These sweet Levantine desserts are stuffed with a Middle Eastern clotted cream, called ashta, and pinched closed at the top creating an attractive shape.

Serves
4-6

Preparation

20min

Cooking

10min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 4.7 (9 votes)
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This recipe was developed by Hoda Kobeissi for a video demonstrating how to make atayef two ways. You can find her flat, cheese-stuffed version here.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • Ashta cream, to serve (see Note)
  • Dried rose petals and crushed nuts, to garnish

Sugar syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp rosewater

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

1. Mix all the ingredients together except the bicarb soda and remove all lumps by blending with a stick mixer. Set aside and rest for 10 to 15 mins.

2. Add bicarb to the batter, just before you are about to make your pancakes.

3. To make pancakes, place a non-stick frypan over a low to medium heat. Place a ladle full at a time of batter into the frypan - more or less is fine, you can have any size pancake you like. Allow the pancake to cook - you will know that it is cooked when the top is bubbly and the surface has dried out. Once cooked and dried, take the pancake out of the pan and place it on a plate with a clean tea towel to cover. Set aside while you cook the rest.

4. Place a teaspoon or two of cream in the middle of the pancake, then pinch the sides together from the middle until ¾ of the way closed. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

5. For the sugar syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil then add the lemon juice and mix well. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rosewater then let it cool completely before using.

Dip the open end of the atayef in dried rose petals or crushed pistachio and serve drizzled in syrup.

 

Note

•Ashta cream is a clotted cream popular in the Middle East that is sometimes scented with orange blossom water. You can find it at select Middle Eastern grocers or substitute it by mixing ricotta cheese with a little thickened cream and optionally a drop of orange blossom water.