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Middle Eastern Desserts/Sweets


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Here is another courtesy of Claudia Roden from her Tamarind and Saffron recipe book

Saffron Caramel Cream

600 ml milk

4 oz sugar plus 4 tblspns more for the caramel

a pinch of saffron pistils

1/4 tspn cardamom seeds

2 tblspns rose water

4 eggs lightly beaten

Scald the milk with the sugar, saffron and cardamom and let it cool to luke warm. Add the rose water and gradually beat into the eggs.

Heat the remaining 4 tblspns sugar in a small pan until it melts and becomes dark brown ( don't burn it though! ) Add 4 tblspns water, the liquid caramel will harden and then melt and bubble. Pour into a metal ring mould or other type of mould. Turn the mould around so that the caramel reaches every part, using a spoon to help spread it up the sides if need be. Heating the mould in the oven beforehand keeps the caramel runny for longer.

Let the caramel cool before pouring in the milk mixture gently. Place the mould in a pan of water ( bain marie ) and bake in a 180C oven for about 1 hour or until the custard has set. Chill before unmoulding. To turn out cut gently around the edges place a serving dish on top and turn upside down.

Enjoy :)

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That would be lovely... Please do send me the recipe.

Where is it from? It sounds perfect. :smile:

I found the recipe in gourmet last year. It's delicious, I make it all the time to have with tea. I also like to make a glaze flavored with orange juice and zest to spread over it. I'm sure you could whip up a nice rose water glaze.

3/4 cup shelled natural pistachios (4 oz)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk (2% works well too)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 by 6 pan, then line bottom with wax paper. Butter/flour routine.

Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, I've also bought ground pistachios and it's worked well too.

Add the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt and pulse once or twice to mix.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time (beating after each addition).

Then add the milk and vanilla, mix well, then add the flour and beat till combined.

Spread the atter evenly in cake pan and bake in middle of oven til the tester comes out clean, should take about 20 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for roughly 10 minutes and flip it out onto a platter. Glaze it if you wish. It doesn't need much, just enough for a beautiful sheen.

It's excellent warm (if you can't wait) but it's delicious at room temperature.

Enjoy. :smile:

There's a yummy in my tummy.

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That would be lovely... Please do send me the recipe.

Where is it from? It sounds perfect. :smile:

I found the recipe in gourmet last year. It's delicious, I make it all the time to have with tea. I also like to make a glaze flavored with orange juice and zest to spread over it. I'm sure you could whip up a nice rose water glaze.

3/4 cup shelled natural pistachios (4 oz)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk (2% works well too)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 by 6 pan, then line bottom with wax paper. Butter/flour routine.

Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, I've also bought ground pistachios and it's worked well too.

Add the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt and pulse once or twice to mix.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time (beating after each addition).

Then add the milk and vanilla, mix well, then add the flour and beat till combined.

Spread the atter evenly in cake pan and bake in middle of oven til the tester comes out clean, should take about 20 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for roughly 10 minutes and flip it out onto a platter. Glaze it if you wish. It doesn't need much, just enough for a beautiful sheen.

It's excellent warm (if you can't wait) but it's delicious at room temperature.

Enjoy. :smile:

mhadam-

Do you remember if "Gourmet" mentioned what country the recipe from? I am originally from Lebanon and I've never seen it. Just curious. I can tell you one thing though, it sounds delicious. I already printed a copy and will make it soon, hopefully over the weekend. I love the taste of Pistashios and Rose water (many Lebanese desserts including Pistashio ice cream combine these two).

Thanks

FM

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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mhadam-

Do you remember if "Gourmet" mentioned what country the recipe from? I am originally from Lebanon and I've never seen it. Just curious. I can tell you one thing though, it sounds delicious. I already printed a copy and will make it soon, hopefully over the weekend. I love the taste of Pistashios and Rose water (many Lebanese desserts including Pistashio ice cream combine these two).

Thanks

FM

I don't recall if Gourmet listed the origin. I think it was more of combining pistachios with cardamom and claiming it was Middle Eastern.

I'll see if I can find the mag tonight.

maggie

There's a yummy in my tummy.

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I found the recipe in gourmet last year. It's delicious, I make it all the time to have with tea. I also like to make a glaze flavored with orange juice and zest to spread over it. I'm sure you could whip up a nice rose water glaze.

3/4 cup shelled natural pistachios (4 oz)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk (2% works well too)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 by 6 pan, then line bottom with wax paper. Butter/flour routine.

Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, I've also bought ground pistachios and it's worked well too.

Add the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt and pulse once or twice to mix.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time (beating after each addition).

Then add the milk and vanilla, mix well, then add the flour and beat till combined.

Spread the atter evenly in cake pan and bake in middle of oven til the tester comes out clean, should take about 20 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for roughly 10 minutes and flip it out onto a platter. Glaze it if you wish. It doesn't need much, just enough for a beautiful sheen.

It's excellent warm (if you can't wait) but it's delicious at room temperature.

Enjoy.  :smile:

I did everything by the recipe.

The cake has been in the oven for over 25 minutes.

It is still trembling and not cooked.

What did I do wrong?

What to do? :shock:

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Survir-

Good luck with the cake! I hope it stops jiggling.

I have been making a lovely pistachio brittle I found on epicurious. It is not identified as Middle Eastern, but it does have pistachios. The taste reminds me of those clear, rectangular sesame candies you get in healthfood stores, only better. I thought it might work as a garnish for another dessert, or possible a post-dessert nibble with coffee.

Here is the link:

http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?id=102704

I like to chop the pistachios in half before adding them, so the fresh green color is more visible.

Please tell us what you make!

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Good luck with the cake!  I hope it stops jiggling.

The cake stopped jiggling. I had it baking for 45-50 minutes.

It became a nice beautiful brown by the end of it. Moist yet perfectly cooked so the skewer I put in came out clean.

It was a huge success.

I owe many thanks to every on here and most especially to mhadam.

The cake has the most amazing texture and a captivating and enticing aroma. All through dinner, our friends were greedily awaiting dessert time.

I had made my signature lemon poppy seed cake and the pistachio cake.

My favorite was the pistachio. Thanks mhadam!

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A question for the trained pastry chefs and bakers...

I made the pistachio cake.. It came out amazing.... I have been hearing about it ever since... everyone loved it.. The beautiful aroma of the cardamom against the pistachio oil is brilliant.. It was emanating all through the meal.

The cake was baked in a bread pan (9x6), and the finished cake had a slight crack in the center. How can one avoid that? What did I do wrong? It baked perfectly (well it took much more time than what the magazine wrote) and tasted Grand and has an Amazing texture. But just aesthetically, it had that one fine crack that was around 5 inches long.. Not wide at all.

Any tips?

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The crack is characteristic of baking powder breads - I've never made one that didn't have it.

The version of the Gourmet recipe on Epicurious (click) calls for a 9x13 pan, which would account for the longer baking time you needed. The cake probably wouldn't crack in the larger pan, but it wouldn't be as attractive. It does sound lovely - I like mhadam's suggestion of a rose water glaze.

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The crack is characteristic of baking powder breads - I've never made one that didn't have it.

The version of the Gourmet recipe on Epicurious (click) calls for a 9x13 pan, which would account for the longer baking time you needed.  The cake probably wouldn't crack in the larger pan, but it wouldn't be as attractive.  It does sound lovely - I like mhadam's suggestion of a rose water glaze.

Thanks Cathy!

I agree the cake would not look attractive in the 9x13 pan... I will stick with the 9x6 and the small crack. It is far more attractive to the alternate.

And the size of the pan explains the difference in baking time.

Thanks! :smile:

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I'm glad your middle eastern dessert was a success, Suvir. Galaktoboureko is basically a semolina custard wrapped in filo. I've had it wrapped eggroll style, layered like baklava or in purses. Greek and Turkish acquaintances sometimes enhance the basic recipe by adding chopped pistachios to the custard or adding rosewater to the glazing syrup.

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I'm glad your middle eastern dessert was a success, Suvir. Galaktoboureko is basically a semolina custard wrapped in filo. I've had it wrapped eggroll style, layered like baklava or in purses. Greek and Turkish acquaintances sometimes enhance the basic recipe by adding chopped pistachios to the custard or adding rosewater to the glazing syrup.

Thanks Rhea_S!

You know, in India we make a halwa out of semolina (Sooji Halwa) that is very similar to what you speak about.

Also there are certain communities in Northern India where they make Gujias differently from the rest. Gujjia is a sweet turnover pastry. It is stuffed usually with Khoya (evaporated milk fudge) and dried fruits and nuts. In some communities, they stuff it with a semolina halwa like what you describe.

In fact at Tamarind, they were serving an awful version of it. I had a better version that was served all of a few days... but the management decided not to use the pastry chefs better skills at making this dessert and instead kept the poor recipe given by the chef.

But when Gujiia is made well, they are delicious.

In India we deep fry gujjia.

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Hi, Suvir.  I recently served Coffee-Cardamom Pots de Creme for dessert at one of my dinner parties; they were elegant and soulful at the same time.  To me, anyway.  I think they would be excellent for your friend's party.  The recipe is in Daniel Boulud's cookbook.

I am not sure I have his cookbook.. I think I do. I think I even remember the cover... I hope I did not gift it away...

If I cannot find it, I will go buy a copy. I love pots de creme. I make one that I will share in my own cookbook. I made it first as a young teen.

Always had a soft spot for pots de creme. :smile:

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Foodman:

Don't know if mhadam got in touch w/you directly, but I found my copy of the Pistachio Cake (which I make often and everyone adores) which I had found on Epicurious. Although it is simply called "Pistachio Cake" I had written "Iranian" above the title. I am assuming that I did see it in Gourmet and that it stated that it was an Iranian recipe. As my short term memory sucks, that's the best I can do for you except for the fact that I served it to an Iraqi friend of mine and he said it reminded him of his childhood.

Let me know if you have heard otherwise.

kit

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Foodman:

Don't know if mhadam got in touch w/you directly, but I found my copy of the Pistachio Cake (which I make often and everyone adores) which I had found on Epicurious.  Although it is simply called "Pistachio Cake" I had written "Iranian" above the title.  I am assuming that I did see it in Gourmet and that it stated that it was an Iranian recipe.  As my short term memory sucks, that's the best I can do for you except for the fact that I served it to an Iraqi friend of mine and he said it reminded him of his childhood.

Let me know if you have heard otherwise.

kit

I have made it three times now.

I cannot thank mhadam enough for having introduced me to this wonderful cake.

It is the most amazing aromatic and tasty cake I have had. I have had far too many cakes that are flavorful but do not come out being tasty.. simply as spicy, over spiced cakes... This cake is most subtle and yet so full in flavor. It is amazing. It could be Middle Eastern, Iranian, Iraqi, Indian or Sri Lankan.. it would go well with any food and at any time.

I would be very curious myself to know how the magazine got to that recipe. And who the first person to come up with this combination was. It is spectacular.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I made the pistachio cake last night for a small party with some friends and it was the talk of the party! It was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten.

Thank you so much.

I actually made it as a cake in a 9 inch spring form pan and it cooked to perfection in 30 minutes.

My only problem was that I didn't have ground cardamom, so I ground the whole pods in a spice blender, but the outer green shell didn't get very well ground so I poured it through a seive. It tasted great, but how do you grind cardamom yourself? Do you remove the black seeds and just grind those?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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how do you grind cardamom yourself? Do you remove the black seeds and just grind those?

Exactly right.

Just lightly bash (if those last two words aren't mutually exclusive) the whole pods to break them open, and flip out the black seeds.

Then into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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