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…

Pancakes…

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here’s the thing….. I have trouble writing out recipes because I’m one of those people that doesn’t always measure ingredients out. This makes it quite difficult when someone asks ‘how did you make that?’ or ‘how much did you put in?’ It’s also proving very hard when it comes to trying to write up recipes for a recipe book,which has been coming for many a year.

Every now and again I will actually make the effort ( especially now with this blog and all), to take things slowly, write all things down and measure everything with spoons and cups and weights.

I made pancakes this morning. There I was, coffee on the stove, mixing bowl and whisk at the ready, when my husband tells me I should be blogging this recipe, sharing it with others.

Out come the ingredients, the spoons, the cups……

In my medium sized bowl, I measured in 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon caster sugar, a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, 1 free range egg and about 1 and 1/2 cups of soy milk. I gave it a whisk and made sure there were no lumps and then added a little more milk to make it a thick but runny consistency (Sorry, don’t know how else to describe it).

Time to heat a small non stick fry pan on a medium heat. Brush with a little melted butter, and pour in about 1/2 a cup of the pancake batter. (The amount you pour in will depend on the size of your fry pan and how big you want your pancakes to be).

I then sprinkled on a few fresh blueberries.

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This part may seem weird but it worked, I actually covered the pan with a lid for about a minute. It helped the pancake to cook a little faster on top without burning the bottom.

Flip the pancake over and let it cook for another 40 seconds or so.

Slide onto a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter.

I ended up with 4 big fluffy pancakes.

Top with some slices of banana and a few berries and a drizzle or two of some good maple syrup.

Next time I’ll try with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top as well.

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