Semolina cake with ricotta, lemon curd and lemon syrup

Semolina cake with ricotta, lemon curd and lemon syrup

A la Grecque
Mark Roper

Semolina is used frequently in Greek cooking, especially in desserts. It has a great texture and because it is absorbent it teams very well with syrups.

Syrup is another universal feature of Greek desserts and cakes because it adds moisture and softness. Although they are big consumers of milk, feta and yoghurt, Greeks have traditionally not eaten butter or cream in their diet. Instead they make liberal use of olive oil and a type of margarine made from corn oil. Many Greek cakes rely on syrup for a soft texture that might otherwise be achieved by a creamed butter and sugar base.

Although this cake is delicious as is, you can turn it into a very special dessert by accompanying it with peaches poached in lemon syrup.

Semolina cake


Quantity Ingredient
150g caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
100g fine semolina
50g almond meal
pinch salt
1 tablespoon cointreau
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated


Quantity Ingredient
150g ricotta
75g caster sugar
150ml thickened cream
1/2 cup Lemon curd

Lemon syrup

Quantity Ingredient
110g caster sugar
125ml water
125ml lemon juice
1 lemon, rind julienned


  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC and grease and line a 23 cm spring-form cake tin.
  2. To make the cake, combine the sugar and egg yolks in an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Fold in the semolina, almond meal, salt, Cointreau, lemon juice and zest.
  3. Whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Gently fold them into the cake mixture. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire rack.
  4. To make the ricotta filling, beat the ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until cold.
  5. To make the syrup, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and rind in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar then increase the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes to form a syrup then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  6. When ready to assemble, split the cooled cake in half horizontally and spread the base with lemon curd. Spread with the chilled ricotta mixture then place the other half on top. Drizzle with the syrup and serve with peaches poached in lemon syrup.
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