Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Revani: Turkish Semolina Cake Soaked in Syrup

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.” 

Different versions of 'revani' exist in many cuisines  under several names throughout the eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan to name a few. The recipe below is an easy one that anybody can make at home. Feel free to add any flavour other than vanilla - lemon or orange zest, coconut, etc. 


For the cake
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt
115 ml milk 
115 ml vegetable oil
1 cup fine semolina
1 cup flour
1 pouch of baking powder (14 g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
butter to grease the baking pan
shredded coconut to garnish

For the syrup
3 cups sugar
3.5 cups water
juice of 1/2 lemon


1. Prepare the syrup first.

  • Add in a saucepan the sugar, water and lemon juice.
  • Boil for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has slightly thickened. 
  • Remove the pan from the stove and set aside to cool down to the room temperature. 

2.  Make the cake.

  • Preheat the oven to 185 degrees.
  • Grease a preferably square or rectangular baking pan with butter and dust it with a little flour all around.   
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar first with a pinch of salt to a  fluffy and foamy light yellow cream. Use a hand blender and mix well for 5-6 minutes. 
  • Add in the milk , oil and the vanilla extract and mix for another 1 minute. 
  • Mix the flour, semolina and baking powder together in a medium bowl.
  • Stir in the flour mixture and mix until you get a smooth batter. Do not over-mix. 
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 180-185 degrees until the top gets golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

3. Soak the cake in the syrup.

  • Once you remove the pan from the oven, drizzle the cool syrup all over the cake slowly using a large spoon slowly and let it soak in.
  • When you've used up all the syrup, cover the cake with foil and let it cool down to the room temperature. 
  • Garnish with shredded coconut, ground pistachio, walnuts, or almonds before serving.

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