Friday, February 10, 2012

North Cyprus Desserts - Baklava

Baklava is a popular dessert in North Cyprus, made from filo pastry, filled with chopped nuts and then sweetened with syrup or honey. You will find Baklava in nearly all of the supermarkets and sweet shops, and in many restaurants. Although the original country to have made Baklava is under debate, there is strong evidence that the version we know today originated in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. 

Baklava is a very sweet dessert, so most people cannot eat more than a couple of squares at a time. It is commonly served with cream or ice cream in restaurants in North Cyprus. 

To make Baklava (for 16 servings) you will need:

350g pistachio nuts
150g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
150g butter
18 filo pastry sheets
450g sugar
1/2 pint water
icing sugar, to dust

Firstly, you need to blend the pistachio nuts in a food processor until they are the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and cardamom and pulse to mix thoroughly.
Melt the butter in a microwave.

To assemble the baklava:
  • Brush a baking sheet with the melted butter.
  • Layer 6 sheets of filo pastry on top, brushing each one with melted butter.
  • Spread half the pistachio nut mixture over the pastry sheets.
  • Layer with 6 more sheets of buttered filo pastry.
  • Spread the rest of the pistachio nut mixture over the pastry sheets.
  • Finish with 6 more sheets of buttered filo pastry.
  • Cut diagonally into strips, one way and then the other way, to create diamond shaped baklava.
Bake in the oven at 170°C (Electric oven | Electric fan oven 150°C | Gas Mark 3) for 20 minutes. While the baklava is cooking, make the syrup by heating the sugar and water until boiling and then simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

When the baklava is cooked, leave to cool slightly and then arrange on a serving plate. 

Drizzle the syrup over the baklava and dust with icing sugar.

Recipe from 

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