- 300g Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 180g Melted Butter
- 700g Flour
- 100g Walnuts
- 4 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
For the Sugar Water
- 220g Sugar
- 440ml Water
Albanian Shendetlie is an Albanian dessert and is a cross between a biscuit and cake. The first texture when removed from the oven resembles a biscuit however, once the syrup has been added the baked dough softens and the final finish is a cake texture.
Making this recipe for the first time was a bit confusing as it is a dough mixture not a runny pouring texture that you would expect for cakes – especially as the taste is so similar to Albanian Ravani. The dough is pressed down, baked and the adding of the syrup is what makes it’s texture cake like.
The first time I had this cake was during my first visit to Albania, the cake included ground walnuts rather then whole giving a much darker colour to it. Having both honey in the cake and had been left to soak overnight in a sugar water syrup meant that it was very sweet, perfect for my sweet tooth.
You can make this recipe with whole walnuts, ground walnuts or half and half. I’ve had different versions since some with whole nuts and come with a combination. Personally I prefer the whole nuts.
Albanian Shendetlie – Fresh baked dough sweetened with honey, filled with walnuts and soaked in a simple syrup mixture.
In a mixing bowl cream together the eggs, sugar and cooled melted butter then add the honey and soda.
Add half the flour and the walnuts (you can add the walnuts whole or ground them) and mix well.
Add the rest of the flour and using your hands kneed the mixture together until a firm dough is formed.
Coat a large baking tray (traditionally a circle tray is used about 30cm is best with a 2 - 3 inch height) with olive oil. Add the dough and press it down so that it fits the whole tray. Try and get the dough flat and equal in height all over.
Place on the bottom shelf of a cold oven and turn the temperture up to 180 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes and the dough has turned dark brown and is firm to touch.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool while making the syrup.
Adding the Syrup
Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave boiling for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally. Remove from the heat.