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Kunafa Middle Eastern Cheese cake

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Preparation time: hrs mins Cooking time: 0 hrs 40 mins Servings: 12 – 14 Difficulty: Anyone can do this! By: Clandestine Cake Club


  • 300g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 2tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosewater
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 500g kunafa pastry. This is shredded filo dough and can be found in Greek or Middle Eastern delicatessens.
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 100g chopped pistachios

Image credit: Photography ~ Rupa Photography London. Food styling ~ Mandy Thompson.

“You don’t have to be a genie to make this Middle Eastern cheesecake, but it looks and tastes genius

This recipe can also be found in “The Modern Jewish Table” by Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn. Aka The Jewish Princesses.

About Tracey Fine.

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    1. Image credit: Photography ~ Rupa Photography London. Food styling ~ Mandy Thompson.

      Pre-heat oven 180c

    2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan place sugar, water and lemon juice.
      Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low light for approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid has become a syrup, remove from heat and leave to cool.

    3. When the syrup has cooled add the rose water and then set aside to be used later.

    4. Melt the butter and use a little to grease a 28cm spring form tin.

    5. In a large bowl break apart the Kunafa pastry until all the shreds are loose
      Mix the butter in, using your hands, so all the pastry is well coated

    6. Beat together ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, egg yolks and caster sugar until smooth

    7. Take a greased 28cm springform tin and sprinkle blanched almonds over the bottom.

    8. Take half of the Kunafa dough and place over the almonds, pressing it down

    9. Spread the cheese mixture over the Kunafa, using a palette knife so you have an even layer.

    10. Take the other half of the Kunafa dough and press over the top.

    11. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until golden.

    12. Remove from the oven and sprinkle ground pistachios on the top
      Pour over the rosewater syrup evenly over the cake.

    13. Leave to cool and remove from tin.

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