One of my favorite childhood comfort foods, and although you can add lots of different flavors, I like mine simple just made with milk and sugar!
I remembered what my grandmother made me when I use to sleep over at her place without my parents. It made me feel safe and warm and occasionally I still make this for myself when I get nostalgic about my childhood.
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 4 tbsp semolina
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa or chocolate powder
- grated chocolate for decoration
- Pour the milk in the small saucepan and heat it on medium to high temperature until it boils.
- Lower the temperature to medium low and add semolina and sugar. Whisk it intensively until it thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Divide it in two equal parts. In one part mix in the cocoa powder.
- You can add so many different flavors according to your desires: cinnamon, honey, nuts, dried fruits.
Zvonimir’s note: I made this so many times that I developed a variation that combines step one and two. Not only is it quicker to make, it’s also smoother, perfect thickness, with lower chance of lumps. Downside: it takes some practice, so it might take a few tries to get the results you came here for.
If you’re up for the challenge (and for the rewards), here’s how it goes.
Add sugar before the milk boils (it raises the boiling temperature). As the milk comes close to boil but not yet boiling, lower the heat, (not too low, you still want it to boil eventually). Start slowly adding semolina and stir with a spatula (not a whisk).
Keep going at a pace where semolina doesn’t get a chance to form lumps before you stir it away.
Keep going until the milk surface starts resisting semolina grains and they start taking longer to sink (you’ll know it when you see it) as the milk comes even closer to boil. At that point stop adding semolina, optionally lower the heat a bit more, depending on your stove, and keep stirring diligently, keeping the semolina from getting stuck on the bottom.
Zvonimir’s extra tips: now if you mastered that and want more, there’s a way to make it even softer while keeping the consistency. Yes, really.
I discovered this by accident, like a lot of great things sometimes are, but then played with it and practiced to get the technique right.
Do everything the same up to a point when you’re adding semolina, but stop before you put the right amount of semolina into the milk.
This would normally make a runnier semolina, so we need to do something to get the thickness back. Add extra fine breadcrumbs that taste as bland as possible, while constantly stirring (the same way you would semolina). The breadcrumbs need to soften and combine with the semolina so you need to cook it on lower heat than usual, for longer. The breadcrumbs you use will make a big difference so experiment with the type/brand (some may affect the aroma), amount, when you add them and the heat.
You don’t want them to overtake the semolina. Use a lot less breadcrumbs than semolina.
Breadcrumbs are a lot less sticky than semolina and they will make the semolina fluffier and lighter. When you get the technique down, no one will be able to tell what the secret ingredient is 😉
Now wait until you hear about my pancake tips…
Decorate with some grated chocolate 😀
What is your favorite childhood dish?