Basboosa (sweet semolina cake with lemon syrup)

Yield: 1 8x12 flat

Measure Ingredient
1½ cup Water
1 cup Sugar
12 tablespoons Butter; unsalted, melted and
3 cups Semolina, yellow
3 cups Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon juice, fresh
¼ teaspoon Rose water, bottled
¾ cup Cold water; (« to 3/4 c)
20 Blanched almonds, whole;
;split in half lengthwise



First prepare the syrup in the following fashion: combine 1« cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and the lemon juice in a small saucepan.

Stirring constantly, cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and cook briskly, uncovered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes (timing it from the moment the syrup boils), or until the syrup reaches a temperature of 220 degrees (F) on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the rose water and set the syrup aside to cool.

Meanwhile bake the cake. Preheat the oven to 350. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of an 8 by 12 inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.

In a deep mixing bowl, stir the semolina and 3 cups of sugar together until thoroughly combined. Stirring constantly, pour in up to ¾ cup of water, a few tablespoons at a time, using only enough to moisten all the semolina. When the mixture becomes too resistant to stir, work in the water with your hands. Then add 8 tablespoons (« cup) of the melted butter, a tablespoon at a time, and beat with a large spoon until it is absorbed.

Pour the batter into the baking pan, and with a metal spatula or the back of a spoon, spread it evenly into the corners of the pan.

then with a sharp knife and a ruler, score the surface into diamonds by making parallel lines about 2 inches apart and « inch deep, then crossing them diagonally to form diamond shapes. Gently press an almond half in the center of each diamond. Brush the cake with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until the cake is firm to the touch and the top is delicately browned.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately sprinkle the syrup over the top, a tablespoon or two at a time. Use only as much of the syrup as the cake will absorb readily; it should be soft but not soggy. Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving it.

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Source: Time Life Series: Middle Eastern Cooking "circa 69" MMed by: earl.cravens@...

Submitted By EARL CRAVENS On 04-08-95

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