COCONUT RAVANI: GREEK SEMOLINA CAKE WITH A HONEY SYRUP
For the syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup honey
1 and ½ cup water
Juice of a medium lemon
For the cake:
4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light olive oil, or flavorless vegetable oil
¾ cup fine semolina flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest of a medium lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, plus more for garnish
ground seeds of 2-5 cardamom pods, ½ cup finely ground almonds, ½ cup golden raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180°C.
Grease a 9-inch round baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Combine the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest in a bowl. Whisk all of the ingredients together until combined.
Make the syrup by combining the sugar, water, lemon juice, and honey in a small pot. Mix together and bring to a boil. As soon as the sugar is dissolved remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a table top mixer and mix on high speed 3-5 minutes or until thick, pale yellow and fluffy.
Add the olive oil, vanilla and almond extract and mix until combined.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, whisking slowly. Take care not to overmix.
Fold in the coconut with a spatula and pour all of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake in the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke all over with a toothpick or skewer and pour all of the cooled syrup over top.
Allow to rest for at least an hour or up to overnight (in the refrigerator) so that all of the syrup is absorbed.
Invert onto a dish or cake pedestal and garnish the top with shredded coconut and confectioner’s sugar (optional).
For an indulgent treat, serve topped with a scoop of ice cream or with some homemade whipped cream.
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