Basbousa

Claire Clarke presents two options for baking her Egyptian basbousa recipe – you can choose to create one big round cake, or cute mini loaves as she does here. A great cake for any time of year. This recipe is taken from 80 Cakes From Around the World by Claire Clark, published by Absolute Press.

First published in 2018

My dear friend Firas shared his mother's recipe for this simple, tasty cake with me. The addition of coconut is not traditional but I love the softer texture it creates. Once the cake has been baked, it is soaked in a beautiful rose syrup. I make mine in individual card loaf cases but traditionally it is baked in a large tin. This mix makes 15–20 mini cakes or one 23cm x 33cm cake.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Basbousa

Syrup

Equipment

  • Mini loaf cases 15

Method

1
If you are making a large cake, grease a 23cm x 33cm cake tin well. If using mini loaf cases, you do not need to grease them; just put them on a baking tray. You will need 15–20
2
Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the melted butter, yoghurt, vanilla and eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until you have a smooth batter. Spoon it into the cake tin or loaf cases, tapping the loaf cases to level the mixture. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours
3
Meanwhile, make the syrup. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 2–3 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater
4
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
5
If making a large cake, score the top into diamond shapes with a knife and place a blanched almond in the centre of each one. The mini loaves does not need to be scored; simply decorate with the almonds. Bake until golden brown – about 40 minutes for a large cake, 20–25 minutes for the mini ones. Remove from the oven, pour the syrup on top, then bake for another 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and cut the large cake along the score lines. Leave to cool completely
6
Serve decorated with dried or fresh rose petals
First published in 2018

Claire Clark is regarded as one of the top three pastry chefs in the world. Claire is now a freelance chef consultant based in London.

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