Moist, soft, rich, remarkably simple, and greatly enjoyable cake. It’s quite a hearty combination of texture and flavour. Almonds occupy a notable presence and semolina holds it together like a delicious promise. You will feel the essence of the festive spirit when you bake it at home. Probably because the ingredients used in this cake have more resembles Indian food.
The recipe belongs to a very dear friend’s mother. I am talking almost twenty years down the memory lane. Aunty always had some yum food to treat us, every time we made a visit to her house after college. Her love for food reflected in her conversations. She would sit and talk about recipes and ingredients. The heart and soul of this particular cake is weld with nostalgia for me.
It is quite a versatile recipe, you can incorporate more flavours or nuts to the same recipe. Semolina cake is a traditional middle eastern cake. One of the popular ones is called Basbousa, it is baked and soaked in flavoured sugar syrup. Our semolina almond cake is the same yet it differs and there is no soaking of the cake involved.
It’s a sweet treat, yet doesn’t make roaring sugar hullabaloo in the mind. I would list it in teacake hierarchy, which is elegant and sophisticated enough to be served with tea. I personally love such simple bakes, which needs no fancy to assemble before serving. It’s just great. Bake it, cut it into serving-size pieces and keep in a box. Have it as you desire without hustle.
Few points to remember before you get into the baking process.
1. Preheat the oven Morphy Richards OTG Besta 18-Litre Oven Toaster Grill (Black) before baking the cake, measure the ingredients accurately, line the cake tin with parchment paper.
2. Don’t overfill your cake pan. Ideally, the batter should remain near the half fill point of a cake pan.
Tip: There are two reasons when your cake sinks in the middle as you take it out of the oven after the baking time. 1. Either your cake batter was watery / too wet / had more liquid 2. Or the cake pan was too small / too deep.
3. Sooji or suji, semolina, Rawa are Hindi words for granulated wheat — and all are from the same powder or flour from wheat. The word semolina is Italian in origin while sooji is the word used for it in North India and Pakistan. Rava is the name for semolina in south India. The Rawa we need fro this recipe shouldn’t be too fine, nor too coarse.
4. In the recipe below, it is mentioned to rest the cake batter for 4-5 hours before baking. It is essential to have patience and not to hurry up with the baking. During this resting time, the Rawa soaks up the moisture from the liquid ingredients in the batter. Which results in the softness and fluffiness of the cake.
5. I have also mentioned in the recipe to add milk in the end to the batter to adjust the consistency. At this point use your smart skills to add the milk bit by bit while mixing the batter so you don’t make the batter too liquidy/runny.
6. You will be the best judge for how much milk is needed depending on the quality of Rawa. Make sure the batter is not too dry or too wet.
7. I have used almond meal in the recipe. You can easily buy it or simply grind some almonds in a processor to make a quick almond meal at home.
8. The cake turns out soft, moist and delicious. You have the liberty to add different flavours to it. Add some thandai powder, pistachio powder, feel free to play around with cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg or maybe chai masala. Use your creative flavour instinct to refine it further. Kitchen Kemistry Elegance Stainless Steel German Bowl Set with Lids in 4 Different Sizes (1, 1.5, 3 and 5 Quart, Silver) -4 Pieces
Eggless Semolina Almond Cake
- Mixing bowls
- 1 cup Semolina (Rawa/sooji) https://amzn.to/3fOhI5o
- 1/4th cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Condensed milk
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
- 100 gm butter
- 1/2 cup almond meal https://amzn.to/2OFFTqL
- 1 tsp almond essence https://amzn.to/2WDlsza
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/4th tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp almonds - sliced https://amzn.to/2E0Y87P
- In a clean bowl beat the yoghurt, sugar and condensed milk, using a whisk until light and fluffy. This will incorporate air into the batter and cake will turn out soft and light. The consistency of the mix should resemble a light foamy batter after this step. The more you beat it, the better will be the texture of the cake.
- Now add butter (room temperature) to the mix along with 1/4th cup of milk. Beat them together and once you get a notable creamy consistency in the mixture, add the essence and salt.
- Next fold in the semolina and almond meal into the batter. Ensure the ingredients are mixed well, and that there are no lumps or air trapped in. Let the batter stand for around 4-5 hours. It helps the semolina become moist. After the batter is allowed to stand for a few hours, adjust its consistency by adding milk, a little at a time so that it is of dropping consistency, not runny or too thick.
- Preheat the oven to 170* C, and while it heats, line the cake tin with a parchment paper. Add baking powder to the batter and mix. Now in a small bowl add vinegar and baking soda, quickly add it to the cake batter. Give the batter a good whip, so they mix well. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
- The cake should be baked in this time, but to ensure that it is done in the centre as well, insert a toothpick or a knife, down the middle. If they come out clean, the cake is ready, if not, leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes. The cake would be a rich golden colour.