My Nutty Chocolate Semolina Cake

Another weekend, another cake.

This recipe is also a family recipe. My mother-in-law used to make it and, like most of my cake recipes, it is quite versatile and you can play around with some of the ingredients, like the kind of nuts you use or whether you add chocolate or not.


No flour in the house? No butter? No problem.

As long as you have semolina and milk and some nuts you can still whip up a cake in no time at all. I love this recipe, because it is dead simple and you don’t even need an electric whisk (unless you want to eat it with whipped cream).


Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C for a fan oven or gas mark 4.

Line the cake tin with baking paper. Have two bowls at the ready.

In the larger of the two add 200g semolina, 250g sugar, 125g chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts), 125g ground nuts (I used almonds), 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a good pinch of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of good quality cocoa and a pinch of salt and stir.


In the smaller bowl mix 250ml of milk with one egg and a few drops of almond essence thoroughly.

Next, pour the liquid mixture into the dry mix from the middle and stir with a wooden spoon.

The original recipe doesn’t call for it, but I like adding a bar of chocolate, roughly chopped, to the cake mixture.


Pour it into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Make sure it is cooked through by testing with a toothpick or skewer.

My mother-in-law used to let the cake cool down completely and finish it with a chocolate glaze, but I like to serve the cake when it is still slightly warm and the chocolate is still deliciously oozy, so I decorated it with a cocoa and icing sugar dusting.


This cake keeps really well for a few days and you can, if you made it at the weekend, still enjoy it in all your lunch breaks in the following week. If it lasts that long!

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