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Oct 25, 2009 07:39 PM

Semolina vs. semolina flour

I'm making a Moroccan orange-almond cake that uses a combination of semolina and white flour, along with ground almonds. My husband bought the ingredients, but the store only had semolina flour, so this is what he bought. I haven't opened it, but I'm thinking it's different from the requested semolina. Is it usable? Or must I find a new recipe? I also found a recipe for Moroccan orange cake, but this sounded good to me, and I'd love to use the semolina flour if it won't ruin the recipe.

Any help would be appreciated. I have to make this dessert tomorrow morning, and don't have time to shop again.

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  1. does it say anything on the bag about the grind? semolina "flour" may be more finely ground than the coarse semolina you need for the recipe.

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Doesn't say. It's called Bob's Red Mill and all it says is No. 1 Durum Wheat Semolina Flour, for superb pasta. The description is that it is ground to "semolina's traditionally sandy texture." Looks pretty finely ground to me, though, but it's hard to tell for sure. If the ground almonds are in there, and this is finer than coarse semolina, would it ruin it? I'm okay about it not being as traditional and perfect as intended, but don't want it to be really bad. I do like this recipe (at least from the way it looks), but don't want to totally mess up.

        1. re: Clarissa

          that's what you want - the traditional coarse semolina. it may seem "finely" ground to you, but it's still going to be sandier or more coarse than very fine pasta flour. i wouldn't stress about it. even if you lose a little bit of texture the cake won't be "bad."

          random do you feel about polenta, and do you have any cornmeal in the house? you can sub some of that for the semolina to get a nice coarse, crunchy texture. in fact, polenta is often used in a similar cake with orange and ground almonds.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Love polenta, and I do have cornmeal. I will sub in a bit of that for some of the semolina flour. The cake has a syrup poured over and I do want it to have some texture. It has a syrup poured over while still warm and then cools, and in this case it'll be served the next morning (special event) so I think a little more pronounced texture will serve it well, and maybe make it hold up better for storage.

            Thanks so much for the very helpful comments and suggestions.

            1. re: Clarissa

              Roman gnochi is a polenta made with semolina, chilled, and then baked with lots of butter and cheese.

              1. re: Clarissa

                excellent! i'm sure it will be wonderful :) if you remember, post back to let us know how it turns out.

        2. Semolina is cream of wheat, which is definitely more coarse than flour. Do you have some cream of wheat in your cupboard?

          1 Reply
          1. re: mothrpoet

            Technically Cream of Wheat is farina, and made from a softer wheat than semolina (especially if were are talking about duram semolina).

          2. First of all, thank you all for offering suggestions. I didn't have cream of wheat, did have farina, but decided to try goodhealthgourmet's suggestion of substituting some cornmeal for some of the semolina flour. It turned out great. Between the cornmeal, semolina flour and ground almonds, the cake has a great texture, and the potent orange flavor adds a great zing. A nice cake, I think, and there will be orange-date salad on the side.

            I made an half batch to have a small cake to sample, just so I could report in. Yep, it was just so I could report in. Not so that I can enjoy a slice with a cup of coffee this evening...

            Thanks again!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Clarissa

              so happy to hear it worked out! happy eating :)

              1. re: Clarissa

                Just noticed my typing error -- I made a batch and a half, is what I meant to say. So I had an smaller cake to try. Which we did. Very good!

              2. Please post the recipe. I make a cake with semolina, and it also has a lemon-sugar syrup poured over it, but I like the idea of the orange flavoring and almonds. I buy my semolina in an Italian market.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Missyme

                  Here are is the recipe. It made way more syrup than I felt it needed, but maybe that's a matter of taste. Also, I may have been conservative with syrup usage because I didn't want it to get soggy overnight.


                  As I said above, I made an orange salad to go alongside. I think they went well together, because the fresh oranges helped offset the buttery cake. Here's that recipe, in case you want it:


                  I'm going to make a lemon semolina cake soon, since I have the semolina flour and always have lemons on hand. I take it you use actual semolina and not the semolina flour I was asking about? If I use this, I'm going to use goodhealthgourmet's suggestion to sub in some cornmeal. It worked out so well for my cake. I was really pleased with the texture.

                  1. re: Clarissa

                    The semolina I use is sort of sandy, not smooth like regular flour. It adds to the texture of the cake and makes it more...toothsome. It's one of the easiest cakes I bake, and everyone loves it. Here's the recipe:

                    Basbousa (semolina cake)

                    1/2 c butter, melted
                    1 c sugar
                    2 eggs
                    2 cups fine semolina (I use the sandy kind)
                    1 tsp baking soda
                    1/2 tsp baking powder

                    Preheat oven to 350. Mix butter and sugar well, then beat in the eggs. Stir in 1/2 c water--it will look curdled, but it's ok. Sift together the semolina, baking powder, and baking soda (I don't sift, just dump it in) and stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 8x12 pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes. The cake should be firm and lightly browned. Prepare the syrup, and pour it gently over the hot cake. Stop when the cake stops absorbing the syrup, and let cool before serving. Cut into small squares and serve.

                    Syrup: mix 2 cups sugar with 1 1/4 cup sugar, boil until dissolved, then add the juice of 1 lemon. Boil for a minute, then pour gently over the hot cake.

                    1. re: Missyme

                      Sounds delicious. I'm going to try your recipe. Thanks!

                      1. re: Missyme

                        Sorry for the misprint: for the syrup it should be 2 cups sugar and 1 1/4 cup water.