A Cake Beloved (and Evolved) Since the Ottoman Empire

October 13, 2016

Tra-la-la, it's The Fall Cookbook Cake Parade: a new cake from a new cookbook every single day. Are your costumes cake pans ready?

Today: an adaptable sponge cake, by way of the Middle East and Sofra Bakery.

This syrup-soaked semolina sponge cake is known as revani in Turkey and Greece, but other Middle Eastern countries have similar versions.

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In Lebanon, they have a similar version called Namourra. It is usually baked in a shallow pan, so the texture is much more dense than this particular version, which is made by the foaming method—whipping eggs and sugar to create volume. It is cut into diamond shapes with a whole almond in the center of each. The Egyptian version, called Basbousa, is sometimes made with coconut.

I love this one because of the richness the yogurt adds. The light texture makes for a cake that acts like a sponge—it absorbs much more syrup than you think it will. It's a lovely dessert that is great served with fruit and yogurt as breakfast.

—Maura Kilpatrick, in her and Ana Sortun's book, Soframiz

For more recipes where this one came from, check out Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe

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