Namoura (Semolina Cake)

Ingredients:

3 cups semolina

¾ cup desiccated (unsweetened, shredded) coconut, optional

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup plain yogurt

Whole blanched almonds or pistachios, to garnish

 

 

Syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

½ small lemon, juiced, or ½ tsp. orange or rose flower water

 

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Make sure you have all your ingredients measured beforehand.

3. Next make the sugar syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a boil on high heat. Then lower the heat and continue to simmer for five minutes, remove from heat and add your choice of flavoring.

4. Grease the pan with a light film of butter. With my bowl of melted butter sitting there at the ready it was efficient to just dip my fingers into it and grease the pan that way.

5. Mix the semolina, coconut (optional, but I used it and found it gave a very subtle taste), sugar and butter in a large bowl. Here’s the fun part: you get to use your hands to do this! You can make a well in the middle and pour the butter into the well. Then just start by tipping the semolina in from the edges of the bowl, eventually using your hands to incorporate everything. That way you won’t get super greasy hands. The mixture feels crumbly and quite pleasant in your hands.

6. In a separate bowl stir the yogurt and baking soda together, wait a few minutes until the yogurt doubles in size. When the yogurt has doubled (or almost) pour it on top of the semolina mix, and again, feel free to use your hands to mix.

7. Gently pat the batter down on a small jellyroll pan or baking dish.The cake mix should not be more than 1” thick. If it is, bake the cake in a bigger pan or take out the extra and bake it in a separate pan.

8. Now, using a butter knife, cut a diamond or square pattern in the cake. Press your choice of nut in each piece.

9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until it is a bronze color. Make sure to check after 30 minutes, mine was done at that point. Remove from the oven, and while it is still hot pour the syrup all over the cake and make sure to cover all the edges and corners adequately.

 

Lara Kh.

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