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March 9, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Semolina Cakes

I recently went to an exhibition, His Remembering Heart, at Toi Poneke on Abel Smith Street, by Anoushka Athique. The exhibition is comprised largely of found objects. I was quite taken by a recipe that was up on the wall for little semolina cakes. My favourite part of the recipe was the use of the term “baking catalysts” for the baking soda and baking powder used in the cakes. Anoushka tells me that she got the recipe from a magazine some time ago, and subsequently made some of her own changes. I have in turn made some minor changes.

I attempted to get the Salient Editor to pay for the ground almonds used, but in the end they were only $1.80, so I forked out…


-125g butter
-¾ cup caster sugar
-1 tsp vanilla essence
-4 eggs (the original recipe calls for seagull eggs—surprisingly these are not readily available)
-250g Greek yoghurt 1 ½ cups fine semolina (a big bag is available for $2.99 at New World)
-½ cup ground almonds
-2 tsps baking powder
-Blanched almonds for decoration and delicious crunch

Set the oven to 180°C. Line a square tin with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar, and then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the yoghurt. I admit I forgot to get yoghurt at the supermarket so I used a combination of milk and sour cream; it seemed to work out fine in the yoghurt’s place. Sift in the semolina, ground almonds and baking powder and mix thoroughly. I didn’t bother using the powder/soda combo initially recommended at the art exhibition, as I try to keep things simple.

Spoon the batter into the lined tray and dot with almonds. Bake for around 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. The almonds will remain creamily waxy, but do taste toasted, despite their lack of colour. Remove the cake from the tin and cut into lovely diamonds. Put these into an airtight container or on a plate covered in GLAD WRAP®* to prevent them drying out. Wait until cool to eat.

If you want something to moisten the mealiness of the cakes, I suggest Greek yoghurt, ice cream or lemon icing. Anoushka’s recipe originally called for ‘rosed strawberries’, essentially strawberries macerated in rosewater and sugar syrup.

*Salient would like to point out that this is possibly the first time in our publication’s history that we have had the opportunity to comply to GLAD WRAP®’s offical trademark guidelines—received annually without fail. Kia ora GLAD WRAP®, kia ora. Other clingfilm distributors take heed.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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