Namoura - Lebanese Semolina Cake


Cosette Khoryati Recipe

By Cosette Khoryati CosetteKR


Rating:
Serves:
12
Cook:
35 Min
Method:
Bake
Comments:

This is a traditional dessert, easy and yummy. Dense cake/bars with Middle Eastern flavors like rose water and orange blossom water. Good for every occasion, great after a meal, or with tea or coffee.

Ingredients

FOR THE NAMOURA
5 c
semolina
1 c
fine semolina (if not found use regular semolina)
2 c
butter or ghee, melted
2 c
sugar
2 1/2 c
plain yogurt
2 tsp
baking powder
1 1/2 tsp
orange blossom water
1 1/2 tsp
rose water
1 c
almonds, blanched
FOR THE BAKING PAN
3 Tbsp
tahini
FOR THE SUGAR SYRUP
3 c
sugar
3 c
water
1 tsp
lemon juice
1 tsp
orange blossom water
1 tsp
rose water
*if you can't find rose water or orange blossom water, you can substitute them with 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract in the cake mix, but discard them from the sugar syrup.

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Prepare the Namoura:
-In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients leaving out the almonds for garnish. The mix should be slightly thick and sticky.
-Spread the tahini on the bottom and sides of a 14-15 inch round pan to prevent sticking.
(feel free to use a square or rectangular pan, don't go too small though, Namoura shouldn't rise very high, not more than 1 inch thick)
-Pour the Namoura mix in the pan and smooth the top. (You can do that by dipping your fingers in some melted butter and smoothing out the top)
-Leave the cake to rest for 5-6 hours. (It's OK to decrease the time if you're in a hurry)
-Before you bake the cake, with a watered knife, cut the namoura with evenly spaced lines to create square or diamond shaped pieces. (you don't have to cut it through to the bottom)
-Decorate each square with a blanched almond or any other nuts of your choice
(traditionally we use almonds or sometimes pine nuts)
-Bake the Namoura in a 400 degrees preheated oven until it's golden.
2
Prepare the Sugar Syrup:
-Boil together sugar and water.
-Add lemon juice, when the syrup starts thickening.
-Add rose water and orange blossom water just before you turn off the heat or right after.
-Cool the sugar syrup completely.
3
To finish the Namoura:
-Take off the Namoura from the oven, while it's very hot, pour the cooled sugar syrup all over. Preferably not all the syrup at once, let the cake absorb it then repeat.
-Cool the Namoura, then cut it (on the already existing lines) and enjoy!

About this Recipe



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23 Comments

user
Shahnaz S. SAAZ
Aug 11, 2013
Olive oil does not work very well. Just plain butter/margaring/oil/spray oil, etc. all work well. BTW orange water and Orange Blossom water are different. Here the Orange Blossom Water (also a very good tonic for facial skin) gives a beautiful aroma and so does Rose water. Failing that, I suppose one can use vanilla essence. I find that if the cake is cold, pouring the hot syrup is easier. If cake is hot, and syrup cold, the cold syrup does not spread as easily. Cake cools down very fast if dish placed on a rack.
user
Shahnaz S. SAAZ
Aug 11, 2013
It is very easy. Semolina is very easily another name for Cream of Wheat. Or if any Indian/Pakistani stores in the neighbourhood, its called Sooji. True, a flour will not give the same texture, consistency for Namoura. Basically it is the minutest form of couscous to look at. Karen, appreciate the recipe of Tahini. It is only very recently that I have used Tahini in Middle Eastern recipes to line the cake. I have usually used oil or butter. Does not take away from the flavour at all. Also instead of Almonds, due common anaphylactic allergic reactions, last time I made it with sprinkling unsalted/unroasted, pumpkin seeds. Looked very nice and tasted good too.
user
Billie Neal WildExpectation
Jun 23, 2013
Thanks Angela!!!
user
ANGELA BARBER ReuseCrafter
Jun 18, 2013
You can use whatrver, just grease the pan so it doesn't stick.
user
Billie Neal WildExpectation
Jun 13, 2013
I have Cream of Wheat and Malt-O-Meal in my pantry now!!! What about using olive oil instead of the tahini??? I don't care for the sesame flavor anyway. Thanks Angela!!!!