Honey Rings is a traditional maltese recipe known as ‘Qaghaq tal-ghasel’ with a crunchy crust and filled with soft and moist treacle.
|400 grams flour
|400 grams black honey (treacle)
|170 grams margarine
|100 grams semolina
|2 tablespoons cocoa powder
|100 grams sugar
|1 lemon zest
|1 orange zest
|2 tablespoons all spice
|1 litre water
|4 whole cloves
|2 teaspoons anisette
|334 grams semolina
|60 grams finely chopped walnuts
Use a heat proof saucepan to mix all the ingredients, grate the lemon and orange and place it in the saucepan. Add the cocoa powder , all spices, the whole cloves and sugar to the mixture and stir to combine. Finely chop the walnuts and add to the mixture.
Add the treacle to the dry mixture, and this point the mixture will be very sticky. Add the anisette and slowly pour the water while continuously stirring the mixture. At this point the mixture will be liquid. Place the saucepan on medium heat until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat and while constantly stirring slowly sprinkle the semolina to the mixture. This is a very important process, stirring is very important and do not pour batches of semolina or it will clog. Continue to stir in the semolina until the mixture reaches a consistent texture. You may not need to add all semolina, it mainly depends on the consistency of the honey. Remove from heat and let it cool. The mixture can be stored overnight into a cool place, slightly reheat before use to make the texture more manageable.
While the mixture cools down, prepare the pastry. Sift the flower in a medium sized bowl, add the semolina and sugar. Slice the butter into cube and add it to the flour mixture. Using your hands rub the butter into the flour mixture to get a crumbs like texture. Add water to get a smooth dough.
Slightly beat the egg in a small bowl and set aside. Butter baking sheet to be ready. Roll out the dough to get a a 3mm thin dough. Cut the dough into 9 x 3 inches stripes. The sizes of the stripes may vary, depending on how big you want your honey rings. If the treacle mixture is to stiff to handle, warm up the mixture, do not over heat. Place the treacle in the middle of the dough strip leaving 1/2 inch from both sides. Using a cooking brush, water the edges.
Slowly roll up the down and let one side overlap the other. Ensure that all treacle is tightly packed . Slightly roll the strip with your hands to get a roundish shape. Join the edges together to get a circle, use water to seal the circle. Move the circle to a buttered tray.
Brush the ring with beaten egg. Make slight slips at the top of the circle. Place the rings in the oven and wait until the rings are slightly golden.