Basbousa (Baked Semolina Cake in Sugar Syrup)

 

arabic basbousa BLOG1

Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern moist cake-like sweet or dessert using semolina/suji/cream of wheat, baked and soaked in a sugar syrup, either flavored with orange blossom or rose water.  The other names for it used in different parts of the middle east are “Harissa”, “ravani or revani” etc.

Different regions have their own method of making them, some use yogurt, some use only milk or condensed milk, some flavor the sugar syrup with cinnamon and some with either orange blossom water or rose syrup or essence and some use eggs.  The other ingredient used sometimes is coconut!!  I love the flavor of coconut in any dish and adding this to basbousa gives it a lovely sweet coconutty flavor!!

basbousa1

My version of making it uses yogurt and coconut with rose extract in the syrup and completely egg free!!  I had first come across this Middle Eastern sweet while watching an Australian TV show and have wanted to try it ever since!  It is an exotic baked version of our Sheera or suji halwa.

Making it involves using only a bowl to mix, with no beaters needed, and once baked and soaked in rose flavored sugar syrup, it takes a lovely golden color with a tinge of lemon flavor and moistness you will love!!

Another similar dessert you will love which is equally tasty and comes from the Middle East, Turkey, Greece etc. is “Honey Baklava” (layers of crushed nuts, cushioned between phyllo dough sheets, baked and soaked in a honey-sugar syrup.

Basbousa
Basbousa is a middle eastern cake like dessert or sweet, made with semolina, coconut and sugar, soaked in a rose flavored sugar syrup to give it a rich moist, exotic taste!!!
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3615 calories
523 g
398 g
170 g
19 g
115 g
1230 g
539 g
459 g
6 g
45 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1230g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3615
Calories from Fat 1488
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 170g
262%
Saturated Fat 115g
576%
Trans Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 39g
Cholesterol 398mg
133%
Sodium 539mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 523g
174%
Dietary Fiber 10g
41%
Sugars 459g
Protein 19g
Vitamin A
90%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
53%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups coarse suji/semolina/rava
  2. 1 cup coconut powder or flakes (dried)
  3. ¾ cup castor sugar or powdered sugar
  4. ½ cup all purpose flour or maida
  5. ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  6. Pinch salt
  7. 1 cup thick yogurt
  8. ¾ cup melted butter (unsalted)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
  10. Few almonds, blanched, peeled and halved
!For the sugar syrup
  1. 1 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  4. ½ teaspoon rose essence/extract
Instructions
  1. Grease a large baking pan (I used a 9X11 inch pan) with ghee or butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla essence and yogurt.
  3. Mix well with your hands till the semolina is well coated and all the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. If you feel the mixture is too dry, add a few teaspoons of milk.
  5. Once it is thoroughly mixed, spoon the semolina mixture into the greased pan and spread it till the edges; make sure to smoothen the top well.
  6. Cover and keep aside for about half an hour for the flavors to blend well.
!Meanwhile, let us prepare the sugar syrup
  1. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water on medium till the sugar starts to melt, stirring continuously. Once the sugar has melted completely, lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 5 minutes without stirring.
  2. After 5 minutes, remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and rose essence; keep aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Centigrade.
  4. After 30 minutes of soaking, cut the mixture into either square shapes or diamond shapes.
  5. Place half a blanched almond on each cut diamond and press gently.
  6. Bake the semolina-coconut mixture in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately, pour the cold sugar syrup over the hot basbousa!!
  8. Make sure to cover the whole pan with the syrup.
  9. Keep aside for at least 2 to 4 hours or even overnight for the syrup to soak through.
  10. Serve it either cold or at room temperature; refrigerate leftovers.
beta
calories
3615
fat
170g
protein
19g
carbs
523g
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Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/
Step-by-step method:

  • Grease a large baking pan (I used a 9 x 11 inch pan) with ghee or butter.

greased pan

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla essence and yogurt.

ingredients

  • Mix well with your hands till the semolina is well coated and all the ingredients are well mixed.

mixed ingredients

  • If you feel the mixture is too dry, add a few teaspoons of milk.
  • Once it is thouroughly mixed, spoon the semolina mixture into the greased pan and spread it till the edges; make sure to smoothen the top well.

mixture spread in pan

  • Cover and keep aside for about half an hour for the flavors to blend well.

Meanwhile, let us prepare the sugar syrup:

  • In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water on medium till the sugar starts to melt, stirring continuosly.  Once the sugar has melted completely, lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 5 minutes without stirring.
  • After 5 minutes, remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and rose essence; keep aside to cool.

sugar syrup with rose and lemon

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Centigrade.
  • After 30 minutes of soaking, cut the mixture into either square shapes or diamond shapes.
  • Place half a blanched almond on each cut diamond and press gently.

cut basbousa

  • Bake the semolina-coconut mixture in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

baked basbousa1

  • Remove from the oven and immediately, pour the cold sugar syrup over the hot basbousa!!

basbousa with syrup1

  • Make sure to cover the whole pan with the syrup.
  • Keep aside for at least 2 to 4 hours or even overnight for the syrup to soak through.

PIECES OF BASBOUSA1

  • Serve it either cold or at room temperature; refrigerate leftovers.

Note:

  1. For a lighter cake, you can reduce the suji to 2 cups.
  2. For a different flavor, you can use a cinnamon stick in the sugar syrup.

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