Thursday, November 11, 2010

Caramel-topped semolina pudding

What is the difference between semolina and farina? This has been one of the burning questions this month on the French Fridays with Dorie website. Now, I tried to help, but I'm really not sure half the time. I sometimes buy semolina to make pasta (okay, I did once about 10 years ago), but is it fine or coarse? Is it durum semolina? How about I just skip the recipe and make something else on my very long to-do list? Um, please don't go to Wikipedia and tell me what they think. :)
I wasn't sure when I saw the title of this recipe, but you need to read on with Dorie recipes, because the title may actually tell you very little about it. It may even mislead you completely. This dessert is called a semolina cake, but contains no semolina and is not even slightly cake-like. Hmmm. What it did have, though, was an ingredient I was familiar with: Cream of Wheat. I even had some in my cupboard, so I got right to it.
We have been asked not to publish the recipes from this book, but for this pudding you hardly need one. Make cream of wheat as usual, with milk. Add sugar, flavouring and beaten eggs. Pour into a caramel-lined cake pan and bake till it puffs up. Invert, cool, and serve. I did not include the raisins, as my raisin aversion has been well documented here. I used my own vanilla spice extract, which is in a rum base. I also made half the pudding recipe but the full amount of caramel and divided it amongst 3 small ramekins. I could have made 4, as I didn't realize it would puff so much. in fact, mine were like little volcanos in the oven, spouting molten caramel. This is why the oven window is better than TV. Come back on Sunday for some photographic evidence of that.
I really liked it, and didn't find it resembled my winter breakfasts much. It was firm enough to turn out, but soft enough to eat with a spoon. The flavours of rum, vanilla, mace, tonka bean and sapote were understated, but definitely there. I didn't think it needed anything to accompany it, though apparently it's good with pineapple. Perhaps grilled? Even though I doubled the caramel, there wasn't a lot. Usually a custard is baked long and slow in a water bath, then chilled overnight, making lots of runny caramel. This caramel was still quite sticky, and I was able to spin it into all sorts of shapes as I ate it. I refrigerated one overnight to see if it had more, but it didn't--the pudding seems to absorb much of it. Also, the pudding was firmer and not as nice the next day. So, make it and eat it--neither will take long!
Some see the world through rose-coloured glasses--I prefer caramel.
See you Sunday with the Daring Cooks' reveal!

31 comments:

RamblingTart said...

Mmm, I like the looks of this very much, Mary. It feels homey and comfort foodish. Love that it was like a volcano in the oven! :-)

yummychunklet said...

I love your mini-cakes! Adorable!

Steph said...

Your photos are great! I love the mini cakes too...so much puffier than mine from last week.

Cakelaw said...

Fab idea Mary - these look great. I agree that this is better without the raisins. What a lovely photo of the autumn workd reflected in your caramel - we are heasding into summer and had our first 31 degree Celsius day yesterday - which played havoc with my TWD galette!

Laurie @simplyscratch said...

Mary, this dessert looks soooo delicious! I love the last picture! So creative!!

Kathy said...

Loved your mini cakes…I made mine in an 8 inch pan but, love the idea of individual cakes. Next time!

Lizzy said...

I love the thought of extra caramel! Yummy!

Karen said...

This looks fantastic. Anything with caramel is a winner in my book. :) I found farina at Publix for this one. Love the extra caramel on top!

Valerie said...

This looks spectacular, Mary! What a delicious assortment of warm flavours.

saffronandhoney said...

Ooooh these pictures make me want to make these right away:)

Elaine said...

The spinned caramel was a nice touch. I love the last photo!

Flourchild said...

Yum Mary, they look so good! I liked all the tweaks you did to the recipe. I want to make this next week!

Ann (napangel) said...

Mary, I just love your photos, especially that last one. Beautiful. And I think I'll make this again, drop the raisins, add some rum, and use ramekins. Thanks for the inspiration!

chocolatechic said...

Ooooooooh....they look so good.

SoupAddict Karen said...

I've saved this one for last and will be making this next weekend. Love the caramel topping!

Rosemary & Garlic said...

We put cooked raisins in the same category as brussel sprouts!

Beth said...

MARY!!!! you are quite amazing. I was sooo not wanting to make this but with this post I'm am actually excited. You are such a fab baker. Molten semolina cake!! Who knew. Thanks for the inspiration. Loved it...B
P.S loved the last picture.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Nice! So glad you enjoyed this - and I love that last photo! :)

Frolicking Night Owl said...

Glad to see someone made it without the raisins. I might make some small cakes and do some with and some without cause my kiddies love raisins. :)

KY said...

Great photos of your little puddings! (I don't want to hear about semolina/farina anymore too!)

The Urban Baker said...

ooooo, I like the individual sizes. wasn't it yummy! i could eat the whole cake. but I shared!

Sis. Boom. said...

The flan assignment sent me out for ramekins. I think your post has convinced me to use them for the cake too. THANKS!
Trevor Sis. Boom.

Ariel said...

Wow the caramel on these looks divine! Gorgeous photos! I think I'm making this next. :)

Allison said...

Love that you made it in little ramekins! Genius! I'm going to try that next time. Thanks!

betsy said...

I love the little cakes. This one takes me out of my comfort zone (I don't like hot cereal, so the cream of wheat scares me) so I'm saving this for the last week of November. Your post gives me more inspiration to get to it. Leaving out the raisins also makes it seem more appealing.

Good Bite In said...

They look lovely ... I would make them right now if only I wasn't away from home with my Dorie book back at home ... not sure I want to risk it without the recipe like you suggest!
S.

scrambledhenfruit said...

I love your little individual cakes with the extra caramel. (Especially the caramel sculpture!) Mine will be sans raisins as well, as I share your aversion to raisin lumps in anything. I'm going to try this one next week. Thanks!

Lana said...

He, he, I also bought extra ramekins for the flan:) And I am yet to make the semolina cake.
Thanks for the inspiration!
The individual little cakes look so adorable, and my kids will love them!
Next week, I am thinking.
Your last photo is amazing! The color of caramel is a perfect match to the colors of the Fall.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Oh Mary, i was so excited to read ur post coz i had exactly d same exprnce as u did!!
First thing , i made this with semolina, the real one , which i used to coat fish before frying:-)
{i'll post this friday with step by step pics so u can see}!
Thats the only thing we find here, no farina ,no cream of wheat!!
It was excellente!!
I halved the recipe too but didn halve the caramel, infact i ran outa it and had to make some more too!!
Added zest along with the lemon juice and had such pretty pics!!
Yeah , its like cereal , it absorbs every thing real fast:-)
Oh and im sorry i halved it now, i baked earlier and an hour later ,its almost over:-)
thannk God i took pics when the sun was bright too:-)
I had shapes too, not from atop the cake but from the base of one of my rose pans:-)
I spiced it too, and its totally delish!
Urs make a very pretty pic!!

Judy said...

This is on the menu for me this week. No raisins here either. I like your idea of making individual ones, so we'll see how they turn out. I also love Cream of Wheat, so it's always in the pantry.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

they do look sticky and good! i hope to get time to make this next week, because i just love cream of wheat!