July 8, 2011 • Category: Dessert
Amardeen is a beloved snack for every kid raised in the Near-East; Amardeen is a sheet of apricot paste. The apricots are grown in the area of the Ghouta, near Damascus in Syria. Amardeen is tangy, sweet and has an intense apricot flavor.
This is a basic sponge cake with an apricot filling made out of a sheet of amardeen.
Middle-Eastern stores commonly sell the amardeen in sheet form, but also as a syrup. Both can be used here. The cream should be prepared the day before if using amardeen (instead of the syrup) as it needs time to dissolve in water.
FOR THE SPONGE CAKE
- 6 Large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar, divided (200 g.)
- 1 Tablespoon orange blossom water (or a mixture of orange and rose water)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Rind of one orange or lemon
- 1 cup of sifted cake flour (100 g)
- 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- Powdered sugar, as needed
- Amardeen cream
- In a small bowl, mix the sifted cake flour with 1/4 cup of sugar. In a large mixing bowl, place the egg whites and next to the mixing bowl, place 1/4 cup of sugar and the cream of tartar. Start beating the whites, add the cream of tartar when frothy and add the sugar gradually to the whites; don’t over-beat, stop the machine once the whites form a stiff but still shiny meringue. Set aside or transfer to another bowl and start beating the yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar.
- Beat the yolks and sugar till thick and light in color; add the flavorings and citrus rind. sift the flour mixture over the yolks and gently fold it in with a spatula. Fold the whites into the batter gently so as not to deflate it and when the batter is ready, transfer into a cake pan lined with parchment paper (or greased and floured). I used a 9 inch pan.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 35 minutes; test the cake with a toothpick and when golden-browned and puffy remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes then remove from the cake pan and cool it completely.
- Using a long serrated knife, cut the layer in two, and spread the amardeen cream on the bottom layer. Assemble the two layers and sprinkle powdered sugar on the cake. Serve.
To make the amardeen cream:
- 1/2 package of amardeen cream (250 g.)
- 1/2 cup of sugar (or more, to taste)
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon
- Cut the amardeen in small pieces and soak in two cups of water overnight (cover and keep in the fridge); the next day, transfer to a saucepan and heat gently until the amardeen is completely dissolved. Add the sugar and make sure it is dissolved in the mixture, then add the lemon juice.
- Dilute the cornstarch in a bit of water and when the amardeen cream is steaming, stir the cornstarch mixture in and stir for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens. Strain (to make sure no lumps remain) and cool; it will thicken more.
- Spread the apricot cream over the bottom layer of the cake.
NOTE: You can make the cream using the syrup; dilute the syrup with a cup of water (same volume water and syrup), add sugar and dissolve the sugar over low heat; add the cornstarch mixture and when thick strain through a sieve and cool.
22 Comments • Comments Feed
every time i come here there is always something new to learn from you. This looks so lovely and delicious.
On July 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm
This is absolutely stunning – the flavors are just wonderful Joumana and nothing I would like better with a cuppa 🙂
chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
PS – Do you use an electric mixer for your sponge?
On July 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm
Ooohhhh, that cake must be divine!
On July 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Maria @ A Platter of says:
Hi! Thanks for coming by my blog today and allowing me to find yours. I am totally enamored with your blog and all of the beautiful recipes. I love learning about different types of cuisine, so I am enjoying reading over your past post. And this cake, my dear, is beautiful. I wish I had a slice to go with my coffee.
On July 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Sonia Rumzi says:
Wow! You did it again! How delightful!
On July 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm
Angel of the North says:
I have a couple of sheets of amardine, even here in the Borders. However, Icouldn’t work out the quantities of syrup and water to use for the alternative filling. I was wondering whether this would also work with some of the other lovely syrups like mulberry, etc.
For the cake you don’t say whether you use caster or granulated sugar. I am assuming it is the former.
All in all another sumptuous recipe from ToB.
On July 9, 2011 at 12:40 am
Angel of the North says:
PS is the flour plain or self raising?
On July 9, 2011 at 12:42 am
@Angel of the north: I used plain unbleached all-purpose flour. Yes, you could use any syrup; don’t dilute the syrup too much, you want the cream to be thick and sweet. No more than 1 part syrup to 1 part water, if that. Judge by tasting, if it is still sweet and thick, then add the cornstarch. Remember the cornstarch has to be diluted in cold water or juice, so that will further dilute the filling. The sugar I used is plain granulated sugar.
On July 9, 2011 at 7:26 am
This sounds delightful but not sure where I could find a package of amardeen cream around here. Diane
On July 9, 2011 at 12:47 am
I just love amardeen. In Egypt it is sold mainly only in the month of Ramadan – which will strart this year after about three weeks. The meaning of the name, i think, is very nice also -amar meaning “the full moon” and deen meaning “the faith” or in other words “the full moon of the faith” as the moon has a special meaning in this month.
On July 9, 2011 at 4:09 am
This is certain the type of layer cake I would fawn over! I love that filling!
On July 9, 2011 at 5:19 am
Mari's Cakes says:
Looks tempting. Perfect for the afternoon tea. I like the amardeen cream recipe. Can’t wait to try it.
On July 9, 2011 at 10:31 am
A lovely cake, I enjoy fruity flavors like this one in summer cakes. And love learning about unknown ingredients.
On July 9, 2011 at 11:46 am
That looks delicious and fluffy. So inviting!
On July 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Bria @ WestofPersia says:
I’m a big fan of amardeen (though my dental work isn’t!) I also love sponge cake. What a beautiful and winning combo you’ve shared here. Love it!
On July 9, 2011 at 9:25 pm
Magic of Spice says:
Sounds and looks wonderful!
On July 10, 2011 at 11:34 am
How lovely. I love the tartness of apricots. I wish I could get my hands on some Amardeen.
On July 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I’ve tried to find this paste for a long time!
The sponge cake looks lovely!!
On July 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm
Oui, Chef says:
Darn you, Joumana….one more specialty item I NEED to go find to cook one of your fabulous dishes. The Aberdeen cream sound delightful, now to find some! – S
On July 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm
Joumana, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Before you go back to Lebanon you should plan to visit the east coast. You would love it! Your cake looks fabulous…I love Amardeen. When I was growing up my grandmother always kept it in her pantry for her grandchildren…such a treat!
On July 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm
A déguster avec le thé ou en dessert….
On July 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm
Made it, loved it, done a few changes like putting a small amount of almond meal in the cake and a little bit in the filling, too, used oat flour and a liquid sweetener instead of sugar (both in the cake and the amardeen filling) and I increased a little bit the amount of the amardeen used (just because I love it :)) ). I made it for some of my friends and they really loved it. And I put the recipe on my blog, I hope you don’t mind me giving the link to your recipe, but I just loved it and I hope many can enjoy it as well.
Best wishes! and always hoping to read more of your delicious recipes 🙂
شكرا، يا حلوى
On September 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm