This is a really straightforward recipe and is absolutely delicious. The only thing that can take time is that it does require quite a bit of lemon juice! If you don't feel like rolling up your sleeves and juicing lots of lemons, you can always use store bought bottled lemon juice instead and it will be just as tasty. The golden caster sugar can also be substituted for normal caster sugar.
This is an adaptation from another winning recipe from Belinda Jeffery, in her book Utterly Delicious Simple Food.
220g plain flour
A couple of pinches of salt
3 tsp baking powder
1.5 tbsp Sweet Spice blend
110g ground almonds
225g unsalted butter, softened
200g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Zest of 2 lemons
300g golden caster sugar
2 strips of lemon zest (optional)
1 cup of lemon juice
Greek yoghurt, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a large deep rectangular pan, about 32cm x 23cm, and line with baking paper.
2. Put the syrup ingredients in a saucepan, along with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set to the side.
3. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and Sweet Spice blend together, then add the couscous and ground almonds, and stir well.
4. Beat the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add in an egg at a time, mixing well before adding the next. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, and mix again, then add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Spread this batter in the pan and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the pan halfway through cooking so it browns evenly.
6. Remove the cake, and then gently pour over the syrup. It will look like the cake is swimming in the syrup but it will all be soaked up and help to cook the couscous.
7. Cover the pan tightly in tin foil and allow to cool completely. This helps to soften the couscous, and the cake is even better the next day. Serve with Greek yoghurt.