Semolina Cake w/ Herb and Citrus Syrup

Recipe Date: March 8th, 2021
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Semolina Cake with Herb and Citrus Syrup

Adapted with changes from Azlin Bloor, Lins Food

Italian semolina cakes are traditionally desserts made with a rich cornmeal or grain created for celebrations like Carnival. This moist dense cake incorporates a touch of sweetness when it is adorned with an infused simple syrup of perfume-y lemons or citrus. With our semolina cake, we used fresh-picked Castello rosemary and lemons to create a dynamic flavor profile pairable with our Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay – a perfect treat for anytime of day!

Cake Batter

220g (7 4/5oz) fine semolina (semolina flour)

120g (4 1/5oz) ground almonds (almond flour)

1 tsp baking powder

240g (8 2/5oz) salted butter

240g (8 2/5oz) caster or granulated sugar

3 large eggs

80g (1/4 cup) Lemon Curd

Rosemary and Lemon Syrup

125ml (1/2 cup) water

100g (1/2 cup) white sugar

1 lemon – rind and juice

3 sprigs rosemary

2 Tbsp limoncello (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C Fan/350˚F.
  • You will need a 20cm (8″) round cake tin. Grease and line it as required. Mine doesn’t need lining, just greasing. Set aside.
  • Place the semolina, ground almonds and baking powder in a large bowl, mix and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar for 1 whole minute until pale and light in texture. Depending on the speed of your mixer, you can reduce the time.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the semolina mix with each egg. Beat at high speed for a good 30 seconds between each addition. Adding flour with your egg, or in this instance, semolina and almonds, will stop the eggs from curdling. I do this for all my cakes. If your batter does curdle, it doesn’t matter, your cake will still be fine, if just marginally different in texture.
  • Fold in the lemon curd, then the semolina and almond mix. Fold in or beat on the lowest setting.
  • Pour your cake batter into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. If your oven runs hot, check it at the 55 min mark. 
    • Side note: If you notice your cake browning at the top darker than you prefer, take some foil to cover the edges and top about 30-35 minutes into baking. 
  • Take it out of the oven and pour half the syrup all over. Leave to cool slightly before taking out of the tin and serving. Folks with a sweet tooth, can add their more syrup to the individual slices.

Rosemary Syrup

  • Use a vegetable peeler and peel long strips off the lemon, then slice these strips thinly.
    • We peeled (2) lemons for extra flavor!
  • Place the lemon strips, water and sugar in a saucepan on low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and add the lemon juice and rosemary sprigs. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then strain and stir in the limoncello if using. Keep the syrup aside until needed. You can hang on to the lemon peel and rosemary for garnish
Notes:

Yield: 12 servings

Prep & Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Salute!


Wine Pairing – Pinot Bianco



Dario Sattui in front of castle door

Dario Sattui, Owner

Dario Sattui in front of castle door

Dario Sattui

Dario Sattui, owner of Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, California, and great-grandson of San Francisco, California pioneer vintner, Vittorio Sattui, was born in San Francisco in 1941 and raised in San Francisco and Fairfax in Marin County. He attended Drake High School and then the College of Marin.

As a child, Sattui was an entrepreneur and loved playing sports. He started various businesses in grammar school, high school and college and gained valuable experience in the basics of business.

His great grandfather Vittorio Sattui, an Italian immigrant, founded V. Sattui Winery in 1885 in San Francisco. As Vittorio lived to be 94 years old, Dario got to know him and was fascinated by his stories and photos of the old winery, above which the Vittorio Sattui family continued to live even after Prohibition closed the old V. Sattui Winery. As a child, Dario would play among the barrels and tanks in the underground cellars while dreaming of reviving V. Sattui Winery when he grew up.

He kept this dream alive as he furthered his education receiving a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from San Jose State University in 1965 and then an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Marketing from University of California, Berkeley in 1969.

Following graduation, Sattui traveled around Europe for two years in an old VW van. It was during this period his fascination for medieval architecture began to take shape. Living out of his van, Sattui would visit medieval castles, monasteries, palaces farmhouses and wineries studying their designs, taking photographs and completing detailed sketches and renderings.

In 1972, Sattui returned to the U.S. with the intent of re-establishing his great grandfather’s original V. Sattui winery which had been dormant for more than 50 years. With $8,000 and a novel approach to the wine business he re-opened V. Sattui winery in St. Helena and turned a profit in the first year of operation.

Armed with his vault of medieval architectural renderings and another passionate dream, Sattui purchased a 171-acre vineyard property in Calistoga in 1993 and began construction of Castello di Amorosa Winery in 1994. Clearly, the success of V.Sattui winery built the 121,000 square foot, 12th-century style, authentic Tuscan castle winery. Read Castello di Amorosa’s History & Owner to dive deeper into Dario Sattui’s vision.

His hobbies include travel, sports, nature, eating and drinking well, business ideas, and restoring medieval buildings.

Learn more about Dario’s inspiration for building Castello di Amorosa.

Interviews

How I Turned $8,000 Into a Wine Empire, June, 2021 (Interview)
Sattui Donates $1 Million to Calistoga Schools, July 2, 2020

Articles

A History of The Project – Part 1, by Dario Sattui
A History of The Project – Part 2, by Dario Sattui
A History of The Project – Part 3, by Dario Sattui