FANCY A DATE CAKE
By Karimah Bint Dawoud, Muslim Chaplin and Well Being Writer
Mamool are shortbread pastries filled with dates and other things. Mamool are something that I love. I have made them before without a mould but this time courtesy of Green Valley off Edgeware Road, my favourite Lebanese supermarket, we have these wonderful wooden moulds.
Commercial and traditionally Mamool are made with white flour. As some of you know if I can avoid eating white flour I will. It’s not Islamic; not part of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Wholemeal flour is good for the heart, blood and cholesterol.
So this Ramadan I gave Karimah Cuisina team the task of making whole meal Mamool from my new signature recipe. So far I have had feedback from a couple of fasting princes and the feedback was “beautiful, delicious and tasty!” mashallah!
For the pastry
500g stoneground wholemeal flour
250 g butter, cut into ice cube like chunks
30 g castor sugar
7tablesppons of rosewater
15 tablespoons of milk, we use almond milk
Icing sugar for sprinkling afterwards
FOR THE FILLING
225g dates, de-seeded and chopped
174 g walnuts
115 g blanched almonds
50g pistachio nuts
½ cup water
1’/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to gas mark3, 160C/325F
- First get on with eh filling
- De-stone and chopped dates
- Place all nuts in processor and grind, not too fine, nice to have a few chunky bits
- Place dates and nuts in saucepan , add dates and nuts, sugar and water and stir on low medium heat till the dates are soft and the water is absorbed, should take about 10 minutes in the meantime make the pastry
- Now as we found, wholemeal needs more fluid than white unrefined bleached flour
- Place flour in bowl and add chopped butter and work together rubbing through finger tips. This combination of pastry is not as dry looking as you would get for crumble, its more fatty.
- Add rosewater and half of the milk, you will need the rest of the milk as you go along as in the process the dough becomes dry and needs the milk to bind it together
- The date mix should be ready by now, turn heat off and leave to cool down so it’s workable, that means warm.
- Flour your work surface and dust a little flour inside the Mamool mould.
- Break off a piece of dough like large golf ball and roll flat to about ½ “ inch thick
- The moulds we are using are about 3”/ 7 cm in diameter, if you using the smaller mould use a regular gold ball size piece of dough.
- Roll dough flat and press into centre of mould gently
- Using teaspoons add 1 heap spoon of filling inside pastry in mould
- Trim edges and bring narrow outside edge up first then the wider longer flaps over so that all the filling is enclosed
- Turn the mould over unto the surface and press down
- Turn the mould on it’s side and bang gently and the uncooked Mamool should come out
- If it doesn’t come out easily , your pastry may need a bit more flour or your mould needs a bit more flour in it
- Place on lightly buttered baking tray and bake for exactly 15 minutes
- If they go brown when they cook the pastry will be rock hard, so keep an eye on them
- When they have cooled down, dust with icing sugar
- Put the kettle on and think of Arabian nights and magic carpets.