Have you ever tried baklavas?
Crispy, crunchy layers of filo pastry, with chopped nuts, spices and a sweet sticky sauce that holds them all together. Sounds amazing right?
Well today I have got just the recipe for you.They are so easy to make and look pretty impressive too!
Come on in to see how it’s done!
You will need:
- 2 packets of filo dough
- heaped tea spoon of ground cinnamon
- 150g (1/2 cup) honey
- 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 150g (3/4 cup) water
- the juice of half a lemon
- 200g walnuts
- chocolate (optional)
The first thing we need to do is make our honey syrup so it has time to thicken and cool. For this you will need to weigh out the water, sugar and honey into a saucepan.
Bring this to a boil and then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. I find it’s much easier to use a sieve to catch any pips that pop out. I also microwave my half a lemon for a few seconds first, I think this helps to get all the juice out.
Leave the mixture to boil for 3-4 minutes and then put to one side to cool.
Step one complete!
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (about 325 Fahrenheit)
Next you will need to prepare your nut mix for the baklavas.
Using a mini blender blend the walnuts (feel free to substitute in some pistachios to make it a bit more interesting) until they are finely chopped.
Add your heaped teaspoon of ground cinnamon and give it a final quick blitz.
Step two finished!
Unroll your filo pastry and cut it to fit your chosen tray. I like to leave a little bit extra on the sides as the overlap will help to keep the sheets in place.
Melt a few scoops of butter in the microwave and we’re ready to start assembling.
In the bottom of the tray place your first sheet of pastry and then wash it with butter. Repeat this ten times so you have ten sheets, each separated by a layer of melted butter.
Now sprinkle half your cinnamon-y nut mix over the top and spread evenly with your fingers.
Spread another layer of filo dough over the top of this, liberally spread it with butter and add another layer of filo. You get where this is going right?
This time you only need about 5 pastry/butter layers before you add the second half of your ground nut mix. (Keep a little back for decoration at the end)
Top the second walnut section with another 10 layers of filo pastry/butter. Finish with the butter.
Now it’s time to cut the shape of the Baklavas; so using a nice sharp knife cut strips across the pan. Then rotate slightly and cut the strips diagonally so you end up with a pretty diamond pattern. (see below)
It doesn’t have to be that neat. But make sure you go through all the layers to make it easier when they come out of the oven.
Now pop the tin in the oven for 1 hour.
Take them out when they look golden brown on the top and are very crispy. Now, while they are nice and hot, pour over your honey syrup. Listen to them sizzle! It sounds wonderful.
Leave the syrup to soak in properly, I like to cover with a tea towel and leave them out overnight.
Once you’re happy with the level of sweet stickyness, all that’s left to do is melt some chocoate to drizzle over the top, sprinkle with the leftover nut mix and serve.