Revani with Honey-Poached Cara Cara Oranges
Source: Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery & Cafe
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on January 21, 2017. Adapted from Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe (Ten Speed Press, 2016).
This is a Turkish version of a syrup-soaked semolina cake.
Makes 1 8×8-inch cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 Cara Cara oranges
2½ cups water
¾ cup honey
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the sides and bottom of an 8×8-inch square pan. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Set aside. Combine the yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla in a separate bowl. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisking on medium speed, slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until pale yellow and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to slow and slowly add the canola oil. Add the yogurt mixture in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add most of the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Finish folding the dry ingredients in by hand, using a rubber spatula, until smooth. Since this is a very fluffy batter, use your spatula to deflate it before pouring it into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake is lightly browned, 35-40 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
To prepare the oranges: While the cake is baking, rinse the oranges. Slice two of them into very thin slices (less than ¼ inch, if possible). Juice the other two and set aside. Combine the water, sugar, and honey in a shallow skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a low boil. Add a single layer of orange slices. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the slices are soft and translucent. Transfer the cooked orange slices with a spatula to a plate or platter, so you can keep them in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining orange slices, if you weren’t able to cook them all at once. Remove the pan from the heat and add the juice from the remaining oranges, as well as the lemon juice, and stir to combine.
Once the cake has cooled, transfer it to a container deep enough to hold the syrup, and pour the syrup over the cake. Serve with the poached orange slices.
Candied Grapefruit Peel Spoon Sweet
Spoon sweets are sweet preserves, served in a spoon as a gesture of hospitality in parts of the Middle East.
Makes about 40 pieces
2 large grapefruit
4 cups sugar
Cut the grapefruit into quarters, remove the peel, trim the ends of each peel, and slice the peel into ¼-inch-wide strips. Set the fruit aside for another use.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the peel, and once the water has come to a boil again, drain. The blanching process helps remove the bitterness from the pith. Bring a second pot of water to a boil, add the peels, bring to a boil, drain, and repeat 3 more times. The last time, add the peels, bring to a boil, and let the peel boil for 10 minutes. This long boil will help plump the peels. Drain the peel and cool completely. Once cooled, curl each strip of peel and place 4 curls onto each wooden skewer.
Bring the sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil, allowing the sugar to dissolve completely. Drop the skewers into the sugar syrup. Reduce the heat to a low boil, with just enough bubbles to submerge the peels. Boil for about 15 minutes. It may be necessary to add more water if the syrup becomes too thick. The peels will soften and become glossy. Remove from the heat. Cool the peels on sticks in the syrup so they’ll continue to absorb the syrup. Once cooled, remove the skewers from the syrup and pull the skewers out. The peels will stay curled.