A Tunisian Hazelnut Dessert – Bouza [diabetic friendly, gluten free, egg free, lactose free, vegan]

A Tunisian Hazelnut Dessert –  Bouza [diabetic friendly, gluten free, egg free, lactose free, vegan]

As I dig deeper into the Mediterranean kitchen I become more familiar with the cuisine of Tunisia.

I was served this dessert by a Tunisian friend at a dinner a few years ago. For me this hazelnut cream beats the classics like creme brulee.  This dessert is egg free, gluten free and vegan.  If you wish you can also use regular milk.


It is very easy to make. The cream is poured into glass containers while it is still warm and it sets beautifully.

tunisian bouza cj baldacchino

The cream is flavoured with flower water and you can leave this out if it is not available or if you do not like the idea of flower waters and simply add vanilla instead.

For the hazelnut cream you will need:

1 litre hazelnut milk or nut milk
200g hazelnuts
1 vanilla pod
4 level tablespoons cornflour
3 level tablespoons stevia OR sugar
Optional: A few drops of flower water, either orange flower or rose water

Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor.


The consistency should be grainy rather than a dust.

Mix the cornflour in 250 ml of the milk. if you are usimg flower water, add a few drops now.
Mix the ground hazelnuts with the milk, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil on low heat.
Add the cornflour mixture and keep stirring.
Remove from heat.
If you are serving traditional bouza, pour into individual glasses while it is still warm.
Decorate with chopped nuts before it cools.
Allow to set in the fridge for at least an hour.


Hazelnut Cream in a Hazelnut Crust [this crust is NOT Vegan]

If you want to stretch a bit further and have time on your hands, try the bouza cream in a hazelnut crust and it is to die for.


The wild roses in our garden, another ingredient, not a vegetable or a fruit as we know it but a fruit of the earth and edible petals are underused. If used correctly, sparingly combined with the right ingredients the result is incredible. Visually another example that nature is great and no human manipulation can possibly match it.

for the hazelnut pastry you will need

400g plain flour
200g butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts and extra chopped hazelnuts for sprinkling on top of the tart
Pinch of salt

Sieve the flour and add the butter or margarine cut into pieces
Rub in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the chopped hazelnuts.
Add pinch of salt and mix
Add the beaten egg and bring together with a knife
Add a few drops of water if necessary to achieve the right consistency, a spoonful at a time.
Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Roll out on a floured surface and line the tart dish by rolling the pastry around the rollimg pin, lifting it gently and easing it into the tart dish. Trim the sides but leave them to overlap.


There is no need to grease it as the pastry has a high fat content but i do very lightly just in case.
Pierce the pastry evenly and there is no need to bake it blind.
Bake in the oven at 160C for 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven. Trim the pastry by applying pressure with the rolling pin onto the edge of the tin.

Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before filling.

I hope you will be tempted to try bouza 🙂


I use ingredients by Lamb Brand

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