For National Baklava Day, Greek American Diane Kochilas from the television series My Greek Table, has shared an easy to follow recipe for you to try at home.
“Everyone loves baklava, but it’s not something a lot of people may want to attempt at home for fear of working with phyllo. In this version, the nut filling is the same, there’s no syrup, and the puff pastry roll up is very easy. I’ve take a few liberties by adding chocolate and heat!” says Diane.
2/3 cup coarsely ground roasted unsalted pistachios, preferably Aeginis
2/3 cup coarsely ground walnuts
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or cayenne (optional)
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cup chocolate hazelnut cream
1 egg lightly beaten
Confectioner’s sugar or Greek honey (optional)
1 sheet puff pastry
1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. Combine the nuts, Aleppo pepper or cayenne, sugar, spices and orange zest in a bowl.
3. On a clean, dry surface, unroll the puff pastry sheet and gently spread the chocolate-hazelnut cream over the surface. Don’t spread the chocolate cream all the way to the edge, to avoid it leaking out during baking. Sprinkle the nut and spice mixture over the chocolate.
4. Take one of the long ends of the puff pastry and roll gently inwards into a tight cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into slices about 2 cm wide. Place on the baking sheet, gently pinching the centre to form a slight crescent, if desired. You can bake them as ovals as well.
5. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Sprinkle, if desired, with confectioner’s sugar, or drizzle with Greek honey. Serve.
For more recipes, visit https://www.dianekochilas.com/