Sunday, March 23, 2008

Greek Semolina Coffee Cake w/ Orange Syrup

Greek Semolina Cake w/ Orange Syrup

Greek Semolina Cake w/ Orange Syrup

After seeing so many bloggers tackle hot crossed buns, greek easter breads, and marshmallow peeps, I thought I should make something seasonal. I'm not sure this cake counts, but I thought citrus, almonds, and honey were appropriate for spring. I needed a break from the paper i'm writing.

This cake would be nice for breakfast, brunch or tea. Ground almonds give it a dense crumb, and the citrus/rum syrup keeps it moist. It also keeps for an extremely long time, as far as breakfast cakes go. It's good plain, but you can dress it up with some greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

Greek Semolina Coffee Cake w/ Orange Syrup
adapted from Carole Walter's Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins, and More

Orange Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 (3 inch) pieces lemon zest
3 (3 inch) pieces orange zest
2 tbsp light rum

1 cup sifted all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1/2 cup slivered alminds
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup semolina, preferably greek (or italian).
6 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 tsp freshly grated navel orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Make the syrup: combine the sugar, water, cream of tartar, and zests in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Set aside to cool.

2. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350F. Generously butter a 9x13x2 inch pan and set aside.

3. Combine the flour, almonds, baking powder, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the almonds are finely chopped, about 1.5 minutes. Add the semolina and pulse 3-4 times to blend. Set aside.

4. Place the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

5. Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and combine with the orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, about 1 tbsp at a time, taking 3-4 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Beat in 1/2 cup of the eggs, taking about 1 minute, and blend in the vanilla.

6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the remaining eggs, dividing the flour into four parts and the eggs into three parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

7. Empty the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the bottom of a large soupspoon. Bake for 28-32 minutes. The cake is done when the top is golden brown and firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Spoon the cooled syrup over the hot cake. Do this slowly so the syrup thoroughly absorbs into the crumb of the cake. Let stand for at least 3 hours before cutting into 2 inch squares. Store in the pan, tightly covered with foil, for up to 1 week. This cake may be frozen.


Aran said...

this must be a super moist cake just by looking at the ingredient list. i always enjoy the texture of almond flour in a cake (or ground almonds) and I tend to use it a lot. And then if you add the orange syrup... sugary goodness!

Lisa Campbell said...

It holds its texture very well, even with the syrup. It wasn't soggy at all, just saturated with syrup that went all the way through the cake.

I didn't think I was going to like this cookbook, but most of the recipes are pretty solid.

Katy said...

you know what else that would be perfect for? afternoon snack, for me, right now! that looks really delicious.

Tartelette said...

I love semolina cakes! It seems to be common in Mediterranean cultures. My grandma makes one that she learned while living in Morocco and my dad has one too while living in Tunisia. My aunt from Jerusalem also has one. They are all a tiny bit different but I love the orange syrup on top. It is my favorite breakfast item. Great shots!