Basbusa

Semolina and Coconut Cake

Portions:

12

Cook Time:

2 hours (including time for the syrup to cool)

Can I adapt this easily as a vegetarian or vegan?

Yes

A sticky, dense and delicious desert, often served alongside baklava

Ingredients

Syrup

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 150ml water

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water

  • juice of half a lemon

Cake

  • 200g ground semolina

  • 115g desiccated coconut

  • 25g plain flour

  • 2tsp baking powder

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 115g very soft unsalted butter

  • 115g greek yoghurt

  • 20ml milk

  • 12 blanched almonds for decorating

Preparation

Part One; Syrup

(Can be done up to a day in advance)


Step One 

Stir the sugar and water together in a saucepan (don't use non-stick for this)


Step Two 

Place the pan on a high heat until the sugary water turns clear

Boil for 5 minutes without stiring


Step Three

Add the lemon juice and boil for another 30 seconds


Step Four

Take the syrup off the stove, stir in the orange blossom water 


Step Five

Decant into a heat proof container, and put straight into the fridge to cool for at least half an hour before continuing 


Part Two

Preheat the oven to 170°C 

Step One

Combine all the dry ingredients except the blanched almonds in a bowl


Step Two

Using your hands, knead in the butter, yoghurt and milk to form a firm, sticky dough


Step Three

Transfer the dough into a 15x20cm roasting or cake tin

Using wet hands flatten and press it down so it fills the dish


Step Four 

Cut the dough into 12 pieces using a wet knife

Place an almond on the top of each piece


Bake Five 

Bake for 40 minutes, until browned


Step Six

As soon as the cake comes out the oven, pour half of the cold syrup over the hot cake. Let it soak in, and the pour on the second half 


Step Seven

Allow to cool fully so that the cake can firm up before eating


Notes

If you can't find orange blossom water, you may be able to find orange blossom extract in a supermarket. This is an essential oil, and so only 2 drops should be used.