This simple but effective cake, made with semolina (flour that's made from corn, not wheat) is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Dried and candied fruit can be added to amp up the flavours if you wish.

Ingredients

  • 700ml water
  • 150g semolina
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml milk, at room temperature
  • Icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and flour a 20cm round cake pan.
  2. Pour the water into a pan and bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, sprinkle in the semolina and salt. Cook for eight minutes, then remove from the heat.
  3. Transfer the semolina to a bowl to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Whisk in the sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Whisk in the whole egg, vanilla, and milk, until the mixture's soft.
  5. Pour the semolina mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the top of the cake is a dark, golden brown (the cake will have a runny, pudding-like texture) about one hour. Let cool.
  6. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.

Naples and the Amalfi Coast from The Silver Spoon; photography Simon Bajada. Phaidon, £24.95. uk.phaidon.com.