Iron baby orange semolina cake
This cake has no real origin but it's orange and almond base lends itself to being a type of halva cake from North Africa. It's very moist and dense but light and crumbly at the same time, the orange really comes through and the cake can be served hot or cold. The semolina makes the top of the cake crunchy. I had mine cold with a shot of expresso. I have really cut the sugar to a very, low, half a cup, so that's around 10g per serving for little one (based on their piece being 1/16 of a cake, or half a grown-ups piece) - that's pretty low and the same as you find in many shop bought baby snack bars. But yes, it's refined sugar, so shouldn't be eaten on a daily basis, a once a couple of weeks treat should be ok though. The semolina gives a good iron boost and so do the ground almonds, along with B vitamins and other essential minerals, so if you ignore the sugar it's a good healthy eat. It's very simple to make just beat a few ingredients and stir a few others, pop in oven and it's pretty much done. I would wait until baby is 10 months old and can handle cake to avoid it getting stuck on the top of their mouths.
Makes an 8 piece cake
125 g butter
Zest of 1 large naval orange
½ cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup semolina
1 cup ground almonds
Juice of one large naval orange
1. Greece and line with baking paper a 20 cm diameter springform tin. Preheat oven to fan 180C.
2. Cream butter, zest and sugar using an electric beater.
3. Beat one egg in at a time
4. Add half the dry ingredients with 1 ½ table spoon of orange juice. Stir through. Add second half of the dry ingredients with 1 ½ tbsp orange juice and stir through.
5. Spoon mixture into tin and bake for around 40 mins. Take out of oven and brush top liberally with remaining orange juice. Put back in oven for a further 2 mins. You will know the cake is cooked when you can put a fork carefully into the cake and it comes out clean (no cake batter visible).
6. Take out and turn out onto wire rack, brush bottom of cake with remaining orange juice, and leave cake to cool or serve cake hot.
I would wait until baby is 10 months old and can handle cake - to avoid it getting stuck on the top of their mouths. The cake is best eaten on day it's is baked, but can be kept in an air tight container for a further day.
The semolina gives a good iron boost along with the almonds, which themselves provide a wealth of essential vitamins and minerals, making it a reasonably healthy cake. It's most like a North African halva cake due to its orange and almond base.