Monday, May 6, 2013

Osmaliyeh (عثملية): angel hair cake!

An exquisite dessert with great textures and flavors

This is one of these desserts that remind me of my sweet childhood years. It is usually served on special occasions or as after a great meal assembling the extended family members or special friends. Either way, it is always delightful!

The name ossmaliyeh, a bit hard to translate but it means ottoman girl or woman!

I couldn´t find any reference on how and where the recipe started, but I guess the name goes back to the era of the Ottman empire, where most of the Levant was under their control. The recipe is made of shredded phyllo dough known as kataifi, which it seems is of ottoman origins but now is widely used across the globe and in hundreds of ways!

Few ingredients are needed to succeed this delectable dessert

It is a simple recipe. You will need to buy the phyllo dough and you can can buy the ashtah fresh or you can make it following this recipe, It will take sometime but the result is worth the effort. I would suggest that you use heavy cream, cream cheese or mascarpone in case you can't find ashtah. This is not a filling I would be used to in this recipe, but you can prepare something similar to a fresh cheesecake filling.

What you need for this recipe: (enough for 4)

  • 200 g shredded phyllo or kataifi
  • 75 melted better
  • 20 g powdered sugar
  • Ground pistachios and rose jam for decoration
  • Simple syrup (I used this recipe, but instead of lemon peel I used half stick of cinnamon and halved the amount of the ingredients)
  • About a  cup of kachta or achta (I added a half teaspoon of rose water and another  half of orange blossom water to the cream)
Easy assembly with the filling and the dough

First start by fluffing the shredded phyllo as they come firmly packed, it´s very important to do so to have a crunchy but soft texture. Add the sugar, mix well then add the butter and mix until all the phyllo is covered with the butter.
Golden, crispy, sweet with a creamy heart.

Generously butter a 18 cm pan add half of the amount of the dough then press with another pan of the same size.  Put in a preheated oven (200 C) and bake for 5 min, remove the top pan and bake until golden, it will take between 10 to 15 min.

Repeat the same procedure with the remaining amount of the dough. Now you have two golden crunchy phyllo dough shells. 
You can also make a mini version.

Wait until the dough is cold before removing from pan, it might break if you do so while it´s still warm.

Assembling is very easy, place the first layer on the serving platter. Cover it with kachta (the amount you want to put is really up to your taste). Put the second layer over the kachta to cover it.

Finally, garnish with pistachios, rose jam and a small amount of kachta and serve with the syrup! Enjoy!


  1. ... What an incredible dessert and the history of it! ... I would attempt to make it just because of it's history .... lovely

    1. Thank you simone, I hope you do try the recipe, if you do let me know how it goes! :)