Kunafa is a Middle Eastern dessert made with spun pastry and drizzled with rosewater and sugar syrup. This is my adapted version of Kunafa, inspired by my favourite tennis “tweeter”! Thanks Nawal!!
250ml sugar 125ml water 5ml rose water 450g vermicelli noodles, cooked and cooled 140g butter, melted 300g mozzarella cheese, grated a handful of pistachio nuts icing sugar to dust
Preheat your oven to 200℃ and butter a 25cm loose bottom cake tin. Place the cake tin on a large baking sheet and set aside. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan set over medium high heat. Stir the mixture until all the sugar granules are dissolved and then bring it to a simmer for 1 minute. Take the saucepan from the heat, add the rosewater and set aside. Place the cooked noodles in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with the melted butter and mix with your hands to spread the butter over the noodles. Place half of the noodles in the prepare cake tin, in an even layer. Spread the mozzarella over the noodles and top the cheese with the remaining noodles. Press the layers down into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden. Remove the cake tin (still on the baking sheet) from the oven and immediately drizzle the kunafa with the rosewater syrup. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Take off the ring of the tin and sprinkle the kunafa with pistachio nuts. Sieve over some icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.
This is the perfect make-ahead dessert when entertaining as it needs to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours before baking. With its crunchy outside top and soft, squidgy inside it is best served in small portions as it is very rich. Leftovers are equally good when cold!
10 slices white bread, 0,5cm thick 160g dark chocolate, chopped 75g butter 450ml cream 60ml dark rum 110g caster sugar a pinch of cinnamon 3 eggs extra pouring cream for serving
Grease a 18cm X 28cm ovenproof ceramic dish. Remove the crusts from the bread slices and then cut each slice into 4 triangles. Set aside. Add the chocolate, butter, cream, rum, sugar and cinnamon to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir the mixture every now-and-then until the butter and chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the bowl from the heat and give it a good stir to amalgamate the ingredients. Put aside. Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour the chocolate mixture over the eggs in a thin stream while whisking continuously. Remember: pour slowly, whisk quickly. Spoon a 1cm layer of chocolate mixture into the base of the baking dish and arrange half the bread triangles in overlapping rows on this chocolate layer.
Pour half of the remaining chocolate mixture as evenly as you can, over the bread. Arrange the rest of the triangles on top of this layer, finishing off with a layer of chocolate.
Gently press down the bread with a spoon so that it gets covered evenly with the liquid as it cools. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely. Place the dish in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Cooking the pudding: Preheat your oven to 180℃. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the pudding for 35 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving with pouring cream, custard or ice cream.
This is fragrant dessert with rose water and honey and is based on the traditional Roz bel Laban. The recipe provides 6 generous portions depending on the size of the glasses or bowls it is served in.
500ml milk 250ml cream 2 cinnamon quills 6 cloves 1,2ml ground cardamon 250ml rice 30ml sugar 500ml water 83ml condensed milk 30ml butter 30ml rose water honey and pistachio nuts to serve
Add the milk, cream, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon to a saucepan. Turn the heat on medium and wait for the mixture to come to the boil. Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers and add the rice, sugar and water. Allow the mixture to simmer until the rice is cooked, stirring continuously. This will take 30 – 40 minutes. Do not leave the mixture – keep an eye on it! Take the saucepan from the heat and add the condensed milk, rose water and butter. Stir thoroughly. Spoon the rice pudding into glasses or serving bowls. Drizzle each dessert with honey and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts. The rice pudding is best served warm.
125ml granulated sugar 45ml cocoa powder 500ml boiling water
Preheat your oven to 160℃. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add the caster sugar. Stir the ingredients to combine and put aside. Add the melted butter, milk, vanilla and egg to a separate bowl and whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined into a batter. Spoon the batter into a 25cm X 15cm ceramic dish and level the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the granulated sugar onto the batter in an even layer. Sift the 45ml cocoa powder onto the sugar layer and then gently pour the boiling water onto the batter. Bake the pudding for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and stand for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm.