Sunday, November 28, 2010

FFWD: Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake

As usual, I am cross-posting this week's French Fridays with Dorie entry as it is a cake and this a cakeblog after all. Find the rest of my French Fridays with Dorie escapades at the other blog: Everything But The Cake, and click on the badge to the left to learn more about French Fridays with Dorie and see what the other members have been cooking up.

This month's French Fridays with Dorie selections have all been quick and easy to prepare, and in most cases delicious. It is always wonderful to have such memorable food in the arsenal for weeknight dinners, or when having over friends. This week's selection, the Caramel Topped Semolina Cake, was no exception.

caramel topped semolina cake

When I hear semolina I think about pasta, but in this case the cake is made from farina, which most Americans know as Cream of Wheat. It is kind of a flan-type cake, a little custardy with a thin caramel top, and also a bit rustic and simple and comforting. As written the cake is very simple and plain in looks and taste, and a snap to prepare.

caramel topped semolina cake caramel topped semolina cake

It starts with making a batch of Cream of Wheat, using whole milk instead of water for a richer, thicker cereal. While that cools, the caramel is made and poured into the cake pan. Dorie has this great trick of warming the pan in the preheating oven so that the caramel will spread and cover the bottom of the pan evenly.

caramel topped semolina cake caramel topped semolina cake

The recipe calls for plump golden raisins, but I am not much of a raisin fan. I fired them and used plump dried sour cherries--a wonderful substitute that I may make permanent. I plumped up the cherries by simmering them in a bit of water for a couple of minutes, then letting them steam dry in a colander while I made the rest of the cake.

caramel topped semolina cake

So to the cooked and cooled farina, a couple of eggs are stirred in as well as some vanilla and the sour cherries. No spices are called for, but next time I would want to add a little fresh nutmeg or cardamom. Cinnamon would be an obvious add-in, but I think something a little more aromatic would offset all that creaminess really nicely.

caramel topped semolina cake

The farina custard is poured into the pan atop the caramel, and baked for about 20 minutes. The cake is unmolded right away and left to cool. I overbaked my cake a tad, as the edges looked a little too set compared to the middle.

caramel topped semolina cake

This was a delicious cake, and a wonderful springboard to what could be even more interesting with the addition of some spices. This was so simple, and so comforting that it would be a perfect weekend treat in front of the fire with friends.

caramel topped semolina cake

7 comments:

  1. We love this cake as well... and I been so busy, I totally forgot to post the whole thing on the blog!

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  2. I love that last picture! Sounds like a yummy cake.

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  3. I love the use of dried cherries. It seems everything has raisins in it here. Not that I really dislike raisins but not in everything. Sheesh! So I applaud your dried cherries.
    The finished cake looks delicious. In my mind, I am sitting next to the fire, enjoying the cake and your company!

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  4. Wow! That cake reminds me a bit of bread pudding, which I love!!!!

    mmmmm! bring on the fire, the friends, and some warm boozy drinks. Maybe a whiskey or rum drink, what do you think??

    lyl,
    joelf

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  5. Monica, I wondered where your FFWD posts were!

    Vicki and faithy, it is!

    raiuchka, thanks!

    Melinda, a little variety in dried fruit is nice! These sour cherries were delicious. We have so many cakes to enjoy by the fire!

    J-dawg, I love the bread pudding too, and this is similar but not quite. I would vote rum (hot buttered!) but whiskey could be good too!

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