basboosaIf you like lemon drizzle cake you’ll love this lemon cake from the Middle East.
Often eaten as a tea time treat or as a dessert, it’s light, moist and very, very morish.
This recipe uses less fat than the traditional version but I think it tastes just as good.

Semolina lemon cake
Makes 18 – 24


225 g caster sugar
225 g semolina
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
350 ml Greek style yogurt
4 tablespoons semnah or melted butter
18-24 whole blanched almonds
350 ml water
225 g caster sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
few drops rosewater


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

First make the syrup. Put the water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and simmer, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.

Raise the heat and boil vigorously until thick and syrupy, about the consistency of golden syrup, it should register 108°C on a sugar thermometer. Put aside to cool.

Mix together the first 3 dry ingredients for the cake.

Beat in the yoghurt with a wooden spoon, then beat in the semnah or melted butter.

Scrape the batter into a well greased 20 x 30 cm baking tin and bake for about 15 minutes.

Place the almonds on top of the cake spacing them evenly so that each individual cake will have one almond in the centre, about 3-4 nuts across and 6 down.

Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.

Cool the cake for about 10 minutes before cutting into squares or diamonds.

Stir a few drops of rosewater into the syrup then slowly pour it over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in; use only enough to saturate the cake with out making it soggy.

Serve at room temperature.

The cake should keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

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