Sunday, 18 August 2013

Speculoos Baklava

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!


  1. these look amazing claire, ive always been dubious of making baklava, as a turk, ive never felt like i could recreate the real thing myself, but this looks so good!
    congrats on booking your wedding! i am booking new york for my 21st in december soon, i dont even know where to begin with where to eat and would love for you to suggest some places! :) x

    1. Thank you Em, such a lovely thing to say! :] It's not as good as the proper stuff but I was pleased with how it turned out.

      So exciting about your birthday trip to NYC! How long are you going for? With family and/or friends? If you like Mac and Cheese you must go to Sarita's Mac and Cheese - I've not been myself but mac and cheese is my FAVOURITE food in the world and it's supposed to be ace. Babycakes for vegan and gluten free bakes, Baked in Brooklyn for cakes and bakes (they write a series of books which I'm sure you know about), Momofuku Milk Bar for more cakes, Cool Haus Truck for ice cream sandwiches. I have a massive list!! x

    2. Claire, how did I only just see this reply?! Sometimes blogger is so crap. I have thought about making baklava since seeing this btw, ive been at the supermarket, with filo in my hand just like...should i? SHOULD I? and then i start sweating with fear and put the stuff down.

      re ny! me & the boyf have booked 16-22nd dec! i couldnt believe how fast the prices rose? omg. i love mac and cheese, last night we had bacon mac n cheese, does it get any more american?!

      obv i love the baked books, but for some reason didnt even realise it was based in ny? i am so shit. have you ever been to carnigis cheesecake place? my boyf says its the best cheesecake in the entire world, im wondering if he has a retarded palette?


  2. I had this feeling a couple of months ago just before our wedding. I'm finally getting back into doing my regular posts but life takes over and you just need to have a break :) I'm still gutted I missed you Saturday! I would of rather seen you for ten mins than be at silly work! I'm SO excited for you & Mark regarding your wedding plans!! I can't wait to hear all about it and see your dress! Are you going to have a little get together when you get back?

    This recipe looks so yummy and I've never made this before so excited to try it! :) I love Stacie Bakes and its on my list of bake books to purchase xx

    1. Life definitely takes over some times. I make a rod for my own back by planning so much and booking up my weekends months in advance, meaning I never have time just to relax. I've enjoyed the bank holiday weekend though! Glad we are both getting back on top of posting! I always forget just how long editing a blog post takes though!

      Stacie Bakes is a really good book! Easy to follow and a good range of recipes.

      I was so sad I couldn't see you last weekend. Hopefully soon! x

  3. P.s I'd really love to come to one of these food festivals you go to! They look and sound like SO much fun!! x

  4. This looks so good! I love baklava. It's so exciting that you have booked your flights :D I loved New York, I would definitely recommend going to Babycakes bakery if you get the chance. And any of the 99c pizza places are really good as well. I had a blah period with blogging where it was really hard to motivate myself to get back into it, you've picked an awesome recipe to jump back in with though xx

    1. ME TOO! However I always eat far too much. We bought some from the Oxford Foodies Festival yesterday and it's already gone!

      Babycakes is definitely on my (already massive) list. I can't wait to go to Baked in Brooklyn either as they write my favourite books. I am convinced I will come back about 5 stone heavier as both Mark and I have so many places we want to eat!

      How are your wedding plans going? Did I read you're getting married in a museum? SO COOL xx

  5. This looks heavenly, I love baklava.

    Exciting news about your NY wedding though! Sounds fabulous, really excited for you.

    1. Thanks Nelly, I do to. I'd never had it before I met Mark so I feel like I missed out for years.

      Yes I am sooo excited about getting married in NYC. I still can't believe it's happening!! x


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