11 March 2012

Cherry cake with semolina – 'Kirsch-Grieß Kuchen'

This is a very simple and traditional southern German recipe. Semolina, cherries and cinnamon are a classic combination and most German children will have grown up eating semolina pudding with cherries and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on a regular basis. The flavours of this typical ‘comfort food’ are replicated in this cake. As discussed in my Donauwellen recipe a few months ago, morello cherries (called sour-cherries in Germany) can be bought in large jars in Lidl or Aldi in the UK. Of course, in summer the cake should be made with fresh cherries instead! This recipe is enough for a smallish (24 cm max) round baking tin. I baked it in a 20 cm x 30 cm rectangular tin.

100g semolina
100 g sugar
375 ml milk
80 g butter
3 egg yolks and 3 egg whites
80 g ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon (or more, if you like)
1 jar morello cherries or a few hands full of fresh, pitted cherries

Put the semolina, sugar and milk in a pan, bring to the boil and cook for a few minutes until the semolina has absorbed all the liquid (the mixture should have the consistency of thick porridge). Add the butter, which will melt in the hot mixture. Once the butter has melted, stir in the three egg yolks and combine well. Leave the mixture to cool down.

Add the ground almonds and cinnamon and combine well, then mix in the cherries. If you are using a jar of cherries make sure you drain them well to stop the cake from going soggy (I dry them off on a few pieces of kitchen towel before adding them to the mixture). Finally, whisk the egg whites and carefully fold them in. Pour the batter into a well greased baking tin, smooth the surface and bake at 200 degrees for about 60 minutes. 

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