Knafeh - Made For Memories


I was raised by a woman who remembered recipes after making a dish just once. Upon moving to Australia in the 60’s, my mum’s kitchen fast became a lifeline to her home in the northern villages of Lebanon. My mum definitely has a few old cookbooks that have been her kitchen compass, but it’s safe to say that everything she made was a pinch of this, and a bit of that. So you could imagine how interesting my kitchen exploits were in my first year of living out of home, trying to master the dishes that came with no recipe.

If there’s one thing my mum loved cooking for, it was our birthday parties. Like many Lebanese homes, there was no such thing as only one dessert. Along with baking special cakes topped with fresh cream, chocolate and berries, she always made sure there were plenty of other desserts lovingly made so that no belly left her home empty. One of these desserts that always had a place on her table is Knafeh.

Being a staple dessert on most Lebanese party menus, I didn't really appreciate Knafeh until my first winter as a married girl. Truth be told, I screwed the recipe up a few times and the texture was often horrible, because I knew what went in, but had no instructions. When I finally worked out the method, it was like a culinary epiphany. And yes, it is my go to recipe for those winter events that require something warm and fuzzy to finish.

I always remember a massive paper bag of CSR caster sugar that mum used for both the pudding and the syrup. Since 1855, generations of Australian’s have been baking with CSR sugars and syrups. In 2015, the brand will celebrate its 160th birthday and to join in on the party, I’m sharing a spoonful of one of my favourites. Knafeh is simple to make and surprisingly, the ingredients you need are quite easy to access, unlike most Lebanese desserts.

If you have a recipe that you’d like to see in a special cookbook that commemorates CSR’s 160th birthday, keep reading! All you have to do is share your sweetest foodie memory for a chance to win these amazing prizes:

45 recipes will be chosen from all entries to feature in the Cookbook.

All 45 selected recipes will be awarded a $50 Wish Gift Voucher as well as a copy of the cookbook when it is released.

The top 3 recipes entrants will also get to fly to Melbourne to go behind the scenes at the cookbook photo shoot to learn about food photography as well as food styling. The top 3 winners will also receive a Magimix Patissier worth $1,199.

So get in on the celebration and the chance to be featured in CSR’s Made for Memories cookbook. To enter is really easy and there are three ways that you can;

  1. Share the name of a beloved recipe in the comments below and explain the special memory behind it in 25 words or less.
  2. Share an image on your own Instagram profile and include your 25 word memory in the caption.  Make sure you use the hash tags #MadeForMemories and #BakingNation to enter the competition.
  3. Head to the CSR Facebook Page and post an entry as a comment with your 25 word memory and the name of your special recipe. You can also upload a photo, but it isn’t essential.

Click here for terms and conditions:



You will need:

1 liter of full cream milk

300 mls thickened cream

1/2 cup of loosely packed corn flour

1/2 cup of fine semolina

1/3 cup of CSR Caster Sugar

1 tbs orange blossom water

1 tbs rose water

1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

2 cups of corn flake crumbs

Sweet Rose Syrup

2 cups CSR Caster Sugar

1 cup water

1 squeeze lemon

1 tsp rose water

1 tsp orange blossom water


Prior to placing over heat, place milk, cream, sugar, corn flour, semolina, rose water and orange blossom water in one pot and stir until very well combined, making sure there are no lumps. Once mixed well, place over medium to high heat and monitor closely, continuously stirring the mixture until the consistency resembles thick custard. The mixture will come together very quickly as the semolina expands to form the thick custard. As it becomes very thick, it is important to turn the heat off and continue to stir vigorously to avoid any lumps forming.

TIP: You will know the consistency is right by dipping a spoon into the mixture and placing in the refrigerator for about a minute, the custard should not fall away from the spoon when you turn the spoon upside down.

While the mixture is piping hot, use a soup ladle to fill 4 to 6 ramekins. This recipe will fill 6 regular ramekins. Or you may pour into one large baking dish, just like my mum used to.

Sprinkle the tops of each dish generously with cornflake crumbs.

Bake the Knafeh until the cornflake crumbs are golden and toasted.

While baking, make the syrup:

Place all ingredients on high heat in saucepan and allow to come to the boil. Allow for the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes, and then remove from heat.

To serve, top each dish with a teaspoon of finely crushed pistachio, and serve with a generous pour of syrup.



This recipe and post was sponsored by CSR Sugar