2 cups of fine semolina flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
8-10 tablespoons of sweet or mixed rendered butter or shortening
1 1/4 cups of syrup
1 1/4 cup of milk or water
2 cups of yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4-1/2 cup blanched almonds (whole or slivered)
Directions for Basbousa Recipe
Melt fat, let cook, do not allow to become solid. Combine semolina flour, baking powder in a blwo, make a well in center, pour in half melted fat, reserving 2 tbsp for the pan and rest for later use. Work flour misture and fat (preferably with hands) until well absorbed. Combine yogurt and sugar in a bowl, beat until sugar is well dissolved (about 3-4 minutes). Add 1/4 cup milk or water and 1/4 cup of yogurt mixture alternatley to flour mixture, mix until form a very smooth dough, not firm.
Spread dough in a well greased 7″ x 11″ baking dish, level to 1/2 inch think, shpae surface into diamond shaptes, 2 inch parallel lines, or squares if easier; or use 2 round trays and shape in same wayInster 1 whole almond or slivered almond in each piece. Let stand for 1/2-1 hour before baking. Meanwhile prepare syrup, and when ready add reserved (2-3 tbsp. fat), stir to mix, set aside. Bake basbousa in preheated (350 F) oven for 1 hour or until nicely golden. Remove from oven, immediately pour syrup and fat mixture over dish. Return dish to oven for 2-3 more minutes to absorb syrup mixture, remove. Serve warm or cold, topped with fresh cream or whipped cream.
In above ingredients, reduce semolina flour by 1/2 cup, add 1/2 cup ground almonds instead, then proceed with recipe, for even tastier dish.
Substitute 3/4 cup shredded coconut for 1/2 cup almonds used in above variation.
Preparing The Syrup
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or lemon extract or 1/2 tsp lemon peel
1-2 cinnamon or clove sticks or dash ground of either
1/3-1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon of rose water, or orange extract, or 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, simmer sugar, water until dissolved, stir occasionally with a metal spoon, until liquid is clear. Add lemon juice or peel, cinniamon or cloves; boil for 8-10 minutes or until syrup consistency becomes a little looser than honey, but not runny. If using candy thermometer, it should read 230 degrees
Remove from heat; remove sticks or peel. Stir in rose water or orange extract.
Allow to cool.
If syrup becomes too thick when cold, add 1/4 cup water, stir until well mixed, allow to boil once, remove, cool. To test syrup, drop a little of it into small bowl or plate of very cold water, if a ball is formed, syrup is ready, or use candy thermometer.
To make syrup out of honey and water, use 2/3 cup honey, 1/3-1/2 cup water, everything else as above.