Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sham Dessert

(Şam Tatlisi - Bayram Dessert)

Sham Dessert
1 1/2 cup yogurt, plain
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cup semolina
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder

4 cups water
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 lemon juice, ~2 tbsp

16 almonds, peeled or pine nuts

3 Lt Pyrex dish or cake mold or casserole dish, oiled

Boil the syrup ingredients for 15 minutes, put aside, let it cool down.

Mix the yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla extract with a spoon until the sugar melts. Then add the semolina, flour and baking powder. Mix them using the spoon. Pour the batter into the oiled Pyrex dish. Assume it will be cut in 16 rectangle pieces, so arrange 16 almonds or pine nuts on top.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until it takes a golden colour. Cut Şam Dessert into 16 equal rectangle pieces. Pour the cold syrup slowly all over. The syrup won't be soaked completely, approximately 1 cup will be left (picture).

Şam Dessert should be put aside for at least 4 hours before serving.

Meal Ideas:
- Cauliflower Soup, Spinach Tenderloin, Grape Leaf Rolls with Olive Oil and Turkish-style Zucchini Gratin.



At 11:52 PM, Blogger Amatullah said...

This is similar to the middle eastern "basbousa" as they call it in most parts, like egypt. Or hareesa.
However from my recipe and as far as I know they don't use egg, I can see that yours looks a little more bound with the egg. Interesting variation.

Great blog and recipes, love the mushroom manti!!

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binnur Hanım,

I have a question about this recipe. Having never cooked with semolina before, I am curious whether you are referring to semolina grains or a flour made from semolina. So far as I can tell, semolina flour is all that is available at the local market.

Thanks very much for all of your recipes; I tend to make at least one per week and they've all turned out deliciously. Thanks in part to your recipes, I've turned into an enthusiastic student of Turkish cuisine!

Çok Çok Teşekkurler,


At 7:59 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Eric,
Thank you:) I always use durum semolina which is the original ingredient and gives the right texture, but I think you can use soft wheat semolina, too.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering what the dimensions of your pyrex dish are. Mine are
33 X 23 X 5 cm and when I spread the batter in the dish, it was kind of a thin layer. I thought it would rise a bit in the oven but it really didn't. Would the dessert be a bit thicker like the one in the picture if the dish were smaller? Also when I poured the syrup, it really seemed like a lot. The squares were swimming in syrup :) Was I supposed to leave a cup out?
Or when you say a cup will be left does it mean that even after 4 hours you will still see about a cup of syrup left in the dish? Well thanks a lot for you great dishes. I am anxiously waiting for 4 hours so that I can try this dessert. Thanks again.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Angelica ,
Thank you:) I just measured the dish that I used. It has the same measurement that you used. Yes, the desert should be thicker. Did you preheat the oven? Otherwise the cake can't rise and can't absorb the syrup. But like I mentioned in the recipe "The syrup won't be soaked completely, approximately 1 cup will be left " Yes, It means that even after 4 hours you will still see about a cup of syrup left in the dish:)

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that I did preheat the oven. Maybe I mixed the batter too much or maybe I need to put more baking powder, maybe 2 tsp? I will try it again. Thank you for your reply.

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Faye said...

I was looking for this recipe for a long time.
Near my place long ago there used to be a wonderful Turkish place which had the best kebabs, salads, dips and the most amazing semolina cake dessert I had ever tasted!
Thanks for the recipe! :)

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Mona said...

Hi Binnur :)
I have eat homemade almond cake during my flight on the turkish airplane . that was amazing !!

It was denese , very moist & very yummy . I think they use semolina in it & it is similar to this recipe except the syrup . Can you help me please

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Mona again !

Please Binnur , answer me :(

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Mona,
I need to know its name:)

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure there aren't any other ingredients?? looked like something is missing? is the batter supposed to be dry and flaky?

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

If you like you can add the missing ingredients but I don't know what they are:)

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you say mix all the ingredients until the sugar melts does this mean i mix them over heat or will the sugar melt at room temperature
thanks donna

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Donna,
Mix the yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla extract with a spoon until the sugar melts in a bowl, not in a pot over the stove!
When you mix these liquids with the spoon (or mixer which I did not use in this recipe) the sugar will be melted in a few minutes.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Jane in New York said...

I used both almonds and some candied cherries on top, otherwise I did not change a thing and it was excellent! Thank you so very much for sharing these!

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur,
I have tried many of your recipes and they have always turned out GREAT but I must have done something wrong with this one:
first of all the cake didn't rise and then it quickly turned a dark brown colour on top as if it was burning, I tried cooking it covered with foil but it didn't cook!
I wonder if I used the wrong semolina, can I find durum semolina in turkish stores?! Is it small, medium or large grain?
Thank you so much in advance
Take care

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hello Emily,
Thank you:) Mostly the oven temperature affects the rise of the cake.
The ovens have different settings. You may need to adjust the
time or heat. A little bit less baking time or a little bit less
heat:) I think the cake was over baked with high heat so couldn't get a chance to rise.
Sure, you can find durum semolina in Turkish stores. Medium grain is
more suitable for this recipe:)
Take care.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger jordan_x said...

Sorry I wrote a comment before but ive since found other semolina called 'Piyale Semolina' , would this be ok to use?


At 9:19 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sure Jordan, you can use it :)


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