Greeks love desserts soaked in light-scented honey or sugar syrup. I can remember how much I enjoyed Ravani and today, I just could not help it and had to try to bake one. Was hesitating between all the great recipes like "Baklava", "Galaktobouriko", "Bougatsa" or a good "Yiaourtopita me Karythia kai Fystikia Aiginis" (Greek yogurt, walnut and pistachio cake with syrup)...but after roaming my fridge I settled for a Ravani.
The smell that invaded my kitchen reminded me of all the time I spent in Greece and how much I miss it. I hope you'll enjoy baking it as much as I did!
- 2 cups of fine semolina
- 1-1/2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of margarine or butter, softened
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 3-1/2 cups of sugar
- 3 cups of water
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Sift the flour and whisk with semolina, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the processor mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add egg yolks, sugar, and grated lemon peel and continue to mix until light and creamy.
- Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the milk, until completely blended.
- Remove from processing bowl and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Whip the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of cold water to the stiff peak stage, and with a wooden spoon, stir carefully into the batter until thoroughly distributed.
- Transfer the cake batter to a lightly greased baking pan (I have used a baking pan that you can throw away after as I couldn’t find the right size. This aluminium baking pans can be found at any supermarkets) and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Bake at 180°C for approximately 45-50 minutes. Cake will pull away slightly from the sides of the baking pan when done.
- Remove from the oven and allow cake to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before starting the syrup.
Prepare the syrup:
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add vanilla.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice, remove vanilla and pour the hot syrup over the lukewarm cake, evenly and very carefully to avoid collapsing the cake, starting at the outside edges.
- Allow to cool completely.