Assida with Hazelnuts

Assida with Hazelnuts

1 container of hazelnut paste
1.5 liters water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
Vanilla Pudding (I used 2 packages which required milk and sugar)
Toppings (ground nuts, whole nuts, candy coated nuts)

1.  Mix the hazelnut paste, water, and sugar together.
2.  Put half of the mixture in a large pot and sift in the flour.  
3.  Whisk constantly as you turn on the heat (you DO NOT want lumps of flour in the finished product!)
4.  As it beings to come together and thicken add in two or three ladles of the hazelnut/water mixture.
5.  Keep stirring!  As each addition is incorporated add more of the mixture in util it's all in the pot.
6.  Just keep stirring, just keep stirring, don't stop stirring!  (If you slack on the stirring you'll end up with lumps and that's unacceptable.)
7.  Once it has thickened and you've stirred for about 20 minutes turn the heat off and add in the can of sweetened condensed milk.
8.  Spoon into individual dishes, leaving room to top later with pudding.
9.  Allow to cool and slightly firm before topping with pudding and decorating it as you like.

Assida is a local dessert that is most notably prepared to celebrate Mouled.  Every household prepares a batch.  Over the next day or so everyone gives it out to friends and family.  That means you usually end up with several bowlfuls, all beautifully decorated and all a little different.  
There are four different kinds of assida: white (made with just flour), zgougou (with pine nuts), bofriwa (with hazelnuts), and with dates.  Last year my mother-in-law taught me how to make zgougou and it was super labor intensive.  This year my husband brought home the hazelnut paste.  I took my pen and notepad over to my mother-in-law and she talked me through the process.  I came home, and with some stirring help from my husband, we had it cooked up and poured in under 30 minutes.

In addition to the different kinds of assida there are countless ways to decorate the top.  It's always fun to see different personalities come out.
(These are from 2 of my sister-in-laws, my mother-in-law, my Person, my neighbor, and mine.)

This is the hazelnut paste I used.

You can also buy it from Amazon here: 
NOTE: This is about half the size of the container I have, so you would have to halve the rest of the ingredients as well.


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