- Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the milk with 3/4 cup of the sugar and bring to a boil. Whisk in the semolina and cook over low heat, whisking often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in half of the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and transfer to a large bowl. Let the semolina cool completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining butter, then stir in the 3 whole eggs, 9 egg yolks and the vanilla.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir one-third of the beaten egg whites into the semolina to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Set the cake pan in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and the center is still slightly jiggly. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove the side of the springform pan. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the Pistachio Crème Anglaise and Tart Cherry-Pinot Noir Syrup.
Semolina, coarsely-ground durum wheat, is often used to make pasta. It is available at health food stores and Italian markets. One great brand to try is Bob's Red Mill, which is available in many supermarkets.
A simple raspberry coulis would be a terrific sauce for this cake. In a food processor or blender, puree 1 cup of raspberries (thawed frozen or fresh) with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice or water. Strain and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.