Thursday, April 7, 2011
Basbousa - An Egyptian Dessert
The internet is a wonderful tool, helps bring all kinds of known and unknown food in your kitchen. For me it was a “sweet” revelation. Really wanted to cook a dessert other than the usual for friends coming over. After browsing through a couple of recipes, I came across the recipe of “Basbousa”. Tried it and turned out delicious, very aromatic too, maybe it was the rosewater …
So here goes the recipe I discovered (there are a couple of variations), am so glad that I found it and tried it. And if you do the same thing after reading this one, I am sure this sweet little square (or diamond) will live up to your expectations!
Semolina flour/Rava – 1.5 cups
Yogurt – 1 cup
Butter – 1 stick (softened)
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 cup and 1/4 of a cup
Honey half a cup
Rose water – 4 tsp
Lemon juice 2 tsp
Almonds – 16 to 18
Mix the butter and half a cup sugar thoroughly with a hand mixer. Add yogurt and vanilla essence and beat again for a couple of minutes with the mixer. Add the semolina flour (rava), baking powder and mix with a wooden or plastic spatula. The result will be a sticky loose kind of dough. Keep aside for half an hour.
Make a honey syrup in the meanwhile. In a pan, combine honey, one fourth cup of sugar and 2 tsp rosewater, cook for 10 minutes to form a syrup. Turn the heat off, add the lemon juice and 2 tsp rosewater and mix well. The honey syrup is ready to use.
Now, transfer the dough in a greased baking dish or pan. Level it as much as possible by gently pressing with hand or spatula. Bake it at 375 F for about 25 minutes first. Take the pan out, the dough will be partially cooked by then. Cut the in squares or diamonds as preferred and press an almond into each one of them. Don’t forget to wear your oven gloves while doing all this. Back in to the oven for another 20 minutes or till the edges appear brown. Once this is done, increase the temperature of the oven to “Broil” mode and bake further for 5 to 8 minutes so that a fine brown crust is formed on the Basbousa. Carefully watch the Basbousa every 2 minutes while it is on broil, food burns easily at that high temperature.
Pour the honey syrup all over the squares as your baking dish comes out of the oven. Cool and transfer the pieces to a serving dish or a storing box as this dessert tastes best the next day.
· With whipped cream on top.
· With strong coffee.
· Cooking times can vary depending on the Oven, adjust the timer accordingly.
· Reduce the amount of sugar if you prefer your sweets to be less sweet.
· Basbousa is called by different names (Hareesa, Ravani) in the Middle Eastern regions.
· It is a very high calorie (220) per piece dessert.