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Friday, October 17, 2014

Kataif / Kadayf (Turkish-Greek)

This dessert is the Greek and Turkish variant of the generic Arabic sweet usually called Kanafeh (or kunefe or similar names). It consists of very thin vermicelli noodles (or shredded yukka dough) and ground walnuts, layered and soaked in a concentrated sugar syrup, and then baked a bit until golden brown. It tastes very sweet (much like Arabic-Turkish and Greek pastries in general, just think of the well-known Baklava) but flavorful. It's also surprisingly easy to make. Give it a try.

Last year: Pumpkin and sage soup.
Two years ago: Potato, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs creamy salad.
Three years ago: Scottish cardamom griddle scones with butter and honey.

Ingredients (for a 20 cm square tin, serves 4):
  • 200 g very thin vermicelli noodles (or shredded yukka dough, if you can find it in specialty stores)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 200 g ground walnuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons thick honey
  • some butter for the pan

Butter the pan generously. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Bring the water, sugar and cardamom pods to a boil. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the syrup reduces a bit. Remove the pods. Stir in the honey.
Layer half the vermicelli on the bottom of the pan, and pour half the syrup over them. Level, then sprinkle the ground walnuts evenly on top. Next, cover with the remaining half of vermicelli noodles and slowly pour the remaining syrup on top, careful not to disturb the layers.
Bake it for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top (careful, it burns fast).
It's done, slice and dig in! :)

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