Whenever I go back to Lebanon, the first thing I do is pass by one of the many bakeries on the way from the airport and grab a nice, sweet, warm knefeh (knafeh, kanafeh, kunafeh or kunafah). The traditional knefeh is made with white cheese and a special type of semolina-based dough, served in a sesame bun and sugar syrup. My version (based on my mom’s recipe) is more home-friendly: simple ingredients, easy to make and seriously delicious! Even though it has dessert written all over it, in Lebanon this is actually a quick breakfast! You just drop by a bakery on your way to work. The prefect start of your day!
For 6-8 persons
- 150 gr breadcrumbs
- 100 gr butter, softened
- 100 gr semolina
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 300 ml full milk
- 400 gr fresh mozzarella
- 200 gr sugar
- 125 ml water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- Preheat the oven at 190°C.
- Make sure the butter is soft enough before using it. Using your fingers mix the butter with the breadcrumbs. Make sure to leave as little lumps of butter as possible.
- In a springform press the mixture to cover the whole base.
- Shred or grate the fresh mozzarella and spread it on top.
- In a pan, add the milk, semolina and sugar. Bring to a boil on medium heat while constantly whisking until the mixture thickens.
- Pour it on top of the mozzarella and bake for about 30 min until the sides become golden brown.
- In the meantime, make the syrup. Add the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Once all the sugar has been dissolved turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients.
- When the knefeh is ready, take out from the oven. Make sure the sides are loose and remove the ring.
- Grab a plate that’s a bit larger than the springform, place it on top of the knefeh and flip it. The bottom should be beautifully brown.
- Immediately drizzle half of the syrup.
- Serve warm with some extra syrup and if you want, some sesame buns.