Semolina pudding with strawberry-rhubarb sauce

Last Saturday I went to the Farmer’s Market again and bought some great Michigan strawberries and beautiful, crisp rhubarb. The strawberries were so super sweet and delicious that we couldn’t resist and ate them right away just plain. There was one container left, so I wasn’t sure what to use them for. The idea came when I was going through my kitchen cupboards and eyed a small bag of semolina that I had sitting there since the time I made my Raspberry Dream Cake. I decided to make the semolina pudding and then use the strawberries and rhubarb to make the sauce. Oh, I have to tell you it came out soooo delicious, it is really hard to describe…

SEMOLINA PUDDING WITH STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SAUCE   Printable recipe

Serves 8

For the pudding:

  • 80 g (2.7 oz) semolina wheat flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 100 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ lemon – zest only

Also needed:  a muffin pan or a bundtlette pan

Prepare your pan by rinsing it with the cold water or placing it the freezer for a few minutes.

Bring the milk to a boil; add sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Let it simmer for a few minutes until all sugar has dissolved. Slowly add semolina to the milk, whisking the whole time. You will notice an increase in volume (as semolina expands). Mix until all liquid disappears and large bubbles start showing.

Pour the pudding into a prepared pan. This quantity will yield about 8 individual portions. Let it cool slightly, cover with plastic and refrigerate.

For the strawberry-rhubarb sauce:

  • 300 g (10 oz) strawberries (washed and quartered)
  • 200 g (6.7 oz) rhubarb (washed and cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 100 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • a  pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Place the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and honey in a cooking pot. Add vanilla and a pinch of cloves. Mix occasionally and let it simmer for about 15 minutes at a low temperature. Mix corn starch with water until smooth and add it to the fruit mixture to thicken.

Serve warm over chilled semolina pudding.

Bon appétit!

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Birth of a Dream Cake

I truly admire people who are able to come up with their own original recipes. I love and enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, be it baking or cooking. I’ve adjusted known recipes to fit my taste and I can even say I improved some (at least I think so :)), but I’ve never created my very own recipe.

Last week, after a quite long pause, I started going to pastel painting class again. I forgot how this class does wonders to my emotional wellness, inspiration, and just overall feeling of joy! As I was doodling on a note pad thinking of what could be my next painting project, I found myself sketching a cake… Weird how my mind switched from thinking of painting to thinking of a cake and my hand followed accordingly.

In the back of my mind I had plans to make a cake this weekend – a cake for my birthday. I could have let my family buy me a cake, but as every other year I am totally almost expected to make a cake for each family member’s birthday. Honestly, I like it that way! Still sketching, an idea of my very own cake came to mind… Raspberries came to mind, vanilla, white chocolate, mmm… why not?! Here it is! From the birth of an idea to the final product – Raspberry Dream Cake!

Raspberry Dream Cake              Printable recipe

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp hot water
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp bitter almond extract
  • 5 oz (150 g) sour cream* ( I added sour cream to the batter for additional moisture and to avoid cake being dry)
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 g) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 5 oz (150) g ground hazelnuts

Frosting # 1 – Semolina, butter, white chocolate frosting:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) semolina
  • 1 stick (100 g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 3.5 (100 g) white chocolate

Frosting # 2 – Raspberry Gelée:

  • 14 oz (400 g) frozen raspberries
  • 6 oz (170 g) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) water
  • 2 envelopes (14 g) plain gelatin
  • 6 tbsp water

Decoration:

  • 7 oz (200 g) white chocolate
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 ml) heavy cream (whipped)
  • Sugar
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Lemon Balm leaves

Also needed: 7 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan, parchment paper, plastic wrap, a long sharp knife, cake decorating bag with a star tip

Cake preparation:

  1. In a mixer bowl beat 6 eggs with 4 tbsp hot water until foamy, add vanilla and  bitter almond extract. Slowly start adding sugar and mix at least for 2 minutes, before adding sour cream. Combine flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts. Turn the mixing speed to low and add the dry ingredients.
  2. Bake in a 7 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan lined with parchment paper at 365 F (185 C) for about 30 minutes. Cool completely, remove from the spring form and slice across into three even pieces.

Prepare frosting #1:

  1. Combine cream, milk, vanilla and sugar and let it boil. Pour into it semolina flour, lower the heat and mix until all liquid disappears and the mixture has a pudding consistency. Cool slightly and cover with plastic wrap to avoid crust forming. The mixture will harden somewhat as it cools.
  2. Combine butter and sugar, mix until fluffy, add melted white chocolate and mix well. Add it to the semolina mixture and again mix well or until thoroughly combined.  Cover and set aside.

Prepare frosting #2:

  1. Line a 7 inch spring form cake pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Combine  frozen, fresh raspberries and water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add sugar.
  3. In a small cooking pan disolve gelatin  in 6 tbsp of water, mix and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Lightly heat gelatin and let it melt, but do not let it boil. Take few table spoons out of raspberry mixture and mix it well with gelatin.
  4. Now add the gelatin into remaining raspberries and mix well. Pour it into spring form and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  5. Remove from the fridge, remove the pan rim. Slowly divide into two pieces by cutting through with a long, sharp knife.

Put together and decorate the cake:

  1. 1st of 3 cake layers
  2. ½ half of semolina frosting
  3. 1st piece of raspberry gelée
  4. 2nd  of 3 cake layers
  5. 2nd half of semolina frosting
  6. 2nd half of raspberry gelée
  7. 3rd of 3 cake layers
  8. Melt the white chocolate with vegetable oil until liquid. Pour and spread over top of the cake and sides. Put it into fridge for about 15 minutes.
  9. Beat the cream with desired amount of sugar until dense. Decorate the sides and top of the cake with whipped cream, fresh raspberries and lemon balm.

Bon Appétit!


Raspberry Gelée