Yallah ! Watcha lookin' for?

Khoubz Tounis - Honeyed Algerian breadcrumb dessert

السلام عليكم Greetings friends!

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People waste food by the bucket loads. That half eaten sandwich, that half glass of milk your child didn't finish,  go out to a resturant only to order half the menu if you can't eat it all, why order so much then? People quickly munch their food, then guzzle it down with a massive gulp of drink .... then bolt, without bothering to thank Allah for the blessing of that food. We switch on the TV to see the starving children in far a lands, saying 'subhanallah what a shame' yet we watch it happen and choose to switch off. We could feed a starving world with just the food we throw away.

Wasting is the way of Cheitan. Food and drink are great bounties of Allah Every grain of food and every drop of water or any halal drink must be greatly appreciated.We have been especially warned against wasting food and drink. Allah says in the Qur'an-ul- Kareem:
 "Eat and drink and do not waste, verily Allah does not love those who waste." (Al A'râf Surah 7:31)
 "It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters." (Al-An'am 6:141)
 " O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters." (Al A'râf Surah  7:31)
Ramadan is right around the corner. Ramadan, the super-one-stop shop of a Holy month of fasting, intensive prayer, sacrifice and Divine worship. Sadly it is for some a time to brush up "being a Muslim" - maybe sadly the only time for some to pray, fast, read the Qur'an, reflect, give charity ... and just in general "be nice". I invite you all, my friends to remember our manners and the commandments of Allah - not just in Ramadan, but in time. I invite you all, my friends to , remember the blessings Allah has bestowed upon us all, share your table and not waste a single morsel.



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Today, I present a Ramadanesque Algerian dessert called Khoubz Tounis. Also known as Khoubziette Tounis. The name literally means "Tunisian bread" ... but this dessert isn't Tunisian at all - but Algerian!

This dessert is in the same category of honeyed tray desserts las Baklava, Khoubz el Bey, Kalb bel louz and Besboussa. It frugally uses stale breadcrumbs in the batter, so no wasting of those dried out stale bread you have around the house. 

Now on to the recipe of the day ...

Khoubz Tounis
adapted from Madame Benberim - Spécial Gâteaux au Miel

batter:
  • 370g -1 ½ cups breadcrumbs (ground stale or dry bread)
  • 120g - ½ cup ground almonds  
  • 125g - ½ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g - about 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 package (10g - 2tsp) baking powder
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the honey syrup you can do several versions. Version one being using all natural honey that you have added ½ cup of water + 3 TBS maz'har (orange blossom water to. Or version 2 buy a small container 500g of assila or sugar syrup here in Algeria and add enough water to it make it liquidy and not thick (about  ½) and 3 TBS of orange blossom water. Or version 3 prepare the syrup recipe below.

syrup:
  • 1 ½ liter - 6cups water
  • 700g - 3 cups sugar
  • 3 TBS of maz'har (orange blossom water)
  • juice of one lemon
Prepare the syrup: 
  1. Place the sugar, water, orange blossom water and lemon in a heavy bottom pot. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low fire for about 20-30m until reduced into a thick syrup.
  3. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Prepare the batter:
  1. In a bowl, mix the mix, eggs and sugar until creamy almost mousse like.
  2. Add in the breadcrumbs, baking powder, almonds, vanilla and lemon zest. Mix well.
  3. Grease a large 13 x 9 x 2 inch - 33 x 23 x 5 cm rectangular baking dish. Optionally use several individual square or round baking pans.
  4. Pour the batter into the dish(es).
  5. Bake in a preheated 155° oven for 30-40minutes until the cake is golden.
  6. Once baked, remove from the oven.
  7. Pour the syrup over the still hot cake. And allow to absorb.
  8. Cut into squares or diamonds (if using the large pan) then decorate nuts. 

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-- You can use any type of bread for making the breadcrumbs : soft sandwich bread, brioche, Matlou, pita bread anytime works!
-- I have made this dessert several times more economical by using all breadcrumbs (no almonds) Optionally you could add aroma of almonds if you still wanted the almond flavouring.

Click HERE for additional Algerian "honeyed" syrup desserts.


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