Sunday, March 28, 2010

SUNDAY WITH MARLENA- CHEESE FILLED JERUSALEM KODAFA DRENCHED WITH SYRUP

This is one of the recipes I thought looked so interesting and the picture was so pretty in Marlena's cookbook. The "cake" is made with couscous, cheese and lots of honey. I` love honey! I love those little packets you get in a restaurant at breakfast, I just eat the honey straight out of the packets. I also love couscous so this recipe really caught my eye and the end result was a buttery very intensely honey/saffron flavored cake. I think I would have liked a softer creamier filling but it maybe just that the cheeses I used weren't conducive to that or maybe I baked it too long. I wasn't quite sure what the texture was supposed to be or how set it should be. I want to try making this again with different cheeses.

Serves 6
preheat oven to 375-400 degrees

1 1/2C couscous
2 1/4 C boiling water
1C butter cut into small pieces
1egg lightly beaten
pinch salt
1 3/4 C Ricotta Cheese- the ricotta I used was very dry, try using a creamier ricotta
7 oz cheese, such as mozarella, Taleggio or Monterey Jack grated- I used mozarella but I think I'd use Jack next time since it is creamier
1 1/2C honey
2-3 pinches saffron threads or cinnamon
1/2 C water
1tsp orange flower water or lemon juice
6 Tbsp chopped pistachio nuts.

Put the couscous in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Stir and let sit for about 30 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed and couscous is cooled.
Fluff the couscous with a fork, stir the butter into the couscous then stir in the beaten egg and salt. Spread half of the couscous into a 10" spingform pan (sprayed with Pam), patting evenly to form the base.In a bowl mix the cheeses and 2-4 Tbsp honey. Spread the honey mixture over the couscous.

Spread the remaining couscous over the cheese mixture pressing down gently. Bake until the couscous begins to puff about 30 min.
While the cake is baking make the syrup:
Put the remaining honey, the honey or cinnamon (or both) and water into a pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 5-7 minutes until the mixture turns to a syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the orange flower water or lemon juice.
When the Kodafa is cooked place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top of the cake.
Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts, serve warm with the syrup.
Like I said the ricotta cheese I used was extremely dry so that might be why my filling was dry. I think I might next time mix the ricotta with some marscapone cheese and mix a little bit of honey and lemon rind into it. Instead of serving the syrup with each slice, I ended up pouring the syrup over the cake so it would soak up the syrup. I stored the left overs in the refrigerator and you do need to pop it into the microwave for a few minutes to slightly warm it otherwise it is very hard. The flavor reminds me of Baklava. A very interesting cake.

Go to Shankari's blog, she is also doing a honey cake. Mel will also have a great recipe for you also.

3 comments:

shankari said...

I love all the ingredients listed. I will only make it for a crowd, I am afraid to make it for just the two of us...for the fear of eating it all LOL

margaret said...

Hello Eileen, I found you via Mel and I am sooooo glad because I lost my Marlena Spieler cookbook and I was sad that I couldn't make this for Easter but now, thanks to you, I can :)

Carolyn said...

I am serving Kodafa at an event I am catering on Sunday, and am trying to figure out how far this recipe can/should be made in advance. On reading the recipe, I thought that the flavors might deepen if allowed to syrup-soak for 24 hours before serving. It sounds as if it *can* be pre-made and re-heated pre-serve, but do you think it was vastly better still warm from oven? If you pre-made it, would you syrup-soak it before refrigeration, or pour it on just before/after reheating?
Thanks much for your help!

-Carolyn
Traveling Feast, Minneapolis

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