FFWD – Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake

Cream-of-Wheat and raisins were high on my list of hated foods when I was a child. Well, not raisins in all situations. I loved chocolate-covered Glosettes and a box of Sun-Maid raisins was always welcome. I just didn’t like raisins in things. Such is the specificity of childhood food aversions.

All this did not frighten me away from making this week’s recipe, though. Perhaps it was the promise of caramel that kept me on track, but I think it was probably more that I was interested in seeing how a cake made from semolina would come together.

As it turns out, fairly easily. The hardest part of this recipe is the timing. Making sure that the milk is just at a boil and then, once the semolina is added, that the mixture doesn’t scorch. Making sure that your sugar syrup is amber, not dark brown. Making sure that you plate your cake quickly, before the caramel cools too much.

I actually made this cake twice, as the first time, my caramel was a little too dark. I wanted to see if it made a difference to the flavour. It turns out that the flavour of the first cake was only slightly smokier, though the caramel doesn’t spread as easily when it’s overcooked. Both times, I used currants in place of raisins. (Some food aversions don’t change.)

This dessert is more of a set pudding than a true cake. Even with the caramel, I found it wasn’t overly sweet – perfect for the end of a heavy meal. I served it with cinnamon whipped cream, opting not to make Crème Anglaise. I think I’ll save that serving suggestion for Christmas Day brunch.

I don’t have any photographs of the finished cake. Well, that’s not true. I do have some photos, but they’re terrible. I clearly need to take a food photography class. Shiny-surfaced foods seem to be beyond my capabilities for the moment. So, I’ll have to leave you with a photo of the cake just before I plated it.

Until next week (where things will get a little more savoury).

We’re doing things a little differently for the month of November. We’re still posting weekly, but people are free to post this month’s recipes in any order. You can find many other blogged descriptions of this month’s FFWD recipes here: LYL: November 5


23 thoughts on “FFWD – Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake

  1. It’s lovely just like that! I am anxious to make this pudding cake as I do not care for Cream of Wheat. The cinnamon whipped cream sounds like a wonderful choice of topping.

  2. Elaine, I think you’ll be surprised. I was. If you like bread pudding, you’ll like this. The cinnamon whipped cream went really well with the cake. I do want to try it with Crème Anglaise some time, though.

  3. Thanks, Betty! The currants were really good with this. I think Dorie’s suggestion of mango pieces would also work wonderfully.

  4. Well, the cake in the pan looks good. I feel your pain about the picture. I hate when I make something and I just can not get a good picture.

    I am looking forward to trying this. Thanks for the Christmas brunch tip!

  5. That looks wonderful. I think I’ll do that some time this week. I’ve already taken care of the potatoes and the flans, so now I need to make this and the chicken.

  6. Thanks, everyone! It’s been fun trying to up my photography game with these posts.

    @Kelly – no problem, I’m looking forward to trying it with Crème Anglaise at Christmas.
    @Serene – I’ve made everything but the flans and am hoping they’ll turn out as well as everyone else’s seem to have done.
    @evilcakelady – currants are really good with this; the slight tartness works well.
    @Cakelaw – I was surprised, too. It’s very like a bread pudding, which I love.

  7. Your cake looks like it was perfect. My caramel was on darker side, but was still delicious:) I am happy you stopped by to visit and it made me smile when I read how you castes my story. I loved your choices;) have a nice Sunday!

  8. I think your cake looks wonderful and I’m sure it tasted great. I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe. I don’t particularly like raisins in food either. My mother always put them in rice pudding and I always picked them out. I thought of using cranberries…I wonder how they would work?

  9. @Lora – my caramel was a tiny bit too dark the second time, but I think it worked okay. Glad you liked my casting choices! 🙂
    @Kathy – I really liked how cranberries worked with the flavour of the cake.
    @M – the cake is much better than Cream-of-Wheat on its own!

  10. I haven’t posted about this yet, but I also made this last week. I can’t believe how easy and how yummy! I LOVE cream of wheat and I LOVE flan/creme caramel, so this is fantasic. I love your blue stoneware dish you chose to bake it in.

  11. It’s really easy and delicious – I don’t even like the cereal and I love this cake. The stoneware dish is pretty, but it made it pretty challenging to get the cake out because the surface is so smooth. When I make it again, I think I’ll use a pan with a rim. Looking forward to seeing your post!

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