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Besboussa | Honeyed Almond Semolina Cake

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Ramadan is right around the corner. Devoted fellowers are in preparation for the arrival of this most blessed month. But that also means home cooks are brushing up on their skills and looking for new dishes to present on the iftar table. But there are always certain dishes that you'll find on almost every Ramadan iftar table virtually worldwide.

One such dish ... a cake actually is Besboussa; the Ortiental cake that has thousands of names ... Halva de semolina, Chamia, Harcha fran, Kaakat smid, Erasian Cake, Love Cake, Sugee, Safra, Harissa Hloua, Hareesa, Harissi, Cream of wheat cake, Namourrah, Baseema,Gâteau de semoule, Iishpishti, Chamali, Revani, even Khoubz Dzairi (where I live). 

11th mediterranean cooking event - Egypt - tobias cooks! - 10.08.2010-10.09.2010 Besboussa is an easy to make Ortiental style cake. This is a sweet and simply scrumptious Ortiental delight is very easy to make and is sure to satisfy you sweet tooth. This cake's main ingrdient is  medium grained semolina. Some  cooks like to  use coconut, yoghurt,  can of Nestle condensed milk, tahini, layer of arabic cream or even have a date layer in the middle. (Mmmmm!). I even shared with you one version with coffee and chocolate.

I orginally posted this recipe a few years ago on my former blog Simplicity of my table by the sea, after a   reader request from Kitchen Bliss ... I entered it into a contest and won! And I'm reposting it again by request of a reader Sarah! {YES! I do read and reply to each and every e-mail, Facebook PM and comment! }

As many of my friends and readers may know I regrouped and started this new and enchallah better blog The Teal Tadjine. I've been doing my best to slowing go through all the recipes, checking and transfering them here ... but it's been a slow transition due to my responsiblities with my family, job and the slow connection. It's has taken more time and effort then I expected, but I'm thankful for all the encouraged and understanding. 

Now on to the best and easiest almond Besboussa recipe ever!!! 

active prep time: 5-10mins | inactive prep time: 10min | cook time: 25-30 mins 
24 diamond shaped cakes

  •  4 eggs 
  • 1 cup  250g sugar 
  • 1 cup - 250mL oil 
  • 1 cup - 250mL milk 
  • 2 cups - 470g  medium grained semolina (semoule moyenne)
  • 2 TBS - 15g  flour 
  • 1 packet (about 2 tsp) baking powder 
  • 2 TBS ground almond (optional)
  •  Zest of one lemon 
  • 300mL - 1 ¼ cup sugar 
  • 2 TBS honey 
  • 350mL - 1 ½  cup water 
  • juice of half lemon 
  • 1 TBS orange flower water 
  • chopped toasted almonds
  • sugar pearls (optional)

    PREPARE the atar syrup by combing all the syrup ingredients in a heavy bottom pot.
    SIMMER on low heat until thickened.
    TURN off the heat and allow to cool.
    MIX the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl.
    ADD the oil and milk and mix well 
    INCORPATE the semolina, flour and the baking powder into the mixture.
    ALLOW the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.
    PREHEAT the oven to 180C ° - 350°>F.
    GREASE9x13 pan and pour the mixture in.
    BAKE in the oven for 15-20 min or until golden brown 
    POUR the cooled syrup over the cake and allow to soak in for at least 15 minutes. If you have more time, leave it for longer period of time.
    CUT the cake into squares of diamonds and decorate with toasted almonds.
    Size- Wise
    You can easily make individual besboussas by filling cupcake tins with the batter.

    Subsitute cornmeal (semoule de mais) to make this dessert gluten-free. 

    Besboussa is very versatile dessert that you can easily change but adding various flavouring ingredients such as orange, lemon, coconut, chocolate or even nuts.

    Mediterranean, Algerian, Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Lebanese, sweet, syrup cakes; Ramadan, tea time

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    1. Just voted for your recipe. I shall try and make this soon. Good luck Heni.

    2. The voting is online!
      Come and vote for it!

    3. Hello Heni!
      Please send me your postal address in order for me to send you the book! Thanks a lot.

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