Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dessert 2: Baklava

 Since my Key Lime Pie worked out pretty well, I figured that I would attempt another dessert.  After countless hours of research I settled on Baklava.  This link is the recipe that I used, and it is shown below.


  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 1 pound chopped nuts
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
  4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.


I made a few changes based on the recommendations of other users.  The first change was to the nut mixture.  In addition to the cinnamon I also added 1/4 cup of sugar to the nuts and tossed it.  I am not sure that this needed it, but since I was using all walnuts, I thought the sugar might be good.
The second change was in the sauce.  I made 1.5 times the sauce that they called for.  This meant 1.5 cups water, 1.5 cups sugar, 1.5 teaspoons vanilla, and 3/4 cup honey.  I increased the honey to 1 cup in addition to that.
The last change I made was that I cooked it at 325 degrees instead of 350.

The Process

One of the recommendations was to make the sauce and then cool it.  This sounded good to me, so I started there.  The sauce was pretty easy to make.  Once that was done, I set it aside to cool.
Then I began chopping up the nuts.  I don't own a chopper, so that took quite a while, but the end result of the nuts tossed with cinnamon and sugar. 

I then began with the phyllo dough.  I let the dough thaw a little bit before using.  The recipe called for the dough to be cut in two.  Instead of doing that, I followed one of the recommendation and simply folded it over.  Here  is the dough laid out:

And here is the first layer of the Baklava.  I laid 4 sheets folded over.  After each fold I buttered the top layer lightly.  I melted the butter and then used a brush to apply the butter.  You have to be very gentle to not rip the dough.

After the first layer I applied the nuts.  The recipe called for 2 tablespoons of the mixture, but that was not nearly enough, so I just filled the layer with nuts.

Then I continued layering.  After a layer of nuts it was one folded layer of dough, then butter, then nuts, then repeat.  The top layer was 3 sheets.

Finally, I cut the Baklava into squares and put it into the oven.

After the dessert was in the oven, Sprinkles decided to check out the dishes.  This was not nearly as exciting as dishes that involve meat.  So she soon left.

I checked the Baklava after 45 minutes and it was pretty close to done.  I let it go for a few extra minutes, then pulled it out.

I then slowly spooned the honey sauce over the Baklava.  It doesn't really look that different, but the picture below has the sauce spooned over it.

Here is a picture of one of the pieces.  I thought that this turned out really well.  The bottom layer was soaked in honey and delicious.  I'm not very good at describing food, but this was well worth the effort and I highly recommend it.


Eric said...

Got any leftovers? :)

(P.S. I'm on my third attempt of proving I'm not a robot. I wonder...)

The Elephant said...

Sadly, no. That's what you get for going to Japan for a week :P