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Old 10-17-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
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A Cypriot treat - almond and semolina pudding

I know this is a recipe common amongst many of the Greek islands (and I've also eaten similar very sweet puddings in Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon) - but this is the version that is popular in Cyprus.

4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
grated rind of one lemon
3 eggs
8 oz semolina
4 oz plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
100 mls milk
2 oz finely chopped, toasted almonds
Blanched, split almonds for decorating top of pudding

Syrup
500mls caster sugar
600 mls water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Make the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat, add lemon juice and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 10 mins then leave to cool.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat in well.

Fold in the flour, semolina and baking poweder alternatively with the milk. Stir in the chopped nuts.

Spread the mix in a buttered baking tray 7 x 11 inch). Arrange split almonds in rows on the top. Bake in a moderate oven for 50 minutes until the cake is golden and shrinks slightly fromsides of tin.

When the cake is cooked, pour the cooled syrup over the hot cake. It will penetrate better if you prick with a fine skewer before pouring!

Leave in tin until cool, then cut into diamond shapes.

This is very, very moist and very sweet - but an ideal accompaniment to a 'Greek Coffee'!

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Old 10-17-2006, 09:59 AM   #2
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Ishbel, this sweet and tempting dessert is called 'Ravani' in Greek. It goes very well with coffee or tea. However, you did not indicate the amount of semolina in the recipe.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:11 AM   #3
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Whoops, sorry - I've edited the recipe!

In the village where my friends live, it is called Kaloprama - which I think is Greek for 'good thing'....
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:12 AM   #4
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And "kalo prama" it IS!!

I like to add plenty of long strands of lemon peel into the syrup and a bit more than 2 tablespoons (I think) of lemon juice. Either way, point is -- lemony is particularly nice!
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:10 AM   #5
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Me too. I like the syrup to have a more lemony taste to take away the sweetness.
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:46 AM   #6
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I am planning on making this today or tomorrow, depends how the potato canning goes, so thanks for the extra lemon suggestions. I may also add one drop of lemon oil!
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:59 AM   #7
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Believe it or not it has been at least 15 years since I've tasted this - although I make it regularly.... I am unable to eat sweet things, and find the over-sweetness of many of the favourite Greek puddings were just too much for my tastebuds, even when I was a young child!

I'll certainly try putting a little more lemon in the syrup - and thanks for the lemon peel suggestion, Ayrton. Thanks also for the correction to my 'Greek' - I spell it phonetically from how my friends pronounce it... I thought it was all one word! And I suspect that the Cypriot accent is as noticeable to a mainland Greek as a Glasgow accent would be to natives of Edinburgh!
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:45 AM   #8
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Mmmmmm. Lovely. I am NOT going to make it soon but it is cut and paste. I love the idea of adding a drop of lemon oil and the strands of lemon in it. I wish I did not have a sweet tooth. I can eat all these wonderful things!
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
Believe it or not it has been at least 15 years since I've tasted this - although I make it regularly.... I am unable to eat sweet things, and find the over-sweetness of many of the favourite Greek puddings were just too much for my tastebuds, even when I was a young child!

I'll certainly try putting a little more lemon in the syrup - and thanks for the lemon peel suggestion, Ayrton. Thanks also for the correction to my 'Greek' - I spell it phonetically from how my friends pronounce it... I thought it was all one word! And I suspect that the Cypriot accent is as noticeable to a mainland Greek as a Glasgow accent would be to natives of Edinburgh!
I agree -- so many Greek sweets are too sweet, but despite the fact that ravani is soaked with a fairly heavy sugar syrup, the end result doesn't strike me as too sweet. Perhaps it is the lemon.

Didn't really mean my two-word version as a correction which I'd fear would be offensive. However, since I know the words as two, typing them that way just came out!

Do make this yummy dessert y'all -- both the texture and flavor are divine (by the way, I usually mix about half/half the coarse and the fine semolina).
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lulu
Mmmmmm. Lovely. I am NOT going to make it soon but it is cut and paste. I love the idea of adding a drop of lemon oil and the strands of lemon in it. I wish I did not have a sweet tooth. I can eat all these wonderful things!
You're not going to make it soon? Are you trying to convince us of that fact, Lulu, or yourself?!

Eh, go on ...
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:40 AM   #11
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Convincing me of course! I just must not. although would be a good thing for DHs office....well, I'll make it when I get back to Milano then. Stop twisting my arm Ayrton!
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:51 AM   #12
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Convincing me of course! I just must not. although would be a good thing for DHs office....well, I'll make it when I get back to Milano then. Stop twisting my arm Ayrton!
Fine, if you insist. We'll just talk about pistachios ...
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:56 AM   #13
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Rofl ;););)
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:06 PM   #14
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This is Thursday evening and I just took it out of the oven and poured on the sauce. What is the keeping quality of this? Does it improve with age? I am considering taking it to an above average pot luck on Saturday. I will refrigerate it once it cools, that okay??
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:16 PM   #15
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BethZ - I've only ever kept it for a couple of days... it never lasts any longer in my house! Perhaps one of the Greek contingent will give their views!
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:18 PM   #16
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With all the sugar and the syrup, you probably don't even have to refrigerate it.

Ishbel, thanks, Cut and pasted.
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
This is Thursday evening and I just took it out of the oven and poured on the sauce. What is the keeping quality of this? Does it improve with age? I am considering taking it to an above average pot luck on Saturday. I will refrigerate it once it cools, that okay??
BethZaring, it will keep nicely till Saturday for up to a week even, provided it's kept in a cool place. No need for refrigeration.
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #18
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thanks for the advice, appreciate it!

I added one drop of lemon oil to the sauce and one drop to the batter. Course this is the first time I have eaten this, but it is heavenly! I love cutting it into triangles, that means a lot of edges to sample!
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
This is Thursday evening and I just took it out of the oven and poured on the sauce. What is the keeping quality of this? Does it improve with age? I am considering taking it to an above average pot luck on Saturday. I will refrigerate it once it cools, that okay??
Doesn't need refrigeration, in fact wouldn't be desirable -- the flavor is more pronounced at room temperature, and the crumb more tender.

In the home of THIS "Greek contingent" ravani never lasts a week by any stretch. Boufa's household is clearly less piggy than Ayrton's. Where's Pdswife?

I think it does improve with age. Certainly it's better 2nd day than when freshly syruped. Since you syrup in the pan and then keep it in the pan (or, if you don't, I don't know how you keep the syrup from leeking out all over the floor ...), the bottom-most portion becomes particularly dense and moist with syrup, while the upper-most becomes a bit lighter. Makes for a particularly delightful eating experience! (In fact, thanks to this thread, I'm about to run into the kitchen to see if I have the ingredients to whip this up today -- haven't made this in months, Greek summers not inspiring the lighting of ovens).
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:14 AM   #20
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A P.S. --

Just checked my recipe and remembered that while I've always omitted almonds, I do top with flaked coconut (once cooled, well after syruping) -- all just because that's how I was introduced to ravani so that's what seems "right".

In any event, it is a delicious topping that goes very well, so all of you who are making this, keep it in mind!
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