9 New & Strange Ramadan Desserts in Egypt - Yay or Nay?
Every year in preparation for Ramadan, it’s like all the dessert shops in Egypt go into some sort of Willie Wonka-fueled craze to try to churn out the most innovative Ramadan dessert of the year. While some of these sugary inventions become cult classics overnight (red velvet anything), some are best buried and forgotten (watermelon konafa).
This year we pulled together nine different desserts which are getting some air time, and we leave it to you to decide whether they deserve to exist for another turn around the sun until next Ramadan, or deserve to die in 2019, never to be seen again.
Local tip: every year in Egypt there seems to be a different ‘buzzword’ ingredient; for example, last year it was Lotus, the year before that it was Nutella, the year before that it was red velvet, and so on and so forth, back until the days when mango konafa was considered the height of konafa creativity. This year, 2019, the buzzword ingredient is salted caramel. Just sharing the news.
1. Konafa Cola - Etoile
There’s really not much we can say about this because a) we haven’t tried it, and b) frankly we’re kind of afraid to. We don’t even quite understand it, but we’re assuming it tastes like a mix of konafa and Jelly Cola?
2. Basmoolah - TBS
TBS’ entry into the unspoken Ramadan 2019 innovation competition is the basmoolah -- a love child of Egyptian basbousa and Syrian maamoul. You can get it with Nutella, Lotus or pistachio cream.
3. Cadbury Marshmallow Konafa - NOLA Cupcakes
We’re assuming that NOLA has some kind of sponsorship going on with Cadbury due to their sudden very obvious presence in several of their desserts, but we’re not holding it against them. This dessert is essentially konafa + s’mores, which seems like a decent idea in theory but not sure how good it’d be if the marshmallow isn’t all hot and melty, s’mores style.
4. Baklookie - It’s Weirdough
Honestly, the most offensive thing about this dessert is the name. Like, we understand that it’s the *in* thing in the dessert world to combine words (cronut, etc.) but the baklookie is just insulting our intelligence at this point. Name aside, the baklookie is essentially a toffee nut cookie wrapped in baklawa and drizzled with sugar syrup and pistachios.
5. Doughnafa - It’s Weirdough
Another entry from It’s Weirdough is the doughnafa -- cookie dough filled with pistachios and cream, rolled in konafa and then sprinkled with more pistachios. Based on the name though, it sounds more like donut konafa (we’re hereby trademarking that idea for Ramadan 2020).
6. Honey & Tehina Gelato & Othmanleya Gelato - Stavolta
If you thought it was only pastry shops tossing their chef hats into the Ramadan innovative dessert ring, think again. Gelato shop Stavolta is also busting out their best Ramadan moves with five new gelato flavors: honey & tehina, Othmanleya, Turkish coffee, kamar el din and basbousa.
7. Konafa Salted Caramel Popcorn - NOLA Cupcakes
Another creative contender brought forth by NOLA. We haven’t tried it but it’s actually one of the desserts we think we’d like -- it’s essentially just konafa and caramel with the added benefit of the saltiness and crunch of the popcorn. Seems like it’s hard to go wrong with that, but then again those are always famous last words.
8. Halawa Chocolate Tart - Oven Heaven
Last year Oven Heaven started to make a name for themselves with their chocolate meshmesheya tart, so we guess this is just the natural evolution of that? The mix of halawa and chocolate is a pretty good idea though.
9. Nutella & Cream Cheese Red Velvet Balah el Sham - Devour
What we’re still unsure of is if this red velvet balah el sham is stuffed with BOTH Nutella and cream cheese or just one or the other. Either way, it seems like overkill to us. It’s like they took all the aforementioned ingredient buzzwords of the past few years and just shoved them all into one dessert.
Sound off: which of these desserts have you tried and which do you deem yay or nay?