The past weekend was full with baking. I like to bake and cook when i’m at the village, away from the chaos and hotness of the city, feeling the freshness and the calmness of the nature. I love nature. I love being surrounded by trees. First, on friday evening, I did a cherry clafoutis, which i’ll be posting tomorrow, and on saturday morning I did one of our oriental Lebanese traditional sweets, Aish Al Saraya, which i like a lot since it’s light, fresh suitable for hot days. And on Sunday night, of course before the World Cup game, I managed to bake two cakes for a dinner gathering my husband has organized for his collegues. He asked me if I can bake something nice for him, and with pleasure I agreed. I’ll be posting few pictures about these two recipes in the coming days.
Last week I helped my mom preparing this dessert, Aish Al Saraya, stayed beside her watching every step, which ingredients she was using. And this past weekend i did it all by myself with no guidance, except for my husband’s help, after all, it is my first time preparing this dessert.
“Aish” in Egyptian means bread, and “Saraya” means something close to palace, castle. This dessert is composed of white soft bread, milk and sugar. We usually use white soft toast or sometimes the crumbs of soft buns. The soft inner portion of the buns is perfect for this dessert because it can absorb very nicely the hot caramelized sugar. We also use powdered-milk because it thickens very well. I did not try it with full-fat fresh milk this time, to see if it’ll have a different result, but maybe next time.
I recommend you to try this dessert because it is so delicious, and light. The texture is fluffy, rich and creamy. And tell me what you think about it.
Eating this dessert after two days resting in the fridge is much more savoury, of course, if there were any left!!! the bread and the cream will be more blended, the cream will make the bread well soaked, softer, juicier, flavorfully… just yummiiiiiiii……….
Aish Al Saraya
-about 10 slices soft toast, enough to cover a large plate
-a handful of ground or finely chopped pistachios
For the cream
-4 cups milk (3tbsp powder milk for each cup of water)
-4 tbsp sugar
-5 tbsp corn flour (melted in a cup with 3 tbsp of hot water)
-2 generous tbsp orange-blossom water
For the caramelized sugar
-1 cup white sugar
-1 cup hot water
Slice off the crust of the toasts and put them evenly in the plate. Try not to let any space uncovered, because when heated the bread will shrink a little bit.
Heat the milk in a small pan for few minutes, then add the sugar and when the milk starts to boil add the corn flour and keep stiring until the milk thickens. Adding the cornflour as powder will form lumps in the milk. You will notice that the cream holds on the wooden spoon. In the end you stir in the orange-blossom water. Keep aside to cool down. You can stir it once every while so that a layer doesn’t form on the top.
Then put the sugar in a non-stick pan, let it melt and caramelize until golden brown. Shake the pan to distribute the sugar evenly,do not stir or use any spoon, because the sugar will stick on the spoon and in the pan and it will be hard to remove or melt again. When the sugar is completely golden brown, pour over the water carefully, slowly, away from the fire, while shaking the pan to distribute it. This will loosen a little bit the sugar. Do not leave the sugar over the heat and go do something else because it will burn and it will taste bad.
While the bread plate is low-heated a little on the stove, press the bread with your hand so they stick to each other, remove from heat then pour the syrup over the bread evenly.
Then spread the milk cream evenly on top of the bread to cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, over night is better.
When serving, chop finely the pistachios and scatter them over the dessert and you can also use pine nuts.