I love every kind of dessert, and I can eat anything sweet at any time. Fortunately our cuisine has such a great variety of desserts that I make a different one each time we crave for sweet. We can classify Turkish desserts in two categories according to their main ingredients. One of them is dairy desserts, the other is sorbet desserts. Today I made one from the second category. I learnt its recipe from one of my friend who is from Bursa, a beautiful green city of Turkey. It is very important to learn it from a person from Bursa as this dessert is a special dessert of the city, so I must admit that I’m a lucky person to have that friend.
Kemal Pasha dessert is peculiar to a town of Bursa called Mustafakemalpasha. As you can understand from this name, the dessert takes its name originally from the name of this town. And the town takes its name from our leader and the founder of Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. As he was a great general, he is called Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The people of this town gave its name as Mustafakemalpasa in 1922. For more information about this town, you can visit here.
This dessert is a kind of cheese dessert and as this cheese is originally produced in that town, kemalpasha dessert first came out there. It has been produced in the town since 1960 and it is a great source of income for the people of the town. There are more than 10 companies in the town producing and selling this dessert. This dessert has two steps; cooking in oven and boiling in sherbet. These companies cook the cookies of the dessert in oven two times, package them and then send them to markets. These packaged ones are ready to be boiled in sherbet and you can find several brands of kemalpasa in markets. This dessert has such a significant role in the life of the town that there is even a kemalpasha dessert festival on September 14.
The secret of this dessert is the unsalted cheese it contains. This cheese is produced from the milk of cows which are raised in the town of Mustafakemalpasha. However, as I don’t have the chance of buying this special cheese, I use regular unsalted cheese.
For its sherbet:
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For its dough:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 5 tbsp butter
- 150g unsalted cheese or sweet curd
First, you should prepare its sherbet. Boil water and sugar in a pot about 10 minutes. Once it boils, add lemon juice. Boil it one more minute and take it from fire.
Sieve the flour in a tray. Break eggs in the middle of the flour. Mix it with your hands. Then add baking soda, butter and crumbled unsalted cheese. Knead all of them well. It should be soft enough, but shouldn’t be sticky. Lay greased cooking paper on a tray. Roll about 20 pieces from the dough as big as a walnut. Put them in the tray and cook then for about 20 minutes until golden.
After they are cooked, take them out from the oven. Let them cool for about 20 minutes. Then, heat the sherbet again and when it boils, put these dessert cookies into the boiling sherbet and boil them until they get soft. This takes about 10 or 15 minutes. Then take them with the help of a collander.
Serve it cold. If you like, you can serve it with ice cream or cream. I love it plain. For the decoration, after taking it with a collander, I added 1 tbsp more lemon juice to its sherbet and it became crystallized. I took one spoon from this sherbet and dropped it on the desserts. It doesn’t have such a decoration in its original form, it’s just something I made up.
If you want, you can keep this dessert cookies for a long time after you cook it in oven. And you can boil them in sherbet whenever you want.
Cologne in Turkish Culture
Cologne has a big role in our culture. It has various kinds, but the most popular one is lemon cologne. People use it for many reasons and at many places. One of the places where cologne is used is inter city buses. The bus staff drop lemon cologne in the hands of their passengers one by one. You open your hand, he drops some cologne into your hand, you rub your hands together and take to your nose to feel that refreshing scent. This great product not only cleans the atmosphere of the bus but it also helps you feel relieved during your travel. The staff repeat this a few times until the bus arrives its destination. (image source is here.)