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French Fridays with Dorie: Semolina Caramel Cake

This week I tackled the Semolina Caramel Cake. This was the recipe I was most looking forward to because it was the most “moroccan-like” recipe of the choices for this month.  I made four different desserts for our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  One of them was this cake.  Sadly, the pictures that I took are not uploading and I’ve given up trying for the night.  So all I can offer is one measly image. (I’ll try to get more up soon!)
The original recipe from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours calls for Cream of Wheat but all I had was fine grain semolina. In hindsight I should have added a little bit less semolina or more milk because it sucked the milk right up.

Creamy with the vanilla getting swirled in..

I also should have made sure to whisk it more then I did because I ended up with a few clumps.  I enjoyed that part but I don’t think that everyone would.  The final tribulation I had was in making the caramel.  I should have added a little more sugar.  The recipe says to wait until the sugar/water mix turns amber.  I waited almost 10 minutes and it never got amber, only a slight brown tint.  I gave up at that point and poured it into the baking dish.

Ooops …not enough stirring
Overall I was happy with how it turned out.  It was tasty and an interesting different dessert.  It’s also pretty impressive and doesn’t require a whole lot of work.  Raisins are not my favorite fruit but I’m imagining this cake with chopped up dates and maybe even some chopped almonds mixed in with it.

                                           This is just begging to be eaten

It took me a little while to figure out a strategy for cooking and posting a new recipe from this cookbook once a week, but now I really look forward to it.  I’m very excited to see what the new recipes are for next month.  Part of participating in this cooking club is that none of the complete recipes are posted, but if you would like them, a great cookbook to pick up is this one!  Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours from Dorie Greenspan.  I know Border’s had a great coupon this weekend and you can pick it up for $25.64 at Amazon (just follow the link!).  That’s a fantastic price and well worth it for this hefty cookbook full of great French recipes.  Check out some of the other great food bloggers who are participating here


  1. Oh yes, I liked this one, too and mine never really got what I would call amber but, it was delicious as it was. Thank you for commenting on my blog!

  2. It looks really good. Your substitution ideas are making me want to try this recipe again!

  3. Glad you made it through this one. I think changing up the add-ins is a great thought. I really think dates or figs + almonds would be wonderful.

  4. I think you should make this cake again…If the sugar is boiled at a high enough temperature, it will turn amber quickly…and, yes, you don't want the semolina mixture to be too thick or with lumps…but no matter what, I'm happy you liked the flavor, and you might like it more with dates or nuts…fun to experiment. But…your photo looks quite nice…better than I thought it would be from your write-up. Always fun to try new recipes.

  5. Sounds like you survived, even with all the issues you had on this one. We loved this cake too and I had it for breakfast a couple of times!

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