Basbousa’s (بسبوسة) popularity stretches from Greece and Cyprus, to Turkey and Egypt, and back up throughout all the Arab countries. It is the Arab equivalent to the American basic yellow cake, with many differences.
First off, the cake is flourless, and uses semolina instead. Secondly, the baked cake is then drenched in sugar syrup, rendering it somewhere in the middle between fluffy and dense.
It is a perfect end to a meal with a cup (or istikan) of steaming tea.Needless to say, there are so many recipes for basbousa that one really doesn’t know where to start.
But I found this wonderful recipe in Tess Mallos Middle East Cookbook, and it was nothing short of fantastic.
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups fine semolina
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups yogurt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
Sift semolina, baking powder, and baking soda twice.
Fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the yogurt.
Spread batter in a greased 20x30cm baking dish.
Add nut of choice to decorate if desired.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked when tested.
While cake is baking, make the syrup by bringing the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a rapid boil for 10 minutes.
Cool by standing the pan in cold water.
When the cake is cooked, soon cooled syrup over the hot cake.
Cool thoroughly and cut into diamond shapes to serve.