of our favourite cakes because it's both tasty and very simple to put together. We worked hard to make it as healthy as possible, and we think you'll appreciate the results. A big portion will yield only 153 calories, 3.5 grams of sugars (non-refined), and less than 5 grams of fats. Nice, right? So go ahead, have some fun baking this, and share it with your loved ones!
|Apple Cider Vinegar
|Ground Star Anise
|Vegetable Oil (e.v.o. oil or canola)
|Orange Essence (or orange blossom water)
Prepare the vegan buttermilk by combining vinegar and milk in a bowl.
Leave the mix undisturbed for a few minutes.
In another bowl, add fine semolina, plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, turmeric, star anise, and a pinch of salt.
Mix the ingredients well to ensure the baking powder is evenly distributed.
Now, pour the vegan buttermilk into the semolina mix, followed by maple syrup, tahini, oil, and orange essence.
Work the ingredients with a spoon or electric mixer until they come together into a smooth cake batter.
It should be silky and slightly runny, with a bright yellow colour.
Take a square 20 cm (8 inches) baking tin and grease it with a little oil.
Pour in the sfouf cake mixture and sprinkle the surface with sesame seeds.
Then, let the batter sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the semolina to soak up the liquids.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) in static mode.
Then, bake the cake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Once ready, take the tin out of the oven and let the cake cool down a bit before transferring it onto a wire rack.
Once cooled, slice your vegan sfouf cake into squares, rectangles or diamond shapes and enjoy it with a hot cup of herbal tea.
You can swap sesame seeds with pine nuts or slivered almonds.
If you can't find ground star anise, you can grind the whole stars in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. You can also replace it with fennel, allspice, or cloves.