View Kataifi nests with rose and chocolate

Kataifi nests with rose and chocolate

Serves: 12

Meal type:

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

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Sweet Treats,

About this recipe

These golden nests contain so many elements inspired by my client’s tale of letting her daughter go: there is, of course, the nest itself, and its individual nature. The milk, rather than dark, chocolate chips are a hark back to Fry’s, as is the fragrance of rose. And, in the spirit of a childhood story, when these are baked you might have some wayward strands of pastry poking out of each nest that will be deeply coloured and crisp, which I like to think of as Rapunzel’s split ends. This Greek-Cypriot treat was my favourite as a child and affectionately anglicised in our family as “shredded wheat pudding” – the golden, but very tenuous, thread of nominal connection to English pudding being the presence of syrup. For me, this is noshtalgia at its best.


Ingredients

For the syrup:

  • 225ml water
  • 170g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water

For the filling:

  • 110g chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 20g milk chocolate chips

For the pastry itself:

  • 125g kataifi pastry
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes to garnish

You will need a standard 12-cup muffin tray.

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan and boil gently for 5 minutes. Pour into a jug and leave to cool.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the filing together and set aside.
  4. Fill a small bowl with water. Wet your hands and pull off a small amount of kataifi strands and mould into one of the cups of the muffin tray – the pastry should fill approximately half of the cup’s capacity (you will have around 1.5-2cm depth of pastry, depending on your particular muffin tray). If your pastry is especially dry, it too might benefit from a swift dip in the water – the pastry strands need to be damp enough to be mouldable in the muffin cup.
  5. Place a teaspoon of filling on top of each kataifi nest base. Then, using the same technique as before, top each with dampened kataifi strands so that each muffin cup is full.
  6. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of olive oil over each nest. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the nests are golden blonde and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and pour over the cooled syrup – each nest will need a generous tablespoon. Allow 30 minutes for syrup soaking. Just before eating dot a few sea salt flakes on each nest.

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