KUNAFA CHEESECAKE CUPS
FOR THE CRUST AND TOPPING: 500g kunafa dough, cut into small pieces, divided 250g unsalted butter, melted ½ cup pistachio kernels, chopped For the sugar syrup: 2 cups sugar 1 cup water 1 ½ tsp rosewater 1 tsp lemon juice FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER: 500g cream cheese, softened ½ cup icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ cup double cream Begin by making the sugar syrup. Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and then allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the kunafa dough into a bowl and mix with the melted butter with your hands until thoroughly coated. Take half the coated dough and divide it equally to press into the bottoms of two 12-cup muffin pans. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until deep golden brown. While the bases are still hot, pour in a little of the sugar syrup to coat them. Reserve the rest and allow the bases to cool. Next, make the topping. Spread the remaining coated kunafa dough onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, checking and mixing at five minute intervals to ensure the dough is golden brown and evenly toasted. Place the baked kunafa dough into a bowl, leaving any butter residue in the pan. While it is still hot, drizzle in the sugar syrup and mix to combine until thoroughly coated. Set aside. Next make the cheesecake layer. Place the cream cheese and icing sugar into a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer set to a medium speed, beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and combine. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until you achieve soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until just combined. Divide the cheesecake mixture equally into the prepared pastry cups. Tap the pans on your work surface to remove any air bubbles. Transfer the cups to the refrigerator and allow to set, uncovered, for a minimum of two hours. Top the cheesecake layers with the remaining prepared kunafa dough or don’t – as you prefer. Sprinkle over the chopped pistachios and serve.
Two great desserts rolled into one!