ROSEWATER AND ORANGE BLOSSOM SEMOLINA CAKE
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That was yesterday.
Today, i’m left with am empty, dirty pan. Which I should’ve washed but decided to spend my time window shopping at the mall. Prioritizing! It’s what I do best! Be jealous.
This semolina cake is Delish. With a capital D.
Anees and I ate. the. whole. thing. Seriously. As in, the whole cake. A small piece here, a nibble, another nibble, and a bite there. And before we knew it, it was gone! It’s delicious.
The best part, it’s incredibly easy to make. So easy, it’s almost embarrassing. Like, totally, cheater-easy.
I understand that semolina may be new territory for some of us. Not to worry! We’ll walk through this recipe step by step. It’s super simple!
Let’s start by blanching some almonds. How? A couple of cups of water in a sauce pan with 18 – 20 almonds. Let it boil. When you see the skin loosen, turn off stove (5 – 7 mins). Run under cold water. Remove peel. BAM! Blanched almonds. OR just buy them here.
Let’s talk sugaaah. To make the syrup, add the sugar, water, rosewater & orange blossom water, lemon juice, and cardamom pod to a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Let cook for 3 – 4 minutes once syrup starts to boil. Turn off stove. Let cool. Add 3 tablespoons to prepared cake batter. Stir.
Grease a pan with tahini paste or cooking spray. Drop batter. Using the back of a spoon or hands, press into the pan. Score squares on the batter. Place an almond on each square. And off to the oven we go!
To make the Syrup:
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons rosewater (not rose extract)
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (not orange blossom extract)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cardamom pod
To make the Semolina Cake:
- 1 and 1/2 cups semolina flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup yogurt (Greek or otherwise)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon tahini paste (to grease baking dish, cooking spray works too)
- 20 blanched almonds (see note)
- To make the Syrup: In a medium saucepan on medium high, heat the sugar, water, rosewater, orange blossom water, lemon juice, and cardamom pod. Bring to a boil and let cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature.
- To make the semolina cake: In a medium bowl, mix together the semolina flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, yogurt, melted butter, canola oil, and desiccated coconut. Add 3 tablespoons of prepared syrup. Mix and let sit for 30 minutes.
Place a rack near the upper 1/3 of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish with the tahini paste. Dump the prepared semolina cake mixture into the baking dish and press until even all over. Score the mixture to make 20 pieces. (4 lines x 5 lines). Place a blanched almond in the center of each piece. Cook the semolina cake for 20 minutes, turn on the broiler for 1 - 2 minutes just to get the top golden. Remove the cake from oven. Let cool.
When the cake is cooled, balance a piece on a fork and dip into the syrup for a few seconds. Test to see if more syrup is necessary. Re-dip if necessary. Serve with fresh fruit.
To blanch almonds: In a saucepan, boil 2 cups of water add almonds and let boil for 3 - 4 minutes or until the peels starts to slightly separate. Immediately rinse in cold water and when cool, remove peel.
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