There are very few people who don’t like Knafeh. It is one of, if not the most popular Middle Eastern dessert. It is traditionally made in two ways, either khishneh (Arabic for rough, in which shredded filo dough is used, or na’ameh (Arabic for soft), in which semolina is used. Regardless of what is used for the dough, both are then topped with white cheese that is cooked until gooey and stretchy. The delicious disc of cheese and crispy dough is then flipped over and doused with syrup. Who could resist this?
However, over the years, people have been getting creative with Knafeh. Filling mini Knafeh discs with Nutella is just one way to put a spin on the traditional dish. Some of my favourite combinations are fresh fruit (such as mangos or strawberries) and whipped cream, peanut butter and chocolate, or even making a cheesecake filling and topping with a raspberry or strawberry coulis. The possibilities are endless! The best part about these dainty little Knafehs is they look great and can be served at dinner parties. Make the dough and fillings in advance and assemble when ready to serve!
What’s not to love about this super easy and delicious dessert?
- 500g Knafeh pastry
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 5 tbsp. melted butter
- Sugar syrup
- ½ cup whipped cream
- Crushed roasted hazelnuts
1. In a food processor, pulse the pastry until roughly chopped. Do this in batches to ensure that the pastry is evenly chopped and it doesn’t get caught in the food processor’s blade.
2. Add the sugar, mix and then add the butter. Make sure the butter is well incorporated.
3. Spoon about 1.5 tbsp. of the dough into a greased muffin tin and use the bottom of a cup to flatten.
4. Bake at 200C for about 10 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Make sure to keep an eye on them, as they burn easily! Set aside to cool.
5. When ready to serve, spread Nutella onto the insides of the Knafeh, top one side with whipped cream and hazelnuts, and then put another piece of the Knafeh on top, making a sandwich.
6. Drizzle with sugar syrup and sprinkle with more nuts. Enjoy!