There were certainly some times where you wished you knew how to prepare these delicious “Qatayef Assafiri” from scratch, or where you tried preparing some “Znoud el Sett” or “Knefe” and then felt you’ve wasted lots of ingredients and a big effort.
We, Arabs, are all fond of Arabic sweets, and we usually pride ourselves in preparing the best desserts in the world. But seriously now, how many of us can pretend that they master the preparation of these desserts?
Becoming an expert in Arabic sweets may not be an easy task, but there are some basic techniques that will help you prepare some excellent desserts. The two most important techniques are the preparations of sugar syrup and kashta.
While - almost - no one can ever go wrong with sugar syrup – a mixture of water and sugar flavored with orange blossom water and sometimes rose water or spices, we wish we could say the same about kashta, which is a bit more difficult and can be messy.
Traditionally, kashta – also known as clotted cream – was prepared with raw milk and a squeeze of lemon juice only, and then a cheaper alternative was adopted, based on a mixture of milk, bread and cornstarch.
But there are some other recipes as well, and we will share with you our favorite. Combine a can of Nestle sweetened condensed milk (405 g) with 3 cups of water (750 ml) and ¾ cup of corn flour (90g) in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to boil while constantly stirring until it thickens. Flavor with 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water and stir. Keep aside to cool into room temperature. Once it cools, mix until smooth. You can now use it to fill your favorite desserts.
Keep in mind that you might want to reduce the sugar syrup amounts in the recipe (if any) because our kashta recipe is lightly sweet. And for a guilt-free dessert, why don’t you replace the regular sweetened condensed milk with Nestle’s Fat-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk?