Sunday, 7 July 2013

gateau de semoule with caramel and Armagnac soaked prunes

I discovered gateau de semoule on a recent trip to France.  Although this translates literally as "semolina cake" it is basically a semolina pudding with added nice things.  To keep with the French flavour in this recipe the extra added nice things are a caramel sauce (similar to a creme caramel) and Armagnac soaked prunes. This could easily be substituted for  sultanas soaked in Earl Grey Tea or cherries soaked in Kirsch if you fancy - or could of course be left out all together if you are not a fan of dried fruit or dried fruit soaking.   

serves 6 people

preparation time:  5 minutes (plus overnight soaking of prunes if using)

cooking time:  35-40 minutes (plus 2-3 hours cooling time) 

recipe author:  chip butties and noodle soup 


100g fine semolina
1 litre milk 
200g sugar

100g prunes 
50ml Armagnac
1 egg
1 split vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of salt 


to make the Armagnac soaked prunes:
  1. add the prunes to a pan of water to just cover, bring to the boil then turn off the heat, add the Armagnac, cool, cover and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.  
to make the gateau de semoule with caramel:
  1. preheat the oven to 170C
  2. grease your cooking dish (I made 2 medium sized puddings but you could make smaller ones in ramekins or 1 large one).    
  3. add the milk with 50g sugar, the vanilla and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  4. add the semolina and cook over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes until the semolina is thick and creamy.
  5. remove from the heat - chop and add your (drained) prunes and beaten egg, stir and leave to one side while you make the caramel.  
  6. add the remaining 150g sugar to a pan with 5-6 tbs water and bring to the boil without stirring - it's ready when the syrup has turned a golden caramel colour. Put your cooking dish (or dishes) in a large baking tin then carefully pour in the caramel.  
  7. add your prepared semolina then top up the baking tin half way with water to make a bain Marie.
  8. cook in oven for 15-20 minutes - the gateau is done when still slightly wobbly.
  9. leave to cool before putting int he fridge for minimum 2-3 hours before serving.
Bon appetit!  

I have also entered this recipe into Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays over at Cookin w/ Luv



  1. I love the use of the brandy soaked prunes! It sounds very tasty and thank you so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays! Welcome to the series...

    1. Thanks so much - the Armagnac definitely improves the prunes. Great series and glad to be part of it :-)