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Maria’s Recipes: Yoghurt & Semolina Lemon Syrup Cake

Yoghurt & Semolina Lemon Syrup Cake
-1 cup of plain yoghurt (280g) –not the sweetened kind
-1 cup of semolina
-1 cup of self raising flour (+extra for ‘flouring’ baking tin after greasing)
-1 cup of caster sugar
-4 eggs separated
-250grams of ‘room temperature’ butter (+extra for greasing baking tin) I used softened butter in a tub as opposed to the harder ‘stick’ of butter in blocks.
-1.5 to 2 tablespoons of lemon rind, finely grated
-1 x chopstick (for poking holes in the cake)
-1/3 cup lemon juice
-1 cup caster sugar
-Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius, or if you have a fan forced oven – 160 degrees. Grease and flour a deep, round 20cm cake pan. A fluted baking pan is ok too, being nice & deep. I turn my buttered/floured pans upside down over the sink and tap the base to remove excess flour.
-You’ll require two bowls. One for beating egg whites & the other for the main mixture. It’s better to start with beating your egg whites before anything else. You’ll start with clean and dry beaters, ensuring you get soft peaks and there’s no need to wash the beaters when going onto the next step. So, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
-In another bowl, beat together sugar, butter & lemon rind until light & fluffy (I used an electric mixer – you could do it with a fork, but it would require a bit of ‘elbow grease’)!
-Beat egg yolks into the butter/sugar mixture.
-Stir in self-raising flour, yoghurt & semolina.
-Fold egg white mixture into other mixture, in two batches.. ie. pour half of your fluffy egg whites in.. fold & stir (with a clean, dry wooden spoon) – then pour in the rest of your egg whites and fold some more.
-Spread cake mix into your prepared cake pan, place on an oven tray and put into preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Test cake with a chopstick or skewer after 50 minutes.
TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS: If centre isn’t cooked & the top of your cake seems ‘golden enough’ – place some foil loosely over the top and continue baking… and/or… lower the oven shelf your cake is on.. OR.. If you started with a too-hot oven like I did and the cake has risen too quickly and the tops looks like it won’t take another 10 or 20 minutes more, turn the oven off! Let the cake rest 10 minutes with the oven door slightly open and then turn it onto a cake plate (or generous sized dinner plate). Blitz the cake in the microwave on high for 1 minute! Let it sit for a few minutes. Test the centre of the cake again. I wouldn’t recommend more than two blitzes! Letting it rest (and continuing the baking this way) is key. Some may cringe at the microwave idea.. but it saved my cake!
-Combine the caster sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan & stir over a medium heat. Stop stirring when the sugar seems to be dissolved. Watch it carefully until it starts to bubble (boil) – and remove from heat without stirring.
-Pierce your cake all over with a chopstick! At least 30 to 40 holes.
-Pour the syrup over your hot cake slowly allowing it to ‘soak in’. Let cake stand at least half an hour before cutting and serving. Delicious on its own or with whipped cream!