Kunafa French Toast

It is annual tradition for me to work on some Ramadan fusion recipe for you guys to try out. This one combines all the best of the seasons’ flavors with a Western twist.

This year, I simply thought of wrapping French toast in Kunafa! French toast can often end up being a flacid, soggy and burnt mess. By adding the Kunafa exterior I was aiming for a protective layer that provides a stronger structure with a pleasant, sweet and airy crunch in every bite to contrast against the smooth, custardy center of the French toast. As part of the innovation, I seem to have ‘invented’ the Tamarind syrup, which is normally just simple syrup in Middle Eastern desserts. A minimal and final layer of apricot whipped cream added an additional element of Ramadan’s favorite drink; Qamar-el-din!

Before I list the ingredients, you should know that there’s two ways to prepare the Tamarind syrup. The slow but reasonably more authentic way; is to soak some dried Tamarind in water overnight and then use that water to make the syrup. The faster way is just to use commercially available Tamarind juice. Both products are available at www.zumrafood.com

  • Ingredients:
    • For the Tamarind syrup:
      • 1 cup granulated white sugar
      • 1 cup Tamarind juice (or Tamarind soaking liquid
    • For the Kunafa French Toast:
      • 4 slices of white bread
      • 3 eggs
      • 1 cup milk
      • 2 Tbsp sugar
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • a few sprinkles of cinnamon (optional)
      • Kunafa pastry dough
      • 1/4 cup melted butter
    • For the Qamar-el-din whipped cream:
      • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
      • 3 Tbsp Qamar-el-din or apricot juice concentrate

Method:

  1. First prepare the syrup. Add the cup of sugar to a sauce pan and add the Tamarind juice to it.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it bubble away for 5 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat, pour the syrup in a heat-resistant jug and leave it to cool down completely.
  4. In a shallow baking dish whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk and cinnamon.
  5. Briefly dunk the bread in the custard mixture and make sure cover both sides of each slice.
  6. On a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper, place the toast slices and wrap them with the Kunafa pastry strings.
  7. Brush the Kunafa with generous doses of melted butter and bake at 170°C for 20 minutes.
  8. Take the Kunafa wrapped French toast out of the oven and quickly pour about half a cup of the Tamarind syrup over the top.
  9. Return the toast to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until the Kunafa turns a light golden brown.
  10. While the toast is taking a final tan in the oven, start whipping the cream until it reaches a soft peak stage.
  11. Add the apricot juice concentrate and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  12. Take the Kunafa French toast out of the oven and serve it immediately with the Qamar-el-din whipped cream. Enjoy!

Whatever you do to this recipe and whichever way you like to eat your French toast, please don’t add chocolate to it. Thanks. 😁

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