No.183 Chocolate & Pistachio Baklava

Baklava is a true middle eastern delicacy and once you have tried to make it you appreciate the skill involved.  We are not in Istanbul or Dubai and the likelihood of you having a middle eastern bakery nearby is slim. This is a chocolate and pistachio baklava, my favourite, but you can make plain baklava by omitting the cocoa powder.

This is definitely a great treat to impress guests but you do need to practice this a few times. I have personally had many failures when working on this recipe. Practice makes perfect.

Serves: 8

Time: 1 Hour

Difficulty: Pernickety

Pastry

250g (1 pack) of Filo Pastry

125g of Pistachios

100g of Butter

5 tablespoons of Butter

3 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder

Syrup

200g of White Sugar or 100g of White Sugar and 100g of Soft Light Brown Sugar

120ml of Water

1 tablespoon of Lemon or Lime Juice

1 tablespoon of Honey

  1. Cut the filo sheets into 14 sheets that can fit into a small high rimmed baking tin or Pyrex dish. Dust the sheets with the cocoa powder and with a rolling pin press the powder into the sheets.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  3. Finely chop the pistachios
  4. Melt the butter and brush the bottom of the baking tin with butter. Place a layer of filo and brush with butter. Repeat 6 times.
  5. Evenly spread the chopped pistachios on the assembled pastry.
  6. Add another layer of filo and brush with butter until you have added 7 layers of filo.
  7. With a very sharp knife cut in small squares (12-16) in the baking tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes depending on how the filo is crisping up ensuring it does not burn.
  9. Meanwhile bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar, lemon juice and honey. Reduce until a syrup forms that sticks to the back of a teaspoon. Then allow to cool.
  10. Once the baklava has come out of the oven pour over the syrup and allow to cool before serving.

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