HARISEH/ BASBOUSA II- SEMOLINA CAKE WITH SYRUP
"Basbousa", is a typical middle-eastern dessert with Semolina as a main ingredient. Also, unlike the traditional way of making cakes, this is unique as it uses a sugar syrup topping for a plain cake, which in fact induces the softness, flavor and sweetness to the cake. Also, almonds and lemon juice are an important part of the traditional recipe. As I'm not too huge a fan of lemon flavor in my cakes, I cut down on the lemon juice a little and added Rose essence instead as I thought it would give a nice aroma and a mildly sweet taste that would accentuate the recipe. The result, a perfectly moist and healthy cake with a distinct taste, flavor and texture.
They love to eate basbousa with turkish/ arabic/ khaleej coffee after a meal. They are just enough to add that extra "umph" to a meal. The syrup is not too sugary because you can control how much sugar/ syrup you need, but sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp rose water
1 tbsp orange blossom water
Prepare the syrup first.
Dissolve sugar in water in a medium saucepan.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest, orange blossom water and rose water, bring to a boil. Once the syrup begins to boil reduce heat and allow to slowly boil for about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
2 cups semolina
1/2 cup fresh milk
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
blanched split almonds
Preheat oven to 180-200C degrees.
Lightly grease and flour a 9x12 baking dish.
Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine semolina, baking powder, and baking soda, slowly add to butter and egg mixture.
Stir in milk and yogurt.
Pour mixture into baking dish and smooth with spoon.
Take a butter knife and make diagonal lines from left to right and complete to make a diamond shapes.
Place an almond in the center of each diamond.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and pour syrup over cake until no more can be absorbed.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes.