... we had the most incredible weekend in Morocco for what can only be described as the wedding of the century... it was a proper spectacular spectacular and so hard to put down in words just how magical it was but if you can imagine for a moment a crowd of very merry people surrounded by a lush oasis of palm trees in the middle of the North African desert... the groom riding down the aisle on the back of a bejewelled stallion and the bride carried aloft in a mother of pearl encrusted Sudan chair, with a swing band, a singing drag queen and an excommunicated rabbi you may be a little closer to the film-set inspired beauty that surrounded us... it was incredibly special...
me and the viking looking a little 'ready to party'
moroccan rose, fennel and chocolate cake
with the teeny window we had between champagne glass and dancing I took a frantic trip into the infamous souk and was surrounded my the most intoxicating sounds, sights and of course smells of morocco... it's everything you'd imagine it to be, both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time and this humble little cake brings together some of the classic spices and tastes of the trip... rose and fennel are everywhere and the orange honey is infused in almost everything you eat or drink... this cake will remind me of that wonderful trip whilst it lasts...
4 large free-range eggs
150g ground almonds
100g self-raising flour
250g butter - room temp
200g caster sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom honey
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon rose water
100g dark chocolate pieces - i used some incredible Thornton's orange and cardamom chocolate
pre-heat the oven to 170C
gently heat the fennel seeds in a frying pan for about 4 minutes to release their scent - do not let them burn!
in a large bowl beat the butter, honey and sugar until light and fluffy then add one egg and beat in followed by a third of the flour and almonds which you then beat in... continue this way until all the eggs and flour are used up remembering to push the sides of the bowl down between each beating to incorporate all the mixture... add the rose water when you add the final egg - then stir in the chocolate pieces.
pour the batter into your cake tin and bake for about 35 mins or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean... remove from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack to cool completely.
get creative with the top of the cake by melting a little more dark and white chocolate and pouring overt the top...
eat and of course, enjoy!