Kunafa is a delicious cream and cheese filled middle eastern dessert. This sweet dessert is called by different name like Kanafe, Knafe, Kunafa, or Kanafa. Some call it as Queen of middle eastern dessert. No wonder why Kunafa called so…. it is sooo scrumptious dessert which you can’t stop having it.They are prepared stuffing the shredded phyllo dough(Kataif) either with cheese or cream or with combining both cream and cheese.
Arabic desserts are very comforting during Iftar and most of the time my sweet dish used to be some middle eastern dessert. Best thing about arabic dessert is that they are very easy to make and taste sooo delicious.
Since I couldn’t find Kunafa dough here, to satisfy my kunafa carving I put my hands on making dough at home itself. Believe me they are easy to make with very simple ingredients! This dough can be prepared in advance, it will freeze well. Then I filled it with both homemade cream and mozzarella cheese. Traditionally Akawi cheese is used, since mozzarella is easily available ,I used that. You can also use ricotta cheese or fresh home-made cottage cheese too.After baking poured the simple syrup to sweeten them which is flavoured with rose-water and orange blossom water. Hmmm they were smelling amazing!!!!Contrary to the traditional one big round Kunafa, I made it in little muffin tray which looks so cute and easy to serve individually.
Amaze your guests and family with this delicious and cheeselicious Kunafa. shhhh don’t tell them that Kunafas are soo easy to make ;)….. Serve it with some hot black tea or coffee. They gonna love you even more!! Here is the recipe….
Here is my Iftar friendly recipes if you haven’t seen yet!!!
Kunafa dough recipe adapted from Amina is cooking.
Ramadan Health Tip :-
- Drink plenty of water after Iftar.
- Avoid having canned juices and artificially flavored drinks.
Serves – 10 mini Kunafa
For the dough:-
- Semolina – 1 1/2 cup
- Melted Butter – 1/4 cup
- Sugar – 2 tea spoon
- Rose water – 1/2 tea spoon
- Orange blossom water – 1/4 tea spoon
- Salt – a big pinch
- Milk – 1/2 cup
For the Filling :-
- Milk – 1 cup
- Fresh Cream – 1 cup
- Corn flour – 1 1/2 table spoon
- Sugar/condensed milk – 1 table spoon
- Salt – a pinch
- Rose water – 1/2 tea spoon
- Mozzarella cheese – 1 cup (Shredded/cubed)
- Ground Pistachios – enough to garnish
Sugar syrup :-
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 3/4 cup
- Lemon juice – 1 table spoon
- Rose water – 1/2 tea spoon
- Orange blossom water – 1/2 tea spoon
For assembling kunafa:-
- Milk – 1/2 cup + little more if dough doesn’t hold
- Melted butter – enough to brush on top and to grease the muffin tin
- Crushed pistachios – for garnishing
For the dough :-
- Preheat your oven at 170 °C.
- Take all the ingredients to make the dough in a bowl and mix with your hand and make soft dough. It should neither be soo dry nor so sticky.
- In your non stick baking sheet, flatten the prepared dough about 10 inch diameter circle and bake for about 30 minutes. (It doesn’t need to be brown). Then keep aside to cool down completely.
- Now break the baked dough roughly and put it in your food processor, and grind it well.
- Then pass the powdered dough through a sieve and get even more fine texture. Grind the big chunks again to make it fine, pass them through sieve again until you get very fine textured dough.
For filing :-
- Take some milk and add corn flour and make smooth paste.
- In a sauce pan, add milk,cream,sugar/condensed milk, salt and corn flour paste and heat it and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the mixture thickened well.
- Add the rose water and switch off the flame. Keep aside to cool completely.
- Add mozrella cheese in a bowl of normal water and keep it for 1 and half to 2 hours to take off the saltiness of the cheese. (See tip)
For sugar syrup :-
- Take sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat and just stir to combine. Bring to boil. When sugar melts completely add in the lemon juice. Let it simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes get the syrup thickened up, add rose water and orange blossom water and switch off the flame, keep aside to cool down.
For assembling and baking Kunafa :-
- Preheat your oven at 180 °C , grease your muffin tray with butter.
- Take the kunafa dough in a bowl, add half cup of milk to it. Dough should hold together when pressing with your hands like wet sand.
- Then press and cover the bottom and sides of the greased muffin tin with the prepared dough.Not very thick layer , but it shoudn’t be too thin either.
- Add 2 to 3 small cubes of mozzarella cheese, then top it with 2 tea spoon of prepared cream filling and again top it with few cubes of mozzarella cheese again.
- On top of that cover with little kunafa dough again.
- Brush the top with melted butter.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden color.
- Take out from the oven, demould the kunafa and pour the prepared sugar syrup on top of it.
- Garnish with crushed pistachios and serve hot with a cup of black tea or coffee.
Tips & Tricks :-
- You can prepare dough,cream and syrup in advance.
- You can also assemble and freeze the kunafa, just bake before you serve.
- Akawi cheese can also be used instead of mozzarella. Ricotta cheese or freshly made cottage cheese can also be used, make sure cottage cheese doesn’t taste more tangy if using it.
- You can also make kunafa either with cheese or cream alone, its up to your personal preference.
- If you are not a fan of flower fragrance, completely opt out the rose-water and orange blossom water and can also be substitute with vanilla extract. But rose water and orange blossom water gives the authentic taste.
- I added mozzarella cheese with and without soaking in water, both the way we liked it.