Halsema Yogurt Cake

from Johnny Mariakakis

Contributed by Johnny Mariakakis of Mariakakis’ Restaurant, Chapel Hill, N.C. This is their most requested dessert recipe.

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking cream of wheat
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 sixteen-ounce carton plain yogurt (or sour cream)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
Juice of 1/2 lemon (Boil the lemon rind with the syrup, and then discard it.)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs well. Combine the cream of wheat and the sugar, and add to the eggs, along with the butter. Beat well. Reduce the mixer speed and gradually add the yogurt. Combine the lemon juice and the baking soda, and add this to the batter. Bake in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Prepare the syrup by combining all the ingredients and gently boiling for ten minutes. Drizzle cooled syrup over the warm cake, and cover tightly to steam for about one hour. This is delicious served the same day topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries, peaches, or blueberries. Serves 24.

From The Grecian Plate, a cookbook published in 1984 by the Hellenic Ladies Society of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Durham, North Carolina.