[Sca-cooks] Period Recipe Fail.

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Wed Feb 29 20:55:22 PST 2012

Equal by weight or by volume?


> Chronicled for future edification.
> Recipe:  NUHUD AL-ADHRA [Virgin's breasts]
> found in KITAB WASF AL-AT 'IMA AL-MU 'TADA, The Description of Familiar 
> Foods
> translated by Charles Perry
> "Knead sugar, almonds, samid [semolina] and clarified butter, equal 
> parts, and make them like breasts, and arrange them in a brass tray.Put 
> into a bread oven until done, and take it out.It comes out excellently."
> So that's what I did.  Almonds ground in food processor, conventional 
> table sugar, fine semolina and ghee.
> Two shape versions:  one in small balls in muffin tins, the other 
> free-standing ovoids on a flat baking pan.
> Everything collapsed.  The ones in the muffin pans crawled up the sides 
> and over the edges.  If these were in individual pie tins they might 
> have made an interesting crust for a fruit tart.  The ones in the flat 
> pan just flattened out.  Somebody is going to get a tasty if 
> non-cohering baked treat in his lunchbox for a few days, anyway.
> Two things I'm considering here. Firstly "semolina" might have been too 
> coarse, or maybe a better translation might be flour. I'm not sure that 
> would help, this mix has much too high a proportion of butter to flour 
> and almonds.  Compare with my usual shortbread formula:   2 parts 
> butter, 1 part sugar, 3 parts plain white flour, 1 part rice flour.
> Secondly the "brass tray".  I recall having seen specific brass trays 
> with round depressions for serving of condiments or sweetmeats.  Could 
> this be the kind of tray they meant?
> Your comments, questions and alternate redactions are invited.
> Cheers,
> Selene Colfox

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