Recipe by Felicia Manocchio
"This is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made of semolina flour, yogurt, and coconut. To adjust the sweetness, you can half or double the amount of sugar in the lemon syrup."
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sweetened flaked coconut
milk, or as needed
This is a great recipe (sometimes also called Hareesa)and very much like what my Egyptian mother makes. Unfortunately Mom makes all these wonderful recipes but she can't give you exact measurements-she does it all by sight. I do have some recommendations: Buy the medium semolina (sometimes called #2) because the fine semolina makes it difficult for the syrup to absorb throughout the whole basboosa. Also, at the end of the baking time, turn the broiler on for 2-3 minutes to give the top a golden brown color. Last, make sure to double the syrup ingredients. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes then simmer for about 10 minutes.
Beware! The recipe doesn't specify but someone's suggestion of using #2 semolina or it will not absorb the syrup is true. All I found was #1 and it turned out dense, in spite of using a 9.5 inch pan. I think this would have made all the difference in the world. I made cuts both before and after baking and the syrup only penetrated these cuts leaving most of my basboosa dense and dry. I guess now I have semolina to try to making handmade pasta...lol. That said, the flavor of coconut and the lemon juice in the syrup stood out. I think it would have been good. I followed the recipe exactly except for adding 1 tsp almond extract which gives it a nice flavor!
Make this fab dessert even healthier by using NON-FAT plain yogurt and substituting the 2 cups total white sugar used (in the cake and the syrup) with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup sugar substitute.
I also use a fresh squeezed lemon--all of it, instead of the 1 tablespoon in recipe. It gives more boost to the flavor and makes it sing! Try covering the entire dish with sliced almonds instead of whole ones--you get an ever better toasted almond flavor. And for my last substitute, use Cream of Wheat instead of semolina! Not everyone has semolina flour on hand, but most people have Cream of Wheat!
The larger the baking dish you use, as well, the faster the cake will cook. I usually double the recipe and spread it into a 8 x 11.5 glass dish for quick baking.
For special occasions and for the sake of presentation, bake in a beautiful oven proof pottery dish like a quich dish or fancy pie dish. Or any shallow pottery piece is fine. It is beautiful when placed on the table!
this was easy and turned out great. i cut the basboosa into squares before baking and then went over those again after baking to let the syrup distribute nicely. i also added rosewater to the syrup. this tasted really good because of the coconut. i will use this recipe again.
I have tried many times to get a proper recipe for this desert which mom used to make for us as kids. This is as good as it gets and I made it repeatedly for my little family. Ditto with the rose water added to the syrup/mixture or both if u want.
Delicious, my only recommendations are to add a whole lemon's juice to the syrup part and before you pour on the syrup....poke some holes in the cake so that the syrup can reach the bottom layer. I couldn't figure out why mine was absorbing all of the syrup- I'll know for next time.
5 star, but slight changes... make sure to use the #2 semolina flour. Next only use 3/4 cup sugar in batter. In the syrup, I used rose flavoring. Plus I only used 3/4cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to make syrup. I decorated it with sliced almonds which I already had on hand.And after pouring the syrup on, I broiled it in the oven for around 5 minute.
When cooking in oven pay attention. Cooks faster than you think. Lowered my oven temp to 335-340.
Everyone loved it and I never made it before, so good luck.
I know that rose water is a must-have for arabic deserts. But i personally don't prefer it and that is why I chose to leave it out of the recipe. I guess I should have added it as an optional thing in the recipe. Glad you all like it. Felicia
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/9 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 9
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 432
** Calories from Fat: 93
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