In EVANTHIA’S GIFT, I’ve shared many recipes, all of which gave been relevant to the story. But the chapter in where the moist and delicious revani was cited, had been deleted. Yet, I’ve kept the recipe in the book. One of the characters, dies crossing the street – hit by a taxi cab. The section that was deleted explains the reason she was hit. She’d made pastries that afternoon, and decided to walk across the street to deliver some to a friend who lived close by. With a platter of revani in her hands, she mindlessly crossed the street and was struck by a car and killed instantly.
My editor thought this was strong and harsh in tone in comparison to the rest of the book, and she deleted it. The truth is that this exchange was inspired from an actual event. Years ago, my father’s godmother had guests over and she’d made a platter of pastries for them to take home. When they left, she realized they’d forgotten to take the pastries, so she ran outside to give it to them. Backing out of the driveway, her guests ran over her, killing her instantly. A truly awful story.
So when you read EVANTHIA’S GIFT,and you get to this unfortunate event, you will now know why this character was crossing the street. And that’s all I can say – no spoilers. In the meantime, the revani was too good to delete. It’s easy to make, and one of the biggest requests I get from friends and family.
1 1/3 cups flour
1-cup farina or semolina
¾ cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
Combine flour, farina, baking powder and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer. Mix in vanilla and orange zest. Slowly add the farina mixture and mix through. Pour batter in a buttered 11x 14-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. The cake should be golden on top. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup.
4 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 slices of orange rind
Juice from ½ orange.
Add all ingredients to a pot. Boil for 10 minutes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
The juice from the orange is optional. I decided to put the orange juice in the syrup so not to waste the orange I took the zest from. The cake had a more intense orange flavor than usual. If you only wish to have only a hint of orange flavor, omit the juice and use only the rind.
After the cake has cooled a bit, cut it into serving size squares or diamonds. Pour the warm syrup over the cake and let it absorb the syrup before serving.