This is a classic Turkish cuisine baklava-like dessert which made of shredded yufka / Phyllo dough and it looks a bit like shreded wheat. This dessert can be made with cheese or nut filling. Its normally made on a tray and is about 3/4″ thick but i made mine a bit different.
450g shredded filo dough (kataifi)
425g ricotta or Marcapone cheese
120g grated mozzarella cheese
5 tbsps caster sugar
For the Syrup:
200g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
340g unsalted butter
¼ tsp orange essence
- Preheat oven to 200 C.
- Use a food processor to finely chop the frozen, shredded filo dough. The strands should be as small as possible. If you find this difficult leave the dough to stand uncovered to dry out a bit and then manipulate it with your hands as you would if you were crumbling it with your fingertips. Pour the dough into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta or ( marcapone) , mozzarella and 5 tablespoons sugar.
- Place the butter in a large liquid measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Heat the butter in a microwave until completely melted and let it sit for a few minutes minutes until a thick white foam has formed on top. Clarify the butter by using a spoon to skim off the foam.
- Pour the butter into the bowl of filo dough. Use your hands to mix the butter and dough together. Make sure that the butter is absorbed by taking handfuls of the dough and rubbing it between your palms.
- Evenly spread the buttered filo dough into a 20x30cm tin and firmly press it into the bottom and edges. Spread the cheese mixture onto the dough, avoiding the edges of the tin.
- Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is slightly golden and the edges of dough are brown and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.
- While the Kadayif is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine the water and 100g sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the lemon juice. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture turn golden and caramelize. Remove from heat and add the rose or orange water; set aside.
- Remove the Kadayif from the oven. Place a large plate or baking tray over the baking dish. Using oven mitts, carefully invert the baking dish onto the plate so the filo is on top. Pour the syrup over the Kadayif. Cut into pieces and serve whilst hot.
Oven temperature: 200c/400f/Gas 6
You can make this in muffin tins as I do they are so much nicer to look at and to serve as individual portions. Divide the dough in two, one layer at the bottom; add the cheese and then another layer on the top of the muffin cup. You could add crushed walnut to the layer instead of cheese.I added a bit of both just to be different.