Baklava is delicious and it tastes amazing when homemade. This dessert is not really healthy, but to be honest its worth the post. 😍
I discovered my love of Baklava last year, when on my travels introduced by my cousin whom also discovered it whilst on her travels to the Marrakech. The pros of travelling ay! 😄 I am sure lovers of nuts and textural crunch will agree that baklava is the perfect treat. Simple, yet complex. Sweet and fragrant.
With so many cultures citing baklava in its staple of desserts, there are many variations, but fundamentally baklava is prepared with layers of filo pastry separated with melted butter, topped with nuts, layered again with filo, and heavily drowned in a syrup that is left to seep through the sweet, leaving it moist, fragrant and addictive.
I find it hard to stop at just one piece… but only when the balance is right.
Since i discovered baklava, i have tried many different store brought baklava pieces but it was a NO from me, that is when i decided i should make a homemade walnut baklava.
Baklava is a dessert of the Middle East and Mediterranean, and it has numerous variations depending on the country of origin. Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Afghanistan, Georgia, Iran, Armenia and many other countries and regions all have a variation of this pastry, which is made with buttered layers of filo dough and ground nuts (usually pistachio, walnuts or almonds, or a combination) and covered in a sweet, often honeyed, syrup. Other flavourings include cinnamon, cloves, rose-water, cardamom, clove, and orange rind.
Baklava really is very simple. A little fiddly with all the layering and butter-brushing, but not complicated and well worth the effort.
• 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 slice orange rind
• 2 – 3 cloves and 2 – 3 cardamom pods (optional)
• 4 to 6 whole cloves, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
• 200g walnuts
• 18 sheets filo pastry
• (2 sticks) melted butter
How to make:
1 Roll out the filo pastry, cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. ( for my next baklava, i will be attempting to make homemade filo pastry)
2 Set the oven to180C/350F/Gas 4.
3 Lightly grease 8×8 dish
4 Process the nuts into small, even-sized pieces. Combine with sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
5 Melt the butter separately.
6 Place a sheet of filo pastry into the pan. Use a pastry brush to coat the filo sheet with melted butter. Press it lightly to fit the pan.
7 Use a spoon to spread on a thin layer of the nut mixture. Cover with two more sheets of filo, brushing each one with butter. Continue to repeat the nut mixture and two buttered sheets of filo until the nut mixture is all used up. The top layer should be 8 filo sheets thick, each sheet individually buttered, including the top. It’s normal for the sheets to wrinkle, which adds more texture.
8 Use a sharp knife, make one slice all the way through, from corner to corner. Continue cutting, crisscrossing until you have a bunch of diagonal pieces.
9 Bake at 180C/350F/ Gas 4 for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and edges appear slightly crisp, then slowly decrease the oven temperature as you do not want your baklava to appear burnt at the top.
10 While your baklava is baking in the oven, make the syrup. Combine the clove, cardamom,sugar, lemon juice, orange rind,honey and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and let simmer for 7 – 8 minutes and slightly thickened. Allow the syrup to cool.
11 Spoon the cooled syrup over the freshly baked, hot baklava.
12 Let it cool for at least 2 hours before serving, which allows all of the delicious flavours to meld together. Hmmmm. Me? No patience? Yes. You know this. I dived in as soon as, that syrup went all over the top.
Hope you enjoy