Moroccan sweet baked harcha

Baby is gone to sleep, I feel slightly better. So here I am trying to finish the description of this recipe which some ladies asked for.


I have started a serie of posts about Harcha (see here but first start with this one). Most of the ones I talked about are pan-fried. Today's version is thicker, so it's meant to be baked.

Making harchas is as easy as it can get and making this one particularly is even easier..My mother used to make it when I was in primary school and I managed to save the recipe in a old notebook  (see below). So I typed whatever I could save from it before it falls apart.


This baked harcha is usually sweeter than the ones I proposed previously but I also worked out a savoury version (I will post it separately).

You will be tempted to associate my harcha with a Basboussa or Namoura, or its sister Revani, It's actually lighter, cheaper and needs lesser ingredients while still yummy..Maybe the Moroccans worked out their version that way..

You can adapt it to your liking and I'll suggest some ideas in the end (for having tried them).

So let's get started with the recipe.

I have a file of recipes from that thorn little notebook and today's recipe comes in Moroccan unit of measurement (Please check the "units of measurement" page over here. The numbers you see in this snapshort where my own adaptation at a point of time)

Ingredients
For a 25 cm pan/tin (It can be round or square or any shape you have)
Prep: 5 min- baking: 30 min

  • 500g of fine semolina flour
  • 100g of fine sugar
  • 100 ml of vegetable oil or a mix of oil/melted butter
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar 
  • 14 g of baking powder
  • 1/2 liter of milk
  • 1 tbsb of orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp of orange or/and lemon zest
Glazing and decoration
  • 2 heaped tbsps of apricot jam (with the bits or without)
  • 3 tbsps of orange juice or water
  • 1 tbsp of orange blossom water (or rose water)
  • 2 tbps of dessicated coconut



Preparation

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C. Cover the baking pan with baking paper or just butter it and generously sprinkle fine (not the flour type) or medium semolina (not the couscous type).

For Harchas, we usually use the fine semolina grains (on the right). In Morocco, It's common to use fine semolina flour (on the left) for other bakes and sometimes Non-Moroccans confuse these two.

Work the dry ingredients together with the oil/melted butter mix.

Add the milk and stir to combine.



Pour the mix in the pan.

Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 30 min until both sides are nicely golden brown.

Once cooked, transfer onto a wire rack and let's cool down.


Make the glaze and decorate

Combine the apricot jam with the liquids and warm the mix for a few seconds in a microwave or in a sauce pan.

Once the harcha cake is just about lukewarm, generously brush it as many times as you need to finish off all the glazing.

Sprinkle with dry dessicated coconut.

Serve at room temperature with jam, honey and a nice cup of coffee. Children usually appreciate it with a glass of milk (with a drop of orange blossom water for a Moroccan touch).

The harcha cake keep at least 2 days at room temperature, nicely covered.




Notes


  • I like to add citrus zests to my harcha cake.
  • I also replace 1/4 of the semolina with coconut.
  • For a marbled effect, you could take the 3rd of the mix and mix it with 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder than marble the white mix with it.
  • You could make a syrup with 1 part sugar and 1/2 part water, flavour it with Orange blossom or rose water, then pour it over the harcha cake.
  • The cake can be 2 to 4 cm thick depending on your pan but then you need to adjust the baking time. 
  • If you choose to make a thick cake, you could cut it through in 2 and fill it with jam or nutella.
  • If you choose to use the syrup, you could also make a harcha cake tray and cut it into individual portions which you can top with whipped cream and fruits. It's like having a sort of Baba. 
  • For a gluten-free version, use polenta.




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