Chocolate muhallabeya with Turkish coffee granita

Chocolate muhallabeya with Turkish coffee granita

By
From
New Feast
Makes
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Muhallabeya is one of the most popular Lebanese desserts, and it’s also one of the easiest you can imagine. When you tell people that it is little more than milk, thickened with cornflour, you can almost feel them shiver with horror. But we say, don’t judge until you’ve tasted it! In Lebanese restaurants, muhallabeya is flavoured with mastic and served with a syrup perfumed with orange flower water – and you do need the syrup as the muhallabeya is not, in itself, very sweet. We sometimes serve our chocolate version the same way, drizzled with a coffee syrup, but we like it best of all topped with a refreshing layer of icy-cold Turkish coffee granita.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Chocolate muhallabeya

Quantity Ingredient
60g caster sugar
30g cornflour
500ml milk
40g best-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
125ml water
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
chocolate-coated coffee beans, to garnish (optional)

Turkish coffee granita

Quantity Ingredient
4 teaspoons caster sugar
250ml water
3 cardamom pods, roughly crushed
2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 gelatine leaf

Turkish coffee syrup

Quantity Ingredient
4 teaspoons caster sugar
250ml water
3 cardamom pods, roughly crushed
2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

Method

  1. To make the granita, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, swirling the pan from time to time, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cardamom pods, then increase the heat, bring to the boil and simmer for 1–2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for an hour.
  2. Transfer 250 ml of the syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the instant coffee and remove from the heat.
  3. Soak the gelatine leaf in a dish of cold water for a minute, until soft and slippery. Squeeze it to get rid of any excess water and add to the hot coffee syrup. Cool for a few minutes, then stir into the remaining syrup. Strain into a rigid plastic container and freeze until firm.
  4. Make the coffee syrup in the same way, but without the gelatine. Leave the syrup to cool.
  5. To make the muhallabeya, combine the sugar and cornflour in a small bowl and gradually mix in 125 ml of the milk to make a very smooth paste.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water).
  7. Combine the rest of the milk and the water in a large saucepan. Add the cornflour paste, melted chocolate and coffee granules, stirring well. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Once the mixture boils, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before pouring into attractive glasses. Make sure you don’t fill the glasses full, but leave space to spoon on a generous layer of the granita or coffee syrup.
  8. When ready to serve, scrape the surface of the granita with a spoon or fork to create crystals and layer on top of the muhallabeyas. Alternatively, spoon over some of the coffee syrup. Garnish with a few chocolate-coated coffee beans, if you like, and serve straight away.

Note:

  • The gelatine might seem like a strange addition to granita, but it keeps the texture nice and firm, instead of it dissolving into a watery layer on top of the muhallabeya.
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