Glorious blue skies, hot pink bougainvillea, cicadas singing in the trees and the mercury is at 40°C. This is the time of year to be up early, while the day is still cool, before the heat sends us in search of the coolest rooms in the house. We eat simply at this time of year, salads, simple grilled chicken or fish, and if there is cake to be had, it is always, always, Revani.
Sweet and tart from the lemon juice, invitingly Middle Eastern with the gentle aroma of orange blossom and crunch of pistachios, and served cold, straight from the fridge at the end of a meal. The Cypriot name for this dish, ‘Kalo Prama’ means ‘a little of something good’ – the perfect description.
Variations of this recipe are served all over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Levant. I first tried this delicious sweet at a small roadside restaurant called Sevket’s. It was such a perfect ending to a delicious meal, cool and sweet and surprising that I immediately had to try it at home.
I like to serve this cake very, very cold on a hot summer evening – make it well in advance and let it get nicely chilled in the fridge – garnish with the coconut and pistachio just before serving and serve with Greek-style yoghurt or softly whipped cream.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
for the syrup:
- 225 g sugar
- 250 ml water
- juice of 1 lemon, 50ml
for the cake:
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 150 g fine semolina
- 100 g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 150 g sugar
- 150 ml sunflower or other neutral oil
- 250 ml yoghurt
- 2 tsp orange blossom water
- finely chopped pistachios
- Zest the lemon using a fine grater and set aside for the cake.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and boil gently for about 10 minutes until syrupy. Set aside to cool.
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Oil a 23-25cm rectangular or oval baking tin or ovenproof dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the semolina, flour, salt and baking powder and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, yoghurt, lemon zest and orange blossom water until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the semolina mixture, mix well, then pour into the prepared tin. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes until golden and firm in the middle.
- Allow to cool on a rack (in the tin) for 5 minutes, then using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the cool syrup over the hot cake and leave to cool in the tin completely before topping with pistachios and coconut, refrigerating until very cold.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 318Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g