Semolina cake, also known as Basbousa or Hareeseh, is a delectable dessert with a history that can be traced back to the Middle East, where it has been savored for centuries. The key ingredient being semolina, a coarse wheat flour. Early variations of the cake emerged in ancient Egypt and later spread across the Arab world, becoming a beloved Middle Eastern treat. This cake is simple with a delightful crumb, usually soaked in sweet syrup and often topped with nuts or coconut.
Elevate your cake
In this rendition, I have added rhubarb and lemon zest which add a sweet zing to the cake. If you choose to make the cardamom ice cream to pair with the cake then I would follow the recipe to the T. On the other hand, if you decide to make it without the ice cream, I recommend making a sugar syrup to pour over the cake directly after it’s taken out of the oven to make sure it has enough sweetness.
To make this sugar syrup simply squeeze half of one orange or lemon and add to a small saucepan along with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar. Boil for about 5 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved and it has thickened ever so slightly. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of rosewater and 1 tablespoon of honey. Now you have a sugar syrup that you can pour over the warm cake that will elevate the flavor to new levels.