During the summer, every time I go to the store I come back with a bunch of fresh mint. Most of the time I have no idea what will become of it when I buy it, but because it’s not so easily available the rest of the year I just feel compelled to take it home with me.
Instead of infusing the mint into the butter or milk like I’ve done previously, this time I wanted to grind it up fresh and see what kind of flavor it would impart. The answer was that though the mint is not as strong, it hums softly in the background. The combination of mint with lemon zest here reminds me of the ‘laymoon wo na3ana3’ (lemon and mint) drink that is so common in the middle east.
I found Molly’s recipe would do perfectly, and her use of olive oil was an another nod to the region. I substituted almond meal for semolina (a third nod perhaps?) and really loved the slight crunch at the end. After I made the batter I felt like this cake wanted to be a bundt, puddled in an equally brilliantly colored glaze, and so I landed on a raspberry which paired beautifully with both the mint and the lemon. This is one of the most unique cakes I’ve ever made, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.
Fresh Mint Semolina Cake with Raspberry Glaze
adapted from Molly Yeh
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup course semolina
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
for the raspberry glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons raspberry juice (from about 1/3 cup raspberries, smashed through a sieve)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a large bundt pan.
Pulse the zest, mint and sugar together until the mint is chopped finely and no large chunks remain. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Add mint sugar mix and whisk.
In a separate bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. Add dry mix to wet and whisk to combine.
Pour mixture into bundt and bake for about 30 minutes.
Once cake is cool, make your glaze by stirring together the sugar and raspberry juice. You want a consistency that is thick but loose enough to dribble. Spoon the glaze over the bundt.