The Perfect Namoura Dessert: A Delightful Addition to Your Summer Picnic

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The Perfect Namoura Dessert: A Delightful Addition to Your Summer Picnic


Namoura Dessert: The Ideal Middle Eastern Treat

When planning your summer picnic spreads, consider adding Namoura, an eggless semolina coconut cake drizzled with a fragrant orange blossom syrup. Also known as Basbousa in many Middle Eastern regions, Namoura is a beloved dessert that you should get to know.

Discovering Namoura

Namoura, or Basbousa, is a delightful Middle Eastern dessert made from semolina and coconut, offering a unique texture and flavor. This cake is light and fluffy, unlike some dense versions that struggle to absorb syrup. While some recipes skip coconut, it adds a delightful dimension to the flavor.

Ingredients and Preparation

For the Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups coarse semolina
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini
  • Handful of pine nuts or peeled, halved almonds

For the Orange Blossom Syrup:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon orange blossom water

Making the Orange Blossom Syrup

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes on low heat.
  3. Add the orange blossom water, swirl, and set aside to cool.

Preparing the Namoura Cake

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine semolina, coconut, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add yogurt and milk, stir well, then add vegetable oil and mix until well combined.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  4. Brush a brownie tin with tahini and pour in the cake mixture. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Cut the raw batter into diamond shapes and decorate each piece with a pine nut or almond.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden brown, turning the pan if needed for even baking.
  7. Once baked, drizzle with orange blossom syrup while still warm.

Tips for Perfect Namoura

  • Use coarse semolina for a fluffier cake, though fine semolina also works.
  • Allow the batter to rest for better texture.
  • Brush the tin with tahini to prevent sticking.
  • Pre-cut the cake before baking to ensure neat, diamond-shaped pieces.
  • Pour the syrup over the warm cake to let it absorb thoroughly without becoming overly sweet.

Variations Across Cultures

Namoura, known by different names in various cultures, offers slight recipe variations. Palestinians call it Harriseh, Egyptians refer to it as Basbousa, and Persians name it Ravani. Each version reflects regional traditions, with some including coconut and others opting for different flavorings like rose water.

Serving Suggestions and Storage

Namoura is typically served in small slices due to its richness, making it a perfect treat for holidays and special occasions. It pairs wonderfully with coffee or tea. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the fridge for up to a week.

Why Namoura is a Must-Try

  • Easy to make with common ingredients.
  • Fragrant and flavorful with a delightful texture.
  • A crowd-pleaser perfect for holiday gatherings or as an edible gift.
  • Can be made vegan with simple substitutions.

Conclusion

Namoura is a versatile and delightful dessert that brings the flavors of the Middle East to your table. Whether you're introducing it to friends at a summer picnic or enjoying it as a treat with family, this semolina coconut cake is sure to impress. With its fragrant orange blossom syrup and tender crumb, Namoura will quickly become a favorite in your dessert repertoire.

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