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Say Cheese: Nour's Indulgent Knafeh Recipe

Kanefe from Nour, Surry Hills

Made with cheese and thin, noodle like kataifi pastry, drizzled with sugary syrup and topped with pistachos, knafeh is the indulgent cheesy dessert of your dreams.

A decadent and intricately layered confection, Nour's Executive Chef Ben Williamson reveals his own version of this delicious dessert recipe, so you can make it for yourself at home. 




  • 250g firm mozzarella (not in brine- finished result will be too wet)
  • 200g Cypriot halloumi cheese soaked in milk overnight


  • 100g clarified butter
  • 1 pkt kataifi pastry


  • 250g sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 2 x star anise
  • 1 x cloves
  • 1 x cinnamon quill
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Pinch of dried rose petals
  • 1 x vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon Rose water
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom


  • 100g crushed pistachios

*Makes two 25cm skillets

Ben Williamson, Executive Chef at Nour


  1. First, make the syrup by combining all ingredients except the rose and orange blossom waters.
  2. Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for 5 mins.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Add the rose and orange blossom waters by pouring it through a fine strainer.
  6. Onto the filling, grate the mozzarella and halloumi into a bowl and mix well.
  7. For the pastry, in a separate bowl, tear up the kataifi pastry and mix with some of the clarified butter to moisten it.
  8. Grease two skillets with more butter, ready to construct the knafeh.
  9. Press in the kataifi pastry in an even 2cm layer- this will form the crust of the knafeh.
  10. Top generously with the grated cheeses. 
  11. Place the skillets on a cooktop (moderate heat).
  12. Keep turning the skillets and checking the base until the kataifi pastry is golden and crunchy. Check by lifting slightly with a spatula.
  13. When done, flip the knafeh in the skillet and turn off the heat – this will put the cheese down to melt on the bottom.
  14. Top generously with the syrup and pistachios, or clotted cream.
  15. Eat while hot.

This moreish recipe is courtesy of Ben Williamson, Executive Chef at Nour

3/490 Crown Street, Surry Hills

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