Ataif – Walnut Stuffed Pancakes with Rose Water Syrup.

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Happy to have just made it in for this months The Cookbook Guru book of the month – The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden.

Okay, this one was really hard to get a hold of but persistence pays off.  I ordered it from one library who ordered it in from another library and finally…..

My thought was to go straight to the sweets section and make something from there. I’ll have a better look at the rest of the book a little later.

My mum and I have been making something very similar to these little stuffed pancakes for years and because the only time I follow recipes to the T is when I’m at work, I sort of combined the two recipes and ended up with these…

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Light pancakes with a sweet walnut and cinnamon filling with just a hint of rose water. I like them as they are but for the sweet tooth the syrup is thick, sweet and sticky.

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This recipe will make about 30 Ataif.

For the pancake batter:-

1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 3/4 cups lukewarm water

1 1/3 cups plain flour

pinch of salt

In a bowl mix together the yeast, sugar, flour and salt. Add the water and use a whisk to mix it all together making sure there are no lumps of flour left. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for an hour in a warm spot until it’s all frothy. Give it a good whisk.

Lightly wipe a non-stick fry-pan with a little oil and put over a medium-high heat. When it’s hot pour in tablespoons of the batter a few cm apart so they don’t touch. You’ll only be cooking one side of the pancake. It’s ready when the top is full of little holes and it’s lost it whiteness. If you let it dry out too much you won’t be able to get the edges to stick together.

Place on a plate and continue cooking the rest of the pancakes.

For the Walnut Filling:-

120g shelled walnut pieces

50g brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp rose water

Put the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very fine. Add the rose water and give it another quick mix and its ready.

For the Syrup:-

75g water

150g white sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

1 star anise

2 Tbls rose water

Stir the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan until the sugar melts, add the star anise and bring to the boil without stirring. Let it boil for 10 minutes until its thick and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the rose water then let it cool.

To Assemble:-

Take one pancake, put a 1/2 – 3/4 tsp of the filling in the centre. Fold in half and close by pinching the edges with your fingers.

Arrange on a serving dish with the syrup in a little bowl or glass.

Sound like  a big job but really its just pancakes. Anyway, every time I’ve made these people always come back for more so they’re worth the effort.

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Enjoy…

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Super Quick Breakfast II. Onion and Tomato Omelet

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Another quick and super delicious breakie.

All you need to do is melt  a little butter in a small non-stick fry-pan. Throw in few very thinly sliced brown or red onion wedges and let them cook on a medium high heat until soft. Add 1 small tomato that you’ve cubed and stir it around for a couple of minutes until the tomato starts to break down.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Pour in a couple of eggs that have been lightly whisked with 1/2 Tblsp cream. Gently push the cooked egg from the outside into the centre of the fry-pan and carefully tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg runs to the edges and cooks. (I sure hope that makes sense!!!)

I had a few baby bocconcini in the fridge so I sliced them up and added them just before everything was nearly cooked.

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You can flip the whole thing over if you want the eggs cooked all the way through or shove it under the grill for a minute.

It took less than 10 minutes and breakfast was on the table.

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Now…Where’s my coffee???

Enjoy…

Spicy Bun Fun – Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns.

It’s Easter time so why should coeliacs miss out on  the  spicy bun fun?

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I’ve been working on this recipe for a few years now. Last years batch was a hit with my sister but I’m hoping this years will be even lighter and fluffier. The taste is spot on, it’s the texture I’m dealing with now.

The recipe is really simple :-

450g gluten free plain flour (I use Orgran brand)

3 tsp instant yeast

4 tsp gluten free baking powder

4 tsp xanthum gum

1 tsp salt

2 tsp mixed spice

75g brown sugar

75g currants

120ml milk (full cream works best)

50g butter

150ml water

1 free range egg.

Hows this for simple?

In a bowl (I use a stand mixer but you can make these by hand, nothing wrong with a little elbow workout) mix together the flour,yeast, baking powder, xanthum gum, salt, mixed spice, brown sugar, and currants.

In either the microwave or on the stove, gently warm the milk, butter and water together until they are just warm. Don’t over heat the mix or you’ll kill the yeast. You should be able to stick your finger in without  burning it.

Stir the egg in with the milk, water and butter mix, then pour the whole lot into your dry ingredients. Stir until combined then knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

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Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm room for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

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Scrape out onto a floured surface and shape into a log. Divide into 12 even pieces, shape into smooth balls and leave on a baking paper lined baking sheet in a warm room for about 40 minutes. They should double in size.

Pre-heat oven to 210oC.

In a small bowl mix 1 Tblsp flour with enough water to make a smooth paste. Spoon into a sandwich or freezer bag, cut of the very tip and pipe lines along the buns.

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Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

In a tiny saucepan mix 2tsp white sugar with 2tsp water. Bring to the boil.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven brush them with the sugar syrup.

If you can, let them cool for 10 minutes before stuffing yourself with them.Image

Yep…

Light and fluffy and spicy and oh so moorish.

My sister says  “Wow. Really real hot cross buns. Wow.” As she’s stuffing yet another in her mouth.

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Please enjoy…