This cheese kunafa dessert recipe is going to blow your mind. Why? It’s the simplest thing and I just discovered it! Blame it on my ongoing craving for the dessert, the good blame I mean…
So, I’ve been visiting a few Iftar buffets lately which explains why this craving was triggered. I figured it would be much affordable if I tried making kunafa cheese at home. I later discovered it needs only 3 ingredients. Can you believe it?
Preparation of Cheese Kunafa Dessert
For this cheese kunafa recipe, you will need kataifi shredded pastry dough which is the one that serves as the top and bottom layer of the dessert, mozzarella, and sugar syrup. I used Sunbulah for the kunafa, but this brand should also do.
I like prepping my mozzarella cheese with sugar before the process as I’m not too much a fan of sugar syrup drenched kunafa. Anyone for that crispy exterior? In the case you prefer a soft kunafa, then I’d suggest you skip this part.
If you want to go authentic with the presentation, you can bake your kunafa in this aluminum round pan to ensure that the shape is consistent for all the kunafa you bake
Want to download this easy kunafa recipe? Click here to get your FREE copy!
The result is a cheesy kunafa that will just make you thank whoever invented this dessert! Read on for the recipe…
How to Make Kunafa With Cheese:
Cheese Kunafa Recipe
A cheesy kunafa recipe that is so easy, that it uses only 3 ingredients!
- 500 gm Kataifi pastry dough shredded
- 300 gm mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup sugar syrup
- Rose water optional
To make your sugar syrup, add 1 cup sugar to 1 1/2 cup of water in a pan under medium heat. Let it simmer and keep stirring occasionally until the sugar completely dissolves. This should take you roughly 5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of rose water if you're using it
Prep your shredded mozzarella with about 2 tbsp of sugar and let sit for a while till you finish the next step
Next comes your pastry dough which is usually frozen. Shred it with your hands or in a food processor once room temperature till it's thin. Coat the dough with 1 cup of ghee and mix
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
To line your baking container, first, coat it with ghee and then add half of the dough into the container and let sit tightly
Try lining the sides of the container with the dough so that it is able to hold the cheese
Add your shredded cheese and make sure to cover the whole container evenly
Last comes the other half of your dough to cover up the kunafa
Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes until the surface is golden brown
Let sit outside for 15 minutes till it cools a bit and then run a knife along the sides to make sure the kunafa isn't sticking
Now, flip your kunafa onto a serving dish and drizzle with your preferred amount of sugar syrup
Garnish with pistachio (optional)
Other ingredient options: I admit this might not be the most authentic kunafa cheese recipe, however it still tastes closely the same. You can use orange blossom water which also adds flavor and is used originally in the recipe.
Authentically, the best cheese for kunafa is usually Akkawi cheese. This cheese is chewy and a little salty so it strikes a nice balance between the saltiness and the sweet sugar syrup.
This is also why we have alternated the kunafa ingredients with mozzarella for its texture so that you are not compromising on the quality. Next time if someone asks you originally which cheese is used in kunafa, you know the answer!
How to Eat Kunafa:
Kunafa or Konafa is usually drenched in sugar syrup and topped with sliced/ powdered pistachio. It is served as a dessert in the authentically in aluminum round pans but informally served in beautiful Moroccan crockery like this one here.
What you may have normally seen as a coffee pot for Moroccan tea, can also be used for pouring sugar syrup over the kunafa dessert. I have found a coffee pot with a great deal on Amazon for you! Or, you can just use a pitcher like me.
This kunafa recipe with cheese is the easiest way to satisfy your cravings and is an affordable alternative. Just keep in mind to heat your slice and eat when warm as that’s when it tastes the best.
So, the real question now is to go with the sugar syrup or not? I leave that up to you 🙂
Until then, happy eating! xx
P.S. If you want to save and read later, here’s a pinnable version! 🙂
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