A rolled nut and pastry sweet soaked in aromatic honey syrup. They are perfectly with a cup of espresso or perhaps to be truly authentic a Turkish or Greek Coffee. Traditionally your first impression of a Baklava Cigar is its sweetness. This version though, you will be captivated by the aromas, tastes of the nuts and subtle fresh notes of citrus, honey and cloves.
Dating back to Assyrian times in the 8th Century B.C. Assyrians baked thin layers of dough with nuts and poured honey over. It was reportedly enjoyed by the rich as it was considered a luxurious treat.
Today, thousands of years later the Persians, Ottomans and Greeks like to claim it their own. What you will find they are all similar, but with variations of the type and proportion of nut, aromatic waters added perhaps like rose water or the variation of technique when they are made.
Turkish Baklava is sweetened with “serbet” (share-BET) a syrup primarily made on lemon juice and sugar. Greek syrup is mostly made with honey and spices. In this recipe the syrup is a combination of both lemon juice, water , sugar and honey. Styles of both greek and ottoman baklava.
Sometimes, I will omit the sugar and make the syrup solely on honey and the remainder of the ingredients listed as the baklava will contain less refined sugars this way.
Always, allow your syrup to simmer slowly for a good amount of time. The water will evaporate and the syrup mixture will thicken. If you let the syrup thicken too much it will be difficult for the syrup to immerse itself throughout the rolls.
The contrary also applies: if you haven’t allowed the syrup to simmer enough it will be a little watery and when the rolls have cooled after they are immersed in the syrup the phyllo will soften and become ‘soggy’. Something you also don’t want.
If you are enjoying this recipe, perhaps try another greek classic the Lemon and Semolina Syrup Cake or Ravani.
Makes approximately 24 rolls.
You will need a mortar and pestle to freshly ground the spices.
A Food processor to coarsely process the nuts.
Preheat oven to 180 Degree Celsius.
Line Baking Sheet with non-stick baking paper.
- 1 1/4 cup each of walnuts and almonds – 330g nuts total ( equal proportion of walnuts and almonds )
- 5 tablespoons ( 50g) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cloves freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 packet phyllo pastry sheets ( approximately 18 sheets )
- 125g butter melted. Used for brushing sheets.
Aromatic Syrup Ingredients
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 375g pure honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 peels orange zest
The nut filling can be varied with an equal combination of almonds and walnuts. You can add a small portion of pistachios or use a little ground pistachios when sprinkling over the finished rolls.
Pecans work well as well, but I don’t recommend peanuts. They are way too oily and dense.
An Invaluable Tip
Freshly grind your spices always. Omiting this step and buying ground spices from the grocer wont give you that authentic aroma and taste. Ready ground spices are bland in comparison to the freshly ground variety. Their taste and aroma have somewhat mellowed. The same applies for the nuts. It is very easy to tell if freshly ground nuts were not used to make the baklava.
To prevent the phyllo from drying out keep covered at all times with a damp tea towel.
Start with the syrup. Place all the ingredients in a deep saucespan and simmer slowly. Absolutely important to read the tip above.
Preparing the nut mixture
Coarsely ground your walnuts in a food processor. Pulse whilst processing. This will avoid the nuts becoming oily.
Similarly, process almonds to a coarse texture. See picture as a guide.
Process the nuts separately as the almonds take that little longer to process to the texture desired. A little longer is really quite slight – but the difference between processed too finely – but not enough.
Using a mortar and pestle grind the cloves as finely as possible. Grinding your own spices will yield greater flavour. Spices contain essential oils which dissipate quickly when ground. Always grind your own.
In a bowl add all the dry ingredients listed ( except the phyllo ) and mix well with a spoon.
Assembly of the phyllo and nut mixture
Place three sheets of phyllo horizontally on a dry work bench. Brush each sheet with melted butter – lightly. The perimeter and a two brush strokes though the middle. Not too much – just enough for each sheet to stick together.
Cut vertically into four, and with a spoon sprinkle the inside of each long rectangular sheet with the nut mixture. Ensure the perimeter is clear of nuts.
Fold the three sides over excepts the far end and roll tighly.
Continue this method for all of them and place on your baking sheet. Freshly baked baklava rolls , ready for the honey syrup
Bake at 180 degree celsius for 22 minutes or until a light golden colour.
Turn the oven off, and remove from the oven.
Soaking with syrup after Baking
Allow to cool and poor your hot syrup over. Keep the rolls immersed in the syrup for a minute. With a skewer, pierce the underneath side a little ( not all the way through ). This helps the syrup to soak through the roll.
Remove rolls from the syrup. Sprinkle with ground nuts of your choice and cinnamon.
Store in an airtight containter and serve as needed.
Submit your review
This is more than a recipe. Your posts contains lots of little tips that arenao useful. Great post.
Making Baklava Rolls is not a difficult task, requires a little patience to roll each one. The tips and tricks hopefully will make all the difference when it comes to your end result. You want a superb tasting baklava. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.