IT'S THE SWEETEST
Editor-In-Chief Osama Abdullah Bastaki Editorial Director Fatma Hassan Editorial Offices: Floor 12, Mazaya Tower 1, Khaled Ibn Al Waleed Street, Sharq, Kuwait City, Kuwait For general enquiries, marketing and advertising email: email@example.com Sukar Magazine is published under Khaleejesque Media Establishment Content produced by Crowd Creative House Art Director Rula AlKhatib-Yanis Project Manager Lucy Moore Visual Director Xeina Al-Musallam Features Alwia Al-Hassan
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07 | EDITOR'S LETTER
It is with much pleasure that I am writing this Editor’s Letter. It’s been a long, sweet ride here but finally my vision of creating a Sukar community has been realized. My journey started many years ago, perhaps before I was even aware. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and took much joy in indulging in any form of dessert or sticky treat. This lead me to launch Sukar Ramadan several years ago; Kuwait’s first and biggest expo to showcase local businesses specializing in sweets. In the food and beverage world, sweets top the charts, and as an integral part of our culture it only made sense to bring everyone together… just before Ramadan - the sweetest time of year. And after several successful years, with more than 25,000 people visiting the expo annually, I felt it was time to elevate my vision further. People desire sweets, when they’re not eating them they’re looking at pictures of them and dreaming about their next sugar fix. This led me down the yellow brick road to Sukar Magazine; a platform to highlight, explore, and divulge in the world of all things Sukar. I want to shed light on this incredible industry, share the secrets of people within, tell the stories of those who have made waves in the industry, and most of all build a community of sweet lovers. Here I’ll guide you through the latest trends, mouth watering recipes, and highlight the many small, yet incredibly tasty, Kuwaiti start ups, allowing them a new platform for growth. Welcome to Sukar Magazine, welcome to the sweet life. Osama Abdulla Bastaki
contents SUKAR MAGAZINE
MAGNOLIA SWEET A Taste of New York in the Heart of Kuwait
NAGWA Keeping Tradtions Alive
COCOA ROOM Reinventing the Bean
PASTICCERIA DI PIETRO Stuffed to Bits
COVER SHOT BY HASSAN YOUNES AND EDITED BY SERGIO MIRANDA
LADURﾃ右 The Art of French Cooking
ROSE & RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE LOAF An exclusive recipe developed by Lucy Moore
Collect your copy at
For your orders
Magnolia Sweet A taste of New York in the heart of Kuwait
t seems like everyone is going crazy for cakes today; in particular one American brand after it was featured several times on a variety of shows including the sitcom Spin City and the smash hit movie The Devil Wears Prada. Now that Magnolia has established two branches in Kuwait, this celeb bakery has become the perfect destination for anyone wishing to have a taste of New York all the way in Kuwait City. Unlike certain franchises who are keen on adapting their menus to Middle Eastern tastes, Brand Operations Manager Manusha Dissanayaka assures us that Kuwaiti customers can expect the same delicious dishes that
they would find in the US. "The majority of the franchises that come to the Middle East bring a special dish to adapt to where it is," he states, "but so far we haven’t changed anything. We’ve just focused on bringing the best sweet and cake products to the Kuwait market." In addition to this, in order to guarantee the quality and authenticity of their baked goods, all the required ingredients are shipped in from the States as no local ingredients are ever used. According to Dissanyaka, it is this careful selection of ingredients that is producing the high quality desserts that are attracting the large number of Kuwaiti customers we see today. In addition to this, due to the bakery’s
We always let people try before they buy because we want them to see what we’re offering.
focus on pies and the US family-concept associated with them, Magnolia has been successful at appealing to a diverse selection of customers and especially families. For those hesitant to try one of their famous banana pudding or pecan pie, the bakery’s friendly staff are always willing to have customers try out some desserts before buying, and are also happy to recommend the best option for each individual. As for those watching their sugar intake, you’ll also be happy to know that Magnolia is in fact working towards making those indulgent desserts healthier. "There’s not much we can do for diabetics," Dissanyaka says, "but since this is an issue around the world, especially in the Middle East, we’re trying to use less sugar."
It’s clear when looking at the diverse selection of foreign cafés and restaurants that Magnolia Bakery, is not the first or the last franchise to establish branches in the country. So what could be the secret in their particular attraction to Kuwait? Dissayanka gave his personal insight on this point stating, "It’s because Kuwaitis like to go out and they’re very keen to go to restaurants and cafes. So cafes, restaurants, and bakeries have become very successful; and throughout Kuwait more and more cafes and sweet shops are opening. Kuwaitis like to have fun and spend money." If Dissayanka’s observation is true, one must feel thankful towards this culture as it has helped give us the opportunity to dig in and enjoy an authentic US banana pudding or cheesecake in the very heart of Kuwait.
Cocoa Room Reinventing the Bean
magine braising your meat in a chocolate infused marinade. Impossible, right? Well at Cocoa Room, impossibly strange chocolate recipes are brought to life. But despite its name, this café is not actually all about chocolate, but in fact, provides an imaginative and varied breakfast menu that will surely tantalize your taste buds. Eggs Benedict, falafel, and cocoa-spiked sausages; Cocoa Room has something for everyone including gluten free pancakes and even some low calorie options. This attention to the breakfast and savory dishes may seem strange given the café’s name. However, this in fact
was a deliberate choice made by founder Basil Al-Salem. "We wanted to make sure that the food is not an afterthought," he explains. "The chocolate is there and the first thing that you see in the menu is the chocolate corner. Plus we wanted to be much more efficient. There’s no point in having 100 items based on chocolate if you have five top sellers." Cocoa Room’s menu is not only varied and creative, but the dishes are also prepared using premium ingredients. The eggs used, for instance, are organic and only the best chocolate is used in their decadent desserts. In addition to this, the café bakes all its
breads, croissants, and baguettes in house and from scratch; unlike other restaurants and bakeries which use frozen dough. This is all the more impressive as the café was a product of chance and established simply because the managing team working for Slider Station had some extra space. As a result of this, Cocoa Room was not actually fully set up to become a chocolate bakery/café and offers a small kitchen for creating all their delectable dishes. However, according to Al-Salem, this is
not the case with the recently opened branch in Dubai, as stated the following: "Moving forward with what we’re doing in Dubai is an upgrade because we’re going to be having a display area that you would typically see in a café or a bakery. So the chocolate will be more emphasized." What is particularly unique about Cocoa Room, is that it plays with the customer’s expectations by applying cocoa to dishes
I try to push the envelope wherever I can and come up with new ideas.
Our mission is to bring chocolate into multiple things.
in new and unusual ways. Instead of simply cooking up a vast amount of chocolate desserts, this breakfast café explores the full potential of the cocoa bean. "We try to twist the concept," Al-Salem says. "It doesn’t have to be sweet. The application of chocolate is not necessarily just for desserts. Our mission is to bring chocolate into multiple things." But this level of creativity requires a fine balance that is
not always easy to achieve as Al-Salem tells us: "I try to push the envelope wherever I can and come up with new ideas. I try not to overdo it. It’s a fine balance because if everything is way too creative, people will not be able to relate to it." Despite the challenges, it’s clear that Cocoa Room’s innovative approach to chocolate has made it worthy of the success it has accumulated over the years.
Ladurée The Art of French Cooking
he patisserie Ladurée has been long known for its famous ganache-filled macaron recipes. And even with the growing interest in these little desserts and increasing production of macarons all over the world, Ladurée remains the specialist in this field. Looking at the history of this French patisserie, its success comes as no surprise because the humble macaron as we know it today was in fact created by Pierre Desfontaines who was a chef
in Ladurée Paris during the middle of the 20th Century. Since that time, this patisserie has been committed to producing only the best macarons possible and has even kept to the original recipes. These delicious and authentic macarons can now be enjoyed in two branches in Kuwait. There’s a huge selection of creative flavors on display including the favorites: rose, pistachio and chocolate. The company's business development manager, Nawaf Al-Arbash, noted the macarons
All chefs and staff are a direct recruitment from LadurĂŠe Paris.
The menu is changed every two months, so there is no single "most authentic" dish.
are imported directly from France and thus customers can expect the same great taste they would find in the patisserie’s branch in Paris. But for those with a bigger appetite than those dainty desserts, Ladurée also offers a breakfast menu in its 360 Mall branch, as well as a selection of salads, sandwiches and French dishes, such as the chicken vol au vent. This will most likely come as good news to those who have always wanted to sample French cuisine but have struggled to find many halal options abroad. With Laduree’s fully halal menus, Kuwaitis can comfortably tuck into a variety of authentic French dishes on their very
own doorstep. In addition to this, Al-Arbash has stated that the menu at Ladurée is changed every two months which not only keeps their customers guessing but also guarantees that they’re never bored with the same options. It has been suggested by some that French cuisine is inaccessible, intimidating, and only reserved for the elite. However, the Laduree experience allows customers to experience French food in a relaxed setting and is an ideal way for a beginner to sample this famous cuisine. So fear not! You won’t find any snails and frogs legs here, just simple, honest French desserts and dishes.
Monkey Frolics The Journey of Monkey Cookies
ver had a Monkey Cookie? Well maybe you should. These whimsical cookies were first sold as part of a small home Instagram business that has transformed into a successful company over the space of a few years. Like its unusual
name, the establishment of the company had a similarly unusual motive. Its founder, Abdullah Ali Al-Ansari, explains that his business venture began three and a half years ago after noticing that there was an interest among girls to bake cupcakes, which provoked the following thought: "Why shouldnâ€™t Kuwaiti
guys also go into the kitchen and bake? Why is it always girls and why are guys so lazy?" And with this in mind, Al-Ansari decided to pursue his interest in cooking by baking cookies as a fun challenge; something that was not widely available in the market at that time. Like many before him, Al-Ansariâ€™s culinary journey had a very humble beginning. The young entrepreneur was solely in charge of baking, selling, and delivering all of his chewy
treats. The branding of the company and its quirky name were also developed by Al-Ansari who stated that he wanted a name that was "easy and funny. Thatâ€™s all." After the space of five months, his company had grown which required him to buy another mixer, oven, and also enlist the aid of his brother with the deliveries. Shortly after completing one year in this manner, Al-Ansari was joined by a new business partner and formally launched the company.
I think that’s why we’ve been successful; because I’m very close to my customers.
Since its official establishment, Monkey Cookies has become a recognizable brand that offers a wide selection of delicious cookies, including stuffed cookies and even a square cookie. But according to AlAnsari, the delectable and innovative flavors of his cookies are not the only reason behind his success. In addition to the company’s eccentric name, Al-Ansari believes he owes the cookies’ popularity to his close relationship with his customers. He expanded on this point stating: "People have also told me that they like the business because they like my personality. So I think that’s why we’ve been successful; because I’m very close to my customers. They communicate with me directly to ask me questions and that’s been the case even when the business started to become bigger." Regardless of the true secret behind the popularity of the company, one fact remains clear: It would be impossible to say no to any one of those gooey chewy cookie treats. So if you want to put a smile on your face, sink your teeth into a Monkey Cookie.
Nagwa Keeping Traditions Alive
ith the growing popularity of Western-style cakes and cookies, are the days of the humble darabeel and ghrayba coming to an end? Looking at the recently revamped Nagwa store, nothing could be further from the truth; as this popular sweet shop has been proving again and again that traditional sweets are here to stay. Since its recent transformation, Nagwa has attracted a diverse blend of individuals wishing to have a taste of authentic Arabic sweets. The store has supplied their desserts for a variety of occasions such as business meetings and gifts or local gatherings and celebrations like Eid and National and Liberation days. Moreover, Nagwaâ€™s sweets have also become the ultimate gift and souvenir for tourists which is highlighted by the fact the storeâ€™s most active branch happens to be in the airport.
For those who have had the pleasure of sampling the great variety of traditional snacks and sweets in Kuwait, this particular interest in Nagwa among the vast array of shops may seem unusual at first. This popularity, however, becomes understandable when observing the storeâ€™s attention to detail and sophisticated branding, Nagwa truly stands out among its competitors as a result of the professional and attractive presentation of its desserts. The humble recipes that are rooted in Kuwaiti culture have been given a more refined look while still preserving the integrity of their taste. The store also caters to those who enjoy purely traditional sweets as well as individuals who would like to see something new by adding a modern twist on some of its products. This point has been expanded on by Nagwaâ€™s managing team who have stated the following: "We strive to maintain authenticity and traditional characteristics, but we also have different categories. The sweets we call traditional (rehash, halwa, darabeel, ghreiba) are not modernized at all, but the ones that have chocolate in them are a fusion."
Nagwa has become more elevated and unique in its presentation.
This elevated approach to traditional sweets can also be detected in the taste of Nagwa’s products. For a long time Arabic sweets have had a reputation for being sickly sweet, heavy, and fatty. But it is hard to imagine this when biting into one of their delicate and light sweets. The store is also attentive about buying the finest ingredients; and has stated that they "don’t use ghee or sugar syrup, which is cheap, but use honey instead." This thoroughness is also accompanied by a commitment to continually research ways of improving their production techniques. This dedication to providing the finest sweets is at the heart of Nagwa’s new branding and is even highlighted in the store’s change of name from the original Hail wa Zafaran. The word Nagwa means ‘the best selected’ in Arabic and it is this desire to provide the best sweets and become the top choice among traditional sweet shops that has given Nagwa a professional edge and helped their products reach an international standard.
Local Celebrities Blind Taste Test Three Decadent Desserts to Find the Best in K-Town
t Sukar we love sweets, but sometimes itâ€™s hard to decide who does the best treats when there are so many to choose from. So we invited some of our respected friends to join us for a blind taste testing for some unbiased opinions as to who really does the best gooey cookies, most indulgent chocolate cake, and fragrant mahalbiya.
MOST GOOEY COOKIE In the line up for gooiest cookies are Monkey Cookies, Buttercup, and Baking Tray. We invited talented musicians Sheyaab to taste all three. We sat down late one evening with a mound of freshly baked cookies in front of us. After much debate as to where they should start, Sheyaab took their first bite. Looking for a soft bite, melting chocolate nuggets, and buttery finish, Sheyaab each took a bit from our secret selection. Our judges observed their comic reactions and noticed they kept returning to one bakery. Much oo-ing and aa-ing later, they reached their verdict; Baking Tray was the winner.
043 | SWEET SELECTION
045 | SWEET SELECTION
MOST INDULGENT CHOCOLATE CAKE When looking for an indulgent chocolate cake, we selected Caramel, Melenzane, and Magnolia. And who better to judge this tough competition than We Krave CoOwner Fatima Al-Nasser. She carefully observed the presentation first, the signature style of each bakery being mildly recognizable but blind taste testing must be complete with your eyes closed. Taking a generous spoonful of each chocolatey dish, Fatima quietly yet carefully pondered over each cake. Taking her time to access their texture and flavor. In the end, it was Caramel that Fatima couldnâ€™t resist going back to again and again.
MOST MAGNIFICENT MUHALBIYA Blind taste testing isnâ€™t something the other CoFounder of We Krave, Hashim Dashti, is used to but when searching for the most magnificent muhalbiya in K-Town, he readily agreed to trying each one in earnest. We got him to try Istanbuliyah, Danish Bakery, and Villa Fairouz. Dipping in to each creamy dessert; once, twice, thrice, Hashim took a delicate taste of each dessert. Observing each had found a balance between the touch of rose and creamy texture, Hashim felt each a worthy component. Finally he crowned Istanbuliyah as Queen of muhalbiya.
The touch of rose & creamy texture are simply irresistible.
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Art Direction by Xeina Al-Musallam Photography by Hassan Younes SUKAR MAGAZINE
049 | SWEET SELECTION
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO TABLE SETTING Discover the basics for wowing your guests
very gathering should be one to remember and each occasion has different needs, but what they all have in common is someone who can set the mood â€“ and that means setting the tables. The centerpiece of a table becomes the centerpiece of a gathering. Here are some tips to help make your gathering great from the bottom up.
WHERE TO START Knowing the theme of your gathering is the most important part of preparing for it. Whether you're celebrating a national holiday, commemorating an important event, or simply relaxing with friends will change what you need to do. A birthday, for example, is best celebrated by keeping the style
and taste of the birthday person in mind. If you're gathering for a holiday, make sure to have foods and decorations appropriate for it, whether classic or contemporary twists, to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
COLOR PALETTE The colors of the table you're setting should be right not just for the occasion but for wherever the gathering is taking place. White is always a suitable go-to color, but to truly bring out the theme choose three colors that compliment each other, which can be introduced through other elements such as cutlery, tableware, and linen. The table linen should look good on the table, which might itself be black, brown or white; the table, in turn, should look good against the walls and floor of the setting.
051 | SWEET SELECTION
Cutlery is more complex than it first appears. If your gathering only features a knife and fork for each guest, then you don't need to worry too much about it. But if you're serving a sit down meal, you might want a smaller plate for sauces or butter. In that case, it's important to know that you should put a butter plate above and to the side of the main dish. Knives should generally be placed to the right and the closer to the plate the larger they are. Forks should be on the opposite side of the plate, again the smallest being on the outside. If serving soup, fish, or specific dishes requiring different cutlery, these should be placed in the order they’ll be served. Grand banquets often have up to seven courses.
How your food is presented is one way to carry through your theme. Whether you’re hosting a buffet or the dishes will be laid on the table, try to create a flow that reflects your theme. Serving dishes can be made from a variety of materials such as ceramic, stainless steal, silverware, and china. Try to choose one of these for consistency, however, keep in mind that sometimes mixing up the material can look good just try to keep them the same style. More so than with linens, serving dishes outside of the norm should be chosen carefully.
You might be wondering exactly what kind of decorations you need when setting a table. Confetti, poppers, name holders, and even napkins are all decorations. Plain white napkins are suitable for any occasion, but colored or themed napkins will probably not be amiss. Confetti is best for celebrations, and poppers are best for only the most festive of occasions. Name holders, however, can add charm to just about any gathering, making them versatile table decorations.
One area where you can deviate a bit is the humble centerpiece. The focus will already be on whatever sits between your guests, so you may as well give it – and your table – some flair. Flowers are traditional, but picking the right flowers is as key as picking the right container. There are too many options for flowers to discuss here, but instead of picking up a plain ceramic vase, why not get something with a design? Food, such as colorful apples suspended in a vase of clear water, is another centerpiece option for many (but not all!) gatherings. In fact, if your gathering is for a special occasion, the centerpiece is where you want to keep it in mind – even run with it – the most.
Black linen is spill resistant, but it's inappropriate for many occasions. White linen is a good standby, but is difficult to keep mark free, and floral patterned linen is easy to find in many colors. These three options are often the best choices for linen one might have. Deviating should generally be done as part of the occasion, in line with theme and color – birthday linens for birthdays, for example.
Bring your best to the table. Whether that's fancy lighting or soothing music, party favors that'll be treasured by your guests forever, pick something and make your presence at the gathering matter. The table is where your gathering really starts – but you and your guests are where it will end. Charm and tact will make up for any minor flaws in your table setting, and make everything you do matter that much more.
DESSERT DESTINATIONS Travel the World in Five Bites
hy take another bite of those same boring cakes and cookies, when you can sweeten your next holiday with some new and exotic flavors? The world is full of culinary opportunities for the eager sweet-toothed explorer; so get your fork ready and hop on a plane to these delectable dessert destinations. The first stop on your sugar travels is New York City, and before your mind starts to drift towards the sâ€™mores and Twinkies, stop where you are and have a bite of the legendary cronut. This croissant-doughnut hybrid was the brainchild of French chef Dominique Ansel and took two months and ten recipes to perfect. The cooking process itself can take from two to three days to complete and leaves you with a donut-shaped deep fried croissant. Since its creation, this pastry has set off a new craze thatâ€™s left hundreds of New Yorkers queuing in the early morning just for a chance to try it.
055 | DESSERT DESTINATIONS THE WORLD IN FIVE BITES
Now it’s time for us to cross the Atlantic to a country known for its love of pastries - France. If you ever thought that the profiterole is an authentic French dish, think again. Some have suggested that the first person to come up with the idea of putting cream in a pastry shell was a 16th century Italian chef who worked for the wife of King Henri II of France. After this, French chefs began to experiment with the dish by adding a variety of savory and sweet fillings until it developed into the chocolate cream puffs we adore. Je t’aime.
And if you’re visiting France, you might as well take some time to drop by the South of Italy for a Dolci di Noci or walnut cookie. If you have any nut allergies, I suggest you stay put because Italians absolutely love nuts. In fact, the hazelnut spread, Nutella, and the decadent Ferrero Rocher we all love are both Italian. Dolci di Noci are flourless cookies and a specialty of the Basilicata region where many of their pastries include almonds and walnuts. They’re also wonderfully simple to make and only contain three ingredients; ground walnuts, sugar and eggs.
Dominique ansel cronut
A short plane ride south will take you to Honduras, otherwise known as the ‘Banana Republic’. Why is that you ask? Well not only is the country a major producer and exporter of bananas, but the Hondurans themselves are mad about eating them. Banana bread, soda, sweet plantain chips: this fruit has become a staple in Honduran cuisine, which brings us to our next dessert - Honduran baked bananas. This simple but delicious dish consists of halved bananas that are baked with cinnamon, sugar, butter and milk till golden. Gooey and luscious but without all those calories!
The hazelnut spread Nutella and the decadent Ferrero Rocher we all love are both Italian. Dolci di Noci
Profiteroles au chocolat
057 | DESSERT DESTINATIONS THE WORLD IN FIVE BITES
But you won’t find this sort of simple cooking when biting into an intensely sweet Morrocan chebaika. This is a traditional and very widespread sweet and street food made from frying dough and glazing it with a fragrant syrup. It is usually eaten during special occasions but especially in Ramadan and served with some harira soup. Yes you heard me right. These flower shaped sweets are traditionally eaten with soup and not tea. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, end your
journey with some Japanese dango. This popular dessert consists of grilled rice flour dumplings that are covered in a sweet soy glaze. You’ll find that most traditional Mitarashi dango skewers have five balls which are meant to symbolize the human body. Others have also said that the dumplings represent five water bubbles that were seen by a Japanese emperor while he was washing his hands in the Shimogamo shrine. The dessert now has countless variations and is commonly eaten during festivals as a delicious snack.
059 | HOMEMADE WITH LOVE PATICCERIA DI PIETRO
PASTICCERIA DI PIETRO Stuffed to Bits
ustard donuts, stuffed dumplings, and crispy boreks. There’s no doubt that some of the greatest culinary creations involve stuffing something into something else, especially when that ‘something else’ is fried, crispy and golden. So it comes as no surprise that the creamy stuffed cannolis of Pasticceria Di
Pietro have gained huge popularity. The success of married couple Luciano and Mays Di Pietro came with great passion, dedication and of course, an entertaining back story. After indulging in the delights of authentic Sicilian cannolis during a visit to Sicily, the couple felt disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the same pastries in Kuwait. This sparked the desire to pursue the
060 | HOMEMADE WITH LOVE PATICCERIA DI PIETRO
art of cannoli making; and so the couple took courses with multiple chefs in Sicily, including the renowned Eleonora Consoli; where they learned how to make authentic Sicilian pastries. Armed with their new-found knowledge and skills, the couple returned to Kuwait and established their home business. Using only the freshest local ingredients and authentic cooking techniques, they began developing their own signature cannoli shell, shape and style. The cannolis are now displayed and sold through their very attractive
and professional website that was developed and designed by Di Pietro himself. As for the menu, it has been expanded to include a variety of cannoli flavors, as well as other desserts such as pistachio ricotta cake, cassatina cake and almond cookies. A savory dish has also been added now which is an Italian focaccia bread topped with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. It will clearly only be a matter of time until we’re all lining up for a place in their café, but you don’t need to wait till then to start stuffing yourself with those stuffed shells of delight.
063 | HOMEMADE WITH LOVE BLUE BAKERY
BLUE BAKERY Driven by Passion
f you’ve got the winter blues, then I’ve got the perfect remedy for you: one cuddly blanket and an indulgent dessert from Blue Bakery. Founder Hana Salem Al-Marzouq takes pride and joy in baking and supervising her staff from the comfort of her home. Yes you heard me: her staff. This home business is anything but an amateur project; and was established two years ago with all the resources needed to create a service that is restaurant quality in its branding, products and customer management. Professionally baked and decorated desserts are encased in romantic baby blue boxes that are delivered by Blue Bakery’s own personal drivers. These desserts are so popular, that they have even been shipped to weddings and gathering outside Kuwait to cities
as far as Doha, Dubai and Riyadh. It’s hard to imagine how this is all possible until you discover the journey behind these decadent desserts. It’s a story about a skilled and vivacious woman in love with baking for over twenty years and passionate about all things beautiful and blue. A detail-orientated woman who is so sincere about giving the best to her customers that she insists on using fresh vanilla pods and the best butter in order to produce the best desserts. A woman who enjoys bringing together Eastern and Western flavors and celebrates her culinary creativity in every cake, pie and pudding. So when you take a bite, remember this: you’re not just eating a dessert but writing another chapter of her story.
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SUGAR COATED CELEBRATIONS A Bite of Heaven
etâ€™s face it. When it comes to dipping things into chocolate, everyone goes for the strawberries. So why not get rid of all the other superfluous dipping items and stick to what people really want? Well thatâ€™s exactly what Hashem Dashti and his sister did over at the Sugar Coated household. This blooming home business has been rapidly gaining more attention and popularity over the last couple of years; but how did this celebration of strawberries begin?
The business was founded by the siblings almost two years ago at a time when they were both unemployed and longing to try something new. A quick online search then led them to what would become the star of their home business - a simple but scrumptious chocolate-dipped strawberry. After some time spent experimenting with a variety of ingredients and running it past family members, the siblings were good to go. Dipping one strawberry at a time in the comfort of their own kitchen, they were able to expand
WWW.KHALEEJESQUE.COM YOUR DAILY DOSE OF CULTURE
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their small Instagram business to include 15 adventurous flavors including salted caramel, pistachio and peanut butter. These delectable bites have now found their way to occasions and events such as birthday parties, weddings and exhibitions. But what truly makes Sugar Coated so distinctive is that it is not only delicious, but also relatively guilt-free. Strawberries and chocolate? Come on, itâ€™s practically a fruit salad. So why not go and have a biteâ€Ś or two.
I want my sweet available in every house, meeting, and occasion.
DESSERTS… HOW GOOD ARE THEY? By Farah Al-Rifai, Dietetics Manager at Diet Care
ugars add calories and no specific nutritional benefit to food. Done smartly, adding a limited amount of sugar to food that provides important nutrients, such as whole-grain cereals, flavored milk, or yogurt to improve their taste, is a healthy twist to the dull diet choices healthy individuals have to make. Let’s face it, we all need a little sugar in our lives, how can we make it healthy and have some guilt free indulgence?
DESSERTS MISCONCEPTION: 1. To lose weight skip dessert completely Wrong. How much and how long can a person stick to a diet is the main unit of measuring how
successful the diet is. Feeling bored is one of the main reasons people quit, eat more than before and gain double the weight and double the fat mass they lost. As long as you control your total caloric intake, you can add a small amount of sweets to your diet daily. Fruits are the other sweet you can have throughout the day as a snack or you can add the fruit to your sweets to get a bigger snack and a more eye satisfying yield. Ideas: • Homemade apple or banana crumble with sweeteners and minimal amount of crumbly topping. Focus on increasing the fruit quantity and add cinnamon for the perfect sweet finish. • Homemade sorbet with real fruits and a hint of sweeteners
• Sugarfree, fat-free puddings (rice pudding, muhalbiya, chocolate pudding) • Homemade sugar free jams and compote •Fresh fruit cocktail or fruit parfait made with yogurt (low fat or skimmed)
2. I’m following a weight loss diet, my concerns should go only to sugar content Sugar is not the only element looked at when discussing desserts. Most people only look at the sugar content. The fact is that they should also look at the fat percentage and the type of fat included in the sweet.
3. When dieting, always go for brown sugar Brown sugar is still sugar, bringing with it all the same calories and health risks of white sugar,
including increased risk of heart disease, tooth decay and obesity. Furthermore, brown sugar doesn’t have the same sweet taste as white sugar so you either use more (more calories) or you use the caramelized form which is worse because it contains even more sugar and more calories!
4. On a diet, use fructose instead of white sugar Fructose consumption has the same effects on the body as regular sugar. Excessive fructose consumption may contribute to the development of central obesity, heart disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or strokes.
5. Artificial sweeteners are silent killers We hear this a lot and we have to fight this
widespread misconception daily. Until this second, studies are done on aspartame and sucralose refuting all the unnecessary commotion about them being the lead cause for weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and Alzheimers. On the contrary, they’re playing a lead role in weight loss and blood sugar control with zero calories.
6. Cereal, granola, and protein bars are lower in fat, sugar, and calories than chocolate or sweets Cereal bars might sound like a healthy alternative to chocolate but check the ingredients and you’ll often find more than just oats, cereals, nuts and dried fruit. Protein bars are the same with even more calorie content than a regular chocolate bar! It’s true they’re usually lower in fat than most chocolate (unless they’re packed with nuts and seeds) but they often contain just as much sugar (or higher protein that means higher calories).
Hidden sugar in cereal and granola bars appear in the ingredients list as rice syrup, maltodextrin, glucose-fructose syrup, raw cane sugar, fructose, honey, or a mixture of these. For a sweet snack, you’d be better off choosing fresh fruit. But if you fancy a sweet treat, check out the nutrition information first before spending your calories on a cereal/granola or protein bar. You might find that smaller chocolate bars contain fewer calories than that healthy-sounding cereal bar! To conclude, having desserts will never ruin a diet, on the contrary, satisfying a sweet tooth consciously will help you stay on track by not binging with the next meals. Quality of life is hard to measure, but it certainly involves some balance between good health and hedonistic enjoyment of things that might not be perfectly healthy. Enjoy desserts on occasions, choose wisely, favor good quality and Bon Appétit!
Hot Apple Cup Cake with Caramel Topping Recipe by Diet Care Serves 8 INGREDIENTS: 2 medium red apples ¾ cup butter 50% less fat & unsalted 1 tsp liquid vanilla essence ½ cup brown sugar ¼ cup artificial sweetener or as desired 1 small egg whole 2 egg whites 1 cup all purpose white flour 1 tsp cinnamon powder 1 tsp Sodium: bicarbonate 1/3 cup walnuts chopped DIRECTIONS: Caramel Sauce ¼ cup Dark brown sugar ½ cup Whipping cream light
PREPARATION: • Peel and core apples, chop finely. • Blend butter on a cake mixer, add vanilla and sugar until the mixture becomes fluffy, then add egg and blend for 1 minute. • Combine flour with sodium bicarbonate and cinnamon, add to previous mixture in batches and mix on low speed. Add apple and walnuts and then mix with a spoon. • Pour batter into greased muffin molds, bake in hot oven at 180˚C until done. • Combine caramel sauce ingredients together, cook over heat for 5 minutes. • Pour caramel sauce over cup cakes. Serve hot.
073 | RECIPES
Mango & Sago with Cream Recipe by Diet Care Serves 4 INGREDIENTS: 4 tbsp frozen mango pulp 2 tbsp flavored mango jello 1 cup sago 2 cups water 1 tbsp artificial sweetener or as per taste 2 cups patisserie cream* 4 tbsp whipping cream low fat 4 tbsp sugar GARNISH WITH: 4 tbsp chopped fresh mango. PREPARATION: • Boil sago and water until sago is soft and clear. • Add artificial sweetener and then mix mango jello with frozen mango and sugar. Then add to sago mixture. Then leave to cool.
• Prepare the patisserie cream and then leave to cool then mix with the cream. • In a bowl set the diet care patisserie cream and chill. Then carefully top with mango jello with sago. Then chill. • Garnish with chopped fresh mango fruit. PATISSERIE CREAM INGREDIENTS: 4 cups Low fat milk ½ cup corn flour 2 tbsp sugar 2 eggs 1 tbsp artificial sweetener or as per taste PREPARATION: • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and put it on a double boiler and keep stirring for 30 minutes till mixture becomes thick and smooth. • Remove from fire and chill.
Art Direction by Xeina Al-Musallam Photography by Hassan Younes
075 | RECIPES
Rose & Raspberry Chocolate Loaf Recipe by Lucy Moore
Serves 6 INGREDIENTS: 2/3 Cup Butter 1 Cup Amelia Rope Pale Rose Edition Chocolate 2 Cups Digestive Biscuits 1 Cup Fresh Raspberries Bee Pollen for Decoration PREPARATION: Place the digestive biscuits into a large freezer bag, release any excess air, seal and bash with a rolling pin until the consistency is a mix of small chunks and biscuit crumbs. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and add to a saucepan on a low heat along with the butter. Keep on a low heat and stir regularly until the chocolate and butter have melted together. Place the broken biscuit and chocolate-butter mix into a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly to form a rough dough. For a more intense rose flavor, add a teaspoon of rosewater and mix again. Take the fresh raspberries and place in the bottom of a loaf tin to form a single layer. Add your biscuit mix on top and press down firmly until youâ€™re sure it wonâ€™t fall apart. Refrigerate for a couple of hours for optimum setting. Once the chocolate has set, carefully tip the loaf pan upside down onto a serving plate so that the raspberries are on top. Sprinkle with bee pollen and indulge.
Art Direction by Xeina Al-Musallam Photography by Hassan Younes
077 | RECIPES
Sweet Quinoa Pudding with Hazelnut Crunch & Summer Berries Recipe by Lucy Moore
Serves 6 INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Quinoa 3 Cups Whole Milk 1 Vanilla Pod ½ Cup Honey ½ Cup Fresh Cream ½ Cup Raw Hazelnuts 1 Cup Frozen Mixed Summer Berries 2 tsp Sugar PREPARATION: Put all the quinoa and whole milk into a large pan and place over a low heat. Bring to a simmer and stir regularly until the liquid is almost absorbed. Make sure not to let the mixture boil as the milk will burn easily. While the quinoa is cooking, warm the oven on a medium-low heat and place your hazelnuts onto a baking tray. Place in the warm oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place to one side to cool. Allow the frozen berry mix to defrost before
adding the fruit and juices to a small pan on a low heat. Add two teaspoons of sugar and allow the excess liquid to evaporate from the pan. Once the liquid is reduced and the mixture is thicker, remove from the heat and place into a serving bowl. Take the cool hazelnuts, remove any brown skin, and place in a medium freezer bag, release any trapped air and seal before gently rolling with a rolling pin to break down the nuts into smaller pieces. Place the hazelnut crunch into a second, small serving bowl. Break open the vanilla pod and scape out the inside into the quinoa and milk pan. Next add the honey into the pan and keep stirring until both ingredients are thoroughly mixed in. Add more honey to taste if needed. Once all the liquid is absorbed, stir in the fresh cream and remove from the heat into a third, large serving bowl. Take all three bowls to the table and allow your guests to find their perfect quinoa, crunch, and berry blend.
078 | RECIPES
Cupcakes with Summer Saffron Sauce Recipe by Lucy Moore Serves 6 INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Sour Cream Large Pinch Saffron 1 tsp Honey 1 Cup Butter 1 Cup Sugar 1 Cup Baking Flour 1 tsp Baking Powder 4 Eggs PREPARATION: This recipe is super simple but always popular. Start your saffron sauce by adding a large pinch of saffron to the sour cream and stirring well. Leave on the side to marinade. Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Whisk the eggs together in a third bowl. A little at a time, sift in the baking powder, flour and eggs into the butter-sugar mix and fold together. Make sure not to beat the batter as youâ€™ll knock out the air that will help the mixture to rise. Once all the flour and eggs are mixed in, split the cake batter between cupcake cases so they are all 2/3 full. Use a cupcake tray to ensure the cases donâ€™t fall down in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and then place the tray of cupcakes into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. While the cupcakes are cooking, take the saffron-sour cream mix and sift through a sieve. This will separate the strands of saffron and leave you with a velvety smooth sauce. Next add a teaspoon of honey or more to taste. Once your cupcakes are cooled, place them on a pretty tray and add a generous dollop of saffron sauce on top of each one. For an indulgent twist, add chocolate chips to your cake mix for a contemporary chocolate and saffron experience.
Art Direction by Xeina Al-Musallam Photography by Hassan Younes
080 | SUKAR RAMADAN EXHIBITION
RAMADAN EXHIBITION The Sweetest Place to Be
n a country where all residents appreciate the finer things in life, Kuwait has an admiration for delicacies with an unparalleled sweet tooth. The exchange of sweets and confectionaries is the corner stone of our culture, particularly during the Holy Month of Ramadan. With a population of young, affluent and demanding citizens, Sukar Ramadan is dedicated to those who appreciate everything sweet. It features an array of companies displaying their latest and greatest sweet creations in a single exhibition under one
roof. And it is the most valuable, time-effective, and highly publicized event on the Kuwaiti Sweet Scene. Itâ€™s a one-of-a-kind gathering where everybody with a taste for sweeter things in life can come together and celebrate. Yes, itâ€™s an expo of nothing but sweets, recipes, networking, and of course SAMPLES, SAMPLES, SAMPLES. Sukar Ramadan plays an intricate role in highlighting, showcasing, developing, and marketing desserts spanning the world bringing east and west to your Ramadan pallet.
082 | SUKAR RAMADAN EXHIBITION
It presents the optimal opportunity for any sweet related business – for launching new products, meeting with suppliers and promoting your services to a targeted, dedicated, and qualified audience. A celebration that brings together professionals, buyers, leading businesses, and all those who are keen to innovate and find new opportunities. Sukar Ramadan covers the whole sweet spectrum
– including snacks, baked goods, confectionery, chocolate, biscuits and ice cream – an impressive line-up of the crème de la crème of local and international retailers in the sweet industry to your fingertips. An amazing festival featuring product launches, sampling, tasting, and demonstrations, spanning the entire confectionery sector from ingredients, processing and packaging to finished products.
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