Since I made Turkish Eggplant Casserole with Tomatoes (Imam Bayildi) earlier this week, I decided I needed a Turkish dessert to top it off. Revani, a Turkish semolina cake in syrup, sounded perfect since I love lemon. And cake, but who doesn’t? I’m not really a baker, but this recipe looked straightforward enough that even I could pull it off.
This cake uses semolina flour, also sold as durum or pasta flour, and is drenched in syrup after baking. The result is half-cake, half-pastry. It is best eaten chilled the day after baking.
There are a good amount of ingredients in this cake, but they’re not really unusual. I had everything on hand except the yogurt and semolina flour, so this was another short grocery list 😀
The semolina flour was on the baking aisle with the rest of the flour. I only saw one brand, Bob’s Red Mill, but I’ve used their products before with good results.
There are two items to make in order to complete this recipe: the lemon syrup and the cake. The syrup was very easy and only took me 13 minutes to prep and cook. Then I bottled it and let it chill in the refrigerator. The author, Christine, emphasizes it is very important for the lemon syrup to be chilled before pouring it over the cake.
The cake was also easy to prepare, and it only took me 9 minutes. Getting it fully cooked took a little longer than the 25-30 minutes listed. I did the toothpick test and didn’t get it to come out clean until I had increased the baking time to 40 minutes (I started checking after 25 minutes and kept increasing it by 5-minute intervals until I was satisfied it was done).
I let the cake cool for an hour, then I added the syrup in 3 stages. Just pour a little, let it soak in a bit, then add more until you’ve used it all. My cake was floating in the syrup when I was done, but it soaked most of it up when I refrigerated it overnight.
Using an 8″ x 8″ baking dish yielded 16 small pieces of semolina cake. It’s very rich, so small pieces are perfect for this dish. My husband and I had dessert for a week, and we were both happy campers!