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Basbousa- Semolina Cake

Posted By: Zawjatu-Ibrahim on May 30, 2011

Prep Time:
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Serves: Makes about 30 pieces

Middle Eastern, Arab, Dessert,

Basbousa- Semolina Cake Also known as: nammoura, harissy or wheatheart cake. It's a super sweet arab delight lol :) I'm not really into arab sweets like my husband but I actually like this!

Syrup: 2 cups sugar 1 cup water 1 tsp lemon juice 3 tbsp rose water (my secret: substitute with blossom water) 2 tsp butter Batter: 2 cups of smeed (wheatlets/ semolina) – (course or fine, whatever you like better) 1 cup sugar 2 level tsp baking powder 1 cup butter- melted 1 cup plain yogurt 4 tbsp melted butter o Handful of almonds-blanched

Make the syrup ahead of time as it must be cooled by the time it is used. Combine sugar and water and bring to a hard boil. Add lemon juice (to stop syrup from crystallizing when cooled) and butter. Cook the syrup over medium heat for about 5 minutes—or until thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature. In a large bowl, mix together the smeed/wheatlets, sugar and baking powder. Add the melted butter and yogurt and mix. Leave for half an hour to solidify. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with 2 tbsp of melted butter. Pour the dough into the pan and spread out evenly. Brush with the rest of the butter. Dip a knife in water and mark the batter into 2 inch squares or diamond shapes. Secure an almond in the center of each square. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30-45 minutes until the bottom is deep golden in color. Broil the top until golden. Take out and immediately pour on the cooled syrup. As the cake is absorbing the syrup, slice through the marked lines with a knife. Cool thoroughly and serve. Taste and texture improves with age. You may keep at room temperature for twenty four hours refrigerate after that. If you like the crumbly falling apart type of basbousa/semolina cake then cover it with foil immediately after pouring the syrup on it. It will be really crumbly and soft, I personally like it that way :) If you choose to make basbousa/semolina cake with cheese then do the following: spread out half the batter into the baking tray, smooth over 2lbs or 4 cups of ricotta cheese, then cover the cheese with the rest of the batter and proceed as noted above. Note: basbousa freezes quite well—even the one made with cheese.

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