What Is Knafeh And Why Is It Trending On TikTok?

If you're unfamiliar with knafeh but love contrasting textures and flavors, prepare to ask, "Where have you been all of my life?" Knafeh is a dessert enjoyed throughout the Middle East, with the Palestinian city of Nablus often credited as its birthplace. Although there are regional variations, traditionally, knafeh is created with a crust made from a filo-like, shredded pastry called kataifi. The crust is topped with a soft Arabic cheese and drizzled with a rose-flavored syrup called attar. CNN listed knafeh as one of the 50 best international desserts, but you don't have to travel far to try it. 


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The popular Arabic dessert reached rockstar status when a chocolate bar containing a knafeh filling was seen by millions on TikTok. Individuals not lucky enough to get their hands on the chunky candy began recreating the dessert at home with delicious results. The viral chocolate bar called "Can't Get Knafeh of It" was created by Fix Dessert Chocolatier in Dubai. It's part of the brand's Fix Hero line, which features six generously stuffed chocolate bars. Can't Get Knafeh of It contains a milk chocolate shell filled with toasted knafeh, pistachios, and tahini. The frequently sold-out bar retails for 65 AED, which is roughly $17.70, but you can make it for less at home. From all accounts, the chocolatier hit a home run with the ratio of creamy filling to crisp chocolate shell, and consumers have feverishly tried to find one.

Tips for making a pistachio knafeh chocolate bar

Although the "knafeh" chocolate bar doesn't contain cheese or rose-flavored syrup like the OG dessert, it incorporates the nutty toasted kataifi and ground pistachios that are traditionally used. To prepare one at home, you'll need a silicone mold to make individual chocolate bars or a lined loaf pan to make one on steroids. Depending on where you live, kataifi might be found in local grocery stores, Middle Eastern markets, or online at retailers like Amazon.

Out of the box, kataifi resembles a nest of vermicelli pasta. It must be cut and toasted before being combined to make the filling. Some like to hold it like a loaf of bread and make thin vertical cuts, while others use scissors to snip off small pieces — dealer's choice. To toast the kataifi, saute it in a skillet with melted butter or ghee until golden brown.

Many TikTokers used pistachio spread or cream (similar in texture to chocolate hazelnut spread) instead of grinding pistachios. Pistachio cream can be found sweetened or unsweetened and is sold online or in markets near cans of tahini. Once the filling is assembled, melt the chocolate until smooth. Since the dessert is made in stages, keep the chocolate on a heating pad to prevent it from hardening. Use the best-quality chocolate you can find, like couverture, and avoid using chocolate chips containing emulsifiers that hinder melting. To mirror Fix Dessert's Jackson Pollock-like coating, melt several colors to create a marble effect.