Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Starting with Italy, I decided to bake a traditional Semolina Cake. Desserts in Italy, although very much a part of the meal, are often more simple and never overly sweet. The semolina is a grainy yellow flour made from durum wheat and makes this cake's texture soft with a very tender crumb. Adding the caramelized almonds on top contrasts the light, airy interior of the cake.
We may not take off on a journey like Elizabeth Gilbert did in this best selling memoir, but with this cake we can start our own journey of finding the pleasure of eating with our family
Semolina Cake with Caramelized Almonds
8 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup almond paste
1 1/2 granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds
3 T light brown sugar
1 egg white, whisked until foamy
Preheat oven 350F-degree. Prepare a 9-inch spring form pan by brushing the bottom and sides with melted butter. Cut a piece of parchment in a circle to fit the bottom of the pan and brush with additional butter. Set aside.
Use a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 sugar beating until soft peaks form.
Take the cake out of the oven; the middle should still be a bit "jiggly". Add the almond mixture on top of the cake.