For the syrup (qater):
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp rose water
For the rolls:
- 1/2 kilo Ikkawi cheese, cut into thin strips and soaked in water over a couple of hours, with changing the water every half hour, until the cheese has no more salt
- 3/4 cup fine semolina (known as smeed na’am)
- 1/2 cup syrup
For filling the rolls:
- 400 grams fresh ashta (clotted cream)
- Ground Pistachios
- Rose petal jam
To make the syrup/qater:
- In the small saucepan, combine together the sugar and water. Set on the stove top over medium high heat.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until thickens slightly but stays runny enough to pour. Add lemon and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the rose water.
- Cool and serve at room temperature.
To make the cheese rolls:
- In a thick-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the cheese until it starts to melt and it’s water released. Stir in the syrup then add in the fine semolina, stirring constantly with a spatula until well combined and slightly thickened; about 1-2 minutes. Stir well until the cheese melts and the mixture forms a soft, cohesive dough. Allow to cool briefly until it’s warm enough to handle.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces; take 1 half of the dough to work with and cover the other half. Line a silicone sheet with syrup. Add half the dough on the silicone sheet. Roll out into a large thin rectangle, adding a bit of syrup to the top pf the dough as you spread it.
- For traditional rolls: Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim off the irregular sides of the dough to form small clean cut rectangles. Fill in with a line of ashta then roll. For roses: Using a round cookie cutter, cut 5 circles of the dough. Place them in a line, slightly over each other. Roll along the line, then cut in half to get two roses. The remaining cheese dough: any leftovers from the process, cut randomly and serve as a pile, my personal favorite way of having it!
- Continue the process until you are done with all the dough, be fast but careful so that the remaining dough doesn’t dry out.
- Arrange the rolls on the serving platter, sprinkle each with a little ground pistachios in the center and rose petal jam.
- Serve alongside the syrup.
- Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator.