Semolina and Ricotta Tart (basboussa)

by Hinda
8 Pieces
50 min

Who’s feeling festive today? Now, don’t let the beauty of this popular classic Middle Eastern cake fool you. It’s actually super easy to make. What if I told you it’s a one bowl “dump” cake kinda recipe?

You know that’s my favorite type of recipe. You basically pour all the ingredients (both dry and wet) into a bowl mixer and mix, pour into baking dish and that’s basically it. The only difference between the classic basboussa or semolina cake and this one is the ricotta cream addition. This addition give it the freshness and creaminess you would love to have in the original recipe.

If you are not the one who like cream in the cake you can make the recipe as is it and sleep the cream part. I use a plan pan for this recipe with cream. If you are making it without ricotta cream you can use any kind of pans, round, rectangular or square.

This semolina cake or tart is very know as basboussa in the Middle East and mostly consumed in the holly month of Ramadan to break the fast or in the special occasions. But if you want to surprise your family and friends with this cute looking and yet delicious and easy cake, i recommend to try the semolina cake.

This is how it looks but this is a super duper easy recipe.

Enjoy creating beautiful and cute decoration using flower petals and nuts.

i use the plan or tart pan to get a shallow center to pour the cream in it.

When its baked, remove gently the sides from the pan to prevent any stickiness when removing from the pan.

Pouring the syrup over the cake. It sounds crazy but the semolina cake has to be soaked with the homemade syrup that gives the cake the moist and the sweetness recommend. Otherwise, if you don’t soak it you’ll have a dry, rough non sweet cake. So don’t try to skip this step.

Prepare the syrup first and let it cool down because you will pour it over the a hot cake.

Remember, cool syrup and hot cake.

The homemade syrup is very easy to make. I like the lemony taste it gave to the cake. With syrup, your semolina cake is very spongy and moist beautifully melting in your mouth.

When the cream is done, pour it over the cake immediately while its contain cornstarch so it has to set over the cake.

I like this part of the recipe. Pouring the cream over the cake in this shallow spot, no dripping no mess step yay!!

Our basboussa is ready to go to the fridge now. When it's completely set, after 1 hour. start decorating the top with dry or fresh flowers and some nuts like pistachios or sliced almonds.

It’s even beautiful when its cut, unfortunately I didn’t took any picture when i cut it but you can imagine how cute it will be.

Semolina and Ricotta Tart (basboussa)
Recipe details
  • 8  Pieces
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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The Cake
  • . 2 cups semolina flour
  • . 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • . 1 1/2 cup oil
  • . 2 eggs
  • . 6 oz plain yogurt
  • . 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • . 1 tsp vanilla
  • . Pinch of salt
  • . 2 cups milk
  • . 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • . 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • . 1 tablespoon orange blossom (or 1 tsp vanilla)
Homemade syrup
  • . 1 cup sugar
  • . 1 cup water
  • . 1 tsp lemon juice
Semolina cake
Start by making the syrup, in a sauce pan, add sugar, water and lemon juice and let it cook for 15 minutes. Let it completely cool down and set aside.
Heat the oven at 350 degrees
in a blender put the ingredients in this order: oil, eggs, yogurt,vanilla, sugar, baking powder, semolina, salt blend all together until very well incorporated.
Butter the flan pan and drizzle some semolina to prevent it from stickiness. Pour the ingredients and make sure the batter is covering completely the sides of the pan.
Bake in the middle rack for in between 25 to 35 minutes depending of your oven and the thickness of the pan. When the cake has a gold and hard surface that’s means its done.
10 minutes before the cake is baked, you will make the cream.
In a sauce pan, pour the cold milk, ricotta cheese, cornstarch and orange blossom and stir everything together then turn on the heat. Cook until bubbles form.
Keep aside.
Final step
When the cake is done, immediately move slightly the sides to easily remove it from the pan and don't get stack in the mold.
transfer into the presentation plate and soak directly and evenly with the whole quantity of syrup you made.
Pour the cream inside the shallow place of the cake and flatten with a spatula if needed. (The cream shouldn’t be cold otherwise it will not pour evenly on the cake)
place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. decorate and enjoy with coffee or tea.
  • Always remember that this semolina cake or Basboussa should be hot and the syrup cold. That guarantee a soft and moist cake.
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