Syrupy Sponge Cakes

Şekerpare

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4-6

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Şekerpare means ‘sweet’ or ‘syrupy pieces’, which is exactly what these delicious spongy cakes, soaked in syrup, are. Usually prepared by the baklavacı, the maker of syrupy pastries, when freshly made they are very tempting.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz/300 g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 oz/120 g butter
  • 2 oz/60 g sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk

For the top

  • 12-16 whole blanched almonds
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

For the syrup

  • 1 pint/600 ml water
  • 1 lb/450 g sugar
  • juice of ½ lemon

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F/Mark 4/180C
  • Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder on to a sheet of greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and yolk, and shoot in the flour. Knead well, and shape into walnut-sized balls or oblongs. Flatten them slightly and place them at intervals on a lightly greased baking tray. Indent the middle of each one with your finger and fit an almond into the hollow. Brush the surfaces with the egg yolk and place them in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until firm and golden-brown.
  • Put the syrup ingredients in a pan and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. When the şekerpare are ready, pour half of the syrup over them and put them back into the oven for 5 minutes. Then take them out and pour over the rest of the syrup, and leave them to cool and absorb the syrup. Serve at room temperature.