The Egyptian dessert is associated with happy occasions; it’s made year-round, but especially during Ramadan. Most of its ingredients are available in every Egyptian house, and the recipe can be tweaked by using more nuts or high-quality butter. In Turkey, the cakes are sold in pastry shops and neighborhood simit carts.
Egyptians love this dessert — so much so that they flirt with women by calling them basbousa.
Melt the remaining cup of butter in a saucepan set over medium heat, then remove from heat and add the honey. Add the semolina and mix very well. Stir in the yogurt, just to combine, then stir in the baking powder.
During the last five minutes of baking, make the syrup. Boil the sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes, to dissolve the sugar, then turn off the heat. Pour the hot syrup over the finished basbousa, cover with foil, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Garnish with the nuts.
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