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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Wrap me up in phyllo dough and call me "baclava"

Hello everybody

What's baking?

Her Majesty - BAKLAVA

Baklava is definitely one of my favorite guilty treats…I mean, how can you not love a flaky pastry that is filled with nuts and honey?  It’s seriously delicious…and seriously addicting!
Here's the "story", from Wikipedia:
Baklava (/ˈbɑːkləvɑː/, /bɑːkləˈvɑː/) is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, and is also found in Central and West Asia.
It came to our country from south, as people migrated.
It's one of those recipes you're inheriting from your grandma.
And, if you switch from butter to vegetable oil, it's "lent"-proof :)

1 (500 grams - that's about 16 ounce) package phyllo dough (surely, you can find it in one of those specialized stores, it's worth the look, since nothing can substitute this)
1 pound chopped nuts (over here, we prefer walnuts, but a "greek" version calls for mixing walnuts and pistachios - try it out, in has great color)
1 cup butter (opt for vegetable oil, DO NOT use olive oil)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)
..for the syrup.
1 cup water 
1 cup white sugar 
1 lemon, thinly sliced 
1/2 cup honey
Preheat oven to 175°C (that's 175F). Butter the bottoms and sides of a large pan pan.
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon; you can grind part of the nuts and mix it all in. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
Make your syrupwhile baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add lemon slices and simmer for about 20 minutes. until thicker (just a bit thicker), whait a while and then add in the honey. 
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. 

Should end up looking like this:

Words of warning:
1. it's rich with nuts!
2. it's quite caloric
3. will vanish in an instant :)

You can't say you weren't warned. :)
Honestly, this pastry is absolute favorite in my family, but we like calling it "something you are allowed to treat yourself with after hard work". So, if you are watching your weight, make sure you take just one.. be diligent.  
As for me: I ride my bike, I eat desserts.

Huge (sweet) hug.
Guess what came out of mom's over yesterday evening? :)


  1. MMmmm looks great! I love Baklava! Em x

  2. Oh, that looks tasty! I love baklava but I've never tried making it. Pete's made a Moroccan nut-filled filo dessert, though, called M'henncha, and that was delicious. Filo pastry is really easy to get in supermarkets here in the UK, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't easy to get in other parts of Europe, at least.

  3. Five million yums! This is one of my absolute favourite desserts ever. It's impossible to replicate it exactly in GF and EF form, but I can still create something with the same general tastes and concepts (it took a lot of trial and error though!). I know what I'll be craving all week now! :)

    Oodles of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  4. Looks yummy. Baklava was a real treat in my locale when I was growing up. Maybe it is still is although I haven't seen it on menus in ages. I can't remember now whether it was the Greek or the Lebanese/Syrian establishments that sold it. Maybe they both did.