I must say this hasn’t been a great week. I was stuck at home for a couple of days with a fever, cough, sore throat, the works… the freaky weather is not helping, cold, gray, rainy and about to dip to -11 C next week. Hmm…
But this weekend is all about the Friday Fiesta Anniversary… the block party continues for the 2nd week and that is enough to put me in the right mood 😀
This week’s party is all about Mains and Dessert. It goes without saying that they need to be celebration-worthy. Not something that you would make everyday and something meant for sharing with friends…
If you know me, you know I am all about decadent desserts 😀 Naturally, I skipped the mains and went straight for the sweet stuff!
And this is what I have brought to the party: a large serving of something luxurious, syrupy, nutty, rose and honey scented! This Honey and Nuts Baklava! With notes of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom… and citrus, of course.
I think the first time I heard about Baklava was when I watched Disney’s Aladdin as a kid. You know when Robin Williams sings “How about a little more Baklava?” in the song ‘Friend like Me”…
I promptly forgot all about it until years later, in Europe, I was re-introduced to it by Turkish and Greek friends. And I knew what the genie was going on about… more Baklava, yes please!!
Flaky, crisp layers of delicate phyllo pastry sandwiched with the most divine filling of nuts and spices and drenched with sugar and honey syrup. Ummm… crispy yet soft and dripping with syrupy deliciousness.
Sinful, indulgent and utterly addictive… and doesn’t it look spectacular? Come and join me at the Friday Fiesta Anniversary Part 2. If last week was anything to go by, there are going to be some really sensational mains and desserts today. And the lovely co-hosts Nancy @Feasting With Friends and Selma @Selma’s Table will make you feel right at home, as they always do 😀
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- 100 grams Walnuts
- 100 grams Almonds
- 100 grams Pistachios
- 2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground Cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground Cardamom
- 150 grams unsalted Butter
- 2 X 270 grams packets (12 sheets) of Phyllo pastry
- 200 grams Sugar
- 100 ml Honey
- 2 tablespoons Rose water
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 3 Cloves
- 2 strips of Orange Zest
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- A few Pistachios and dried Rose petals to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Place the syrup ingredients (sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, cloves, orange zest, rose water, lemon juice) in a medium saucepan with 250 ml water and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Let it bubble away, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third. Leave to cool.
- (The syrup must be cool when it is poured over the pastry otherwise the pastry will go soggy.)
- Heat the butter in a heavy-duty saucepan over very low heat, until it’s melted.
- Let simmer gently until the foam rises to the top of the melted butter. The butter may splatter a bit, so be careful.
- Once the butter stops spluttering, and no more foam seems to be rising to the surface, remove from heat and skim off the foam with a spoon. Keep aside till needed.
- Blitz the nuts in a food processor until coarse, then tip into a bowl and stir through the ground cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
- Lightly grease a 40 x 25 cm shallow tin with the clarified butter.
- Gently unfold the phyllo and cover with a damp tea towel to stop it cracking.
- Layer sheets of phyllo in the tin and brush each layer with clarified butter.
- After 4 layers, scatter over half the nut mixture; repeat with 4 layers of phyllo , then the rest of the nuts.
- Top with the last 4 layers of phyllo, then generously butter the top.
- Cut into diamonds with a sharp knife – ensure the blade goes right to the bottom.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven on a hot baking sheet for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, reducing the temperature to 170 C if the baklava looks as though it is browning too quickly.
- Remove the baklava from the oven and spoon half the cooled syrup over the top.
- Leave for 5 minutes, then spoon over the remaining syrup.
- Top with crushed pistachios and rose petals, if desired.
- Allow the baklava to cool before removing the individual pieces from the dish with a palette knife.
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