Semolina Cake

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Happy Friday afternoon all! Back to blogging once again, after a long hiatus. It is always good to take a break from routine and do something different. And here I am bringing you another recipe from my kitchen.

Have there been times when you have a sudden urge to eat something sweet? Are you the one with an uncanny fondness for sweets and desserts? Have you been in a dilemma of desire to eat something sweet and delicious but with low calories? Look no further. Today I bring to you a middle eastern semolina cake, the recipe for which I obtained online. Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basbousa.

This recipe is such simple and takes less than 40 mins. Go on and give this recipe a try and indulge in a blissful experience!!

Ingredients for the simple syrup

  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Water – 1 1/2 cups
  • Lemon, juice only – 1
  • Rosewater – 2 tbsp

Ingredients for the cake

  • Semolina – 2 cups (I used the super fine variety)
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature – 1/2 cup (~ 8 tablespoons)
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup – desiccated coconut
  • Blanched almonds – 1/2 cup (for garnish)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add the 2 cups of sugar, water and lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for about 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the rosewater and set the syrup aside to cool.
  3. Sift together the semolina, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl and mix well until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract.
  5. Now add coconut, about 1/2 of the semolina mixture to the butter and beat to incorporate. Then add 1/2 the yogurt and mix well. Finish with the remaining ingredients, alternating the semolina with the remaining yogurt. Mix until smooth. Scrape the bowl and beat again. The batter should not be of flowing consistency. If you think that the batter is a little too thick, add in some warm milk to adjust the consistency.
  6. Pour the batter into a buttered baking pan and smooth out the top. Use a knife to make diagonal lines in two directions on the surface of the batter, creating diamond shapes. Arrange an almond in the center of each diamond. Place in the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top.
  7. The standard method to check if the cake is done, insert a toothpick in it and if it comes out clean, then the cake is baked.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and while the cake is hot, pour some of the cooled sugar syrup slowly over the entire cake while it is hot. Allow the syrup to soak into the cake before pouring on more, using up all the syrup. Set the cake aside until it is completely cooled.

Enjoy!

Tips for serving:

  • The use of simple syrup is mainly to make the cake moist. It also adds a little more sweetness to the cake. You can use between 1/2 – 3/4 of the simple syrup if you want to control the sugar level. 
  • This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days in an air tight container. Remember to heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds for better taste.
  • This cake can also be eaten as an evening tea/coffee time snack.
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