Carob Molasses Sfouf: An Eggless Lebanese Cake

Sfouf is a yellow cake by the addition of turmeric. It is commonly made during lent, as a dessert. It also is one of the easiest desserts to make all through the year.

Carob Molasses Sfouf is the version that omits turmeric and replaces the sugar with, wait for it because it is going to be such a big surprise, carob molasses!

What is Carob molasses? Unfortunately not a lot of information about how it is made online, neither do I have the detailed knowledge about it, all I know is that it is made from the carob tree fruit, in a region in Lebanon that earned its name because of the carob trees: Iqleem el Kharroob. But as I was scrambling I found this paragraph about it on this blog.

“Dibs el Kharrub, or carob molasses, is a thick syrup made by soaking milled carob pods in water and reducing the extracted liquid. It is produced in large quantities in the area of Iqleem el kharrub (the district of carob), located in the foothills of the Shuf mountain district south of Beirut.”

Unfortunately the initial link she got the information from leads to nowhere…

Although if you want to read about the health benefits of carob (and grape) molasses, this article is very extensive.

You can buy it in the US in Middle Eastern stores or online.

Now back to our initial subject: the Sfouf. Although I am not a big fan of the turmeric version, the carob molasses version gained my admiration.

The recipe is extremely easy (proof I made it twice and it worked), if you have a Kitchenaid mixer, it is a matter of 10 minutes to make, if you don’t, the ordeal would be about 15 minutes. Grueling I know!

My sister gave me the recipe for the turmeric and the molasses version (the variation is ridiculously slight) so I am offering you the bonus.

I tried to make it the second time with a mix of carob molasses and regular molasses, the taste was not the same. It was not inedible, but the result was definitely different from the original taste.

You are supposed to wait till it is cooled to cut it, but I did not wait so the texture in the middle got a little doughier than it should be, but it did not affect the taste. (I am impatient like that!!)

The one that cracked on top is the Sfouf made with the mixture of both molasses. Not to mention it turned out a tad darker than the one with just the carob molasses.

Two cups of carob molasses make it on the less sweet side (this is our personal preference), if you like it sweeter add more to it. The consistency of the batter should be similar to yogurt’s.

Sfouf

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola)
  • 1 ½ cup anise tea
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cup molasses or 2 cups sugar with 1 tsp turmeric
Preparation:
  1. Combine oil and flour to make a doughy consistency.
  2. Combine the anise tea with the rest of the ingredients then add to the dough and mix.
  3. Rub a baking pan with Tahini or oil and flour. (Tahini is better though)
  4. Bake at 170˚ C (338 ˚ F) for 40 min or till browned on the bottom.
  5. When cooled cut in cubes to serve.

Have a Happy Easter everyone, and if you don’t celebrate it, have a happy Sunday anyway.

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