Namoura. Basboosa. Harissa.
Every Middle Eastern country has a different name for it. Buuuut, we can all agree on one thing. This farina based cake is amazing!
There are many variations for namoura. My mom's version of this dessert is much lighter and more of a cake version. It's perfect with a cup of mint tea, especially since it's crumbly. Namoura is great for a crowd and so easy to make for dinner parties and gatherings.
One reason why I love making namoura is because it comes together in just a few minutes. You can also mix this by hand. No need for any fancy mixers. Just a bowl and whisk.
I've had some overly sweet versions of this dessert - mostly because of adding too much simple syrup. I've also had really dry namoura, and this usually happens when too much farina is added.
Traditionally, this cake is supposed to be about 1/2-1" high, not more than that. If you like it this way, just use a 9"x13" baking sheet to make this. Personally, I prefer to make this in 8"x8" baking dish, making the cake about 2" high. If you use a deeper pan, the baking time will vary. I bake it about 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or a light flavored oil)
3/4 cup farina
1/2 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tsp baking powder
12 whole almonds, or about 1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp lemon juice
1) Preheat your oven to 350F.
2) Spray a 9"x13" baking sheet and set aside.
3) In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until incorporated.
4) Mix in farina, yogurt, and shredded coconut.
5) Slowly add flour and baking powder and stir until combined. Don't over mix.
6) Pour mix onto baking sheet and try to spread it as evenly as possible.
7) Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top, or place whole almonds in 4 rows.
8) Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown (keep watching it at the 20 minute mark, sometimes it gets golden quickly).
9) While the namoura is baking, prepare the simple syrup.
10) In a small pot, combine sugar, water, and orange blossom water. Let it come to a boil on medium heat. Leave to boil for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the lemon juice. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
11) Once the namoura is done baking, immediately pour the simple syrup over it.
12) Let cool completely before cutting.
Just a few tips:
1) I like to use plain full-fat yogurt with this recipe. It's totally fine if you want to use low-fat/reduced-fat yogurt. I've made it with vanilla yogurt as well and you can't taste the difference.
2) It is very important that the shredded coconut you're using is unsweetened. If you use sweetened shredded coconut, make sure to use less sugar than what the recipe calls for.
3) When adding the simple syrup to the cake, you can use as much or as little as you would like.
4) This recipe is easily doubled and great for large gatherings and parties. You can make it a day before and it will taste great the next day.