Sini Gatmeri / Turkish Cypriot Filo Almond Swirl

Sunday, 5 August 2012

I hate to make your stomachs curl with cringe, but I absolutely adore baking traditional recipes because it means I get do it with my mum. She never ever joins in, and I've recently discovered the only way that she ever will is if it involves making something nostalgic; like this filo dessert for example. As she never has the time to cook or bake anymore, It's a real treat when she does!
Traditionally, to us Turkish Cypriots, this dish is known as a 'sini gatmer', however, not short of 2000 ish miles oversea, the Turks from Turkey much prefer to call it a 'sini katmer'. Not much difference I know, but since the accents are slightly dissimilar  that one letter really does change quite a lot, even sometimes, the taste!
Anyway this dessert reeks of traditionalism, its soggy, crispy, cinnamon-y AND nutty! My family and I absolutely love it, and believe me - if you like all of those things described a second ago, you will too!

The Recipe:
1 packet ready made filo pastry
1 packet almonds (aprox 300g)
2 tins of cream* 
1 packet ricotta 
2 tbsp cinnamon (or to taste)
2 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
Sugar Syrup (serebet)
4 cups (glass) water
3 cups (glass) sugar 

*If you want the Gatmer to taste perfect, you are best off buying the cream from your local Turkish Food Centre. 
The Method:
  • Start off by blitzing all of your almonds in a food processor for half a minute, or until they are nice and crumbly, a little larger than sand granules.
  • Transfer the almonds into a medium sized bowl, chuck in your sugar and cinnamon and toss around until combined. 
  • Using a tablespoon, mix the tinned cream into the almonds until a thick paste is formed. 
  • Now crumble your ricotta using a fork and mix it in. Set aside. 
  • Begin to prepare the syrup. In a large saucepan add both the sugar and water and leave on a high heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once it is ready transfer it into a bowl and set aside to cool. 
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Whilst the syrup is forming, lay out the filo pastry and using your hands, add a thick strip of the almond paste across the width of the pastry at the bottom. 
  • Now roll the filo around the paste like you would when forming a chocolate log cake. 
  • Continue this process until you run out of almond paste!
  • Grease a large round trey with butter or oil. 
  • Get one of your tubes of pastry and form a tight spiral in the very center of your large tray. 
  • Now connect the rest of your tubes to the first spiral until you have a large spiral and you cannot fit any more into the tray. 
  • Lightly brush the top of the pastry with an egg wash.
  • Place in the oven for 25/30 minutes or until the pastry is golden on top. 
  • Take out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  • Making sure that the syrup is cooled, pour it all over your pastry and let it soak before serving. You do not have to use all of the syrup, I only used about two thirds of the quantity provided for a less sweeter finish!
  • Enjoy :)
Sini Gatmeri
I guess you could also say that this is my one and only (for now) Olympic bake! This weekend, thanks to Neil (bf's papa) I got to go to the women's springboard semi final! It was such an experience, so I will share my experience with the rest of you in the form of case you hadn't already seen it on BBC 1/2/3/4/5/6/ or Sky...or in case it hadn't got in the way of your daily soaps.

Above (in zoom) is team China & Canada!

Mbakes x


  1. Looks yummy, I have a favour to ask, do you have the famous tulumba tatlisi recipe? I have tried one on the net but the tulumbas end up soggy after a few hours :( I can buy them here in the north of England but I want to be able to make my :)

  2. I made this once and I must say it was one of the best cakes I ever had. Great recipe!

  3. Hello Asma!
    I'm looking into the tulumba recipe, and will be seeing my aunt soon (who is a fabulous turkish baker) and shall be asking her for the recipe!
    you never know, the recipe may pop up in the next week or so :)

  4. I look forward to seeing the recipe : ) thank you.

  5. This looks gorgeous as well as delicious!

  6. what kind of cream goeas in the recipe?

    1. Condensed milk, but preferably the one found in turkish food stores, like the picture above in the tin :)


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