Semolina Cake / Rava Cake topped with orange syrup made in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. An easy to make, fluffy and moist cake with the gorgeous orange flavor. This is a eggless cake perfect for vegetarians.
Grease a 6 inch cake pan with some melted butter (or another cake pan that fits in the pressure cooker).
Prepare an aluminum foil sling by taking a 20" inch long foil sheet and fold it lengthwise to make a sling as shown in the picture above.
Making the batter and cooking:
In a large bowl, mix semolina, sugar and cardamom. To it, stir in yogurt and milk. Then mix in the melted butter. Let this batter rest for 15 minutes, so the semolina can absorb the liquid.
After about 10 minutes, add 2 cups water to the pressure cooker insert. Place a trivet. Start the pressure cooker in sauté mode and let the water heat.
After 15 minutes, mix in the baking powder, baking soda and some orange zest to the batter. Pour the batter in the greased cake pan. Top with some sliced almonds. (Note: Do not wait after mixing baking soda to the batter, and cook it right away)
Cover the cake pan with paper towels and foil. This is important so the steam does not go into the cake batter while it is baking.
Place the cake pan on the sling. Pick and place on the trivet in the pressure cooker. Press Cancel and close lid with pressure valve in venting position.
Start pressure cooker in Steam mode for 25 minutes. The timer will not work as we are not pressure cooking, hence set an external timer.
Preparing the syrup:
While the cake is cooking, prepare the orange syrup in a saucepan/pot on stovetop. Combine the zest, sugar, orange juice and water in the pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to low and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and keep this syrup ready to add to the cake.
Getting the cake ready:
When the timer is done, open the pressure cooker and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then take the cake out and check that it is done (insert a clean knife or toothpick at the center of the cake, which should come out clean). .
Run a knife around the edges of the cake. Pour the syrup over the cake. Let it cool completely; syrup will get absorbed into the cake. Top with some sliced pistachios.
After about 30 minutes to an hour, slice and enjoy the cake.
No syrup variation: Adding the syrup is optional, the cake is delicious even without the syrup.
Simple sugar syrup variation: You can prepare the syrup with only sugar and water too. Orange juice is optional. For extra flavor, add a cinnamon stick while making the syrup, which can be removed once the syrup has cooked.
Tip: Save some syrup to top while serving the cake.
I use a removable bottom 6 inch Fat Diddio cake pan to make this cake, as it is just easier to remove the cake from it.
Using a glass bowl: If using a glass bowl to make this cake, add 5 extra minutes to the pressure cooking time.
Bake in the oven: To make this cake in the oven, preheat oven to 350F. Then bake the cake for about 25-30 minutes until it is well set at the center.
Pressure cooking trial - I also tried making this cake on Steam mode with vent in sealing position for 20 minutes. Then released the pressure 10 minutes after the instant pot beeped. It worked fine, but the cake was more fluffier when made with venting position. So that is certainly my recommendation for this cake. If you like, you can always try this one too.