For those who don’t know what Achta is and why I’m completely obsessed over it…what you need to know is… making real Achta is a long and lengthy process of watching raw milk boil till it curdles on the top and then scraping the curdled part in baby steps till you have a small plate of pudding (yawn).
My job is to take complicated recipes and make them simpler. I know it’s not traditionally correct but this is the closest you’ll get and I love that there’s barely any sugar in it AND my son, “Mr Food Snob” really enjoys eating this as a pudding. I have finally been able to replace those sugar infused processed puddings with this homemade option full of dairy and calcium.
What the heck is Achta? It is a popular Arabic pastry Cream used for many desserts, knafeh, atayef or even on its own with honey, fruit and nuts sprinkled on top. My son preferred it with no honey. We ate it on its own this time and I made a small batch of dried apricots stuffed with atayef. So easy to prepare and a nice treat to offer guests! How beautiful do all the colors look!?
Here is the recipe: Do as you please with it!
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 5 -8 min
Resting time: 2 hours
7 slices white bread crust removed
1/2 cup corn starch with 1/2 cup water
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rose water
1 tbsp orange blossom water
Cut crust off bread and chop into squares. Don’t be a perfectionist here
Mix corn starch and milk till it’s a smooth liquid
Mix with a whisk the milk, cream, corn starch mixture and sugar till all incorporated
Put pot on top of heat (medium to high) and add the pieces of bread
Keep stirring all the time till mixture gets thick and then use a whisk to smoothen the mixture out
Once the bread has dissolved and mixture has boiled (2-4 min) you can turn the fire off and add the orange blossom and rose water.
Pour into a glass Pyrex and cover with cling film. This part is important: let the cling film touch the Achta and cover the mixture completely because it will keep it from forming a hard layer on top.
Cool down and place in fridge
Achta is ready to eat after two hours and ready to be filled in your recipes if you give it a mix so it clumps up a little.
These Popsicles will always be in my freezer! I realize that when you juice fruits the fibers go and it’s more sugar for the kids however with this Popsicle, I only blended a watermelon i purchased that is always too damn big for our family of four and added plain yogurt to it. If your kids have a sweet tooth, add a little bit of honey but try it Au Naturel the first time. The cereal you give them with the yogurt popsicle can be the sweet part if you want to use that as your negotiation! The kids and you will love these! And the best part is…when they start melting just a little in their little hands, the yogurt falls into the granola and makes that even better. It’s like a win-win situation guys!
No recipe needed for this. Just blend whatever watermelon you have left and then add some Yogurt (2:1 ratio) worked well!
Other ideas: I am always doing these Popsicles, if you want to add more nutrition to them, you can cut up some fruits inside, add coconut water, aloe Vera, some super food powder! The list can go on and on but for now and for my son’s “good boy” stamp that he received today; these will do with a side of organic crunchy granola.
Yes!!! My weekly banana cake has gotten a little nicer and it’s dangerously my favorite. I’m a sucker for pumpkin must be the chocolate hater in me. Who knows! This week we tweaked my usual go to banana cake recipe a little with the addition of the pumpkin purée. I used an all natural canned pumpkin purée because I am not made out of time. However if you want to experiment (which I have before) you can steam your fresh pumpkin however I would recommend you let it release all its moisture by putting the puréed pumpkin on a thin towel over a strainer with a bucket underneath! You will be surprised at home much liquid comes out. Save the liquid and cook something in it. With my picky eater finally eating plain rice (HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT), I would boil his rice in that strained pumpkin water. Just some ideas I’m getting carried away with now! Back to this cake! Recipe is below! It’s super easy and lasts all week in the fridge! I send it to school for the kids in their lunch box.
Pumpkin spiced Banana Cake
Method and Ingredients:
Preheat oven to 180C or 350F
Gather all the wet ingredients and beat them well
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Add 1/2 cup sun flower oil
Add 1/2 cup yogurt
NEXT: In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2-3 tsp pumpkin spice mixture (will provide recipe for that below!)
NEXT: Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add it to the wet mixture
NEXT: Mash up two ripe bananas with 1 cup pumpkin purée and mix into mixed batter and you’re done!
Finally: Grease a pan, pour batter in it and pop in oven for 45 min or until toothpick comes out dry.
** Pumpkin Spice Mixture: I suggest you make this and add it in a jar and use it throughout the next few months! The original recipes you’ll find elsewhere call for more all spice and nutmeg with the addition of ground cloves. I personally prefer it the way I’ve shared with you below only because I’ve got kids eating this! The cloves scare them away haha!
One of the great things about Dubai’s heat is my surplus of mint. I’ve got some drying up now for herbs and I’ve got some dipped in dark chocolate for a little something after dinner. Sometimes you don’t want to eat a chocolate because that’ll just open up a box of naughtiness that you can’t control so these are amazing! Serve immediately once they’re out of the fridge or else the chocolate will melt. They were a great taste bud changer for our guests!
Get some mint leaves and wash them and dry them with a towel (pat dry).
Melt some chocolate
Dip half the mint OR ALL OF IT into chocolate and place on wax paper