Jan 16, 2010

orange semolina cake

With oranges in abundance these days this cake caught my eye. Well that, and because I recently printed off an Olive Oil Semolina Cake recipe from a Tasting Table post that I received. In less then two weeks I have come across two recipes for semolina cake, I took it as a sign.

But why semolina flour? Truthfully I'm still not sure. The cake came out denser and courser than a basic white flour cake. Perhaps I will make the cake again and tweek the recipe to use only white flour and see what happens. Hmmm...more cake does not sound like a bad idea.

In the course of making this cake I did look up semolina flour in my handy Food Lovers Companion, it is made from durum wheat and it is more coarsely ground then most wheat flour. One word of caution for those who are gluten sensitive, semolina flour is high in gluten so sadly this cake is not for you. Looking back through my previous recipes I couldn't find another recipe to suggest instead. Sounds like another reason to make another one to me. Things are looking good in the cake making department.

One note of caution. You must make the syrup. I tried to do without and it is just too dense to really enjoy. But once you douse a piece in syrup it comes together nicely. The dense piece of cake soaks up the syrup and your taste buds will go crazy with orangy goodness.

orange semolina cake
adapted from The New Cook

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups fine semolina flour
4 eggs separated
3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar, or baker's sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup orange juice
pine nuts (optional)


1 1/2 cups sugar (superfine sugar or regular sugar will work)
1 1/4 cups orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange rind

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the flour, baking powder and semolina flour in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the egg yolks, sugar, oil and orange rind in a bowl and beat until well combined. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture with the orange juice.
(Be careful not to over mix. I simply poured the entire egg yolk mix and orange juice over my flour mix and carefully folded the whole thing over and over until it was almost completely mixed but I could still see flecks of flour.)

Place the egg whites in a bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Fold into the flour/egg yolk mixture. (With this folding you want everything well combined, but I found if I mixed it all up good the first time, then it was both harder to add the beaten egg whites, and the final cake was more dense as well.)

Pour into a greased 8x8 inch square cake tin. If using, sprinkle a small handful of pine nuts over the cake so they bake into the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested in the middle.

While the cake is cooking prepare the syrup. Place the sugar, orange juice and rind in a sauce pan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Pour half the syrup over the when it comes out of the oven.

To serve, cut the cake and cover with the remaining syrup. (I also served mine with fresh whip cream when I had guests over and the whole thing was a huge hit).

Serves 8.


Amy said...

What would you think about using a different fruit for the sauce?? Clementines and pears are really popular right now here in Omaha, and sometimes (incredibly!)there are really nice-looking strawberries. Would the cake work with any of these?

Alison Clayshulte said...

Amy - great question. I think it would work well with either the clementines or the strawberries. One main part of the sauce is the juice from the oranges, and not sure how well pear juice would work. I think the strawberries would be fantastic with this (although I might not add the pine nuts). If you try any of them please let us know how it turns out.

Mayhem and Moxie said...

This cake looks amazing, Alison. Definitely going to have to give it a try and I'll substitute the white flour like you suggested.

Oh, and I just noticed that I wasn't following you on Twitter. How did that happen? Thankfully, all is corrected now. :)

Hope you and Matt are doing well. We should get together and eat again soon!


Alison Clayshulte said...

Francesca, I'd love to hear how the substitution goes as I haven't had a chance to try it yet. So excited to have you following b & b. Yes, we must get together soon! Also, huge congrats are in order to you and Goeff!