Tomer guides you through the ingredients for his aromatic zohar (orange blossom) cake. Olive oil based cakes used to feature often in Temple offerings throughout history, this one is also dairy free so instead of eggs or cow's milk, Tomer uses apple cider vinegar to curdle oat milk which helps to bind the cake together. To perfume the cake, he takes inspiration from the citrus trees of Tel Aviv, using orange blossom water as well as oranges and lemons, using the zest for the body of the cake and the juice in the syrup for soaking the cake. The cake is topped off with a sprinkle of lavender and a side of rhubarb compote.
Specialist ingredients of the week
A bit about the specialist ingredients
Orange blossom water - for many living in Tel Aviv this is the scent of springtime, when the orange tree lined streets burst into bloom. The flowers are boiled in water, then the steam is captured and condensed to create a clear liquid with strong aromas of citrus with an underlying earthiness. For Middle Eastern Jewish communities floral scents are prevalent throughout the home and in the kitchen especially during the Jewish Shavuot holiday which celebrates the summer harvest. During this time of year homes are decorated with flowers and floral flavours are used in desserts and preserves.
Dried lavender - Lavender has a rich history around the world used by ancient Egyptians for mummification and perfume as well as by the Romans for cooking and bathing. The dried leaves and flowers of the lavender plant can be found across Israel in the markets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, and are used by chefs the land over for its aromatic qualities developed from the native sun-drenched climate. In Israel's kitchens you'll find lavender sprinkled over the likes of cakes, breads and ice cream.
Fine semolina - semolina can be found across the Middle East in cakes which you'll see in Arab-owned bakeries throughout Israel perfumed with rose water. It also is a key feature in ancient flat breads including Laffa, which have their origins in the Fertile Crescent (a region spanning the Middle East, known historically for its rich soils and abundant access to water) before spreading westward around the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Ingredients You Need