Middle Eastern Sweetmeat

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This last week I saw a post from my fellow blogger Aruna in which she shared a recipe from her fellow blogger about Revani – a traditional Turkish Semolina Cake. I was so excited to see it because it is one of my absolute favourite pudding recipes, although the version I know is called Basbousa (Egyptian version), introduced to me by my boyfriend. It differs from the Turkish version by not using eggs but has melted butter instead, however, I think they are VERY similar in their taste and appearance. Also, last night I met three friends of mine for our usual potluck and it was my turn to bring the pudding, and as Aruna’s post was still on my mind, I thought I had to re-visit the ‘classics’.
At the end it turned up to be a success among my friends and I was so pleased to have introduced them to this delicious dessert. As always there are so many variations to it: instead of lemon syrup, you can use orange flower or rose water, instead of almond – pistachios, pomegranate or strawberries on a side and for extra authentic taste, serve with a glass of sweet mint tea. 🙂

BASBOUSA

Ingredients:

125g butter

150g sugar

50g plain flour

150g semolina

75g grated fresh coconut

175ml milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

almonds or pistachios, to decorate

For the syrup:

100g sugar

150ml water

3 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

1. First, to make a syrup, place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan, bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter in a pan, add sugar, flour,semolina, coconut, milk, baking powder, vanilla and mix throughly.

3. Pour the mixture into a shallow cake tin, flatten with the spatula and bake for 30-35 minutes.

4. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool a little, then cut it into diamond-shape pieces and pour the chilled syrup over the top. Place a piece of nut in the centre of each diamond-shaped slice.

P.S: When cooking the syrup, once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir the syrup while it is simmering. Keep the heat low so that the syrup thickens without changing colour.

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