Lemon Semolina Syrup Cake

Makes 16 medium portions or 12 dessert sized portions

for the syrup
5 medium lemons
450g caster sugar
450g filtered water
450g strained fresh lemon juice

Finely peel the lemons, reserve four strips of peel and finely julienne the remaining peel. Put a pot of water on and bring it to the boil. Drop the julienned peel into the boiling water and bring it back up to the boil. Boil for one minute, drain and refresh under cold running water and drain.

Weigh the sugar, water and lemon juice into a saucepan that is about double the volume. Place on high heat and stir until the sugar is lifted from the bottom of the saucepan and bring to the boil. Half fill a medium ball with cold water.

Turn the heat down and simmer the syrup skimming frequently until is starts to thicken. Add the blanched rind and cook on low heat until it is glacéd. Turn off the heat….this can be done well in advance and reheated.

for the cake
250g unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
210g powdered caster sugar[i]
3 extra large eggs [61g], warmed in hot water
200g lemon juice, warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave on high just before you want to add it
110g fine semolina
300g self-raising flour + 1 dessert spoon
200g Greek style thick unsweetened yoghurt
60g finely grated lemon rind

Using a little of the butter, butter a 25cm seamless cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment. Add the additional dessertspoon of flour, roll it around the tin edges and knock out the excess.

Warm your mixer bowl..usually hot water for a few minutes and dried.Put the butter into the bowl and whisk the butter for a couple of minutes and then add the powdered sugar and whisk, scraping down a couple of times until it is fluffy and pale. Drain the water from the eggs and add them one at a time making sure they are fully worked in before adding the next egg.

[i]If you have a Thermomix this is easy…pure icing sugar is the more expensive alternative and usually needs sifting


pre heat oven to 180°C fan forced

With the motor running slowly add the warmed lemon juice in about four lots waiting each time for it to be incorporated before adding more.  Mix together the semolina and flour. One medium speed add about one third of the semolina flour mix and when it is worked in add the yoghurt. When fully incorporated hand mix in the lemon rind and then the remaining flour and semolina. Scrape into the prepared tin and smooth off the top.

Cook for 50 minutes….check with a skewer or fine knife to check that it comes out clean. Carefullyrun a knife around the edge of the tin and stand it on a rack. Reheat the syrup.

Skewer the top of the cake and avoiding the rind spoon about 1/3 of the syrup over the warm cake. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto your serving plate….skewer the cake and spoon more syrup and the rind over the cake as long as it still soaks in.

do not refrigerate serve with rich cream

This cake is fab, but it doesn’t cut perfectly because it is so sticky delicious, second time around hot water and thin knife worked well and pre-cutting makes sense because it is a bit of  slow process. Also we strained off the rind and garnished with it.

updated Ann Oliver 26 July, 19