Friday, February 24, 2017

Halawa Dihiniyya- Iraqi-Style Fudge

This is my seventh and final recipe for our Seven Countries Dinner.  You can click on that link to see them all.  I featured recipes from Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Iraq.  I enjoyed the whole process of this dinner.  (Thinking of the idea in the first place, researching food from these countries, making a shopping list, and cooking.  I started cooking some things the day before.  The whole family loved this dinner and we had a chance to talk about these countries.)

The idea to do it actually came to me in a Zumba class.  :)  Lol.  (Where I do some of my best thinking, I guess.)  I was upset about the travel ban on these countries and was thinking of a way to do something to raise awareness and education about these countries. One thing all of humanity has in common is food.  We all need to eat, and so much culture and history is shown through food.  Food has the ability to bring people together.  I love learning about different cultures this way.  If I can't get the real thing from a country, I just make it myself.

I think trying food from different countries has the ability to make one more open-minded.  I hope you'll try some of these recipes.  For lots of recipes from all different countries, check out my Worldwide Cuisine tag.  
This fudge was just a delight. I'm so glad I found and made this recipe.  It had a great chewy texture that was broken by the nuts, and it showcased the flavors of coconut and cardamom.  This is something that I'll definitely be making again.  I recommend going to the original blog In My Iraqi Kitchen to read some history of this dessert.  The method is interesting; cooking some ingredients on the stove-top together, and then baking the whole thing. It was traditionally made using clarified butter, but I used half regular butter and half sunflower oil.

Halawa Dihiniyya- Iraqi-Style Fudge
adapted from My Iraqi Kitchen

1 cup milk
1 cup fat (I use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sunflower oil)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons date syrup (OR honey)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup walnut halves

1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.  Put milk, fat, sugar and date syrup (or honey) in a small heavy pot. Stir and let mix boil until bubbly over medium heat (about 10 minutes). Then take the pot away from heat and right away start adding flour gradually, using electric mixer, like you do with cakes. (I poured mixture into my stand mixer and mixed from there.  If you had a small hand mixer you could mix right in the pot.) Mix in cardamom.

2. Grease a 12x7x2 -inch pan (or approximate size- I used a 9x13), and spread the bottom with half of the coconut. Scatter the walnut halves all over it. Then, pour the batter over the walnuts, and cover the surface with the rest of the coconut.

3. Place the pan on the middle shelf of the oven, drape it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, and let bake for 35 to 40 minutes. (I had a hard time telling when it was done.  It was still a little soft looking, but browned.  I took it out and it firmed up to a perfect texture once it was cool.)

4. Take it out of the oven, and let it cool down completely on a cooling rack. Cut it into squares and serve. Store the leftovers in a plastic container and keep in refrigerator, where it will stay good to eat for several weeks (if you can resist the temptation). Enjoy!            
**This post and photos are property of**

No comments: