Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and Central Asia.
I find that chocolate and baklava were meant to be, since the bitter chocolate makes a sublime combination with this sweet pastry. Serve with a vanilla icecream scoop, and get ready to hear an ovation at home!
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 45 min
Honey vanilla syrup:
- 250 ml water (1 cup)
- 200 g sugar (1 cup)
- 50 honey (4/5 cup)
- juice of half a lemon (optional)
- 1 vanilla pod (optional)
- 100 -150 g melted butter, cold (1 stick aprox)
- 1 package filo pastry (20 sheets the size of your pan)
- 250 g dark chocolate chips (9 ounces)
- 250 g chopped nuts of your choice: pistachio, hazelnuts, walnuts, … (9 ounces)
- 1 tbs powdered cinnamon
- Combine the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan and
bring to boil. Let the syrup simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Discard vanilla pod and allow the syrup to cool before use (can be stored in the fridge).
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine finely chopped nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate chips
- Unroll package of filo dough; cut filo sheets into the size of your pan. Discard scraps. Cover with a damp towel to prevent filo sheets from drying out.
- Butter the baking pan, and then, working with one filo sheet at a time, butter and stack 8 sheets of phyllo.
- Spread half of nut mixture evenly over layered phyllo sheets
- Brush next filo sheet on both sides with butter, then place on top of nuts. Add 3 more filo sheets, brushing each one with butter, and then top with the remaining nut and chocolate mixture
- Brush next filo sheet on both sides with butter, then place on top of nuts. Add 7 more filo sheets, brushing each one with butter
- Using a sharp knife, cut baklava into 12 squares. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes, first 20 minutes uncovered, the cover with aluminium foil, to prevent it from browning too much
- Immediately pour the cold syrup over the hot baklava and let stand until completely cool, preferably overnight.
- This recipe is usually prepared with clarified butter which is very easy to prepare at home, as you can check in this recipe by David Lebovitz. The recipe was inspired by this one made by Rick Spoon
- Instead of vanilla, you might use cinnamon, cardamom,… for your syrup
- Ideally, serve the baklava warm with a scoop of vanilla ice
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