One thing I look for on Eid holiday is sweet…chocolates,cakes,candies etc 😉 and one of them is halawa bil jibneh ( halawa means sweet, and jibneh means cheese).My friend said, its ” cheesecake” hmmm interesting! I consulted my friend ” google” :-0 and mostly of the recipes I got has no English translation. Anyhow, I figure out the way of cooking is just boiling the water, sugar and semolina (durum wheat) with akawi cheese added. Akawi ( akkawi, ackawi,akawieh) is a white brine cheese which has salty taste. I also use akawi cheese when I eat watermelon,a delicious combination! try it!
My challenge is how to baked it, hence my cheesecake are all home-baked, so I decided to use it as a crust instead of using biscuits, good idea? well, not so, because once I baked it, it’s kind of hard to chew, though I can still differentiate its arabic sweetness from my earlier cheesecake flavours. I used orange blossom and flower water instead of vanilla, which gives the traditional taste I am looking for arabic sweets. Oh yes, don’t forget the nuts! of course, Pistachio!
So , here we go ladies, Flavour # 34 Arabic Twist Cheesecake with Semolina crust
3/4 cup of semolina
3 tbsp unsalted butter ( or sweet butter)
3/4 cup water (or milk)
3/4 cup sugar
150 g akawi cheese
1 pk (300g) Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp flower water (rose-water)
1/8 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp shifted cake flour
sweet corn syrup
Mix water and sugar, bring it to boil add semolina and mix thoroughly in medium heat, add akawi cheese until it melts.Pour it into a pan with corn syrup. Spread it flat and allow to cool.Use the bottom of springform pan as a moulder to cut the mixture. Set aside.
Pre heat oven to Mark gas #3
Mix cream cheese with sugar,beat at medium speed, add sour cream, egg (one egg at a time), orange blossom water,flower water,flour,lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.Add whipping cream and continue beating until all ingredients are well combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Baked at 45 minutes. Let it cool for another 30 minutes and chill for 4 hours or more before topping.
Ladies, the taste of the semolina with cheese is authentic but the texture was a bit hard for me, having tasted the best’ halawa bin jibneh” in jeddah, my recipe for the crust was not of standard. Maybe you can share yours? I’ll be happy to try it too!