These are soooooo good! I tried these a while back and If you can't find blanched almonds, you just boil the almonds for a few minutes until the skins easily slip off in your fingers. This is a really simply recipe, and a popular Egyptian dessert. If you're feeding a lot of people, you can always double or triple the recipe, as they are often made in bulk.
Egyptian Basbousa (rich, sweet cake desserts)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 capful rose oil
2 cups semolina (fine, coarse, or a mix of both)
1 cup sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 cup natural yogurt
2/3 cup melted butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 bag (8-oz.) blanched almonds
1. Prepare the syrup, by bringing the sugar, water, lemon juice and rose oil to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stop stirring after it dissolves, or it can crystallize on the edges. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the cake ingredients one at a time in order of the list, stirring well after each addition. Mix together.
3. Place cake mixture in a grease a baking sheet, and spread it out level and even. Let stand 30 minutes.
4. Cut in diamond pattern by slicing diagonally in one direction, then in the other. Slice rows should be about 1 ½ inches apart. You can also cut it into 1 to 2-inch squares.
5. Place a blanched almond in each diamond section, pressing down slightly.
6. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and pour the syrup evenly over the entire surface of the cake. Let the cake set to room temperature. Serve in original diamond-shaped (or square) slices.