Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
A Greek cake. The cake is served from the pan; use a glass pan so the lemon syrup doesn’t react with metal. Nick Malgieri.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups coarse semolina or 1 1⁄2 cups cream of wheat
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon metaxa brandy
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup water
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1⁄2 lemon
- Butter and coat with fine dry breadcrumbs a 9 x 9 inch Pyrex pan.
- Set oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350°.
- Whisk eggs and ½ cup sugar by hand in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Place the bowl on the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; whip the mixture on high speed until pale and thickened, about 4 minutes.
- While the eggs are whipping, stir the semolina and remaining ½ cup sugar together in a medium mixing bowl; stir in the sour cream.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the brandy in a small cup and stir into the semolina mixture; add in the orange zest and butter, stir to combine.
- When the egg mixture is ready, fold it into the semolina batter with a large rubber spatula.
- Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top.
- Bake cake for about 30 minutes, or until it is well risen and deep golden and a pick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake on a rack for 10 minutes.
- While the cake is cookng, prepare the syrup: stir together all the ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat; let the syrup boil gently for 5 minutes.
- While the syrup is cooling, score the cake into 2 inch diamonds or rectangles with the point of a sharp knife, cutting about 1 inch into the cake.
- After the syrup is cooked, remove the lemon half from the syrup and slowly pour the syrup all over the top of the cake so that it is evenly absorbed.
- Cool completely.
- Serve: cut through the scoring marks completely with a sharp knife; use a flexible spatula to first loosen each piece of cake, then remove it from the pan.
- Only the first piece is difficult and may break slightly, the rest should come out easily.
- Storage: keep the cake pan covered with plastic wrap at a cool room temperature.