Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake
Food writer Dorie Greenspan was inspired to create this cake after tasting a similar custard-like dessert in a Parisian bistro. This dish appears in her cookbook "Around My French Table."
For the Cake
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup farina or Cream of Wheat
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup plump, moist golden raisins or other dried fruits cut into small pieces
For the Caramel
- Scant 1/2 cup sugar
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center.
Make the cake: Place milk and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; immediately reduce heat and stir in farina. Cook according to package directions, stirring and adjusting heat as necessary, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla; let stand until cooled slightly, about 15 minutes.
Make the caramel: Place an 8-inch round cake pan in oven to preheat. Place sugar, 1/4 cup water, and lemon juice in a small skillet or saucepan over high heat. Stir until sugar is moist and bring to a boil. As sugar begins to caramelize, carefully swirl pan to heat sugar evenly. Cook until sugar begins to turn dark amber in color, about 5 minutes. Remove cake pan from oven and pour caramel into pan, tilting pan to evenly coat; set aside.
Stir eggs and raisins into farina mixture and pour into prepared cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until firm, puffed up, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
Invert a rimmed serving plate over cake pan and, working carefully (caramel will be very hot), turn pan over onto plate and lift it off; caramel will run down the sides of the cake. Let cake cool to room temperature before serving.