The following recipe is a middle eastern cake/bar cookie called Basbousa. This dessert is easy to make as well as being a little different than the average cake. It is made with semolina which can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores. A light and sweet syrup and toasted almonds top this tasty and different cake!
2 cups semolina- found in the baking section of most grocery stores
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
20 almonds, blanched and toasted
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
rose water- optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix Semolina, sugar and butter. Add baking powder, yogurt and milk and mix well. You can also add 1/2 cup of coconut if you like. My kids like it plain but it is tasty with coconut. Spread in a round cake pan. Flatten this out as much as possible.
For this dessert you will be using a butter knife and cutting the bars before you bake them! It was hard for me to get this batter to smooth out using a spoon or knife so I wet my fingers with water slightly and it helped. I smoothed the batter out and then cut lines all the way across the batter to the end. Continue doing this until you have finished the whole pan. Then slice the other way to make diamond shapes. Place a toasted almond in each space where a portion will be.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until done.
When cake is done, remove from the oven and cool slightly. Place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan on the stove. Let this mixture come to a boil. Turn heat to a lower temperature so that it is still boiling but a low boil. Cook for ten minutes watching and monitoring so it does not boil over. It is common to add rose water and/or lemon juice at the end of boiling, for a few seconds. This is where I have changed the recipe and I leave my syrup plain.
Let syrup cool slightly and then pour warm syrup over cake. You can use all of the syrup or the desired amount. This is something that you can experiment with. Cool before serving.