An Italian tradition, semolina cakes can range from savory to sweet; this one, leavened with beaten egg whites, is a light and easy dessert for any night of the week. Makes one 8-inch cake
- Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
- 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons semolina fl our, plus
- additional for dusting
- 1⁄3 cup crystallized ginger
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 large eggs, separated (see page 19),
- at room temperature
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Position the rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Lightly butter an 8-inch spring form cake pan.
- Place the crystallized ginger in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; pulse until chopped. Add the pine nuts and process until it becomes paste like.
- Place the egg whites and salt in a large bowl and beat until frothy, using an electric mixer at medium speed.
- Raise the speed to high and continue beating until soft peaks and raised up out of the whites, about 3 minutes.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a second large bowl for about 4 minutes.
- The beaters should drizzle thick ribbons back onto the top of the batter, ribbons that do not immediately dissolve.
- Put in the ground ginger and put in the pine nut paste.
- Scrape down the beaters and remove them.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the semolina flour and a quarter of the beaten egg whites.
- Fold in the remaining beaten whites slowly and gently batter them.