Semolina cakes: An Eastern-flavoured voyage
In today’s blog, we will introduce you to semolina cakes, a Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern specialty. But before we jump into the thick of it, some people might be asking themselves, “What is semolina?”. We’re glad you asked. It is a type of flour made from a different type of wheat, called durum wheat. It grows predominantly in the Middle-East and accounts for 5-8% of all wheat production. Compared to your average flour, semolina is darker and coarser and has a more earthy aroma. In terms of nutrition, this type of flour is high in protein, iron, vitamins and in gluten. This is why it is commonly used in Italy to make pasta, as the high gluten content helps the pasta stick together and keep its shape. This type of grain is also commonly found in couscous, as well as breads, cakes and pies. Now, let’s get into semolina cakes and their rich, tasty goodness.
First off, we have the classic bassma, a delicious cake made with semolina wheat. At Patisserie Royale, a bakery in Scarborough, Ontario, you can find bassmas made with pistachios and rose water. This wonderful creation quickly melts in your mouth, full of delightful Eastern aromas. If you live in Ottawa, Malak Pastry bakes their own great bassmas made with semolina paste and stuffed with copious amounts of pistachios. Also, if you live close to an Adonis supermarket anywhere in Quebec and Ontario, they bake fresh namouras, also known as basbousas, every day. It is a pastry made with semolina, yogurt or milk and oriental spices. Finally, the chefs at Baklawa King in Mississauga offer a wide range of fresh pastries, baked daily, including semolina desserts. You can find many kinds of bassmas, namouras, baklavas and more, made with fresh pistachios, walnuts and cashews.
Semolina can be used to make many different kinds of desserts, just like flour can. We will show you some of the other great desserts that can be made with this type of grain. In Edmonton, Baltyk Bakery offers an amazing honey rum cake layered with mixed fruit marmalade and homemade almond semolina cream, covered with their own dark chocolate ganache and topped with sliced almonds. If this description doesn’t already make you salivate, we recommend picking one up. We’re sure you will be amazed by the result. If you’re in the mood to explore new cuisines and different tastes, you can head to Ram Sweet Shop in Montreal and Dollard-des-Ormeaux to try a rasgulla. It is an Indian ball-shaped dessert made from cottage cheese and semolina dough, cooked in syrup.
Semolina cakes, the often-overlooked counterpart to flour, have a rich, aromatic feel to them. Combine that with enchanting oriental flavours, and you’ve got desserts that will leave you wanting more and more. Who knows, maybe after trying a bassma or a namoura, you’ll want to pick up a bag of semolina and bake your own treats! To discover the full range of semolina cakes available near you, Dessert Advisor will deliver.