The Great Australian Bake Off


  • Filling

  • 80g Australian dried apricots

  • 80g verjuice

  • 40g walnut pieces

  • 2 large Medjool dates, pitted

  • Pinch of Australian pink sea salt flakes

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Dough

  • 1 ½ tablespoons milk

  • ¼ teaspoon dried yeast

  • 240g fine semolina, plus extra to dust

  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar

  • 1 tablespoon mahleb spice

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water

  • 110g unsalted butter, melted

  • Pure icing sugar, to dust


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  • 2.

    Place the apricots and verjuice into a small saucepan with lid and place over a medium high heat, bring to the boil, remove from heat, remove lid, set aside to cool.

  • 3.

    Toast the walnuts in a round sandwich pan for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Place the hot walnuts in a clean tea towel and rub off most of the skins, or use a small paring knife to scrape off most of the skins, then place in a sieve and shake off any excess. When cool, chop walnuts into 5mm pieces.

  • 4.

    For the dough, place milk in a small jug and microwave to lukewarm. Stir in yeast to dissolve and set aside.

  • 5.

    Combine semolina, sugar, mahleb and orange blossom water in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and melted butter. Bring dough together and knead by hand on a clean bench for 5-6 minutes or until dough is firm and slightly elastic. Press dough into a flat disc, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  • 6.

    Meanwhile, for the filling, strain apricots through a sieve placed over a bowl. Place apricots, plus 1 tablespoon of the apricot soaking liquor, dates, salt, lemon and spices into a mini chopper bowl. Blend with stick blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Stir walnuts into apricot mixture.

  • 7.

    To make the ma’amoul, line a baking tray with baking paper. Dust wooden mould with semolina, shaking out excess.

  • 8.

    Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball, press into the mould covering the sides evenly to give a thin coating, with a little overhang depending on the size of the unique mould. Spoon enough apricot walnut filling into the centre of the dough to just fill under the edge of mould. Roll up a little more dough and press into a flat disc to cover filling, press to seal.

  • 9.

    Using a paring knife carefully cut away any overhang from edges. Firmly tap the mould on the bench to release dough from the mould. Place on the prepared tray. Repeat to make 12.

  • 10.

    Bake the ma’amoul for 18-22 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked. Transfer ma’amoul to a cooling rack.

  • 11.

    Just before serving lightly dust with icing sugar and transfer to a serving plate.

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