Semolina cake

Semolina cake

Revani

By
From
Istanbul
Makes
1
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This dense, sweet cake benefits hugely from being made the day before you want to eat it, allowing the semolina to soak up the syrup and soften. There is any number of variations from across the country and surrounding regions – some stud the top with almonds, others sprinkle it with pistachios. You can also make it with orange blossom water or grated coconut. I like to serve it with fresh berries as their tartness cuts through the sweetness of the cake. A slice is a lovely foil to a short, strong cup of rich Turkish coffee, or a cup of black tea.

Syrup

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g caster sugar
lemon, juiced
berries and a little honey, to serve

Cake

Quantity Ingredient
5 eggs, separated
125g caster sugar
150g butter, melted, and cooled
2 heaped tablespoons plain turkish or greek-style yoghurt
1 lemon, zest finely grated
150g fine semolina
110g plain flour
1 tablepoon king powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a 20 cm square cake tin with baking paper. Mix the sugar for the syrup with 250 ml (81/2 floz/1 cup) water in a saucepan and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil for around 10 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Stir in the lemon juice. Leave to cool before using.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out of the mixture.
  3. Slowly add the cooled melted butter, whisking all the time. Add the yoghurt, lemon zest and semolina, and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour and baking powder together then gently fold into the mixture with a metal spoon. Finally fold in the egg whites, taking care to knock out as little of the air as possible.
  4. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes, then check the cake. If the top is browning too fast, lower the heat by 10 degrees or so. Cook for another 10 minutes, and then check again. The cake is cooked when it has risen, is golden brown and the centre springs back when lightly pressed.
  5. Remove from the oven. With the cake still in the tin, cut it into diamond shaped pieces and pour over the cooled syrup. Allow the cake to absorb the syrup for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight. Remove from the tin and serve with fresh berries. For extra indulgence, drizzle with a little clear honey.
Course:
Dessert
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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