Inspired by the aromatic Greek cake topped with pastry cream and infused with a special mastika syrup, this gluten free version is made with almond flour for a similarly sweet experience.
By Rita Anastasiou
Ravani is a semolina cake drunk in luscious sweet syrup with Middle Eastern roots. Some make it with coconut flakes, others add almonds, in Greece we do both, but what makes it so special is the beautiful, aromatic spices we add. We add mastika. Mastika originally comes from a small, picturesque island in Greece called Chios. The collection of Mastika drops is hard work, but it’s a labor of love! Its unique aromas and taste made it popular around the world.
The Greeks from Istanbul have one specific recipe,and that’s where I got my inspiration from. Greeks from Istanbul are amazing cooks with great knowledge of spices and desserts.
As a gluten intolerant, I substituted the usual semolina with almond flour. Fluffy, aromatic and topped with luscious pastry cream, it is a heavenly dessert!
- 6 eggs
- 4.5 oz sugar
- 3 oz almond flour
- 2.4 oz gluten free all purpose flour
- 1.7 oz unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 8.8 oz sugar
- 7.5 water
- 1 oz honey
- an orange peel
- 1 teaspoon mastic powder or 7 oz mastic liqueur
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 cups milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon mastic powder or 1 tablespoon mastic liqueur
- 1 teaspoon orange zest.
- In a medium bowl,beat egg yolks well.
- Stir in milk.
- In a sauce pan,under medium heat,mix sugar,cornstarch and salt.
- Gradually,stir in a small amount of milk of milk mixture.
- Add the mastic powder,the vanilla extract and orange zest.
- Keep on whisking until your cream gets nice and thick.
- Preheat oven at 350 F.
- In a medium bowl,beat the egg yolks with 3.5 oz of the sugar,until you get that pale thick cream.
- Add the almond flour,baking powder,coconut flakes and the all purpose flour.
- In a different bowl,beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until you get a stiff meringue.
- Add the meringue into the egg yolk-sugar mixture in two batches and fold carefully. Be gentle,so the cake will not deflate.
- Pour the batter into a well greased 8 inch cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- In a heavy bottom sauce pan, add all the ingredients for the syrup and bring it to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Take the cake out of the oven,don’t let both the syrup and cake cool. Pour carefully the syrup in the cake. It may seems a lot of syrup but it will absorb it fast.
- Let it cool.
- When it’s cooled down completely,topped it with the pastry cream and some whip cream.