Sunday, August 28, 2011

walnut and pecan baklava.

some say a greek specialty.
some say a turkish specialty.
i personally connect it with greece because of the honey and cinnamon.
for me those are really typical for the country.
unfortunately i have never been able to taste a real greek baklava, but i hope this will change sometime in the future.
greece is definitely on my travel list.
why did i make baklava?
i had to report on it as a school assignment and when i saw phyllo dough some time later at a store, i decided to give it a go.
and i had my parents over this weekend and i know they both like baklava.
it turned out better than expected.
it was very sweet.
it wasn't all too sticky.
the nuts were nice and smooth to taste.
the spice were subtle and complementary, not too harsh.
i was pleased.
and while i write this, the last piece is being eaten up!

by the way, i served it with homemade vanilla ice cream and a strong coffee. 
perfect combination!

walnut and pecan baklava
250g phyllo dough (at least 20 sheets)

150g walnuts
75g pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon zest
a large pinch of cloves
a large pinch of salt

melt butter.
your pan should be at least 15x25cm. 
cut your phyllo sheets to fit the pan. 
butter the pan, place two sheets in pan, butter.
repeat this until you have got 8-10 sheets layered.
chop nuts in food processor with cinnamon. 
spread 1/3 of the nut mix onto the buttered phyllo sheets.
place additional two sheets on top, butter, then add more nuts.
repeat once more. 
then continue with buttering two sheets at a time until the top is 8-10 sheets deep.
cut baklava into diamond shaped pieces in the pan.
then bake for 35-40 minutes at 175 degrees celcius.
while baking, prepare syrup. 
mix together all further ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
remove from heat, let stand until baklava is out of the oven.
when baklava is done, immediately spoon syrup over the hot baklava.
let cool completely.
enjoy with a hot espresso.