Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet dreams... walnut stuffed kadaifi

My family makes this sweet for special celebrations including Christmas and Easter most years and found some neat photos of our last cooking attempt so thought to post it given the recent sleepiness.

The low down on kadaif: It's a type of filo pastry shredded into thin strands like vermicelli and used in many Middle Eastern and Greek desserts such as the eponymous kadaifi. Most forms are sweet and typically made with nuts such as walnuts or pistachios combined with butter, spices and honey to make them rich, crunchy and super sweet. Kadif can also be used for savoury snacks to snazzy up some vegetables or meat and impress the judges of Masterchef! If you're looking for it in the supermarket it's increasingly easy to find in the deli or freezer section with other pastries-although most continental foodstores and markets tend to have fresher stock. If you're looking for a challenge you can make kadaif pastry at home- you need to be patient (set aside a few hours/whole day) and have steady hands- no coffee beforehand!

 - 1cup of roasted walnuts or almonds, coarsely ground
 - 1/4 cup caster sugar
 - 1 tsp cinnamon
 - 1 tsp vanilla sugar
 - 1/4 tsp ground  gloves
 - 1 tsp grated lemon zest
 - 2- 4 tbs breadcrumbs
 - 1 egg white beaten
 - 1 packet (375g) kataifi pastry
 - 1/4 cup melted butter
 - 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 - 2 cups water
 - 2 cups caster sugar
 - 1/2 cup of honey
 - juice of one lemon, (less if you don't like it sour- more if like me you like things tart!)
 - 2 slices of lemon
 - 1 stick of cinnamon
 - 3 whole cloves

The steps
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease 5cm deep tray with butter or line with non stick paper. 
  2. Combine almonds/walnuts, sugar, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, spices and egg in a bowl.
  3. Untangle a handful of pastry and spread on clean table.
  4. Place a tablespoon of the nut paste/mixture on on end pastry closest to you. 
  5. Roll up tightly and place in pan. Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and filling, leaving 1cm between rolls. Bake for 30-40min or until golden. 
  6. To make the syrup. Place lemon rind, 1/4 cup lemon juice, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, cloves and 2 cups cold water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce after 5min and then simmer until syrup thickens slightly (15-20min).
  7. Drizzle hot syrup over warm pastries. Set aside and let it cool completely.

Serve cold with coffee and a tall glass of water with vanilla fondant and let those sweet dreams come!


    1. Your Kadaifi looks fab. This pastry is easier to work with than phyllo and usually sold by the same stores.

    2. I just made Kataifi too!I must post it. It's my fave Middle Eastern sweet

    3. looks like great fun to make m's! and the syrup sounds delicious =)

    4. Hi Peter> yes, it is slightly easier to use than phyllo although I would like to be able to use it more often. Any ideas?

      Hi Reemski> Ooh yum! Just saw your post on kunefa- that looks fantastic!

      Hi jfox> yup it is fun, maybe we can try on our next cooking adventure? It's way more easier to handle than macarons ;p


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