Last week when I made sugee cake it turned out dry. I asked my mum about it and she suggested I increased the amount of butter. I did that and also adjusted the oven temperature and this time it was a success.
Sugee cake is an Eurasian cake that is usually made on festive occasions in Malaysia and Singapore. ‘Sugee’ or ‘sooji’ is an Indian word for semolina flour. A sugee cake is a rich, buttery cake with a coarse texture from the semolina flour. Brandy and rose essence (a wonderful combination!) adds to the unique flavour of the cake. This cake is so rich that a small slice will suffice, much like a rich fruit cake, and it’s advisable to share this cake (and the calories) with friends and neighbours! You can read more about sugee cake and it’s history here in this blog post by Niceties.
The sugee cake I made is an almond sugee cake. The original recipe from my mum doesn’t include almond nibs but I added some to give the cake a little crunch. Give this cake a try, especially if you have semolina flour left over from another recipe. Don’t be put off by the number of steps involved in this recipe as they are pretty simple.
Almond Sugee Cake
300g butter at room temperature (The original recipe calls for 250g)
225g semolina flour
8 egg yolks
2 egg whites
60g flour and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder OR 60g self-rising flour
100g almond meal
50g chopped toasted slivered almonds (optional)
3 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla
A few drops of rose and/or almond essence (I used rose only)
1. Roast the semolina flour in a pan over medium-low heat until it starts to smell fragrant. Roasting the semolina flour dries it out so it won’t sink in the cake and turn hard.
2. Cream the butter
until it’s light. Mix in the semolina flour and let it soak in the butter for at least 4 hours, better if overnight.
3. Whisk the egg yolks until frothy, then add the sugar and continue whisking until
the mixture is light and creamy. Add in the brandy, vanilla and essence.
Fold the semolina mixture into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the almond meal and almond nibs if using. Sift the flour over the batter and fold in gently.
4. Whisk the egg whites
until just stiff and carefully fold into the semolina mixture.
6. Scrape the mixture into a lined 8″ x 8″ square pan and bake in a preheated 160C (320F) oven for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. The top of the cake will be a light golden brown colour.
The cake can be served plain, dusted with icing sugar, covered with marzipan or, my favourite, buttercream icing.