ambient um ali

Today I have a few announcements to make. I’ll get to the point straight away, so that you can find yourself enjoying the easiness of this post’s recipe quickly.

Announcement no. 1: This is my 99th post. It appears the norm is that every 100th post, something special is done. I thought of making my favourite dish and putting that up, however, I couldn’t decide. Are there any suggestions for “special dishes” that you love, that you think I should make for my 100th post?

Announcement no. 2: I have finally finished uni! No, I’m not graduating, I’ve just finished this semester. My long awaited summer holidays have begun, and I’m really looking forward to all the adventures I’ll be having in the kitchen! I’m just putting forward and invitation for you all to join me in celebrating my holidays! 🙂


Announcement no. 3: Finally, this is to note the today’s recipe. It’s called Um Ali, meaning “Mother of Ali” – I can only assume the (wo)man who invented this recipe is called that! I had never tried Um Ali before; it’s an Egyptian dessert, and Egyptian cuisine isn’t my favourite, I won’t deny.

Nevertheless, I will say, this dessert was really tasty; and filling! Me and two of my sisters finished one ramekin, so make this dessert in smaller bowls if you don’t have a big stomach! Also note, these cannot be made in advance, because they’ll become very soggy! An acquaintance of mine asked me to post a recipe, because they only ever get to try it ready-made. Here’s the recipe card I have, I hope that all those who try this incredibly easy dessert enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

Serves: 4 (that’s based on 1 per person!)


1 1/2 square sheets puff pastry

280 mL thickened cream (not low fat)

3 tbs icing sugar, plus more for dusting

2 cups mixed nuts (a combination of whatever you have in the pantry), roughly chopped

1/2 cup shredded coconut

4 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Cut the thawed puff pastry sheets into quarters so they can cook through.

Lightly grease a tray or two and place the pastry squares in the oven.

Leave to cook until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Turn down the oven temperature to 180 degrees celsius.

Meanwhile, add the milk into a saucepan, and add the 1 cup sugar.

Place on high heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves.

Reduce the heat to low, and leave uncovered until ready to use. The milk should not overflow, but keep an eye on it anyway.

Add the thickened cream and 3 tbs of icing sugar into a bowl. Whip with a beater until soft peaks form.

When the pastry has cooled, crush it with a fork, or with your hands until it’s flaky, but not ground.

Prepare four ramekins, I used 10 by 10 cm ramekins.

Fill each ramekin to half way with the pastry flakes.

Add a layer of mixed nuts and coconut (I forgot the coconut the 1st time)!

Add another thin layer of pastry flakes. Add in another layer of nuts and coconut.

If you have left over pastry, add in another layer of those, but be sure you don’t overfill the ramekins.

That’s what happens when you’re generous on the cream ^^ it overflows!

Remove the milk from the stove and use a ladle to pour the milk into each ramekin.

You should fill the ramekins all the way up with the milk.

Work quickly and divide the whipped cream into quarters.

Top each ramekin with a quarter of the cream, then dust with icing sugar.

Place the ramekins on a tray and place the tray into the oven.

Cook at 180 degrees celsius until the tops are golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Remove, and set aside to cool down. These should be served warm. I actually placed mine in the fridge after 10 minutes, and kept them in there for some 15 minutes, to speed up the cooling down time.

I didn’t do it at the time, but later I remembered: top the ramekins with finely chopped pistachios. It makes ’em look fancy 🙂

Satisfy your sweet tooth and,




14 thoughts on “ambient um ali

  1. Charles says:

    Congrations on your upcoming “100”. I’d like to see you make baba ghanoush (or however it’s spelled), since you think using a food processor is cheating 😀 Bonus points if you take photos of yourself lifting the really heavy pestle and mortar dish too! 😀

    Just watched the video – I love that picture of the meat with the rosemary on top. All of the photos actually are great… really makes me hungry.

    Today’s recipe looks wonderful – I never had anything like this, but it looks awesome. Something to try at some point I think! 😀

  2. skye says:

    Mabrouk on you upcoming 100 post w0ot w0ot and Um Ali is a dessert on my to do list..Hmmm maybe your version of Knafeh? I loveeeeeee your photography in the video masha’allah I could look at your food pics all day! Hope your enjoying your holidays..


  3. Good Cooks says:

    Congratulation Fati both for the end of semester and for the 100 post, I would like you to post the most lovely syrian dish to you. you like me, I’m not a big fan of the egyptian recipe especially um ali, you know I tried it once in my life and it was the last, becauase no body in my house like the rich desserts, um ali is very very heavy,rich, and sweet dessert to me at least, but you did a very good job here.
    Like your video clip, the picture is stunning.

  4. Yuri says:

    Congrats on getting to your 100th post! I’m sure whatever you choose to make/post will be fabulous. This dessert is so interesting, nice to meet new food cultures through the blogosphere 🙂

  5. fati's recipes says:

    Hey everyone! A special hello to my new comers, and a warm thanks to all for your lovely comments!
    A big sorry to Charles for not making baba ghanoush for my 100th post. Maybe I forgot to mention that I cheat more than you do and buy my eggplants ready-charred. My mum get’s really sensitive from the charring smell, so I can’t make it at home! Maybe if I’m home alone one day and feeling very ambitious, I’ll make it! 😀 As for the knafeh, insha Allah that’s not too far down the list for my posts! Thanks again everyone! 🙂

  6. Andra says:

    Marhaba…Mabrouk for your 100th! It’s such a pleasure to find true Syrian recipes, here in France (and back home in California) it’s pretty much Lebanese, and as you said the other day, they are NOT the same! I mean, Aleppo has been the center of the Arabic culinary universe since…..forever!
    Looking forward to your next 100 posts!

    • fati's recipes says:

      Ahlen! Thanks for popping in! I’m SO relieved that there are people out there who actually understand what I’m on about, and know totally how I feel! It’s great to have you on board.. You can subscribe to receive post alerts by email if you like 🙂
      See you around!

  7. kathryningrid says:

    This looks incredibly delicious! I shall definitely have to try it. 🙂

    Congratulations on your achieving an important blogging “signpost”, as well as producing such marvelous work *and* keeping up with uni studies. Amazing!!


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