How to Make Middle Eastern Cheese Dessert

Middle Eastern Cheese Dessert

The most famous Middle Eastern Cheese Dessert is the Kanafa, and it is well-known in the Arabic place, specifically in Egypt and the Levant, particularly among Palestinians. Additionally, there are varieties that you can also see in Greece and Turkeys.

If you will log on the internet and try to find Kanafa, you might wonder why there are a number of its variations. Accordingly, we will go back to the fact that it is widely popular in many countries around the world.

With the information above, you might encounter different cooking variations of the dish too, this article will focus on the West Asian style. Hence, you will have more Middle Eastern twists.

About Kanafa

A close up of a man

Kanafa is one of the favorite desserts in the Middle East. It is a layer of creamy and sweet cheese with top of crunchy shredded phyllo dough. It is effortless to make, but the overall taste and look are impressive. Here are the steps that you can do to make this dessert.

Ingredients to Prepare:

● One box of shredded phyllo dough

● Two types of cheese

○ 1 cup container of ricotta

○ 1 cup shredded mozzarella

● One-third cup of white sugar

● 12 ounces of butter (unsalted)

For the dessert’s syrup:

● A cup of white sugar

● Half cup of water

● One teaspoon of lemon juice

● ⅛ teaspoon of rose water


Here’s how to prepare the Middle Eastern Cheese Dessert. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully to get the right taste of Kanafa.

Prepare the oven by preheating it to 400-degree Fahrenheit (200-degree Celcius).

Utilize a food processor to chop the shredded and frozen phyllo dough finely. Make sure that the strands must be the size of a grain of rice. Put the dough into a big mixing bowl, then combine the two cheese and white sugar in a separate bowl.

Put the butter in a large mixing bowl with a spout, then heat it in a microwave until melted completely. Let the melted butter sit for a few minutes till a thick white foam has developed on top.

Pour the butter carefully into the bowl where you put the phyllo dough, do not include the whole milk solids of the clarified butter, and mix them carefully.

Evenly spread the buttered phyllo dough into a nine by thirteen inches pan then spread the cheese combination onto the dough.

Bake it in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

For the syrup, mix the water and sugar in a saucepan, boil it in medium-high heat. Once boiled, reduce the heat and put the lemon juice. Simmer and keep stirring until the sugar melted and the mixture stiffened, do not caramelize. Remove from heat and put the rose water, then set aside.

Take the Kanafa out from the oven, utilizing the oven mitts, invert the baking dish onto the large plate for the phyllo to be on top, then pour the syrup over the Kanafa.

Serve it while it is hot and enjoy the Middle Eastern Cheese Dessert with your loved ones!

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