Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baklava

I am an absolute baklava fanatic...and a bit of a baklava snob. I hate dry baklava and I hate artificial tasting baklava - you know, the kind that leaves a film on your tongue and is all grainy (I think when made with oil instead of butter)? Yuck.

So what was a budding young baker to do? Into the kitchen and learn to make it myself! Years ago I found a recipe and gave it a go and boy, oh boy, fresh baklava is just amazingly delicious. It's nutty (obviously!) and sweet - but not super sweet like in many restaurants - and the honey syrup has a light lemony flavor which seems to get lost when it's commercially produced. Sadly, I've lost that wonderful recipe from so many years ago (and also whatever skill I might have had with cutting the perfectly shaped piece - as you will see below) so I turned to the ever-handy google in search of a new recipe. I came across these 2 that looked pretty decent (from allrecipes and epicurious), and adapted them to better fit my tastes (and what happened to be in my pantry). If anyone wants my full recipe, leave me a comment and I'll email it to you.

mise en place (I used a combination of walnuts, pecans
and blanched almonds and lightly toasted them before grinding them)
my spice mixture includes cardamom and freshly ground nutmeg

lemon zest added to the ground nuts

I added lemon peel, cinnamon sticks and a vanilla bean to the syrup mixture

8 buttered filo layers go down as the bottom and top
(although next time I'll add about 5-7 more to both bottom/top)

a sprinkling of nuts then 2 more buttered filo, repeat until you run out of nuts

top with 8-15 more buttered filo layers and slice before baking
here you can see my insanely weird (and too large) slices

baked to a golden brown

pour the cooled honey-sugar-lemon syrup over the hot baklava

delicious!

it's calling my name...

the top and bottom layers were crispy and the middle, nut-filled layers were soft and chewy...YUM!


I originally made this baklava about a month ago and decided to make it again this morning. This time I got the slicing down perfectly! A few pictures from this morning...

ahhh...these pieces look much better than those above!


for this batch I used more nuts and more layers on the top and bottom so the slices are a bit taller


Bye for now...

4 comments:

  1. This is beautiful baklava!

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  2. Looks delish!! Love a good baklava!

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  3. Mmmmmmm, I am dying for a piece of that yummy goodness. Great blog, great photos. Congratulations

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  4. Thanks, Anita! It's really fun to make and so delicious :)

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