Semolina cake with chocolate-Turkish delight ice cream

Truth be told, this recipe was directly inspired by controversial MKR contestants, Sonya and Hadil, and a dish that they prepared during the Cole’s ice cream challenge, where they made chocolate-Turkish delight ice cream with semolina cake and pistachio biscuit. I know that several people hate them because they got ejected from the show for saying extremely rude things, but the amount of animosity that they got from the Internet was pretty unwarranted too, ranging from death threats to racial remarks. Putting aside their portrayal on the show, they were still phenomenal cooks and I will admit to using their recipes for inspiration, because again, they are really great cooks and that is what I want to emphasize here. For my rendition, the differences are that I use hazelnut instead of pistachio, Taiwanese rose jam in place of the rose water, and I infuse Nutella into the ice cream and hazelnut milk into the cake in place of the traditional syrup used to soak semolina cake.

Now you might be wondering whatTurkish delight and semolina cake are, and luckily for you, I will explain both. Turkish delight is basically like a jelly made from cornstarch, gelatin, sugar, a bit of lemon juice, rose water, and dyed pink using red food coloring, and it is then coated in cornstarch and powdered sugar to finish. It is a very sweet component, but it had a nice texture and when added into a frozen component, gives it a nice mouthfeel while the cold temperature of said frozen component will lighten the sweetness, which was why it is a perfect ingredient to add into ice cream for a little something extra. For semolina, that is a grain, almost similar to cornmeal in several functions, except that it also contains tons of gluten (the most of any flour) and can be used to make doughs without having the same chunky and unpleasant texture of polenta. It does have a smooth mouthfeel in it, but can leave things tasting a little dry, which is why I opted to use olive oil in my cake and to soak it with hazelnut milk to finish it off with.


For the cake:
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup hazelnut meal**
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup hazelnut milk
3/4 cups brown sugar
3 egg whites; whipped stiff
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hazelnut milk (for soaking)
hazelnuts to embed with

Combine ingredients and pour into a lined cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Once cooled, embed with the hazelnuts (1-2 hazelnuts per portion) then pour on the hazelnut milk.

To make the hazelnut milk and hazelnut meal, puree 1/2 cup hazelnuts with 2 cups of water and then strain out the solids, which you can then add into the cake itself.

For the tuile:
unsalted butter; melted

Roll out phyllo stacks as thin as possible then brush one of them with the Nutella before pressing them together. Brush with butter and sprinkle on the hazelnuts and almonds. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

For phyllo:
1 cup all-purpose flour with more for rolling
1/3 cup water
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter; melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of cardamom
a pinch of coriander

Combine flour, water, salt, and baking powder and form into a dough. Split into eight equal portions then roll each portion into a flat disk, thin enough that you can start to see your hands through them. Brush each layer with butter and dust with sugar and spices. Make two stacks of four.

For the Turkish delight:
1 cup cornstarch
3 packets gelatin powder
1/2 cup Taiwanese rose jam
3 cups granulated sugar + 1 cup for the gelatin
3 cups water
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 drops red food coloring
powdered sugar and cornstarch to dust

Bloom 1 cup of water with the gelatin. In a pot, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes. Pour onto a lined sheet tray and refrigerate in the freezer for 1 1/2 hours. Take out, slice up, and dust with the powdered sugar to finish.

For the ice cream:
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted dark chocolate
2/3 cups granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Turkish delight

Melt the chocolate and Nutella into the heavy cream. Temper egg yolks, combined with sugar, salt, and cocoa, with the heavy cream mixture and whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes. Pass through a strainer and add in your vanilla extract. Churn in an ice cream machine then fold in the Turkish delight to finish.

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