Tahini Cake

July 27, 2011 § 6 Comments

A new friend of mine asked me to guest post on her blog, this got me super excited and honored at the same time. She’s a fellow food blooger, an emirati, and a super Hero (i.e.full time mom) like me! She blogs at LaMereCulinaire. I totally relate to her life, juggling a toddler around is hard, and she does it with an infant on the other hand! I’m freaking out thinking about how I’m going to manage my life around 2 babies!!! I bow to you Arwa…

I’m writing this post right now while my daughter is lying on the couch next to me watching TV in a big mess of cracker crumbs around her, screaming “mommy one!” indicating she’s done with her cracker and wants one more! She’s full, now lets move to feeding mommy and making a bigger mess…. anyways back to the recipe.

Ramadhan is knocking our doors and we are getting super excited! Ramadan is a holly month that we get to clean our bodies and souls in. 29-30 days of fasting, praying and asking God for forgiveness,health, safety and anything we want. Its a time where you feel peace and serenity all around you through out the day, its truly a magical time.

Unfortunately it has been mistranslated recently into staying up late till dusk in “arabesque” tents smoking shisha, gossiping, and watching the so called arabic belly dancers. So to all you looking at us from the outside, this is not how we live it, and most certainly the purpose behind fasting and having shorter working days is not sleeping all day and being awake all night.

I ask God to bless us all and bring this month to us in health and prosperity.

I wanted to create something that had an arabic essence, a feel of Ramadhan about it. I was googling for inspiration and thought about tanini, a favorite ingredient of mine, especially in desserts. I love to have dates drizzled with tahini or some freshly baked pita bread dipped in Tahini then in date molasses for breakfast… yumm!

I immediately imagined the flavor in a cake and started searching for a recipe. I found a greek tahini cake “tahinopita” which seemed very appealing. I tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with this amazing cake that is delicious warm, bursting with orange, tahini and molasses flavors, and even better sliced and baked in a warm oven to give you the most delicious biscoties you have ever tasted.

Tahini Cake (my own recipe)

  • 2 cups whole meal spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • juice and zest of one large navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt or butter milk

Preheat oven to 175C, brush your baking pan with tahini, I used a rectangular loaf pan, it really works as an amazing non stick agent.

Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.

Mix wet ingredients together, add the sugar, orange zest and whisk till well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients gently till its incorporated in the dough.

Pour into your prepared baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean. let it cool for few minutes and serve warm drizzled with date molasses, the cake is not sweet enough to have as dessert on its own, it needs the extra molasses and it complements the flavor of tahini well.

You can also slice it thinly into biscoties and lay on a baking rack and bake in hot oven for 15 minutes till crisp. Store in airtight container.




Spelt Flour Banana Muffins

July 13, 2011 § 9 Comments

It’s been a long time since I cooked anything, let alone blog about it, but the past 2 weeks where a rough journey for us, coping and adjusting to the fact that a family member is missing.

I’m one of those people that hate to see any kind of food go bad in front of me, and I guess this thing runs in our family, my mom and sister are worst cases.

Recently my daughter has become such a picky eater and running out of control snacking on crisps and chocolates the whole time…. so those two reasons brought together the birth of this recipe.

Its a delicious sugar, and egg free banana chocolate muffins made with whole grain spelt flour. I didnt expect my 18month old to like them but she’s munching on them happily. Other than the fact that it got chocolate in it.. it’s quite healthy! If you use good quality chocolate you don’t have to feel guilty eating them at all.

I have been experimenting with different kinds of flour and so far all the outcomes are amazing, the reason behind this is the book Good to the Grain by the amazing Kim Boyce. Her book really did give me a different prospective with cooking and baking. Why are we so attached to the plain all purpose flour, you get so much more flavor using different kinds of flour! And it became easier to get them in grocery stores recently here in Dubai.

Try out this Recipe and I hope you like it.

Spelt Flour Banana Muffins (by Fatma Shabib)

makes 5-6 large muffins

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, oil or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 175C and line or grease a muffin tray.

In a small pan over low heat melt the butter with the honey and vanilla, take it off the heat and mash in the bananas and mix well.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and the chocolate chips. Add in the wet ingredients and mix gently with a spoon.

Pour the mixture in the muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.


  • Instead of the chocolate chips you can add any kind of nuts you have on hand (almonds, walnuts or cashews)
  • or ¬†add 1/2 cup of quick oats or cooked steel cut oats, will give it extra crunch on the top and nuttiness.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the baked goods category at figsandsaffron.