It’s time to get adventurous!

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And I’m back from hibernation! Sorry about the mini-break but needed to have a week of complete detox. It’s always good to do something like that every now and then as it makes you appreciate things all the more! 🙂 So the baking gloves are back on and I’m all set to take you on a Middle Eastern feast this week! I absolutely adore Middle Eastern food and their desserts are simply delicious! One of my ultimate favourites is the ‘Basbousa’ also known as Semolina Cake. This is actually one of those simple no-fuss party desserts which can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Just make sure you warm it up before serving. :). Oh and if you’re not too fond of eggs then this dessert would be perfect for you as the recipe has no eggs or even flour for that matter! Time to get adventurous then?Ahh it feels wonderful to be baking again! 😀

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Recipe is as follows:

Ingredients for the cake:
Semolina: 2 cups
Unsalted Butter (at room temperature): 150 grams
Caster Sugar: 1/2 cup
Desiccated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Greek Yogurt: 3/4 cup
Bicarbonate Soda: 3/4 tsp
Salt: pinch
Almonds (blanched): to garnish

Ingredients for the syrup:
Rose Water: 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Lemon Juice: 3 tsp
Sugar: 1 cup
Water: 1 cup

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease your baking dish. I would recommend using a non-removable base tin to prevent the syrup from leaking.

In a bowl, mix the semolina and bicarbonate soda. Add the desiccated coconut, caster sugar, and salt.

Add the unsalted butter followed by Greek yogurt and continue to mix until the batter starts to come together. You can add more yogurt if necessary. The batter will almost be in the form of a dough.

Transfer the batter to your greased baking dish, and press firmly to make sure it is evenly distributed throughout your baking dish. Let the batter sit for approximately 10 minutes.

Cut the batter in square shapes and place blanched almonds on top.

Bake the cake in your pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius. After 15 minutes remove the baking dish and cut into squares again. Place the baking dish back in the oven. Continue to bake until the cake is light golden in colour and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, prepare your syrup (recipe below). As soon as the cake has baked, remove from the oven and pour the syrup on top.

Allow the syrup to absorb in to the cake for at least a few hours. This cake can be refrigerated. Always warm the cake prior to serving!

Method for the syrup:
Boil water with sugar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely.
Add lemon juice followed by rose water and continue to stir until the syrup thickens.
Allow the syrup to cool at room temperature.

Congratulations! Your Middle Eastern Basbousa dessert is ready to be served!

For more dessert recipes visit The Bakealogue’s Ready Steady Bake section …

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