Month of May: “Together: Our Community Kitchen” Recipe: Oxana Sinitsyna’s Russian Semolina and Kefir Cake

“Your memory feels like home to me. So when ever my mind wanders, it always finds it’s way back to you” Renata Suzuki

Kefir is fermented milk that originated in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia. Added here to this one hundred percent semolina flour cake, the kefir adds a little tang to the sweetness. It is dense but spongy and definitely not too sweet. Delicious with tea.

Abby and I loved the outdoors, especially being in the hills and mountains. It was another deep connection between us. Below is an iconic picture of us from our week long Appalachian trail adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains taken by some unsuspecting passer by hiker who had no idea of just how close these two humans actually were. I love this photo of us so much. It is one of my favorites.

Ingredients: 1 cup plus 2 tbsp course semolina, 1 cup plain kefir, 7 tbsp unsalted room temperature butter, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/2 vanilla bean paste ( I used 1 tsp. vanilla), 2 eggs, 1 tsp baking soda, condensed milk or powdered sugar (optional)

1.Place the semolina and kefir in a bowl and blend. Let set for 2 hours and cover with a clean kitchen towel.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan. Beat butter until soft, add salt and brown sugar and beat until creamy and slightly lighter in color. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time. Gradually incorporate the semolina mixture, then the baking soda. Beat well after each addition. Pour batter into cake pan and cook for 35-40 minutes until brown and spongy. Let cool in pan. Serve with condensed milk if desired. I sprinkled mine with powdered sugar.

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