1½ cups regular grade semolina flour (not fine)
2¼ cups sugar
6 TBL softened unsalted butter
Scant 1½ cups yogurt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp tahini
1½ tsp lemon juice
4 tsp rose water
4 tsp orange blossom water
24 blanched almonds (about ⅓ cup)
In a mixing bowl, place
- 1½ cups regular grade semolina flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- scant ¼ cup sugar
- 6 TBL softened unsalted butter
Work together with your hands until well blended. Add
- 1½ cups yogurt
Mix well to make a firm batter. (This originally called for an 8-inch x 12-inch x 1½-inch pan but I used a 12-inch round pan which is very close in volume to the original) If you a suitable rectangular pan, use it. Grease the pan with
- 1 tsp tahini (or butter)
Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Flatten it gently with the back of a spoon and cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rest for three hours.
While you are waiting, you can make the syrup, which must be cool before using. In a saucepan, combine
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally and let it bubble for 3 minutes. Stir in
- 4 tsp rose water
- 4 tsp orange blossom water
Let bubble for just a few seconds and then remove from the heat. Cool before using. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.
Back to the cake: preheat the oven to 400° F. You will need
- 24 blanched almonds (about ⅓ cup)
Cut the uncooked cake into 2-inch squares or, as I did, diamonds, and press one almond into the center of each. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden.
Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup all over. Let the cake stand for 30 minutes to soak up the syrup. If you think the amount of syrup is excessive, reduce the quantity to your taste. Bear in mind, though, that the cake will take time to absorb the syrup and even though it may look as if it’s swimming in syrup to start, it will be fully absorbed within 30 minutes.
Adapted from Mediterranean Street Food, by Anissa Helou