Ramadan recipes: Basbousa cake you can whip up in a flash

The texture, the sweetness and the gorgeous drizzle of fragrant syrup make this the ultimate indulgent dessert. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 June 2018

Ramadan recipes: Basbousa cake you can whip up in a flash

  • Basbousa is not overbearing or heavy on the stomach

RIYADH: If you’re a fan of basbousa and cake, this recipe is perfect for you. This fluffy twist on traditional basbousa will have your stomach rumbling before it’s even baked. 

I swear by this recipe, it’s absolutely mouthwatering and, more importantly, probably the easiest way to whip up a decadent dessert in no time at all. It will hardly take you five minutes to prepare and takes just 35 minutes to bake.

 If you lead a busy life, are in the mood to bake something sweet and heavenly, or have guests coming over at the last minute and need to make something quick and delicious that will satisfy all ages and tastes, this should be your go to recipe.

 The texture, the sweetness and the gorgeous drizzle of fragrant syrup make this the ultimate indulgent dessert — one that is perfect for iftar, Eid Al-Fitr and the summer months as it is not overbearing or heavy on the stomach.

Ingredients for the basbousa:

• 1 cup of semolina

• 1 cup of powdered milk 

• 1 carton of heavy cream

• 1 tablespoon spoon of baking powder

• ½ cup of sugar

• ½ cup of sunflower oil

• ½ cup of water

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

• 2 small cartons of fresh cream

Ingredients for the syrup:

• 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

• 1 and 1/4 cups of water

• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or rosewater


•Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Combine all the ingredients — except the fresh cream — together in a large bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Grease a pan or line it with baking paper and pour half the thick mixture in. Evenly distribute the fresh cream on top by the spoonful and pour the rest of the mixture on top. 

Bake for 35 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. To prepare the syrup, combine the water, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat and let the syrup gently simmer for between five to eight minutes. Once you turn off the heat, stir your chosen essence in and let the syrup cool before you drizzle it over the fluffy basbousa.


A starry night at the 40th Cairo Film Festival

Updated 21 November 2018

A starry night at the 40th Cairo Film Festival

CAIRO: The stars of Arab cinema walked the red carpet at the opening of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival on Tuesday night and there were plenty of glittering gowns on show.

Orchestrated by Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, who at just 43-years-old is said to be the youngest president the festival has seen, the Cairo Opera House-based event was attended by stars from across the Middle East and North Africa.

Set to run from Nov. 20-29, the festival opened with the regional premiere of Peter Farrelly-directed comedy drama “Green Book,” starring US actors Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

The festival will include 16 world premieres and screenings of 160 films from 60 countries.

Meanwhile, on the red carpet, Egyptian actress Nelly Karim and Tunisian star Dorra Zarrouk looked glamorous as they posed for photographs on Tuesday night.

Karim wore a black leather dress by designer Mohanad Kojak, while Zarrouk wowed onlookers with an opulent design by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad. The black ballgown was embroidered with golden flowers and leaves and also featured a daring high split.

Egyptian actress Nelly Karim wore a leather dress on stage. (AFP)

Seven Egyptian films will be screened during the festival, including “Leil Khargi” (External Night) — a film that will compete for the coveted Golden Pyramid Award.

The other Egyptian films on the itinerary are “Garemet Al-Immobilia, “Ward Masmom” (Poisonous Roses), “Kilo 64” and “La Ahad Honak” (The Giraffe).

Other films set to be screened at the festival include “Heaven Without People,” a provocative film that is the debut feature-length work of director Lucien Bourjeily; “Laaziza,” in which Moroccan writer-director Mohcine Besri tells the moving story of Laaziza, a troubled mother who is faced with the difficulty of welcoming back a man who once rejected her and “Fatwa,” which explores radicalization and its horrors.

Egyptian actress Sherine Reda took to the stage. (AFP)

The festival’s jury committee is headed by prominent Danish film director Bille August, who has received the Cannes Film Festival’s Palm d’Or award twice.

The festival has also added a People’s Choice Award for the first time in its history, with the prize money amounting to $20,000 for the film that gets a majority vote from the audience. A new award entitled “Best Arab Film,” with prize money of $15,000, has been added to this year’s festival as well, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.
Signs of a revamp in the festival include the attendance of executives from such international powerhouses as HBO, Netflix, France’s Gaumont, Participant Media and Middle Eastern players OSN, Front Row Distribution, New Century Productions and Aroma Studios.