How a cake or a biscuit or a loaf looks is important to me. Maybe not as important as how it tastes, but almost. So if I see a recipe that requires a special mould or tin or contraption to make it I find it very hard to resist the temptation to rush out and buy it. This is all too clear from my collection of madeleine and friand trays, biscuit and moon cake presses, and tins for bundts, pandoro, angel cake, milk loaf, and more. At present I am trying very hard not to buy a set of copper cannelé moulds. I might succeed. I might not. Watch this space.
Anyway, when I saw David Lebovitz’s post about the glorious pastries on offer at Al Bohsali in Lebanon, I knew I just had to buy a Maamoul mould. That, as it turned out, was quite a challenge in the UK. Using the thing was quite a challenge too. But more of that later.
These fragrant little pastries are found in Lebanon and several other countries of the Middle East and beyond. A filling of nuts, dates or figs is enclosed in a beautifully sculpted case of crumbly semolina pastry. I won’t lie; they are not the easiest or quickest things to make. But they are definitely rather special, and well worth the effort. Continue reading