Yesterday I had friends coming over for dinner and I choose to do a semolina cake, I bought a big pack of it this week. I saw a recipe on a blog that sounded really nice, it’s from 1891 – “La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” Italy by Pellegrino Artusi.
The original recipe :
1 quart (1 liter) whole milk
3/4 cup (130 g) fine semolina
3/4 cup (130 g) sugar
3/4 cup (100 g) blanched almonds (whole)
1-1/2 tbsp (20 g) butter (unsalted)
grated zest of 1 (organic) lemon
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) pure almond extract (or to taste)
1 pinch of salt
Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on top
I changed quite a bit the recipe, I used almond meal, as it is much easier than using a blender to do it. I used mainly honey, just 1 spoon of sugar. I used more semolina and more milk ( semi skimmed), so I would have more quantity, but I kept the same amount of eggs. This cake is very difficult to get wrong as it does’t raise. My cake didn’t came out as creamy as the original one and I prefer this way, because I want to pair it with plain yogurt and berries.
Bring the milk to the boil with the lemon zest ( I added some peel as well ) add the semolina and cook it for 8 minutes. I felt it was too dry so I added more milk. Add the almond meal and keep stirring, never stop otherwise you will have lots of lumps ( as soon as you put in the semolina). When it cooks for a further 2 minutes put the honey/sugar and combine, and at the very end the butter.
Set aside until it cools down a bit. Beat the eggs and sieve them, once you do this add them slowly to the mixture, it will make it light and beautiful. At this moment I got a bit scared that it was too liquid and I added a touch of plain white flour. If you want a more creamy finish don’t add anything to it.
Grease the pan and put the mixture in it. I used a regular square one.
The oven should be pre heated at 180 C or 350 F , and bake it until golden brown on top. The original recipe called for 45 m , which I did, but I think it’s a bit too much, I would go for around 35 m and check with a spaghetti if it’s cooked or not.
Once cold I cut it into squares, drizzled with honey and put some blueberries and plain yogurt . It’s a very refreshing and light dessert, believe me. It was the perfect thing to finish a Portuguese roast dinner! Everyone really liked it! So I am proper happy! Give it a try you won’t regret it 😉
Blueberries : super high antioxidant capacity, it means that they help to protect tissues against oxidative damage, like cigarettes and alcohol. This type of damage is associated with almost every disease, from ageing to cancer. Best way to be eaten with a little yogurt as the fats increase the absorption of the antioxidant chemicals.
Take care xxx