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For The Cake:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked semolina
1 cup plain yogurt
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup finely ground hazelnuts
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
ground nuts and coconut flakes for garnish
For The Syrup:
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
juice of 1/2 lemon
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Before you start making the cake, prepare the syrup to give it time to cool down. Begin by mixing the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat on high and bring the mixture to a boil while continuously stirring it. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let the syrup boil gently for about 10 minutes with the cover off. Add the lemon juice toward the end. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool down while you make the rest of the recipe.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar first. Whisk the mixture briskly for several minutes until the sugar dissolves. The more you whisk, the better your ‘revani’ will turn out. Next, add the oil, lemon zest and yogurt and whisk for several minutes more. Last, add the dry ingredients and mix together well until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into a greased 10 x 12 inch baking tray. Bake in a 350° F/ 175° C oven until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once you remove the pan from the oven, let it rest for about five minutes. Cut the cake into portion-sized squares or rectangles while still in the pan. Using a large spoon, slowly drizzle the cool syrup all over the cake and let it soak in. When you’ve used up all the syrup, cover the cake with foil and refrigerate it for several hours.
Before serving, garnish each square of cake with a pinch of coconut and ground nuts. You can also make orange-flavored ‘revani’ by substituting the lemon zest and juice with orange zest and juice. Or, you can eliminate the lemon all together and use rose water instead to give the cake a wonderful rose aroma.