Sunday, January 4, 2015

Baklava - Middle Eastern Sweet Pastry Recipe


A fresh beginning of 2015, hoping happiness and peace in our life this coming year.
Taking each experiences good or bad as a stepping stone for a better "We" in future.


Made this sweet for New Year , a sweet beginning for this coming year no matter what.
"Baklava"originated in Turkey as said in Wikipedia. Basically a Middle Eastern sweet pastry, made with several layers of Phyllo sheets and nuts.
I felt that Baklava - is  not a dessert for which we'll fall, the first time we taste it,
Its taste and flavor slowly makes our taste buds addicted to it overtime.
That's how my family got addicted to it.

Here's a movie I made - Presenting the making of Baklava




Its not difficult as you see it, 
if you are a fan of these , do give it a try. 
Am sure you'll like it :) 

Ingredients 

Phyllo Dough - 1 Packet  (In room temperature)
Butter - I stick / 1 cup , melted ( May use more or May substitute half of it with Canola Oil)
Walnuts & Almonds - 2 to 3 cups chopped (May use Pistachios or Pecans ) 
Cinnamon Powder - 1 tsp ( Approx)

For the Syrup 

Butter - 2 to 4 Tbsp 
Sugar - 1 cup 
Honey - 1/2 ( may use more honey and less sugar - adjust as per your preference)
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp 
Water - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup 

Method 

Prepare the Syrup 

* Heat all ingredients given under Syrup , bring to a boil, switch off the heat when its little thick. Keep aside to cool.


Bake the Baklava 

* Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.Line a flat baking dish/Jelly role pan, with a parchment paper or foil then grease it thoroughly with butter.

(Compare the size of your Phyllo sheets with the pan in which you intend to bake, if the sheets are bigger in size, may trip its sides to make it fit to the baking tray.)

* Chop 2 to 3 cups (Approx) of Walnuts and Almonds (Taken together) Toss these with Cinnamon Powder.Keep aside. 

* Using a brush, spread some melted butter over the top most layer of the Phyllo sheets, then place it on to the greased baking tray.Repeat spreading the butter and layering the sheets twice or more time. 



* Once the base layering is done, spread half portion of the total nuts mixture on to the top of the arranged phyllo sheets, spread evenly. Cover this again with the sheets and butter the same for 2 to 6 layers, spread again the chopped nuts and then cover it again with the rest of the phyllo sheets, butter each sheets as you layer it. 


* Using a sharp knife, cut these Baklava to make desired shapes. (I cut'em diagonally starting from middle then from the opposite side to diamond shapes)


*  Bake in 350 Degree preheated Oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top part turns golden brown in color.



* Pour the syrup over the warm Baklava pieces, thoroughly soaking the same with the syrup.Let sit for several hours to absorb the syrup and to get nice and sticky ;) 


* Serve as a dessert or with Coffee :) 


Notes :
             May make the base Phyllo layer thick with more than 6 layers, I kept only 3 sheets as the base and it couldn't hold the thick upper part, hence place more sheets for the base.May use more or less sheets to make it thick and rich as per your preference.  

            Its good to sprinkle few drops of water over the "Baklava" pieces before baking'em as then it prevents the top part Phyllo sheets from getting curled while baked.

You know what ? Its very much sticky 
:/ 
But Stickiness is what you'll enjoy in Baklava.
 :) 
          
Wishing you all a blessed 2015 


Happy New Year.

Cheers
TN