"This is a traditional Lebanese sweet that can be found in sweet shops all over Lebanon," says Rabih of Al Afrah Sweets.

Serves
8

Preparation

15min

Cooking

45min

Skill level

Mid
By
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Ingredients

  • 315 g unsalted butter
  • 1 kg fine semolina
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 250 g ashta (Lebanese clotted cream, see Note), regular clotted cream or double cream
  • slivered almonds, ground pistachios and crystallised flower petals (see Note), to serve

 

Syrup

  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 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

Cooling time 25 minutes

Preheat oven to 220°C. Melt 190 g butter, then combine with semolina, milk and sugar in a bowl until mixture comes together. Spread out in a greased, shallow ovenproof dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until starting to brown. Using a fork, break up mixture into large pieces, then return to oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, to make syrup, place 250 ml water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly reduced. Stir in rosewater, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Melt remaining 125 g butter. Process the semolina mixture in a food processor to a fine powder. With the motor running, add melted butter and syrup, processing to a paste. Cool.

Spread the semolina mixture onto a large serving platter or plate, top with ashta and serve scattered with almonds, pistachios and crystallised flower petals.

 

Notes

• Ashta is from Lebanese sweet shops.

• Crystallised flower petals are available from specialist cake shops.