SEMOLINA COCONUT CAKE
Semolina Coconut Cake – a sweet syrup-y Middle Eastern cake, best served with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water
- 2 cups (300 g) fine semolina flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups (360 ml) milk
- 1 cup (75 g) desiccated, unsweetened coconut
- 3 tablespoons almonds
- Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl and skimming off any foam on the surface.
- Turn heat down slightly and boil 2 minutes (if you want thin syrup) and up to 5 minutes (if you want thick syrup), swirling the pan occasionally. (The syrup will thicken more upon cooling.)
- Turn off heat and stir in the rose water or orange blossom water; cool to room temperature, then use
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line an 11X7 baking pan with parchment paper.Set aside
- Whisk together the semolina, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and then the milk until combined, and then fold in the coconut.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly; let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Score the batter into 1-inch (2.5 cm) square or diamond shapes with a sharp knife, periodically dipping the knife in hot water and drying it off before continuing to score the batter; place 1 almond in the center of each diamond.
- Bake until the sides and top are golden brown, about 30 minutes. (If the sides are brown but the top isn’t, you can broil the cake for a couple minutes to brown the top.)
- Once out of the oven, cut the cake along the lines you scored. Slowly pour the cooled syrup onto the hot cake. Let the cake sit at room temperature 2 hours to absorb the syrup before serving.