Baklava is not very complicated to prepare and is a small morsel of sweetness which is perfect for special occasions.Baklava has its origins around the Mediterranean containing walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, almonds. Many centuries ago, this cake was only available to the rich because the pastry was so complicated to make. Now that the making of phyllo pastry has been mechanised, Baklava is available to us all … thank goodness for that!!
The word “phyllo” is from the Greek word “leaf” althought we not we are sure that Baklava is actually Greek because its history can be traced to the Far East. Whatever, wherever and whoever, doesn’t really matter much when you are gazing down of a few small slices of the stuff. Baklava is a real treat and once you have it presented on the table, do not expect it to remain there for a long time. We suggest you smuggle a few pieces away for emergencies later.
Ingredients serves 8 – 12:
- 250 grams (8 oz) mixed nuts roughly ground not to small and not too big
- 185 grams (6 oz) soft brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons rose water
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 20 – 30 leaves of phyllo pastry
- 250 mls (8 oz) salted butter, melted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) runny honey
- Bring 2 oz of the butter to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl place this butter, the roughly chopped nuts, cinnamon and sugar, mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 425F/ 220C/ Gas 7.
- Chose an oven dish that is the same or similar size to the filo pastry sheets and brush the bottom of the dish with some of the oil.
- Brush a sheet of filo pastry with butter and lay on the bottom of the dish.
- Continue to brush a total of 10 sheets of filo on both sides with butter, and layer them into the baking dish.
- Spread the nut mix over the filo in the dish and level it, then continue to butter and layer the other filo pastry sheets over the nuts.
- Slice the baklava into portions, as if it were ready to serve, cover in foil then place it in the centre of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes until golden brown.
- Mix the honey and rose water together.
- When the baklava is ready, remove from the oven and brush the surface with all of the syrup and rose water.
- Leave to cool completely overnight, before removing from the dish and arranging to serve.
NOTE: You can cut it into any little shapes you like and even drizzle it in chocolate and dust in sugar. It’ll look so pretty.