Basbousa is a traditional Arab semolina cake popular in the Middle East. There are many different ways to prepare basbousa according to region and country; this Libyan version includes coconut in the cake mixture and date-paste sandwiched between two layers of semolina. It’s an easily made dessert, and is perfect with Arabic cardamom coffee.
What you need:
- 2 cups semolina
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup sugar (you can reduce the amount to 1/2 cup if you want it less sweet)
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 T spoon baking powder
- 1 T spoon cinnamon
- 500g date-paste cut into thin slices
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 cups Water
- ¼ tsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Rose water
Prepare the syrup, by adding all the ingredients together, bring to boil, cook on low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Mix all the liquid ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients.
- Spread half the batter into a buttered baking pan.
- Arrange date paste slices on top carefully, then add the remaining basbousa mix and spread.
- Bake in a preheated oven, 200°C degrees until golden in colour.
- Pour the syrup on top of the hot basbousa then bake for another 5 minutes.
Cool completely before serving.