This is a lovely greek cake using semolina. The texture is coarser due to the semolina than what you're probably used to, but it is delicious and toothsome. Soaked in a light syrup and served with some whipped cream on the side, it is a dessert worthy of any occasion.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups butter
- 1 orange zest, of
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup semolina or 1 cup cream of wheat
- 1⁄2 cup blanched and slivered almonds (good) (optional)
For the Syrup
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1⁄2 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- whipped cream, to serve on the side
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter and flour a 13 X 9 inch pyrex baking pan.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
- In large electric mixer bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.
- Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar.
- Continue beating until very stiff and glossy.
- Set meringue aside.
- Beat egg yolks, remaining sugar, and butter until very light and fluffy.
- Add orange rind and vanilla.
- Beat in dry ingredients alternately (slowly, on a low speed) with orange juice and semolina until incorporated.
- Fold in meringue.
- Turn into prepared pan and sprinkle with almonds.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until it tests done.
- For syrup: Boil sugar, water and cinnamon stick for 8 minutes.
- Add brandy and remove cinnamon stick.
- Pour hot syrup over cooled cake.
- Cool and cut into squares.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Just excellent. I've made it twice now, one time following the recipe more or less to the letter and it was great (even without the syrup). This time I varied it a bit, I left out the orange zest and vanilla out of necessity and added a bit of sugar (I used 1.5 times the amount in the recipe), almond syrup and a little honey, and it still came out great. It uses amazingly little egg compared to some other cake recipes, but it comes out fine and even a little less heavy (but still flavorful).
I seem to be especially partial to Greek desserts, and this is no exception. I halved the recipe, and baked in a glass 8x8 pan for 30 min. The cake turned out very light, spongy and moist. I didn't want it to become soggy or overly sweet so I only added half the syrup called for (1/4 of the recipe). It was perfect! As always I added some lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon stick to the syrup. Next time, I might try adding a touch of cinnamon powder to the cake batter and use half honey in the syrup (instead of sugar). To serve, I inverted a slice on the plate and topped with orange whipped cream (whip heavy cream with a touch of orange zest, orange juice and sugar) and some raw pistachios. Oh, and I'm at almost 5000ft but didn't have to make any changes to the amounts. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Evelyn!