Caroline Cooks

A modest documentation of my culinary exploits.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I have a penchant for little cakes, and with a massive bag of semolina sitting in my cupboard (purchased from the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. during a recent Pittsburgh visit), they seemed like the perfect treat to make for teatime.

Basboosa is a popular dessert throughout the Middle East, and would pair nicely with the Pilau Rice for a simple thematic meal. The cakes keep well in a closed container-- the semolina and yogurt ensure a tender, moist texture weeks later (I know this from personal experience). If you do not like an overly sweet dessert, skip the syrup and drizzle with a bit of honey instead.

If you have unblanched almonds, you can blanch them yourself. Cover the almonds with boiling water and let them sit for about 5 minutes. This will loosen that skins, allowing you to slip them off. Some (well, most) of the skins will be stubborn and not come off easily, so I wouldn't recommend blanching more than 30 almonds at a time unless you have servants or a lot of friends that owe you favors.

(for the syrup)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
a few drops of rosewater

Dissolve the sugar in 1 1/2 cups of water and the lemon juice and then bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to continue boiling until it has been reduced to a thick, golden syrup. Let the syrup cool a little before pouring it on the cake.

(for the cake)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup semolina
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups Greek-style yogurt
4 tbsp melted butter
18-24 whole blanched almonds

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the dry sugar, semolina, and baking soda, then beat in the yogurt and butter. Pour the batter into a well-greased pan and bake for 15 minutes. Arrange the almonds in rows on top of the cake, and bake for another 30 minutes or until golden.

Once the cake has cooled a little, cut it into squares and slowly pour on the syrup. It should be allowed to seep into the surface evenly, but not saturate the cake.



Blogger EEP said...

Now just get some baklava and we've got a party :)

12:16 AM  

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