Hello there! I seem to have taken an unintentional break from my blog. I actually made this Baklava way back at the beginning of the accidental break. I've been feeling very 'blah' about almost everything recently. Work is stressful and busy, I have plans every weekend and just never seem to have time for me and Mark. It really got on top of me and I needed some time to step back and do things without worrying about having to bake and write and take pictures.
My weekends have been full of friends going through big life events. Last weekend I went to a hen do, the wedding is in a few weeks time and in 2 weekends I'm throwing a baby shower with my best friend Natalie. We are going to host a full afternoon tea and I'm baking vanilla cupcakes - some with pink frosting and some with blue!
The most exciting news is that Mark and I have booked flights to New York City next May so that we can get married. We always wanted to get married in NYC and I never imagined it would happen, but it's such a brilliant feeling! My Mum, sister and her boyfriend have booked their flights and accommodation. I'm so excited for them to experience the city, and I can't wait to eat all the amazing food!
I don't eat Baklava very often but when I do it feels like such a treat. Sticky and sweet and the pastry is golden and crisp.
This recipe will make 25 pieces in a 23cm square tin. The recipe is adapted from Stacie Bakes.
For the Baklava
200g Pistachios, toasted
200g Hazlenuts, toasted
100g Almonds, toasted
175g caster sugar
4 tablespoons runny honey
1 pack Filo Pastry
200g unsalted butter, melted
200g Speculoos spread, melted
100g crushed Pistachios to top
For the syrup
200g caster sugar
175g runny honey
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup of water
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line the baking pan and set aside.
2. Crush the Pistachios, Hazlenuts and Almonds in a food processor. When they resemble breadcrumbs with a few larger lumps, place into a bowl and stir in the caster sugar and honey. Set aside.
3. Gently unwrap the Filo and set aside, covering with damp kitchen paper to stop the pastry from cracking. Place a sheet of Filo into the tin, brushing with the melted butter. Repeat 3 more times, sprinkling a third of the nut mixture of top of the fourth layer. Drizzle a third of the melted Speculoos spread over the nuts.
4. Top with another 2 sheets of Filo, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle over another third of the nuts and melted Speculoos. Repeat for a final time.
5. Finally, top with a final 4 sheets of Filo, brushing each sheet with butter. Cut into 25 small squares and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
6. To make the syrup put the caster sugar, honey, lemon juice and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down to simmer until the mixture resembles a syrup. Pour over the warm Baklava and sprinkle with the crushed Pistachios. Allow to cool and then place in the fridge for 3 hours.
After making this, I'm not sure why I've never made Baklava before. When I've bought it from a shop, it's seemed really complex but it's so easy to make at home and looks really impressive. Mark was over the moon that he effectively had his own tray of it.
As usual I do have plans for next weekend but they are food related: it's the fourth Oxford Foodies Festival. I'm so excited to eat lots and to watch the chefs they have lined up. I just hope the weather stays good.
I'm pleased to have blogged again and thank you for sticking with me whilst I took a break!