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How to bake this nut cake from Tunisia

Khobzet fekia is a classic dessert for when families get together.
Khobzet fekia is nutty but moist at the same time (@tanwicha/Instagram)

Khobzet fekia- or nut cake - is a popular Tunisian pastry which is traditionally baked by mothers and grandmothers for family gatherings.

It's a treat to awaken the senses, with the strong smell of the nuts, the intense colour of the pistachios, the texture and sweetness of the almonds and the aroma of the syrup-scented rosewater.

This is the recipe that I use when I make khobzet fekia for my family and it is a simple one. Enjoy your light, moist and nutty kohbzet fekia with your loved ones - or by yourself.


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Makes: 1 cake

Preparation and baking time: 35 mins

kohbzet fekia tunisian nut cake

1. Ingredients

The batter

  • 100g (3½oz) roasted ground hazelnuts
  • 100g (3½oz) of finely crushed almonds
  • 100g (3½oz) of ground pistachios
  • 200g (7oz) of flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 100g (3½oz) icing sugar
  • ½ bag of yeast pastry
  • 3g (a good pinch) salt

The syrup

  • 240ml (8½fl oz) of water
  • 200g (7oz) of granulated sugar
  • 10ml (1/3 fl oz) rose water
  • ½ lemon

The topping

  • 50g (1¾oz) hazelnut powder
  • 50g (1¾oz) Powdered almond
  • 50g (1¾oz) pistachio powder
  • whole hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios
kobzet fekia ingredients
Nuts are used as ingredients for the batter itself and as a topping (@tanwicha/Instagram)

2. Method

For the batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the icing sugar and salt until thickened.
  3. Then add the hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds.
  4. Stir in the flour and yeast​​​​​​ until you get a smooth batter. The mixture is now ready.
  5. Next, oil and flour a round pan and pour in the mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C (350°F).
Bake the cake for about 30 minutes (@tanwicha/Instagram)

For the syrup

  1. Add the water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat.
  2. Reduce to a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add in the rose water and the lemon juice, then set aside.
Make sure the cake is fully soaked so it is moist and not too dry (@tanwicha/Instagram)

Finishing the cake

  1. Take the cake out of the oven once it is ready.
  2. Pour 150ml of syrup over the cake. Brush the syrup all over so it covers the cake and the top layer is soaked.
  3. Turn the cake over on a plate. Now soak the other side with syrup.
  4. Decorate the cake to your liking using the hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios for the topping.

You can follow Manel on her Instagram account @tanwicha or YouTube channel.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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