5 Moroccan dessert recipes for foodies
Moroccan desserts are well known for their variety of aromas and the power of flavor. In this article we want to share 5 traditional moroccan dessert recipes for foodies. These are sweet recipes characterized by their influence of Berber, Arabic and Jewish cuisine. Refined mixes of almonds, orange blossom water, honey and cinnamon, these sweets are often served with a glass of mint tea. Despite their common characteristics with the cuisines of other North African countries, Moroccan sweets have managed to maintain their originality and authenticity. It is perhaps these aspects that led to Moroccan cuisine being ranked as the second cuisine in the world by the Worldsim website.
Moroccan dessert recipes
We are going to start these Moroccan dessert recipes with one of the most popular: Chebakia, also called Mkharka in certain regions. It is especially during the month of Ramadan, where Chabakia is a must, usually eaten with Harira (the famous Moroccan tomato soup). Chabakia’s shape is unique, it looks like a rose.
Chebakia. Moroccan dessert
Ingredients for chebakia
- 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast + 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon of orange blossom water
- A pinch of saffron threads
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 cup of lukewarm water
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Honey mixed with a little orange blossom water
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Preparing the ingredients:
1- First, pour ½ cup of raw sesame seeds in a flat pan. Toast the sesame seeds over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Test the sesame seeds to see if they are ready, they should lose their raw flavour and get a roasted flavour. Using a mixer, grind the toasted sesame seeds into a fine powder.
2- In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tablespoon of Orange Blossom Water with a pinch of saffron threads. Let it sit for a few minutes before using it.
3- In another small bowl, mix ½ tablespoon of dry yeast with ½ teaspoon of sugar and a little warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes before using it.
Preparation of the dough:
1- In a large bowl, mix the 2 cups of all-purpose flour, the ground sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon of ground anise and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and finally ½ teaspoon of baking powder mixed with a pinch of salt. Using your hand, mix all the ingredients.
2- Add a mixture of 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
3- Next, add ½ teaspoon of white vinegar, orange blossom water with saffron, yeast and 1 egg yolk. Add ½ cup warm water, little by little, while mixing all the ingredients by hand, until you can make a ball of dough. The dough should not be wet or sticky, that’s why the water should be added little by little and not immediately.
4- Place the dough on the counter and knead with fast and energetic movements with the palms of the hands for about 5 minutes until it becomes soft and elastic.
Knead and shape:
1- With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 equal portions. Take each serving and roll it into a thin layer with a rolling pin, but not too thin.
2- The easiest way to shape them is to cut uniform strips and rotate them.
Fry the cookies:
1- Place the cookies in a pan and let them rest while you heat the oil to fry.
2- To fry the chebakia, you will need two things. First, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet until hot. At the same time, in a saucepan heat a little honey mixed with a little orange blossom water. Honey must reach a boiling point; after that, reduce the heat to medium to keep it warm.
3- Start frying the chebakia in the oil; remember that the oil has to be hot. Chebakia is ready when it turns a beautiful golden brown color at which point remove them quickly from the oil and drop them into the honey. Once soaked remove themfrom the honey and place in a sieve to drain. After you can sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
4- Let the chebakia cool for several hours before serving. You can store chebakias in an airtight container for up to a month if you keep it at room temperature or 4 months if you freeze it!
M´HANCHA: RECIPE OF SWEET MOROCCAN WITH LEAF
Filo pastry sweets with almond paste are very famous among Moroccan desserts. The m’hanncha (snake) is a dessert made from phyllo pastry rolled up so that it looks like a snake. The scents of orange blossom and cinnamon water are very North African, revealing Persian influences in the region.
M´hanncha. Moroccan dessert
Ingredients (for 6 to 8 servings)
For the orange and almond paste
• 3 cups of almonds
• 3/4 cup icing sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
• 2 beaten egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water
• 1 tablespoon of orange juice
• 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the dough
• 12 (12 by 17 inches) of phyllo dough
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
• 2 beaten egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon of water
• 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 1/4 cup icing sugar
• 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup sliced almonds
1. To make the orange and almond paste:
To start with this moroccan dessert recipe prepare the almond paste. To do this, combine the almonds, icing sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a food processor or blender and grind it to a thick consistency. Add the butter and egg yolks and pulse until combined. Place the paste in a bowl and add the orange blossom water, the orange juice, the orange zest and the vanilla. Divide the pasta into 12 balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the balls on a work surface dusted with icing sugar. Roll each one creating a trunk about 9cm long. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. To Assemble the Cake:
Preheat oven to 180 ° C. Butter a large baking sheet. Sprinkle a work surface with icing sugar. Place a sheet of puff pastry on the sugary work surface and fold it into thirds to form a 10 by 45 cm rectangle. Brush the sheet with melted butter. Add another folded phyllo sheet, brush with butter, and repeat, until you have four buttered sheets. Arrange four logs of orange and almond paste in a row down at one long end of the edge, and place the dough on top of them in a cylinder. Fold the ends and apply a little melted butter to seal the seams. Form the cylinder and place it on the baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat to make two more puff pastry rolls. Add each to the end of the coil on the baking sheet, forming a large coil. Combine the egg yolks, water, and cinnamon. Brush the mixture over the top of the cake.
3. To bake:
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
4. To serve:
Mix the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the cake and top with sliced almonds.
Briouats are traditional Moroccan almond desserts that are usually taken at tea time, during Ramadan iftar and on special occasions. They are popular all year round and are one of the typical Moroccan pastries that visitors to Morocco are likely to try.
There are several steps involved in making almond briouats. The first is to prepare homemade almond paste flavored with cinnamon and orange blossom water. Then paper-thin warqa pastry sheets are wrapped around almond paste to make triangular-shaped cakes. Finally, the shaped cakes are fried until crisp and golden, then dipped in hot orange blossom-flavored honey for a sweet, gooey finishing touch.
In Morocco, small organic beldi almonds are preferably used when making almond briouats because they have a superior flavor. Without you will get excellent results with other varieties of almonds.
This Moroccan dessert recipe is a little laborious but worth the effort. The recipe will produce a large quantity. You can halve the ingredients for a smaller batch if necessary.
Preparation time: 2 hours
Briouat. Moroccan dessert
For the almond paste filling
- 1 kg of whole raw almonds
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon mastic gum powder (about 3 grains, crushed)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup orange blossom water
To fold the briouats
- 1 kg of warqa dough (see here) You can find it for sale in halal or Middle Eastern markets. A double layer of pan dough also works as a substitute for warqa.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
To cook the briouats
- 4 cups of vegetable oil, for frying
- 1200 g of honey, mild flavor like eucalyptus
- 1 to 2 tablespoons orange blossom water, pure
- Garnish (optional)
- Sesame seeds
Before you start: blanch and peel the almonds
Plan to work with the almonds in two or three batches because peeling becomes difficult once the almonds cool. You can also request help with this task. If you use Moroccan almonds, they can be gritty. Wash them and let them drain in a strainer. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add a batch of almonds and boil the water again for a minute or two. Drain the almonds and immediately begin to peel them while they are hot. Repeat the process until all the almonds have been blanched and peeled. Spread the peeled almonds in a single layer on a tray lined with towels and allow to dry thoroughly (several hours or overnight) before continuing.
Prepare and shape the almond paste
Divide the blanched almonds in half. Fry half of the almonds and leaving the other half raw. Fried almonds add color, texture, and flavor to almond paste. Fry half of the blanched almonds in vegetable oil. Prepare the almonds in batches, stirring constantly, until golden.
Put the fried almonds in a colander or tray lined with paper towels and let them cool. Once cold, grind them together with about half the sugar until the almonds turn into a thick paste. Transfer the almond paste to a large bowl or tray. Combine the almond paste mixture with cinnamon, salt, softened butter and orange blossom water. Use your hands to mix and knead the pasta thoroughly for several minutes. Try and adjust the flavor, adding a little more cinnamon or orange blossom water if desired. The final mix should be moist, flexible, and easy to mold.
Shape the almond paste into balls. For small 5 cm briouats the balls were made the size of a cherry. You can make them bigger if you want bigger cakes.
Cut your sheets of warqa dough (prepared according to the recipe in the ingredients link) into strips. For cherry-sized balls, use a 5 × 30 cm dough strip. If your balls are larger, increase the measurements proportionally to their size. Spread the center of the strip with a little melted butter and place the almond paste filling near the bottom. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling and form the triangle by folding the filling, to the right and then to the left, until you reach the end of the dough. Gently press down on the filling to complete the triangle when you begin to fold. Each time it folds, flip the bottom corner of the triangle toward the opposite edge of the dough while maintaining a straight edge. Four or five turns of the triangle is enough since you don’t want to have too many layers of dough. Trim excess dough to make a neat flap, apply a bit of egg yolk to the flap to help seal and tuck it into the fold.
Chill and store briouats.
When the next batch of briouats is ready to be transferred from honey to strainer, transfer the ones that have been draining to a plate or tray to finish cooling. It’s okay to stack them at this point. Let them cool for an hour or more before storing.
These Moroccan sweets can be kept in a tightly closed container at room temperature for a month, or in the freezer for several months. If you keep them in the freezer, put a sheet of plastic wrap between the layers to make it easy to remove as many cookies as you need.
Seffa is one of the most popular traditional Moroccan desserts, commonly prepared during wedding ceremonies or family gatherings.
It is based on noodles (although rice or couscous is also often used), blanched or roasted almonds or peanuts, raisins, icing sugar and cinnamon. This dish is usually served at the end of the main meal, before or even after dessert.
It is a delicious Moroccan dessert recipe and very easy to prepare. So let’s see how we can prepare it step by step:
Seffa. Moroccan dessert
- 500 g of noodles
- 80 g raisins
- 100 g icing sugar
- 80 g of butter
- 100g roasted almonds or peanuts (or both)
- 1/4 tablespoon of oil
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
Fill half a steaming pot (a steamer) with water and place on the heat over medium heat. Place the noodles on a large plate; pour a little oil on it and rub it with your hands so that it does not stick. Once the water begins to boil, add the steamed noodles and place them on the pot. Steam it for about 15 minutes.
Put the noodles back on the plate, then pour about 80 ml of salted water and mix them. Put them back in the steamer for about 10 more minutes. Once again, place the noodles on the plate, add approximately 40 ml of water and mix with your hands. Add the raisins and then put them back in the steamer for another 10 minutes. Touch the noodles – if they seem tender, everything is ready. Otherwise, you may need to vaporize it for another 5-10 minutes. Finally, place the noodles on the plate once more and mix them with butter. Once the noodles are ready, place them on a dome-shaped plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon, icing sugar, and crushed roasted almonds or peanuts.
Baklava is a Moroccan dessert made from layers of puff pastry filled with crushed walnuts and sweetened with honey syrup. Traditional baklava is usually made from phyllo dough, finely ground pistachios, butter, and a simple syrup made from sugar, water, and lemon juice. Pistachios or walnuts are the most widely used nuts. You can also use a mixture of nuts.
Baklava. Moroccan dessert
- Philo pastry
- Mixed nuts: pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, sugar, ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves. You can change the nut mixture according to what you have. You can use only walnuts or pistachios.
- Honey syrup: water, sugar, honey and lemon juice. To infuse the syrup with more flavor, you can add two more completely optional elements, orange extract and whole cloves.
Prepare the honey syrup
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add honey, orange extract, and whole cloves (cloves are optional here); stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat. Add lemon juice. Remove all the ingredients and let the syrup cool down completely (it will thicken a bit).
Make the walnut mix
Grind the nuts you have chosen, transfer them to a large bowl and add sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves. Mix well to combine.
Prepare the philo pastry
Carefully unroll the thawed puff pastry and place the sheets between two clean tea towels. This will help prevent the edge from breaking while you work.
Gather the first layers of Baklava
Make a baking sheet. Brush the inside of the tray with a little melted butter. To assemble the baklava, take an edge blade and place it in the pan. Brush the top of the cutting edge with the melted butter. Repeat this process a few more times until you have used about 1/3 of the puff pastry, and each layer is brushed with the melted butter.
First sheets of phyllo dough mounted on the baking dish. Distribute part of the nut mixture. Now distribute approximately half of the nut mixture evenly over the top edge layer. Continue building the baklava, one puff pastry sheet at a time using another 1/3 of the puff pastry. Again, brush each layer with a little melted butter. Distribute the remaining half of the walnut mixture evenly over the top layer of the phyllo dough. Finish the remaining 1/3 of the puff pastry following the same process, placing one folded sheet at a time and brushing each layer with melted butter. Brush the top edge blade with butter.
Using a good sharp knife, cut the dough into diamond-shaped pieces (24 to 36 pieces) about ½ inch deep. Place the baklava plate on the center rack of your hot oven. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until the top of the baklava is browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake at 180 C. As soon as you remove the baklava from the oven, pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Let the baklava cool completely (it’s best if you leave it for several hours, or at least 1 hour, to allow the flaky phyll.o layers to fully absorb the honey syrup). Cut the pieces you marked earlier. And if you wish, decorate with a little pistachio before serving. Baklava with honey and garnish of crushed pistachio. And voilà a rich recipe for Moroccan sweet ready to eat.
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