Revani has been a popular dessert with us Turks since the Ottoman Period; it is believed that the name Revani is given when the Ottomans conquered the city of Yerevan in today’s Armenia. Revani has many versions and been enjoyed in various cuisines especially in the Eastern Mediterranean countries, as well as in Turkey. I have seen the addition of rose water, orange flower water and orange zest to revani, all sounds delicious.
Serves 6 – 8
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes for the cake and 15 minutes for the syrup
165 gr/ 6oz / 1 cup fine grain semolina
200gr/7oz/1 cup (not too full) sugar
45ml/3 tbsp. plain flour
5ml/1 tsp. baking powder
225gr/8oz/1 cup plain (whole milk) yoghurt
3 medium eggs
60ml/ 4 tbsp. olive oil (regular or light)
10ml/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon and Juice of ½ lemon
For the syrup:
300gr/10.5oz/1 ½ cup sugar
375ml/12 fl. oz. / 1 ½ cup water
Juice of ½ lemon
Ground pistachio nuts and desiccated coconut to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
First make the syrup, as it needs to cool down. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan (at a medium heat). Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let the syrup simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Add the lemon juice, mix well and simmer for another 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool down while you make the semolina cake.
Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well until you have a smooth batter.
Grease a square or rectangular baking dish (mine was 20 cm x 27 cm – about 8”x 10”) with 2 tbsp. olive oil. First beat the eggs and the sugar in a large mixing bowl briskly for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Then add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil, yoghurt, semolina, flour, the baking powder and beat well. Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. To check; insert a toothpick to the center of the cake, if it comes out clean, that means the cake is cooked. If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes.
Let the cake absorb the syrup and cool down
Using a large spoon, drizzle the cooled syrup all over the semolina cake. Let the cake absorb the syrup and cool down. Once cool, cut the revani in square or diamond shapes; you can serve revani with ground pistachio and desiccated coconut over the top like they do in Turkey.