12 Mar 2012

مسكوتة بللّيمونْ وْ اللّوزْ / كيكة /Meskouta or Maskouta or Keeka/ Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake (Butterless Cake) / Maskouta ou Meskouta ou Kika, Gâteau Marocain à l'Orange et Amandes Sans Beurre!

مسكوتة بللّيمونْ وْ اللّوزْ
كيكة

I still haven't replaced my broken oven and I really miss baking!  My boys love cakes and cookies, especially GhribaFekkasMacarons etc.... and I used to bake a lot of these, but now, it will be impossible to give them what they like, till I get a new oven. We just have to draw, temporarily, the line at dessert treats, our ultimate ending for our meal. We bake lots of things on the grill, microwave, or we just order takeaways, praying it will be fresh and good.  Here is a popular Moroccan Cake, called Meskouta [M S K O O T A], that I made a few days before my oven broke!
Meskouta, also called Kika [K E E K A],  is a butterless cake, commonly baked during hard time and France/Spain Colonization, it was the time when butter was just hard to get and very expensive for the majority Moroccan people.  So argan or olive or vegetable oils are used, which were more readily available than butter.  My mother told me that Meskouta Cakes, in those old times, were baked in a special pot with a cover, over a charcoal brazier "Majmar or Kanoun", and that her mother used to put sourdough starter "Khmira baldiya" in the cake batter, instead of baking powder, which was not available.  She also explained to me that the texture of the cake looked and tasted like sweet bread, mostly served plain or only, on special occasion, with a sugar syrup (much cheaper than frosting), flavoured with cinnamon, fresh orange juice and some drops of orange water, though the most popular topping in Morocco is still jam spread with some grated coconut on top of the cake: "It was almost a miracle for our parents and grandparents to create with cheap ingredients something tasty, that  deserves the name "Meskouta",  added my mother, with a deep-drawn sigh, tears brimming in her eyes. I still remember this very moment, though I was too young!

Meskouta was my childhood cake, and it is still my favourite. Whenever I go to a local bakery, the first cake I would reach for is "Orange or Lemon Cake", made with butter or oil, it doesn't matter really as long as I can taste and smell the lovely citrus flavour. Though, butter is now quite affordable, yet this cake is still very popular all over the Kingdom, and are known as "Winter Cakes ", when citrus is in season.   In fact there are several versions of Meskouta cakes in Morocco, made of citrus since it is quite affordable, which is not surprising, knowing that Morocco is one of major exporting countries in the world of citrus.

The use of oil in this cake makes it so moist and tender, and you can use lemon instead of orange or add some melted chocolate in the batter for the extra "Ohh La La"!  However, the best Moroccan Orange Cake is Maimouna =حلوة ميمونة , it is a flourless Orange Cake, a traditional Moroccan dessert that I would be soon posting, and those who know that cake will absolutely agree with me that it is one of the cakes that are out of this world, so unique and delightful!
Mamatkamal, K. El Mary
Serves 6 people / Pour 6 personnes
Preparation Time: 0 h 20 minutes / Temps de préparation: 0 h 20 minutes
Cook Time:  0 h 40 minutes  / Temps de cuisson :  0 h 40 minutes

Ingredients:

-4 medium eggs / 4 oeufs moyens

-180 gr caster sugar, known as Sanida in Morocco / 180 gr sucre semoule ou Sanida comme on l'appelle au Maroc

-180 ml olive oil (very light version) or Argan or sunflower oil / 180 ml de l'huile d'olive au goût extra légere ou huile d'argan ou huile de tournesol

-200 gr white flour / 200 gr de farine blanche

-3 tablespoons of ground almonds / 3 c à soupe d'amandes moulues

-Orange zest (from 2 medium Navel Oranges) / Zeste d'orange (de 2 oranges Navel, de taille moyenne)

-60 ml fresh orange juice / 60 ml de jus d'orange frais

-1 tablespoon baking powder / 1 c à soupe de levure chimique ou patissière ou la poudre à pâte

-Pinch of salt / Pincée de sel

-Pinch ground cinnamon / Pincée de cannelle moulue

-60 ml honey / 60 ml de miel

-1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water / 1/2 c à café ou à thé d'eau de fleur d'oranger


You will also need / Vous aurez besoin aussi de:

-1 litre savarin mould or ring or tube pan / 1 moule à savarin d'un litre de contenance

-About 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to grease the pan / Environ 1 c à soupe d'huile tournesol pour graisser le moule

-About 2 tablespoons of almond flakes / Environ 2  c à soupe d'amandes effilées 

-1 tablespoon ground cinnamon / 1 c à soupe de cannelle moulue

-1 tablespoon of brown sugar or caster sugar / 1 c à soupe de sucre brun ou sucre semoule

-Mix together the cinnamon and sugar, then set aside. / Mélanger le sucre et la cannelle et laisser de côté.


Method / Préparation:

1-Preheat oven at 140°C fan  / or 160°C / or 320°F / or gas mark 3 / Préchauffer le four à 140°C, équipé de système de ventilation / ou 160°C / ou 320 °F / ou 3 th.


2-Spray the pan with vegetable oil, then sprinkle the pan with the sugar mixture. / Huiler le moule, puis saupoudrer le fond de mélange de sucre.

3-Sift the flour, salt, ground almonds, baking powder and cinnamon together. / Tamiser ensemble la farine, sel, amandes moulues, la poudre à pâte et cannelle.


4-Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick.  This will take about 10 minutes, then gradually beat in the oil. / Battre ensemble les oeufs et le sucre jusqu'à épaississement. Cela prendra environ 10 minutes, puis incorporer graduellement l'huile.


5-Add orange juice and honey, then stir in the flour mixture in 3 batches. / Ajouter le jus d'orange et le miel, puis incorporer graduellement la farine.


6-Stir until smooth and no crumbles visible.  Add zest of orange and orange blossom water, then stir again. / Bien mélanger le tout  jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte sans aucun grumeau ou jusqu'à ce que le mélange devienne homogène. Ajouter le zeste et l'eau de fleur d'oranger, puis mélanger de nouveau.


7-Pour the batter into the prepared pan. / Verser la  pâte dans le moule.


8-Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove carefully and sprinkle some almonds on the top return to the oven and continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until golden brown or until tests done. / Cuire au four pendant environ 20 minutes, puis retirer-le soigneusement et saupoudrer le gâteau des amandes, puis le remettre de nouveau au four pour finir la cuisson pendant environ 20 minutes ou jusqu'à qu'il soit bien doré ou bien faites le test en piquant le gâteau avec un couteau pointu sec pour savoir si il est bien cuit.


9-Remove the cake from the oven.  Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling. / Retirer du four, laisser refroidir environ 5 minutes, puis démouler le gâteau sur une grille et laisser refroidir complètement.


10-Enjoy! Bssa7a w ra7a!


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