Semolina Cake- Harissa/Basbousa may look like a simple cake but its unique flavor and texture will make it your new favorite!
Let’s talk about this semolina cake…First of all, semolina, what is it!? It’s a more coarse grain type product that’s used in porridge, puddings and pastas. I know it may not sound so appealing, but stay with me if you will because it’s a superstar in this cake!
Basically it’s a simple cake, not too many ingredients and not so complicated to make, but the taste is somehow super special! It’s got this unique texture that the semolina provides and is super moist and sweet, because of course it’s topped with a sugar syrup instead of the typical frosting. So when you look at it, you’d think it’s dry, but when you take a bite it’s super moist and dense with a delicious flavor I just can’t describe! And you know what that means!!!!…..You have to try it for yourself!
Oh! And before I go, I must say, the other cool part about this dessert, is that it can be cut into the most beautiful designs! The typical middle eastern style is to cut into diamond shapes and top each diamond with a blanched almond. Oooooorrrr, if you’re feeling the spirit, try what I did below! It looks harder than it is trust me;-)
For another delicious semolina dessert try our Sweet Cheese Rolls!
This dessert cake has a unique texture and flavor that will gave vanilla cake a run for it's money!
- 2 cups Cream of Wheat
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp tahini optional
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
*Sugar Syrup should be made first so it can cool*
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add sugar and water and let simmer for about 10 min, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble and thicken.
Squeeze one squeeze, about 1 tsp of lemon juice into the sugar water. Lower the heat to keep the mixture thickening for another 10-15 min. You want the mixture to be syrupy and thick when coating a spoon. Let the sugar syrup cool before adding to the final product.
- Coat a 9x12 glass casserole baking dish with tahini and set aside
In a medium bowl, mix sugar, yogurt, oil or butter together.
Add baking powder and baking soda until well combined.
- Stir Cream of Wheat into the mixture and then pour mixture into baking dish. Let the mixture rise for about 2 hours.
- If you would like, take a knife and cut a diamond pattern into the raw mixture and place blanched almonds in each diamond before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 40 min or until the top is a golden brown color.
- While the Harisseh is fresh out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup all over it and enjoy!
There are many ways to cut patterns into this cake. The most common is the diamond pattern where each diamond shape has a blanched almond placed in the center. Serve each person individual diamond pieces.