Palestinian Hareesa

This cake can be found throughout the Mediterranean. In Greece and Turkey it is called revani. Another common Arabic name for it is basbousa. The base of this cake is semolina flour; and its variants include adding coconut, walnut, almonds, or pistachios. It is soaked in a sugar syrup and often served with tea.

Serves 4-6

What you need:

2 cups semolina flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp baking soda
almonds, walnuts, or pistachios
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup water
1/3 cup coconut flakes or chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Lightly grease a small cake pan. Make the sauce first so that it is cool and ready to drizzle onto the cake. In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, lemon juice and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the sugar sauce has thickened. In a mixing bowl, mix the semolina, sugar, and margarine until well incorporated. You may need to use your hands for this. Add the baking soda to the soy milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add the soy milk to the flour mixture. It should be a thick dough after mixing. Press the dough into the cake pan. It should be about 1 inch thick before baked. Garnish with nuts and bake for 30 minutes or until slightly browned. Drizzle the cool sauce onto the hot cake so that it absorbs well. You can also sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Serve.

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