Semolina Cake/Basboosa

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Semolina Cake/Basboosa

This sweet, dense cake is an Egyptian specialty. It is popular at Ramadan but is also enjoyed yearround. If you have trouble finding semolina flour, you can substitute Cream of Wheat®.


Ingredients

Cake:
        Butter for greasing a pan, plus ½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted flour for dusting.
        ½ c. sugar
        1¼c. semolina flour
        1 tsp. baking powder
        ½ c. almonds, slivered, plus 1 to 2 tbsp. halved almonds
        2/3 c. plain nonfat yogurt
Syrup:
        1 c. water
        2 tbsp. lemon juice
        1 c. sugar

        2 tsp. rose water (optional).

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Use butter to grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Dust pan with flour.


2. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add semolina, baking powder, and slivered almonds. Mix well. Add yogurt and mix.

3. Spread cake batter in prepared pan. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut batter into squares or diamonds. Press half of an almond into the top of each piece.

4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until cake is golden brown.

5. Combine water, lemon juice, sugar, and rose water (if using) in a saucepan and boil over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat to cool.

6. Remove cake from oven. Pour syrup slowly over the hot cake. Allow to cool before serving.*

*Cooks in Egypt and throughout the region prepare different versions of basboosa. Some cooks add 1⁄2 c. coconut or 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the batter, while others add 1 tsp. ground cardamom to the syrup.You may also want to substitute walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts for the almonds.

Food: Semolina Cake/Basboosa

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