125 grams butter
½ cup caster sugar
finely grated zest 1 orange
2 tablespoons smooth marmalade (I used a lovely Italian blood orange Maramalata)
½ cup semolina
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup orange juice
½ cup caster sugar
4 fresh dates
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Grease a 20 cm square cake tin and line fully with baking paper.
Syrup: Put the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
Cake: Melt the butter and stir in the sugar and orange zest. Cool. Whisk the eggs, marmalade and semolina together and stir in the butter. Sift the flour and baking powder together and using a large metal spoon, fold into the batter.
Tip into the tin and bake for 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Immediately start spooning the syrup evenly over the hot cake until most of it has been absorbed. It will take about 10 minutes for the syrup to soak in but don’t worry if there are still pools around the outside, it will eventually be absorbed. Leave the cake in the tin until ready to serve.
Salad: Peel the oranges with a knife, removing all the white pith. Holding the oranges over a bowl, cut between each membrane to release the segments. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl. Cut the dates into long strips and combine with the oranges and juice. Toss through the mint just before serving.
To serve: Using the paper, carefully lift the cake out and place on a cutting board. If you want to cut the cake into diamonds, place a ruler at an angle and using a very sharp knife, cut into long strips. Trim off the edges and cut into the desired lengths.
Place on plates and serve with a spoonful of mascarpone and the orange and date salad. Spoon the orange juice over the cake.
The cake will store in an airtight container for 3 days. You can add 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur to the syrup if desired.