This ancient pastry with a plethora of names depending on where you are. It is popular in most parts of the Middle East and certain Eastern European countries in various versions.
It is essentially fried pate a choux dipped in sugar syrup instead of cinnamon sugar, similar to churros. It is occasionally cut open and packed with whipped cream, chocolate, fruits, nuts, or any other delectable filling, such as pastry cream.
What is Balah El Sham?
It directly translates to “Levant dates” in Arabic. No, this dessert does not include dates; it was given the name dates because of its size and Levant since it originated in the Arab world’s Levant region.
Balah el Sham is a fluffy choux pastry that is fried and then dipped in a thick syrup. It’s really sweet, but if you want a milder variety, drizzle it with honey. You may also stuff it with custard, whipping cream, or mascarpone cheese, drizzle it with honey, and top it with pistachios.
Crispy and sweet fried choux pastry on the outside, soft and airy on the inside. One of the most popular and delectable desserts is Balah el Sham.
They’re dipped in a pool of sticky sweet vanilla sugar syrup that seeps into the nooks and crannies of their insides after being fried to golden perfection.
How To Make Balah El Sham
It’s produced by cooking flour with water, milk, and butter until it’s a pipeable, spoon-able consistency, then adding eggs off the stove. The choux is subsequently baked a second time, either in the oven, in the pan, or in the water, according on the recipe.
Balah El Sham
- 3 cups water divided
- 2 cups white sugar divided
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 2½ cups vegetable oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs egg
- 2 cups corn oil
- Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over high heat.
- Bring to a boil; stir until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat to medium; add lime juice.
- Simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into the syrup; let cool.
- Stir 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, vegetable oil, and salt together in a pot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Add flour; stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until batter forms into a ball.
- Cook until batter is shiny, about 1 minute.
- Transfer to a bowl; allow to cool, about 5 minutes.
- Flatten batter into the bottom of the bowl.
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; mix until batter is creamy.
- Pour into a cloth piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Heat corn oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat until bubbly; reduce heat to medium-low.
- Squeeze 2 inches of batter onto an oiled spatula and lower into the hot oil; repeat until the saucepan is full.
- Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer pastries to a paper bag to drain, about 30 seconds.