I'm at knifepoint, and yet I'm mostly concerned that my feet are cold. I cringe.
– It really feels it should be a different time of year, don't you think? I say to a man who is about to, what, rob me? I'm really cold, I add. I draw out 'really' and shuffle from one foot to the other. It's close to freezing. My eyes are watering from a flu.
Bitter Orange and Walnut Bars (Mabroosha)
Adapted from The Gaza Kitchen, by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie SchmittMakes about 24 pieces
This one here is a very interesting recipe, no need to draw out 'interesting' – only, maybe, 'very'. Interesting because in essence it's a crumble kind of thing, except that all crumbles I know of are butter-based, and for mabroosha a combination of butter and olive oil is used, with a bigger emphasis on olive oil than butter. I like recipes like this: familiar but different.
Of course it goes very well with coffee. It crunches pleasantly under the teeth, and has soft pockets of jam, is sweet but olive oil pulls it a little towards savoury, plus cinnamon, orange zest and rosewater, it's got a lot of good stuff, this great little mabroosha.
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder220 g (1 cup) sugar
Pinch of salt
60 g (4 Tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
180 ml (¾ cup) olive oil2 medium eggs
1 Tablespoon rosewater
2 teaspoons orange zest160 g (1 ½ cup) bitter orange marmalade
100 g (1 cup) finely chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crumbs are slightly golden and the jam is bubbling out. Let it cool, then divide it into bars.