Easter in the Middle East is marked by so many traditional dishes, and sweets are no exception. Many are made with semolina flour. This favorite cake, namoura, is drenched in orange blossom simple syrup.
Lebanese semolina cake is easy to make, yet has the same flavor profile as the more challenging baklava. And it tastes even better after it sits at room temperature for a few days. Namoura also freezes well so make a double batch for now and later!
1. In a small saucepan, bring to boil the sugar and water. Simmer until slightly thick. Stir in lemon juice and orange blossom water. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a 9 by 13 pan with butter. In a bowl, stir together semolina, melted butter, and sugar. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, stir together yogurt and baking soda. Set aside till double in size, about 2 minutes.
4. Add yogurt mixture to semolina mixture and stir till well combined.
5. Transfer to prepared baking dish and gently spread into an even layer.
6. With a knife, score the surface of the batter into 2-inch squares. Top each square with an almond sliver.
7. Bake till golden for 25-30 minutes.
8. Drizzle the cooled syrup over the top of the hot namoura. Cool completely before cutting along the previously scored lines.
Are you ready to try a new and exotic sweet this year for Easter?
Syrup: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 T lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp orange blossom water.
Cake Batter: 3/4 cup butter, 3 cups semolina, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup plain full fat yogurt, 2 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup slivered almonds