Yaourtogliko (Greek Yoghurt Cake)

Made with semolina and soaked in a light syrup, this cake brings back memories of my visits to Greece. My aunt was kind enough to teach me how to make it (along with other delicious desserts). Make sure to use thick Greek yoghurt for optimal flavor.

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1 1/2 cups Greek yoghurt
5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder
2 cups semolina
1 3/4 cups melted butter
3 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp lemon rind

Ingredients – Syrup
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 whole cinnamon stick

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the baking pan by spraying with a non-stick spray or by buttering all sides. Melt the butter over low heat and set aside once melted. Once it has cooled, mix in the yoghurt. In the meantime, separate the eggs and beat the whites with the sugar until they form stiff peaks. Add the yolks one at a time while continuously beating. Add the lemon rind and then sift in the vanilla powder and the baking soda and continue to mix.

Once incorporated, fold in the semolina. Place in prepared pan and cook until top is golden brown approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the syrup by adding the sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a non-stick pot. Stir to melt the sugar and cook over low heat until the syrup thickens. It will reduce to 1/3 of the original liquid amount. Once thickened remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.

Cut the cake into diamond shapes. Once cut, pour over the syrup and let it sit for about 15 minutes or until the syrup is soaked up. Important: When adding syrup to the cake, either the syrup will be hot with the cake cool or the cake hot with the syrup cool. Do not put hot on hot.

Makes one 10″ x 14″ pan

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