بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
By reader's request today I'm sharing an Algerian cookie/biscuit recipe. It's a traditional Algerian gateaux that is found almost all celebratory tables. It's called Tcherek m'saker. It is also known by other names like Corne de gazelle (horn of the gazelle) or even Kaab el ghzl (kneel of the gazelle)
Tcherek is an ancient traditional cookie unique to North Africa. It was mentioned the medevil cookbooks of Andulasia as being prepared for the caliphs of that time. The Tcherek was so prized even Baghdadi poet Abu Talib al-Ma'mauni composed several sonnets singing its praises.
Tcherek is a traditional, crescent shaped Algerian cookie stuffed with almonds that have been pulverized into a paste bound with orange blossom water and sugar. After the cookie is baked it is briefly steeped in more orange blossom water, then rolled in powdered sugar. Each bite gives way after one crunchy bite to a soft fragrant, marzipan-like interior.
The traditional medievel version of Tcherek was spiced cookie with an almond mazipan-like filling. The cookie then shaped into the crescent then baked until golden. With such interesting spices as black pepper, aniseed, cloves and ginger I can't help but wonder why the modern days versions have left these out. There are several modern day version of Tcherek. Moroccans have adapted this cookie by removing the outer cookie part altogether leaving the filling to be the whole cookie itself. Algerians have mostly kept to tradition with few differences with Tcherek m'saker (with powdered sugar coating) Tcherek m'assel (coated in honey), Tcherek metli ( with royal icing glaze), and finally Tcherek el ariane (without coating) is probably to the closest version of the orginal that we can find in modern times, since the medieval version wasn't soaked with qatr (sugar syrup) after baking. Either way, I can see why this ancient cookie is still much beloved today. In fact, Tcherek has made its way from the shores of North Africa around the Mediterranean and Europe with their own adaptions.
I stumbled upon this delicious recipe for an Algerian version from Djouza of Ma Cabine de Délices. I tried it out and was very happy with the results. Machallah they were easy to make, and very tender. I would like to share the recipe and link with you all today.