Basbousa is dessert made from coarse semolina, and means small kiss in Arabic.
Also known as Hareeseh, as well as Nammoura, it is a very easy dish to make.
Very often used to make pasta, couscous, and some Middle Eastern desserts.
Semolina is full of fiber, protein and nutrients so it can be good for you.
Unless of course you are on a gluten free diet.
Semolina does contain gluten.
What is Basbousa Cake?
Basbousa cake is a dessert from the Middle East, with its origins in Egypt, it is popular throughout the Arab world, North Africa, Iran, Greece and Turkey.
In Egypt this is the main dessert served during the feasts and holidays for both Christians and Muslims.
A very simple dish to make, it combines some healthy ingredients that have come to be a very familiar flavor in the desserts of the Middle East.
Then sweetened with simple syrup and flavored with rose water, this unique dish is a great one to share with your friends and family.
How to Make Basbousa
The main thing you need to get right for this recipe is the semolina.
You will need coarse ground semolina for this recipe.
Fine semolina will have a tendency to crumble very easily.
So the fine variety is not ideal.
Other important tips are to mix the cake ‘batter’ which will be much more like a dough with your hands.
Also make sure that you bring to a boil the sugar syrup and then allow to cool completely to room temperature.
It will resemble a thick sugar water.
Once you have mixed the ingredients you will put them in a pan and bake until golden brown.
Finish the dessert by pouring the syrup over it just as it comes out of the oven so it can absorb as much syrup as possible.
Equipment I Used:
Basbousa Recipe (Semolina Cake)
For the Cake
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
- In a bowl combine the semolina, baking soda, coconut, sugar, and melted butter.
- Incorporate ingredients well by mixing them together by hand.
- Add the yogurt and mix in well.
- Press the cake batter into an 8X8 baking dish, and smooth flat.
- Using a knife, score the top of the cake creating diamond shaped pieces.
- Push a piece of slivered almond into each diamond shaped piece of cake batter.
- Place in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
For the Syrup
- In a small saucepan over high heat dissolve sugar in water by stirring until water is clear.
- Bring to a boil and then remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Bringing It Together
- Remove cake once done, and cut through scored lines making sure to carve all the way to the bottom of the tray.
- Pour syrup over the cake by evenly distributing the sugar water.
- Allow the cake to absorb all the syrup.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.