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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Turkish Baklava

The baklava is a sweet dessert made of layers of phillo pastry, sugar syrup, butter and ground nuts (sometimes also cream) traditional to the areas belonging to the former Ottoman Empire. But since these areas comprise many peoples, there are a lot of ethnic traditional versions of it.
This time I'll present you the most known one, the Turkish version. More are to follow eventually.
I'm sure almost everyone ate baklava at least once and loved it, but I sensed that the general impression (at least among people who don't take cooking as seriously as I tend to) is that it's a hard to make dessert. I'll show you that couldn't be further to the truth :).

Last year: Endive and apple salad with poppy seed vinaigrette (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Dagaiku imo (Japanese sweet potatoes with honey and sesame) (vegan).
Three years ago: Winter wheat berries soup with capers (vegan) and Endive and bacon pasta.


  • 250 g yuka (or phillo) dough sheets (1 package)
  • 400 g ground walnuts
  • 125 g melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • For the syrup:
    • 250 ml water
    • 200 g sugar
    • 50 ml honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
    Melt the butter with the cinnamon in a pan and prepare a pastry brush (or use your fingers if you don't have one).
    Put some baking paper on a large tray (large enough to match the size of the rolled out dough sheets or larger). Put one dough sheet on the tray and brush it with melted butter. Top with another one and brush it as well:

    Top by sprinkling an even layer of ground walnuts:

    Put another 2 layers of dough on top (each of them brushed with cinnamon butter as well) and then top with more nuts and so on until you finish. The top of the cake must be a dough layer. After you've assembled it all, cut it into squares (it will be much harder after it's done).

    Put into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes (check once in a while and consider it done when it's slightly browned on top).
    Meanwhile make the syrup by mixing and boiling the ingredients on low heat for 30 minutes (both the cake and the syrup should be ready about the same time).
    Take the cake out of the oven when it's done:

    Brush it all over with the syrup and pour the rest over it (don't worry the cake will soak it all up).

    The baklava is done. It will get better and better as it rests (peaking after 2 days) but it will be delicious right now as well, so get a piece or two on a plate and dig in! :)

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