Namoura (Lebanese Syrup-Soaked Semolina Cake)

Adapted from: Cookin’ With Mima

Yield: 40 or so pieces, depending on how you slice the cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4 cups (720g) fine semolina flour*
  • ½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (57g) plain yoghurt
  • 1 cup (226g) evaporated milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp Indo~European Foods Orange Blossom Water
  • ¼ to ½ cup (35g to 70g) pine nuts or whole blanched almonds

Orange Blossom Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups (396g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (227g) water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Indo~European Foods Orange Blossom Water

*We like Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour.

Directions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together semolina flour and sugar. Add melted butter, then—using the paddle attachment—beat on medium-high until well mixed.
  2. Add yoghurt, evaporated milk, salt, baking powder, and orange blossom water, mixing on low for a couple minutes until it forms a thick batter.
  3. Grease and line an 11" x 15" pan with parchment paper. Brush pan and parchment with about 2 tablespoons of tahini (or melted butter if you don’t have tahini on hand).
    NOTE: You can use a jelly roll or half sheet pan with slightly different proportions; just make sure that you adjust your baking time accordingly. (Bake for longer if the pan is smaller and cake is thicker. Bake for a little less time if pan is larger and cake is thinner.)
  4. Press batter evenly into bottom of pan.
  5. Place pan in fridge for about 45 minutes.
  6. When you’re nearing the end of the chill time, heat oven to 350°F.
  7. Cut cake into diamonds. (You cut pre-bake so that the orange blossom simple syrup soaks into the cake better.) Place nut(s) in centre of each diamond.
  8. Bake for 30–40 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  9. While the cake is baking, start your orange blossom simple syrup. In a small pot over medium heat, mix sugar and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil for 4–5 minutes.
  10. Add lemon juice and orange blossom water, then boil for another 2 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (The goal is to pour warm or room temperature syrup on a hot cake.)
  12. After the cake is baked, broil it for 1–3 minutes just to make the top a wee bit more golden, if you like. Keep a close eye on your cake so it doesn’t burn though!
  13. Place pan on wire rack and evenly pour orange blossom simple syrup over hot cake.
  14. Allow syrup to soak in and cake to cool at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

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