Has this happened to you?
You get a recipe from your mom because the way she made it was always delicious, then you try and make it yourself thinking I’m on this. I know how mom did it. Wrong….failure! This does not taste like mom’s! That’s what happened to me the first time I tried to make this.
The first time I tried to make this…well, let me say that my mom’s recipe makes enough for a large, 20″ pan. I had to cut it down and the first time I tried to make it, well, it was dry, it didn’t look right, etc. etc. So this time I tweaked a little here and a little there and here we are. It tastes like mom’s!
This is semolina cake. It’s dense, it’s slightly sweet and it’s very popular in the Middle East and despite my first disaster it really is easy to make. The arabic names are Hareesah, Namoura or Basbousa, depending on what region you are in.
Semolina is durum wheat which is used to make pasta. Lidia Bastianich uses semolina for gnocchi.
Since I cut my mom’s recipe down, I used 3 – 8 oz. ramekins, but this recipe yields an 8″ pan or you can use a muffin tin, or like Nutmeg Nanny did – tart pans. If baked in a pan it’s usually scored so it can be easily cut into diamond shape.
Let’s get you started.
An 8″ round or square pan, flour, sugar, baking soda, semolina (fine grind, which can be found in most grocery stores now), coconut (optional), melted butter, milk, yogurt (not greek), sugar syrup.
In a bowl whisk the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter until combined, add the yogurt, fold in the coconut. Transfer the batter to the pan and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Then bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and score it where you are going to cut. Return it to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the sides are golden.
Immediately pour on the sugar syrup while the cake is hot.
If you don’t want to score it you will need to let it sit for a couple of hours after baking before cutting so you can get nice clean cuts. Of course, if you don’t care about nice clean cuts, dig in!
Another idea for scoring the cake.
- ~~Sugar Syrup~~
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ~~Semolina Cake~~
- 2 cups semolina
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup yogurt
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 400
- In a bowl whisk the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter until combined, stir in the yogurt, fold in the coconut.
- Transfer the batter to the pan and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Then bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and score it where you are going to cut. Return it to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the sides are golden.
- Pour on the sugar syrup when it comes out of the oven.
- ~~Sugar Syrup~~
- In a saucepan heat the water and sugar until dissolved. Let it come to a boil then let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour as much as you want onto the cake when it comes out of the oven.
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Beef with Peas (Bazella)