Since last cake I baked was of chocolate, this time I wanted to try something sans chocolate and all purpose flour. I spent quite a time racking my brains like what to bake. All the colorful, scrumptious and tasty cakes flashed before my eyes. Still I wasn’t smitten by anything. I wanted to bake something traditional yet simple and savory.
Then one fine day when I saw a neighborhood kid playing with snow throwing snow balls and enjoying the weather, I remembered my childhood days and all my memories started pouring out from past to present. Nostalgic…It is rightly said “Childhood is a short season”. Speaking of my childhood days I fondly remember the memories of my yesteryear’s birthdays and homemade CAKES!! How did I miss that? My birthdays used to be very special as my Grandma used to bake a Cake for me for the big day. I used to wonder.. Is that a magic recipe or magic hands? She used to bake this “Ravyacha Cake” (Semolina or Rava Cake) using homemade “Loni” (butter). The aroma of the cake …mmm… I can still feel it. She used to bake it using Tawa by adding layers of sand on to it. Without wasting any further time I got hold of this Grandma recipe from her treasured book “Ruchira”.
This is a simple, straight forward recipe yet healthy and fatless I made few alterations though, like instead of using Saffron flavor I used citrusy and fresh Orange Juice to add some orangy flavor. My Cake came out awesome. I myself couldn’t believe the magic of this cake brought to life from my childhood memories . I dedicate this cake to everyone out there having wonderful childhood memoirs and my beloved Grandma.
Orange Semolina Cake or Rava Cake Ingredients:
- Rava or Semolina (unroasted medium coarse or fine) – 1 1/2 Cup or 200gms.
- Milk (room temperature) – 1 Cup or 200gms
- Curd or Yogurt – 1 Cup or 200gms
- Sugar – 1 Cup or 200gms
- Butter (homemade or unsalted)- 1/2 Cup or 100gms
- Orange Juice – 1/2 Cup or 100gms
- Baking Soda – 1 tsp
- Baking Powder – 1/2 Tsp
- Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp (Optional)
- Salt – a pinch
- Cardamom – 4 to 5 pods powdered fine
- Raisins (Optional) – 2 to 3 Tbsp
Time to Prepare : (excluding the time when batter is kept overnight) – 15 to 20 minutes
Time to Bake : 25 to 30 minutes.
How to prepare Orange Semolina Cake or Rava Cake:
- In a mixing bowl beat curd and sugar with an electric beater or whisker until creamy and sugar are dissolved. Do not over beat.
- Add butter to the above mixture and beat again.
- Add Milk and Rava slowly, bit by bit, while you keep beating the batter until formed.
- Now just add baking soda (1/2 tsp out of 1 tsp), baking powder, vanilla extract, salt, cardamom powder and give it a gentle whisk with a spatula or whisker. The batter is ready .
- Leave the batter out for around 6 to 7 hours before baking it. I kept the batter overnight so that the Rava is completely softened and gives more fluffiness to the cake.
- Once the batter is ready after keeping it overnight add the remaining 1/2 tsp baking soda, Orange juice and raisins. Mix it well with a spatula. Do not beat.
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Grease the Cake pan with oil/butter and pour the batter evenly into it until it is half or 3/4 full. Allow the Cake batter to settle in the Cake Pan. Bake the cake for around 30 minutes. The cake is done when it turns golden brown and starts leaving the edges.
- Once baked remove it from oven and insert a skewer or a tooth pick to check if it is done. If skewer comes out clean the Cake is finally done..
- Allow the Cake to cool down for 5 minutes and then invert the cake delicately on the plate and serve warm.
Voila!! The Rava Cake is now ready to feast upon. When I tasted mine, I was stunned by the way it tasted. It was tender, moist, fluffy and yummy. I could get a sweet flavor of the mix of Orange juice, chunks of raisins and cinnamon powder to the scrumptious Cake.
I did not use any icing or any decorative stuff to garnish this Rava Cake. I preferred to keep it simple but elegant. So I used almonds and raisins to garnish. The most attractive thing I did to decorate was :
- An Orange Basket : It was fun to create this basket. I used a sharp carving knife to cut the orange into half( baskets), letting a part of the rind remain to serve as the handle. After having removed the two sections, the knife may easily be run underneath the rind, on the inside, separating it from the pulp of the fruit. With the help of spoon you can remove the watery juice from the basket and loosen the whole pulp from the basket, leaving the rind free.Kind of patience required to make this one. i played with 2 oranges to get one right.
- An Orange Flower or Rosette : A Quicky! Just keep peeling the orange from top side to the bottom in circular motion without breaking the long peel. At the end you are left with a long peel which you just have to turn round and round and then turn upside down. The Orange flower is ready!!
- Once the Cake is baked and out of oven it will be kind of soggy and hot. Need not to worry. Let it just cool down for 5 minute to get the perfect texture.
- The cake is made sans All Purpose Flour. So don’t worry if it does not rise much. This cake does not rise much like cakes made out of all purpose flour.
- Saffron can be substituted in place of Orange juice.
Savor the flavor of Cake in lazy time with a cup of tea on a fine afternoon or evening…and don’t forget the childhood memoirs..