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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

I just wanted to drop you a few lines to express just how much Charlie and I enjoyed our trip last week. We returned home yesterday with hundreds of photos and a lifetime of memories.
I cannot thank enough, the Dream Crew, Mahmood and our wonderful guide Ahmed, for their outstanding service; nothing was too much trouble for them and they all worked tirelessly (and seamlessly) to provide exceptional service. It was without fault. Ahmed particularly was incredible, with his extensive knowledge of all things Egyptian and we wish him well with his studies finishing his PhD in Egyptology!
When the boat was caught up in a sandstorm, the crew moved our dining location downstairs to the lounge without it seems, any great effort and ensured our safety at all times. We appreciated this very much. Again, an experience we are very unlikely to every have again. Who would have thought that we would have been caught up on a sandstorm, when on a boat, sailing down the Nile? Despite being forced to moor up for longer than expected, we did not feel that we had missed out on anything and efforts were made to ensure that we made up for lost time too. What a story to tell our Grandchildren! I have been told that this was an exceptionally rare experience which makes it all the more interesting.
We have seen sights which we are not likely to see again and the ‘piece de la resistance’ was being able to go to the valley of the Kings which somehow, I had missed on the itinerary! What an absolute bonus. To be able to get inside some of the tombs and see their magnificent artwork was mind blowing.
Finally, I also wanted to praise the wonderful cook who, despite the small kitchen, produced meal after meal of wonderful food and just how he managed to get 12 plates of food out for serving at the same time, was mind blowing. We’ve been to bigger restaurants who have failed to do that for just a handful of us. The food was wonderful and to be able to get a sample of local Egyptian food to eat, was brilliant. On one occasion, he produced battered fish which was possibly the best we have ever tasted.
All in all, it has been the best holiday we have every had, thanks in no small part, to the wonderful organisation and service provided by everyone on the Dream.
Kind regards,
Susan and Charlie (aka Queen Hatshepsut and Seti I)
Travel Date March 2020

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