The Cake:
2 cups semolina flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ? teaspoons baking powder
2 cups plain low fat or nonfat yogurt
cup light olive oil
The Lemon Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 ? cups water
Juice of ? lemon


1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9- x 13-inch pan or an 11-inch springform pan with olive oil, or dip a paper towel in a little oil and rub it liberally over the bottom and sides of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and baking powder, tossing with a fork to mix well. Add the yogurt and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula—do not use an electric mixer or an egg beater—just until everything is well combined. Stir in the olive oil and mix well.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. With a table knife, score about ? inch into the batter, making 10 to 12 diamond shapes or squares. The marks will not remain completely visible before baking, but when removed from the oven the cake will be scored. Bake until golden, 40 to 35 minutes.
4. The lemon syrup: While the cake is baking, make the hot lemon syrup. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to a boil. Simmer until it becomes a fairly thick syrup and reaches 215 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and cut through the scored portions, constantly cleaning the knife as you do so. Without removing the cake from the pan, pour over the hot syrup, tilting the pan slightly so that the syrup runs into all the crevices. It may seem like an excessive amount of syrup, but it soaks in well. Serve directly from the pan, on its own or with berry sauce. Do not cover the cake until it is completely cool, or it will become soggy and the lemon flavor will be overwhelming.
Nancy Harmon Jenkins notes that the combination of the simple cake with hot syrup is one that is much greater than its parts. She serves squares of cake with a sauce of fresh raspberries or strawberries whizzed in the blender with just enough sugar to bring out the flavor of the fruit. Semolina flour is made from hard durum wheat and can be found in most well stocked supermarkets.
Greek Semolina Cake with
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