ffwd – caramel-topped semolina cake

This was (again), one of the things I first thought of making from around my french table by Dorie Greenspan. And another that I voted for to make in November. I have a mixed reaction to it… and you’ll see why soon enough. This is really like a country-cousin to a flan. The flavors are good, and I even like the texture (it even tasted good when the cereal was cooling). I liked some others’ idea of switching up the fruit, which I will likely do the next time, but I stuck with the original. I like raisins anyway, but they were a pretty powerful flavor up against the eggs, vanilla and cereal – and of course the caramel. I’ll leave my conclusions for later…

ok, ready to start
wow, not really very many ingredients

 

making the cereal mixture – add the cream of wheat, just as the milk is about to boil

 

adding the sugar and vanilla when it’s thick – setting aside to allow this to cool off for about 15 minutes

 

now it’s time to make the caramel
the sugar and water are just beginning to boil

 

fully melted and boiling



just beginning to get a bit of color
almost ready
off the heat and into the pan
Dorie suggests heating the pan in the oven first – of course, I needed to move it and forgot! Ouch!!



now it’s time for the golden raisins and eggs
once fully incorporated, into the pan on top of the caramel it goes!!

 
well, um,, I don’t think it’s supposed to look like this – not that big puff on the side!
Dorie says to bake it until it “firms and puffs”, but I don’t think this is what she had in mind

 

the cake just out of the oven, not really looking right…

 

ok, let’s admit it – that’s ugly! the dip with the pooling caramel is the “puff” from the other side
that’s not pretty



the “pretty side” sliced nicely, and really looked a lot like Dorie’s
we’ll just ignore that other side



I think I’ll make this again, since I really do like flan, and this faster, easier cousin has some real potential. Will I ever make it for a dinner party? Not so likely. I often make things for parties that I’ve never made before. Now that I know? Doubtful.
That said, here’s what I think I might do: I used an 8″ pan. I think I’d even go down a size and use a 6″ pan to give a bit more depth to the filling, or “cake”. I would definitely try some other fruit too – I loved the idea of dried cherries (yum!), but I think other things (or nothing) would be good. To make it a bit different, some cinnamon, or even a pinch of nutmeg might add a nice flavor note – particularly without the fruit.
This was definitely homey, comfort food. It won’t go to waste, it’s pretty tasty. Though not exactly what I’d expected. Of course, now that I have the whole box of Cream of Wheat…

4 thoughts on “ffwd – caramel-topped semolina cake

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I have this recipe to make for next week, and I enjoy reading all the successes, the mistakes, the extra puffing, etc that many have shared…and I hope to learn from you all and enjoy a success story.

  2. I loved this cake, but thought my raisins were a bit overpowering. Dried cherries might be nice. Mine puffed oddly too! I like your shot of the "perfect" side with the slice missing!

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