Arab Spring Basboosa Cake

12 Apr

This recipe for a delicious Arabic cake comes from our lovely friend Steve, we all tried some at a housing co-op meeting.

Basboosa is a traditionally Arabic semolina-based cake. Most recipes for it online call for yoghurt and honey, but I found one that used milk instead of yoghurt (bizarrely, on an Egyptian tourism website) and veganised it with soya milk, and used rose jam instead of  honey in the syrup.

Rose jam can be found in many Asian/Middle Eastern supermarkets. It’s made from rose petals and, despite the name, is more like a thick syrup in consistency than a jam. If you can’t find it, you can substitute any non-lumpy jam/marmalade, or experiment with things like treacle or golden syrup.

Ingredients for cake: 3 cups semolina, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional, you could also use things like flaked almonds), 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup sunflower oil, 1 cup soya milk

Ingredients for syrup: 2 cups sugar, 2 cups boiling water, 1 whole lemon, 3-4 teaspoons rose jam

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C/350 degrees F. Mix all the dry cake ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Add the oil and mix again, then add the milk and mix again until blended (it should be less “wet” than ordinary cake mix). Line a large rectangular cake tin with baking paper, spoon in the mixture and flatten it to be all the same thickness. Bake for about 30 minutes (during which time you can make the syrup, see below). Take it out of the oven and cut into squares while still in the tin, then put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

To make the syrup, peel the top layer of skin (i.e. only the yellow zesty bit, not the white pithy bit underneath) off the lemon with a potato peeler (you will get small strips of peel). Put this in a pan with the sugar, the juice of the same lemon, rose jam and water. Boil without covering while the cake is baking (don’t let it boil over, but keep it boiling fairly vigorously) – it should thicken a bit as the water evaporates, but stay liquid.

When you take the cake out of the oven for the second time, pour the syrup evenly over it while still in the tin. Cover with a tea towel
and leave to cool. This recipe produces about 24-30 small squares of cake.

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2 Responses to “Arab Spring Basboosa Cake”

  1. Jo Birkinshaw April 13, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    I’m just watching you guys on 4od on the naturist program, and I’ve just seen some of the comments you received. I think its empowering and refreshing to see people so free and confident with themselves, as well as making scrumptious food! I just wish we could all feel as confident with our self image as you guys! Keep up the good work 🙂

  2. homeclothesfree April 14, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    Reblogged this on home clothes free.

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