These tasty mini cakes are a combination of two favorites: THIS semolina cake with milk syrup, and THESE almond-cardamom Friands. I loved the semolina and milk syrup in one and the almonds and cardamom in the other, and so I’ve decided to mix the two into one. I’ve also decided to bake the batter in a mini-muffins pan, as it makes it easier to portion control and serve this way, especially if you have a buffet brunch in mind.
The almond meal and the semolina plumped nicely with the milk syrup, and the cardamom and vanilla, both in the cakes and in the syrup, added wonderful aroma. The fact that these mini cakes are so quick and easy to assemble, is another reason why I no doubt will use this recipe often. Try it and enjoy.
* I find the cakes to be sweet enough, but if you like them sweeter, increase the amount of sugar to ¾ cup in the batter and ¾ cup in the syrup.
* If you’re not a fan of cardamom, you can substitute it with cinnamon.
* The cakes are best served at room temperature, but they can be kept in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
Soaking time: 2 hours
1 cup fine semolina
2 cups fine almond meal
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
4 eggs, at room temperature
4 Tbs butter, melted + for brushing the pan
1 tsp vanilla
For the milk syrup:
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5-6 cardamom pods, cracked
For serving (optional): pomegranate seeds or fresh berries
1. Preheat the oven to 365F (185C). Brush a mini-muffin pan with melted butter and place it in the freezer until using.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the semolina, almond meal, sugar, cardamom powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Add the semolina-almond mixture and mix to a thick batter. Using a 1.6” (4cm) ice cream scoop, divide the batter into the pan.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, until the mini-cakes are golden. Leave in the pan for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool, then place in a deep pan that can hold the mini-cakes in one layer.
4. The syrup: mix the milk, water, sugar, vanilla and cardamom pods in a medium pot and bring to an almost boil on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, while stirring with a spatula, for 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove the cardamom pods and pour the hot syrup into the pan with the mini-cakes. Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours, so that the cakes will soak up the syrup.
Serve at room temperature, with pomegranate seeds or fresh berries.