Monday, April 16, 2007

Ekmek Kadayifi (Bread Kataifi)

I don't usually go for the traditional Turkish desserts, but Ekmek Kadayifi (Bread Kataifi) is definitely an exception to the rule. The name Ekmek Kadayifi refers to the dessert as well as its its bread-like base. As the latter can readily be purchased in Turkey, nobody bothers to make it at home and the recipe remains a mystery. Once you get your Ekmek Kadayifi, all you have to do is to prepare a sugar syrup, and to steep and cook the bread base in it until it uniformly soaks up the syrup, softens and expands. Thus the very convenience that makes Ekmek Kadayifi relatively easy to make at home in Turkey, renders it inaccessible to home cooks in USA... until recently, that is. My blogger friend Betul from UK recently posted that crumpets can be used as a base for mini Ekmek Kadayifi. The happy news got me going, and the same afternoon found me half unconscious on my living room sofa trying to recover from my first homemade Ekmek Kadayifi. (Unfortunately, my favorite dessert always has that effect on me.) Of course, it was worth it and I was ready for more as soon as the sugar shock wore off. I wholeheartedly recommend Betul's recipe to all Ekmek Kadayifi lovers outside Turkey, as well as to those of you who can tolerate sugar overdoses better than me. Thanks, Betul.

Note. Since kaymak (clotted cream) --the indispensible accompaniment of Ekmek Kadayifi-- is also very difficult to find in US, I substituted mascarpone. As you can see, this is a very, very rich dessert, but so worth it! Don't take the pictures as serving suggestions, they should rather be viewed as double portions.