This cake originated from North Africa and the Middle East. The cake contains no flour or eggs but is moist and delicious. I took it for dessert on a recent picnic lunch.
For the cake
200g caster sugar
350g fine semolina
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
60g blanched almonds, roasted and chopped
60g pistachios, chopped
16 – 20 whole blanched almonds
For the syrup
300g caster sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Line a 21cm square cake tin with baking parchment. Let the paper extend over the top for about 3 cm or use a loose bottomed tin to make it easier to remove the cake from the tin.
To make the syrup, place all the ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. By now, it should be syrupy. Leave to cool.
Melt the butter and pour 275g of the butter into a bowl. Add the yogurt, sugar, semolina, baking powder, vanilla extract and the chopped nuts and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and immediately cut into diamond shapes. Press an almond into the centre of each diamond. Return the cake to the oven for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.
Take the cake out of the oven and pour the syrup all over the top of the cake. Return to the oven for a further 2 minutes.
Heat the remaining butter. Remove the Basbousa from the oven and pour the melted butter all over the cake. Leave to cool in the tin and remove when cooled completely.