My honey cake did not turn out like I wanted- very dense like pound cake. So, I decided to try something else, and since baklava is a middle Eastern dessert I figured I should give it a try. I had been avoiding it because phyllo dough is tricky and it is time consuming.
Last night I made one and it took about 30 minutes to get everything prepped, assembled and in the oven. However, it was so worth it. WOW!
So here's the recipe:
1 16oz package of phyllo dough, found in the frozen foods section
1 lb of nuts- I used a combo of walnuts and almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 c honey
orange zest- optional
First you have to thaw the dough in the fridge overnight. Get the butter melted, and the nuts mixed with the cinnamon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get several wet paper towels or a wet tea towel to lay on top of the dough. Unroll on package of dough (they come in two 8oz packages) and lay flat on the wax paper it comes in. Then lay the wet towel on top to keep it from drying out.
Take a 9x13 pan, put two sheets of dough on and use a pastry brush to brush butter on top. Continue layering two sheets of dough and buttering until you have 8 sheets total. On top of the 8th sheet sprinkle 2-3 T nuts, then layer two sheets dough, butter, add nuts and continue tillyou run out of nuts. Then layer and butter 8 more sheets of dough on top. Here's the hard part- take a very sharp knife and cut 4 columns long-ways, like if you were cutting brownies or something. Then start cutting diagonally to make a diamond shape, or just cut across and make squares. It's tricky because the buttered dough sticks to everything. Next time I'll cut the dough first, and then butter the top.Put in oven for 40-50 minutes- until golden brown.
While the dessert is baking make the syrup. Combine sugar and water in saucepan and let simmer. The recipe said 20 minutes, BUT, I forgot and only cooked it for maybe 5 minutes because the dessert was going to get overcooked if I let it go the whole 20 minutes. Then I added the honey, orange zest and vanilla. When baklava is done, pour the hot syrup all over and let cool. It will look like too much liquid, but since everything is hot, as it cools it will absorb the sauce. After about 30 minutes it was cool enough to taste.
YUMMY!!! I didn't really taste the orange, so I might serve it with my homemade orange marmalade spooned on top. I guess I'll just have to test it later :)