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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Chocolate Baklava

makes 24 servings
recipe adapted from Cooking Light
prep time: 45 min / cook time: 35 min

3/4 c honey
1/2 c water
1 cinnamon stick (3" long)
1 c hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
1/2 c toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 c roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 c blanched toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 c toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
Cooking spray
24 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14" x 9") , thawed
* I used 20 sheets
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
* I didn't find this to be enough to coat all the phyllo, so I used 3/4 c

• Combine the honey, water and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir until honey dissolves.
• Increase heat to medium; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230˚ F (about 10 min).
• Remove from heat; keep warm. Discard cinnamon stick.
• Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
• In a bowl, combine all nuts, ground cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
• Place hazelnut-chocolate spread in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 30 seconds or until melted.
• Lightly coat a 13" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray.
• Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining dough with a damp cloth to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing ends of sheet to extend over edges of dish; lightly brush with butter. Repeat procedure with 4 phyllo sheets and butter (total of 5 layered sheets).
• Drizzle about 1/3 c melted hazelnut-chocolate spread over phyllo.
• Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 of nut mixture (about 1/2 cup).
• Repeat procedure twice with phyllo, butter, hazelnut-chocolate spread and nut mixture.
• Top last layer of nut mixture with remaining 5 sheets of phyllo, each lightly brushed with butter. Press gently into pan.
• Make 3 lengthwise cuts and 5 crosswise cuts to form 24 portions using a sharp knife.
* I wanted larger portions, so I had a total of 18 portions. You can cut them any size or shape you want, squares, diamonds or triangles.
• Bake for 35 minutes or until phyllo is golden. Remove from oven.
• Drizzle honey mixture over baklava. Cool in a pan on a wire rack.
• Cover and store at room temperature.

I use a food processor to chop the nuts. I recommend chopping the nuts individually because the sizes of each variety will be different. Be sure to chop them all to about the same size.
• I used a silicone brush and "brushing" with it seemed to tear the phyllo. Patting the butter on each sheet of phyllo worked better for me. I also started from the outside in, pressing the phyllo into the corners of the pan helped keep the phyllo from moving around.
• When spreading the hazelnut-chocolate spread, either use the back of a metal spoon or an offset icing spatula. I had issues with tearing through the phyllo below when using a silicone spatula.
When cutting, be sure to use a very sharp knife and use a sawing motion. Dragging your knife will only tear the phyllo.
For helpful hints on how to store, thaw and handle phyllo, please visit this link.




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