There are many, many versions of Basboussa (and many spelling variations!) throughout the Arab world. Some of these are a spongy cake-like texture & some are more of a grainy texture. This Algerian version is more of a cake-like texture, the addition of coconut gives the cake a wonderful flavour. This recipe is extremely simple to make and is delicious.
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 40 mins Total Time: 50 mins Ingredients for the Basboussa
- 1 ½ cups of coarse semolina
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- 1 lemon, zest of (finely grated)
- 1 cup natural yogurt
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the syrup
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. orange blossom/flower water (add a little more if you like it very fragrant)
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
Ingredients to decorate
- blanched whole almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Grease a large baking dish (approx. 11ʺ x7ʺ).
- Place the sugar & water from the ‘Syrup Ingredients’ into a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer until you have a pale golden colour.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice & the orange blossom/flower water. Set aside to cool, you can also store this syrup in the fridge until you need to use it.
- Place all the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand blender, mix until creamy.
- Add the dry ingredients a little at a time & mix well.
- Pour the mixture into your baking dish & level off the surface of the mixture with a palette knife.
- With a small knife, score the surface into equal squares or diamonds and place a blanched almond in the centre of each square / diamond.
- Bake in the oven until golden – this will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven & cut through the scored squares / diamonds.
- Pour the syrup over the top & allow the Basboussa to soak up the syrup before serving. It is best to leave it for at least 2 hours for best results.