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Sweet Cheese Kanafeh

sweet cheese kanafeh

Traditionally served for dessert, Kanafeh is a sweet cheese pastry that is soaked in sugary syrup and topped with ground pistachio.  They key ingredient of Kanafeh is Kadayif (also spelled Kadaif), finely shredded phyllo.

The Hilton Tel Aviv Lobby Terrace, overlooking the Mediterranean, was renovated during the winter of 2018.  This Sweet Cheese Kanafeh was featured at the Lobby Terrace grand re-opening as part of the 7 dish dairy tasting menu to mark Israel's 70th, prepared by Executive Chef Rafik Jabarin.

You can purchase shredded phyllo dough at specialty Middle Eastern food stores, some large supermarkets or amazon

Read More: Jamie's experience at the Hilton Tel Aviv Pastry Workshop.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


For Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ lemon, sliced in half
  • ½ orange, sliced in half

For Kadayif

For Garnish

  • 1 cup ground pistachio


To Prepare Syrup: 

1. In a saucepan heat water, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon stick, lemon and orange over high heat.  Boil until reduced by half and thickened.

2. Set syrup aside while making the kanafe. (The syrup will be added in the later steps of the recipe.)  

For the kanafe:

1. Separate kadayif noodles with your hands.

2. Mix kadayif noodles with clarified butter.

3. Coat a large (28-cm / 12-inch) sauté pan with butter.  Place ¾ kadayif noodle mixture into the pan and press down.

4. Sprinkle cheese over kadayif and top with remaining kadayif mixture, also pressing down.

5. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes. 

6. Remove pan from heat and place a large plate on top of pan. Flip over the kanafeh, add a bit of butter to frying pan and fry the other side of the kanafeh for two-three minutes, until golden. 

7. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle syrup over top.

7. Garnish with the ground pistachio

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