Kunafa-Baklava – MMK
How to Make Kunafa Baklava at Home
What is Kunafa?
Kunafa means two things: the sweet dish and the dough that is used to prepare that dish. Quite a number of people confuse one with the other. I don’t blame them, this will continue for long, probably forever, but that is not something anyone should worry about. Right? It is usually prepared during the Holy month of Ramadan. It has become a usual sight on the dining table after the main meal, along with other sweets.
Kunafa, the ingredient and kunafa the sweets itself
Let us agree to refer to kunafa as the dough rather than the dish. At least for now, while we talk about it. If you had seen my recipe for baklava (and have tried it, hopefully), kunafa baklava here is similar except with the use of kunafa instead of phyllo pastry that we used in the baklava recipe. There may be a bit of difference in the amount of the ingredients to attain the desired sweetness against the ratio it needs against the dough, but they are practically the same.
Take a break…
However, if you haven’t tried preparing the baklava, try doing this Kunafa baklava first. It would build your patience, LOL! Take it from me. The easy part in the Kunafa baklava is handling the dough. They kind of look like messed up witch hair (well, hair… no-witch). So, you can do whatever you please with the kunafa and you would still get it right. Phyllo pastry being sensitive to touch needs tender handling. In my case, it means, it is asking for moods. If I were not my patient self, move away baklava, I might not give you justice. Kunafa baklava would be best for the hair reason. Just imagine pulling someone else’s (witch?) hair and there you go, you got some stress-relief in here. Then imagine putting a bite-size of Kunala in your mouth! That’s pure reward.
Occasional sweets, all-around sweetness
Both sweets are popular in the Middle East. These recipes do not call for any particular occasion to be prepared. Having said that, both are used as gifts when visiting families and/or friends. Additionally, both become highly popular during the month of Ramadan, among other sweets, as I had already said in the beginning of this post.
Let’s try doing this one.
Kunafa-Baklava - Sweets
- 250 g Kunafa dough
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2/3 cup pistachio nuts
- 2/3 cups almonds
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp juice of fresh lemon
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- A pinch of clover powder optional
Mix icing sugar and nuts in a bowl.
Brush baking pan with butter.
Scatter some kunafa dough on the pan. Brush with butter, then press them down with your hands or spatula onto the pan to achieve the firmness you prefer.
Sprinkle with nuts and sugar mixture.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 ending with kunafa dough brushed with butter.
Cover pan with foil.
Bake at 300°F for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake again for 15 minutes.
While baking, prepare the syrup by bringing water and sugar to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes adding the rest of the ingredients close to end. Let cool.
Pour cooled syrup onto hot Kunafa-Baklava.
Cut to desired sizes while kunafa is hot.