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For the cake:

  • 115g (½ cup) unsalted butter/margarine/vegan alternative, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 90g (½ cup) fine semolina flour
  • 150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • 95g (1 cup) finely ground almond meal
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Zest of 1 blood orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon\
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

For the Syrup:

  • 240ml (1 cup) blood orange juice (from about 2 ½ blood oranges)
  • 150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of crumbled saffron
  • 2 ½ -3 blood oranges, scrubbed and thinly sliced on a mandoline

Heat oven to 180℃ (350℉). Grease a 25-cm diameter (10-inch) cake pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the semolina, sugar, almonds, baking powder and salt. Whisk in eggs and melted butter/margarine/vegan alternative. Add the blood orange and lemon zests and almond extract and beat well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Invert onto a wire rack and let cool.

As the cake cools, make the syrup: Put blood orange juice, sugar, honey, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, and sliced blood oranges in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar, and then simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Set aside. Transfer cake to a large serving plate. Use a skewer to poke holes all over and slowly pour syrup evenly over the cake. Once the syrup has cooled slightly, arrange the spices and apricots on top of the cake to your liking. Leave the cake for at least an hour, but preferably 24-hours to fully absorb the syrup, or, if possible, wrap and store in a cool place (don’t refrigerate) for up to 5 days.