Thursday, December 21, 2017

Arabic Semolina Cake

I wanted to try to prepare a semolina cake for a long time and I also had in mind some directions, but I was not sure about the right combinations and portioning of ingredients. After reading the very resourceful and inspiring Veggiestan by Sally Buther (more recipes to come in the next posts), I've found the easiest recipe to try for the first time. It has complex ingredients and you have to love sweet Middle Eastern sweets, but if you do, it guarantees a perfect tasty satisfaction. As usual, I slightly adapted the recipe, but in this case, I am not so sure I did the right thing, for reasons I will explain later, while developing the recipe.

The cake is made of the basic batter and the syrup. Before starting the preparation (first the syrup, the cake after), I warmed the oven at 250C.

Ingredients 

The Syrup
175 ml. warm water
250 gr. brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon orange blossom water. If you use rose water, the recommendation is of 2 teaspoons

The Cake
500 gr. semolina
175 gr. unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
150 gr. dessicated coconut 
200 gr. butter milk or plain yogurt
75 ml. orange blossom
50 gr. fine crumbs of pistachio
Directions

The Syrup
In a pan, add the ingredients and mix until boils and turns syrupy. Put it aside.

The Cake

Melt the butter in a pan, until turns watery. Add the ingredients and mix well. If necessary, add a bit of warm water until it tourns into a dough. I used a round pan, but the square one suits better the original recipe, as you can cut it into squares when ready. In the pan you pour the dough and spread it, by hand if necessary, until the entire pan is covered. Bake it for around 15 minutes at 250C.
What I made different compared to the original recipe was to add the syrup when the cake is half-baked, and not at the end. Which means that some of the syrup is absorbed and the cake is dry, which is a matter of taste, but I personally loved it this way although one day would love to do the other way. 
Add the pistachio crumbs.
To be served with a fresh cold lemonade or a strong Turkish coffee. Because you deserve it!

Bon App├ętit!

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