Saudi Sweet Treats and Dessert Cheats.
Desserts, especially pastries, are staple finds on a Saudi dinner table or a typical pairing with our coffee or tea time. From the Al Qassim Klaija to the famous date-filled Maamoul, pastries are particularly popular within the culture. We decided to chat with two Saudi pastry chefs to get a better understand the flavorsome fold and the secret to a mind-blowing pastry treat.
Fresh Out the Oven: Kitchen Chats
With Chef Albatoul AlMaddah and Chef Rana Al Trabulsi
Chef Albatoul AlMaddah
Passionate about French pastry and gastronomy and adding twists and experimenting with traditional desserts, Chef Albatoul AlMaddah knew she loved pastries from a very young age.
This, she shares, enhanced her skills and contributed to her experience. She currently consults on dessert menus and continues her love of baking by spending most of her time in the kitchen experimenting with flavors and textures to create pastries of different types.
Chef Albatoul says, “Pastry in general, and French pastry specifically, is all about love, art, passion, and expertise coming together to create a dessert that makes people get lost in the moment. And I simply love that.” She believes that a chef must be courageous, patient, creative, and precise to create the perfect pastry, as it is a science of sorts. The perfect pastry creates just the right balance of textures, flavors, and aroma. She believes that Saudi pastries are exceptional because they reflect richness in flavor, sophistication, and creativity.
Chef Rana AlTunisi
Mother, wife, and pastry chef Rana Al Trabulsi expresses her passion for art through baking. The owner of a small business, ‘Nusha’s Bakery,’ Rana creates cakes, cookies, tarts, eclairs, brioche, etc. As a self-proclaimed ‘chocoholic’, she makes sure that almost all her pastries have good quality chocolate in them. However, she believes the key to a good pastry is keeping the sugar balanced by making sure pastries have just the right amount of sweetness.
Rana likes to make sure that all who have her pastries can enjoy them once a day without too much, just like she does.
Rana likes to stay updated with baking trends, but she stresses how Saudi pastries differ from the rest.
“What’s nice about Saudi pastries is that it has that distinct Arabic touch— we add our unique spices. It gives any dessert a completely new dimension of taste.”