Currants are member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, they have long been cultivated in Europe. The berries grow in clusters on shrubs that thrive in northern climates with warm summers and cold winters. They are quite sour on their own, but when added to a sweet dessert or simmered down into a jam, they are utterly fantastic. I learnt the recipe of this redcurrant-semolina cream cake from my mother. It consists of two sponge cake layers, which are sandwiched with a thick redcurrant sauce and a buttery semolina cream filling.
For the cake layer:
- 4 eggs
- 80 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 140 g (~1 cup + 2 tbsp) flour
- 8 g (~2 tsp) baking powder
- 100 g (~1/2 cup) butter, melted
For the fruit layer:
- 300 g (~2/3 lb) redcurrant
- 40 g (~3 1/2 tbsp) sugar
- 25 g (~2 1/2 tbsp) corn starch
- 50 ml (~1/4 cup) water
For the cream layer:
- 500 ml (~2 cups) milk
- 80 g (~1/2 cup) semolina
- 80 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
- 100 g (~1/2 cup) butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Size of the baking pan: 35×30 cm / 12×13 inch
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F. Grease and flour a baking pan.
In a small bowl combine flour and baking powder.
Separate the eggs, and beat the egg whites, salt and sugar until very stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the egg yolks (one at a time), then stir in flour, finally pour in melted butter. Stir until well combined. Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake for 14-16 minutes. Let the cake cool completely.
Place redcurrant and sugar in a saucepan. Gently heat, while stirring, until the berries release juice and sugar melts. Over low heat cook for 2-3 minutes. Dissolve starch in water and pour the mixture in the redcurrant sauce while stirring constantly. Cook until it thickens. Set aside and let it cool completely.
Heat milk in another saucepan. When milk is lukewarm, add semolina, and bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Cook until the porridge thickens. Let it cool.
Cream butter and sugar, and mix in the cool semolina porridge. Flavour with vanilla extract.
Cut the sponge cake in half and place a cake layer on a tray. Spread the redcurrant puree over the cake evenly, then overlay it with the semolina cream filling. Finally cover with the other cake layer. Before serving chill the cake for 3-4 hours. Feel free to dust the cake with powdered sugar.