Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Semolina Cake Revised

This is the revised version of famous "Artusi" cook book recipe. I added the shortcrust pastry to give texture to the plate.


Ingredients for the pastry:
100 g of butter
1 egg
100 g of sugar
200 g of flour
1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for the stuffing:
1 liter whole milk
130 g fine semolina
130 g sugar
(100 g blanched almonds (whole)

20 g butter (unsalted)

4 eggs
grated zest of 1 (organic) lemon
1 pinch of salt
Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on top 

Preparation for the shortcrust pastry:

- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the the butter and chop it up roughly with a knife.
- With cool fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and keep stirring

- The dough should not be sticky.
- Gently bring the dough into a ball by hand, gathering up any stray bits of dough.
- Leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours before using.
- To use, roll lightly with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.

Preparation for the stuffing:
Grind the almonds with the sugar until very fine and set aside. If the almonds are not ground fine enough this will affect the texture of the cake, making it gritty rather than smooth.
Bring the milk to a boil with a pinch of salt and the lemon zest, then add the semolina little by little, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook the semolina for about 8 minutes, on low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Then add the almond-sugar mixture and cook for 1 minute more, finally add the butter and stir until well mixed. Take off the heat, mix in the almond extract and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F (180°C) and lightly butter  a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan.
Roll the dough thick about 5mm and put it on the pan.

When the semolina mixture is lukewarm add the eggs (the eggs should be beaten and put through a fine strainer). Mix well until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Distribute the semolina mixture in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden on top.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. When cold unmold the cake and cut it into diamonds or squares. Sift confectioners’ sugar on top only when ready to serve, or it will make the cake soggy.

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