Qalb El Louz


by: Halal Home Cooking

Qalb El Louz meaning 'heart of almond' is an Algerian semolina based sweet with a ground almond layer. It's main and lingering sweet bitter flavour comes from the use of orange blossom water both in the 'cake' and the honey sugar syrup.


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serves: 16

For the 'cake':

500 grams extra coarse semolina

200 grams homemade vanilla sugar

pinch of salt

125 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

4 tablespoons orange blossom water

cup water - to be used on baking day

for the almond layer:

130 grams ground almonds

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the syrup:

1 litre water

300 grams homemade vanilla sugar

1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup orange blossom water

- extra butter needed for greasing

for decorating:

16 whole almonds

before baking:

100 grams melted, cooled to room temp butter

Nutrition Facts
Qalb El Louz

Servings Per Recipe: 16

Amount per Serving

Calories: 374

  • Total Fat: 12.1 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 18.9 mg
  • Sodium: 12.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 61.3 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
  •     Sugars: 36.4 g
  • Protein: 6.1 g

how is this calculated?

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2.  In a large bowl put coarse semolina, salt and sugar, using you right hand, mix together.

3.  Add butter and rub as you would when making pastry, into the semolina sugar mix.

4.  Gradually mix in orange blossom water as you did the butter using your hand.

5.  Cover and refrigerate over night.


7.  Butter tin(s) liberally with room temp butter.

8.  Pre-Heat Oven Gas Mark 5

9.  Prepare almond filling, in a small bowl mix ingredients together, set aside.

10.  Make syrup, put all syrup ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring only until the sugar as dissolved then do not stir anymore. Reduce temperature slightly and leave to bubble away for 10 minutes. Set aside leave to cool.

11.  Using your hand break up the semi-solid semolina ‘dough’ by rubbing together between your fingers. Gradually add water the same method as the evening before.

12.  If using 2 pans - sprinkle a thin layer of semolina to cover each pan, gently press (don’t compact) and smooth out using the back of a spoon.

13.  Add half of the cinnamony ground almonds to each pan and smooth out. Sprinkle a slightly thicker layer of semolina mix over the almonds until fully covered. Again gently press and smooth out. Using a knife gently cut/score your slices by going 3/4 down. Put a whole almond on each slice.

14.  Paint melted cooled butter on top then bake in lower half of oven for 1 hour or until deep golden brown.

15.  Remove from oven re-score the cuts you made earlier then pour on the syrup, you will need anywhere between 75%-90% of the syrup depending on the absorption quality of your semolina.

16.  Leave to soak up the syrup and set up overnight. Serve with mint or earl grey tea.

Cooks' note:
Homemade vanilla sugar: leftover vanilla pods put into your sugar bowl and leave a week or so.
Don't be shy with the syrup you think it's too much but it needs it for the texture to be correct.

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Floren Girl


I must try this!