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How to make Baklava in 4 easy steps

How to make Baklava in 4 easy steps

Baklava

Baklava has become one of my most favourite sweet treats after taking a Nile cruise on the Dahabiya Dream. It was so delicious I asked the chef to show me how he made it. I was surprised how easy it was and so here we go:
Ingredients
The syrup
500gr/2 cups sugar
500ml/2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
½ Lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat all together until the sugar is dissolved and then simmer for 15 minutes – leave to cool – don’t pour hot syrup over hot pastry as it will go soggy – no one likes soggy pastry!

The filling
225gr/2 cups of pistachio nuts, walnuts and almonds (I use mostly pistachio’s as they are my favourite).
¼ cup sugar – I use soft brown sugar
1 big teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Put all together in a mortar or bowl and crush to a coarse texture

The pastry
375gr/1 pack of ready-made filo pastry– take out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. Have a damp cloth ready to cover and keep the pastry damp while you are using it. If it dries out it will crack.
250gr melted unsalted butter

Grease a 28cm x 18cm shallow baking tin with the melted butter (using a pastry brush if you have one) and then layer 4 sheets of pastry in the tin, brushing each sheet with butter. You don’t have to be neat, just fold over any extra pastry. Then put half of the nut mixture followed by another 4 sheets of pastry, then the rest of the nuts and finish with a pastry layer. Brush the top with butter and cut into diamonds with a sharp knife – ensure the blade goes right to the bottom.
Bake at 180c/gas 4 on the middle shelf of the oven on a hot baking sheet for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, reducing the temperature to 170C/gas 3 if the baklava looks as though it is browning too quickly.

Remove the baklava from the oven and spoon half the cooled syrup over the top. Leave for 5 minutes before pouring over the remaining syrup. Allow the baklava to cool before removing the individual pieces from the dish.

If you are interested in any of our culinary experience holidays then contact us on 01252 641989 or email holidays@exploretravelandcruises.com

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What our clients have to say

What a unique experience this was for my husband and I and a group of friends ( 5 other couples). I felt like we were going back in time and living the life that a well to do 19th century family would have while they were sojourning down the Nile River. The decor of the living spaces on the second level upstairs on the upper deck looked like pieces you would see in a palace of royalty. The bedrooms on the first level that had windows that opened up just above the water level were spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfy as can be!!
The staff on the boat, and there were many, were so very attentive and tried their hardest to meet our every need and also surprised us with daily unexpected niceties and full on entertainment. The food was all homemade and delicious. Our chef was quite talented and the meals were never repeated( except for breakfast which was made to order eggs and an assortment of breads/muffins/croissants and fruit etc. Coffee and tea always available.
The tours that were scheduled for us were so well run and our Egyptologist, Ahmed , was obtaining his Ph.D in Egyptology and was so very interesting and knowledgeable. We had the opportunity to go on a hot air balloon ride and also a trip to Abu Simbel which were both amazing and unforgettable. After every tour we arrived back on the boat and were greeted by Tito and Adam with specialty cold lovely drinks and cold lemon scented wet towels to refresh ourselves with.
Tito took us shopping in the Luxor Market for a couple of hours the day before we left. He helped us negotiate the goods we purchased which was a huge help.
Lastly I have to mention our Dahabiya Cruise Captain, Mahmoud . This guy was amazing! He made sure we had everything we needed and kept us entertained with his humour and incredible dancing skills. Our group learned so much about the Egyptian culture from him during our dinner conversations.
Our group all agreed that we would miss these wonderful, thoughtful people that we spent a week with and hope they all knew how much we appreciated each one of them.

Joan Mancini
Travel date Sept 2021

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