Namoura - Lebanese Semolina Cake

Cosette Khoryati Recipe

By Cosette Khoryati CosetteKR

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.


Recipe Rating:
 2 Ratings
Serves:
12
Cook Time:
Cooking Method:
Bake

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.
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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

  • Comments

  • 1-5 of 23
  • user
    Karen Vandevander KarenV - Feb 10, 2013
    Cosette, thank you so much for posting this recipe. I love Namoura, Graibeh and Mamoul! I've always ordered them, and other items, from Masri Sweets in Dearborn Michigan, when I wanted some. I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thank you again for sharing.
  • user
    Karen Vandevander KarenV - Feb 10, 2013
    Mammoul
  • user
    Cosette Khoryati CosetteKR - Feb 10, 2013
    You're welcome Karen! I agree, these are some good sweets :) Enjoy this Namoura!
  • user
    Billie Neal WildExpectation - Feb 10, 2013
    What is semolina and tahini? I live in rural Missouri and am not acquainted with these products? Is there anything that would be easily found here that could replace these products without completely ruining it? It looks soooooosoooooo...good!!!
  • user
    Cosette Khoryati CosetteKR - Feb 11, 2013
    Billie, these products are found probably in the Middle Eastern food stores, I don't know if you have such stores in your area. Although, you might find them in any supermarket these days.
    Semolina, is a product of wheat milling, it is a coarse grain, not fine like flour and it is used in so many recipes, the Italians use it a lot, they make many pastas with it, so maybe you can find it in the Italian section. Honestly I'm not sure you can replace it!
    As for the tahini, it is the sesame paste, very yummy, it's used to make hummus, tahini salad, baba gannouj etc. It is used here as a non stick agent, it works like magic.. but maybe you can butter and flour the pan well and it might work, never tried with namoura I have to say! it's a tradition to use tahini with it, maybe there's a reason behind it!