|Prep Time:||Less than 1 hr|
This is a simple Basbousa recipe that came in the newspaper (Arab News) last year. Although my mom has a much better recipe that she got from a Bahraini friend more than 20 years ago, this is a good one for starters.
Basbousa is a popular Middle Eastern sweet. It's basically a cake made from semolina flour and soaked in syrup. It's called Revani in Turkey and Greece. Like a lot of Middle Eastern deserts, it's REALLY sweet and sticky, which is how I like it . However, feel free to adjust the amount of syrup to suit your taste buds.
I will split the ingredients into two parts, just like in the newspaper:
300 g semolina
150 g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp flaked coconut
150 g butter, softened
150 g thick yogurt (I am assuming, this means greek yogurt)
1-2 tsp baking powder (optional)
200 ml water
100 g white sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients.
3. Pour mixture into baking dish and flatten with spoon.
4. Take a knife and make diagonal lines parallel to eachother from left to right accross the entire dish from top to bottom and complete to make little diamond shapes. If desired, place a nut on top of each little diamond.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes in preheated oven, or until light brown.
6. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together water, white sugar, and lemon juice.
7. Bring syrup to a boil, and boil gently for 5-10 minutes, until the syrup starts to thicken. Set aside.
8. Remove the cake from the oven after the 25-30 minutes are up, and pour the syrup over the cake until no more can be absorbed.
You can also top each little diamond slice of cake the way you like. You may choose to sprinkle coconut, cinnamon, or top with any nut you like: an Almond, Walnut, Pecan, etc. They also do this in the Middle East.
That's it. Pretty easy, right? Basbousa is best served with black tea. Enjoy!