halawet el jibn
Halawet El-Jibn
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Halawet el-jibn is a traditional Levantine and Middle Eastern dessert of Syrian origin made of semolina dough and cheese, topped with cream and sugar syrup.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Lebanese, Levantine, Syrian, Turkish, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Nisha Ramesh
Ingredients
For the sugar syrup
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon orange blossom water
  • ¾ teaspoon rose water
For the cheese rolls
  • cup water
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 8 oz. akkawi and majdoola cheese
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
For the filling
  • 14 oz. ashta Lebanese cream
For the decor
  • Crushed pistachios
  • Rose petals jam optional
Instructions
Sugar Syrup
  1. In a saucepan on medium-high heat, add the sugar, water and lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for 12 minutes. The syrup should thicken slightly. Make sure to use a timer because if the syrup cooks longer, it may thicken too much.
  3. Stir in the orange blossom water and rose water at the end of cooking.
  4. Transfer to a glass bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Cheese rolls
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the water and sugar together, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to a boil then add the fine semolina, stirring constantly with a spatula until it is well mixed and slightly thickened (about 30 seconds).
  3. Reduce the heat then add the cheese and rose water, and mix well over low to medium heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture forms a soft and homogeneous dough.
  4. Allow to cool until the mixture is warm enough to handle.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
  6. Take one first half of the dough and reserve the other half in a cloth.
  7. Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with another sheet.
  8. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the 2 sheets into a rectangle of about 9 x 13 inches.
  9. Remove the top sheet.
  10. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the uneven sides of the dough to obtain a neat rectangle. You can use a ruler or the edge of an object to help you get straight sides.
  11. Add the ashta into a piping bag and cut about 1 inch from the tip.
  12. Spread the ashta on the long side closest to you, about 1 inch from the side.
  13. Using the edge of the parchment paper under the dough, lift the dough and wrap it over the cream, until the cream is completely covered. The sealed dough looks like a thin log.
  14. Using a sharp knife, make a cut along the log to cut it from the rest of the dough.
  15. Repeat this procedure to create 2 additional logs.
  16. For cleaner cuts, place the logs in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm them up a bit. Then, using a sharp knife, divide the logs into 2-inch pieces, to obtain about 30 pieces.
  17. Repeat the exact same procedure with the second piece of dough reserved in the cloth.
To serve
  1. Arrange the semolina rolls on a serving tray, sprinkle each with a little ground pistachios in the center and rose petal jam.
  2. Serve alongside the syrup, drizzling each piece before eating.
  3. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight metal box.