Wake and Bake: Orange Semolina Cake

Wake and Bake

Breakfast snacks for those who get peckish first thing in the morning.

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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

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I recently found myself with a large container of semolina flour. You see, before New York's Bleecker Street became a tourist-clogged foodie thoroughfare [insert curmudgeonly rant here], it was a small street of quality food purveyors. There was a bakery that sold the largest, fluffiest, most beautiful semolina loaves I've ever seen and I would regularly shell out 60 cents and devour one as my after-school snack [insert why-it's-actually-great-to-raise-kids-in-NYC rant here]. That shop was eventually replaced by a pretty good Roman style pizza place, but alas, my beloved semolina bread is no more.

The solution was clearly to make semolina bread at home, which I did, to a satisfactory degree of success. But there is only so much semolina bread that even I want to bake, so I looked for other ways to use up my flour store. My mother came through in a pinch, suggesting that I make revani, a Greek cake which is made from semolina flour and doused in orange syrup. With a few tweaks this cake is perfectly acceptable at breakfast. It gets its earthy sweetness from honey and a brightness from orange zest. The interior has a tight crumb, and of course the coarse texture of the semolina. This would be nice served at a brunch, instead of other hearty breakfast pastries like scones.

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Orange Semolina Cake »