A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Baklava (chocolate with pistachio nuts)

2 sticks and 3-4 tablespoons melted butter (its always good to have at least 1 stick of extra butter around when working with filo dough – sometimes you will use a little more sometimes less depending on how dry the dough is)

20 sheets of filo (buy 1 box – you will have extra but that ok)

1 large pinch of sugar for every filo layer, so have at least 1 cup of sugar handy

1 cup raw pistachios
1cup walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt

Place all of the above in a mini food processor and pulse about 12 times, move mixture to a bowl and add in 1 cup mini chocolate chip morsels

Start by thawing the filo dough overnight in refrigerator. To begin creating the baklava have handy a 9x12”pan or baking dish. Have ready the filling and melted butter as well as a pastry brush and sugar.

Baklava is simple enough to make- brush the pan with melted butter- add 1 layer of filo, brush the liberally with butter then sprinkle a large pinch of sugar over the dough – repeat this until you have 5 layers of filo. Top the fifth sheet with butter then add on 1 scant cup of filling and spread evenly over the pan.

Repeat process starting again with filo then butter and sugar- do another four layers for a total of five- then top with the filling.

Repeat process until you come to your last batch of filling then top with a final layer of filo –

Please note- the filo will not fit exactly in the pan – you may either trim it down or leave it – trimming it to fit the pan looks a little nicer, but I rarely have the patience for doing that, and it still comes out fine…you may also use extra layers of filo as you go- 5 layers is a guideline but 6 will do no harm. – Do not stress if some sheets get torn, once its baked you will not be able to tell at all.

Preheat the oven to 350

Once you have finished the top layer you must cut the baklava (before cooking) into square or diamond shapes – a small-serrated knife works best for this.

Place the baklava in the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes

While the baklava is baking you can make the syrup.

½ cup water
½ cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil- remove from heat and strain out the zest-
Once the baklava has finished cooking – remove from oven and let cool. After it is has cool for about 2 hour pour the syrup over the baklava. Let the syrup soak in for at least a few minutes before serving

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