Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Baklava

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and those of Central and Southwest Asia. Sticky sweet, flaky and nutty, a small slice of baklava goes a long way, especially with a tiny cup of strong coffee. Serve after a mezze feast. This could be the apt recipe for my 100th post and because of its resemblance with Indian sweets will be very suitable to celebrate the festival of colors i.e "Holi"

HAPPY HOLI !!!!



Serve:                      8-10

Preparation time:      1 hr (including baking time)


Ingredients

Ready-made filo pastry:                    14 sheets (unwrap and keep under a damp tea-towel)
Unsalted butter:                                225 grams
Almond and walnuts:                        225 grams , roughly grounded
Granulated sugar:                              2 tablespoon
Cardamom powder:                          1 tsp
Pistachio:                                          2 table spoon (chopped to garnish)

For the syrup
Granulated sugar:                              350 grams
Water:                                              300 ml
Lemon juice:                                     1 teaspoon




Method
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degree C.
2) Grease a 17cm x 28cm baking tray with butter.
3) Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat or in a microwave.
4) Lay 4 sheets of filo pastry, one at a time, into the tray, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.
5) In a clean bowl, mix together the nuts, sugar and cardamom and spread the 1/3 mixture over the pastry in the tray.
6) Layer up the another 2 sheets on top of the nut mixture, brushing each sheet with butter, as before.
7) Repeat the step 5 and 6 twice and after that layer the remaining 4 sheet over it brushing each sheet with butter.
8) Using a sharp knife, cut a criss-cross pattern into the layers of the pastry.
9) Place baklava in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 150C and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly puffed and golden on top. Do not allow the top to burn. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
10) For the syrup, heat the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has melted and a syrup is formed. Cook for another 5 minutes after the sugar is dissolved.
11) Pour the syrup on to the baklava and leave to cool. Garnish it with pistachio and serve.

BON APPETIT..