This is one of my preferred North Africa n treats. I love these things and since moving from France, I have learnt to make them… I no longer have my Algerian friends bringing me some during their Ramadan.
I made these to show off at our office bake off. I didn’t win, but my British colleagues got to taste something different and only 1 makroute was left. I am actually really proud of them for trying it.
I have used here ramekins to measure most things, but you can use a glass it is quicker than using scales (hater those) and saves space on the work top.
To make these, you will need:
- 4 ramekins of medium semolina
- 1 ramekin of plain flour
- 1 ramekin of milk – whole milk or soya milk for vegetarians
- 1 spoon of sugar, 1 pinch of salt
- 1 ramekin of lukewarm honey
- 4 caps of orange blossom water
- 40 dates unstoned.
Start by making a dates paste:
- Remove the stone in the dates and peel the skin if you are not fan… I couldn’t be bothered so kept the skin on.
- Cook them for 5 minutes in a microwave dish with 4 table spoons of water. Leave to cool then, mash with a fork. Dates are quite stringy so I recommend you use a hand blender to obtain a smooth paste.
- Scoop the paste out of the bowl and wrap in cling film. Leave aside.
The semolina paste:
In a deep bowl, put the semolina, flour, milk, blossom water sugar and salt. Work the paste with your hands until obtaining a firm paste. Wrap into cling film and leave to rest for an hour with the date paste.
Shaping the makroutes:
- After the hour cut the past in to 4 doughs and roll as if shaping a small baguette.
- Now slice the baguette like shape in two; on one side, put some of the date paste, then cover completely holding in the date paste with no way to escape.
- Now, with a knife cut the “sandwich” in small lozenges.
- Repeat the last two operations until all the doughs are in lozenges.
Frying the lozenges:
- It would be ideal to fry them in a chip pan. If you do not have one, pour a litre of vegetable oil in a deep pan, leave it on the fire until the oil is really hot.
- Always put only 1 lozenge in the oil to see if it is hot enough. If you judge that the oil is hot enough, then fry about 15 lozenges at a time. It will take a bout 4 minutes to cook and brown.
- Remove from the oil and into the honey. Repeat the operation until it is all done.
the more the makroutes absorb honey, the better.
Now remove from the honey and put a grid to drain. It is all ready.
Serve with a jasmine tea or vanilla ice cream.