Kadaifi is a classic delicious dessert that belongs to the category of syrupy sweets, in which we Greeks have a particular weakness. The traditional syrupy kadaifi is made with coarsely chopped walnuts and sometimes other nuts such as Aegina (Greece) peanuts are added to the filling. The filling is flavored with cinnamon and cloves and crispy buttered kadaifi is wrapped around it. At the end the kadaifi is syruped with rich aromatic syrup with lemon peels and cinnamon. An amazing dessert that while it sounds complex, is relatively simple to execute, as long as you follow the recipe step by step. (See also the photos at the end of the recipe).
450 gr. Kadaifi
250 gr. Walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. Cinnamon powder
A pinch of cloves
250 gr. Cow butter
For the syrup
450 gr. Sugar
300 ml of water
Peel of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
- To prepare this recipe for syrupy kadaifi, start with the syrup. In a saucepan add all the ingredients for the syrup and put on high heat. Bring to a boil and dissolve the sugar. When ready, set aside to cool completely.
- Then you will prepare the filling for the kadaifi. Put the walnuts, cinnamon and cloves in a food processor and beat until the nuts are slightly broken.
- Melt the butter and butter well in a pan 26-28 cm in diameter.
- Then, using your hands, knead the kadaifi well to fluff it up and divide it into 3 equal parts. Cover the 2 parts with a fresh towel so that they do not dry out.
- Divide the first piece of kataifi into 7 equal parts. Spread them on the counter (in the shape of a nest), butter them and put a spoonful of the filling in each center. Wrap each piece in a roll and place them one by one in the buttered pan, leaving a small gap between them. Sprinkle each piece with butter. (Continue the process with the rest of the kataifi)
- Preheat the oven to 170-180C and bake on the middle grill for about 1 hour, until it gets a nice color and crisp.
- Once you take the kadaifi out of the oven, syrup it with the cold syrup. Spoon the syrup slowly, letting it absorb. Cover the kadaifi with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. Then uncover and syrup with the remaining syrup. Wait for the syrup to be absorbed.
- Serve the kadaifi plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Have fun!
- Prepare the syrup for kadaifi :
In order to achieve the perfect texture for the syrup in kadaifi, you should never mix the syrup while it is boiling. Allow the sugar to dissolve completely in the hot water and remove the pan from the heat. For the perfect kadaifi: crispy leaf and way of syrup go together! To achieve this, make sure that your syrup has cooled completely and the kadaifi is hot, as it came out of the oven. Always syrup with a ladle, slowly, over the hot kadaifi, waiting for each spoon to be absorbed by the syrup evenly. Although it will be difficult to resist… wait for the kadaifi to cool before you cut it and serve it.
- So what are you waiting for? Make this wonderful recipe for traditional syrupy kadaifi with walnuts and enchant everyone with its taste!
Prepare the leaf for the kadaifi
It is very important to take the kadaifi out of the freezer from the night before and put it in the fridge to thaw. If you take it out at room temperature to thaw it is likely that the water will spoil its texture and therefore it will be more difficult to work with and will not become crispy when cooked.
In all the sweets that you prepare with kadaifi leaf, such as this recipe for traditional syrup kadaifi, the secret for crispy kadaifi is in the process that we eat it, as it must be worked enough to open and fluff. Successfully working the kadaifi requires special attention as it dries easily, so in the meantime we cover it with a towel sprinkled with water. Preheat the oven a little earlier so that when the kadaifi is ready you can put it straight to bake. When buttering the kadaifi, add enough butter so that it can be cooked well and crispy for extra flavor.