I just came to know that my baklava always looked messed up because of the quality of phyllo dough I was using. To show you how awkward it looked, please see here.
Since I have no plans to make a baklava dough at home, I have no space for that either, I still have to rely on the phyllo dough sold in supermarket, strictly made for such sweets.
Where I live now (Middle-East), baklava is pretty much everywhere, there are the Lebanese/Syrian versions, Palestinians, Gulf-spiced versions.. But I just can’t get hold of the Turkish Baklava, the one with walnuts, which is why I’m making it.
While in Turkey, I used to go to Mado, they make sweets and ice-cream. They’re walnut baklava tasted good but was heavily soaked in syrup, which makes you feel instantly guilty once you eat it. If you are looking for a Diabetic coma, it would be the right way to start.
Talking about Turkey, did you know thay they make an amazing walnut ice-cream? You need to jump into one of these ships offering the Bosphorus tour, which will take you to the very last village at the end of the river where they have an outstanding range of ice-creams, but what makes me go back there is the walnut version.
Back to my recipe, I have used a made-ahead filling that’s been frozen few weeks now, hence the color. But you should make yours fresh. That said, the frozen one wasn’t bad in taste.
I’m mixing walnut and pine nut so they balance each other. You can choose any ratio you want. You can use the same recipe to make almond baklava, pistachio, or totally pine nut version. I wonder if there is anyone who tried the hazelnut (does it exist?).
The baklava cigars/rolls are easier to make then the other version where you have to make layers and pre-cut lozenges. So there is no reason you shouldn’t try (except if you are on diet).
For 8 or 10 rolls
Prep: 30 min – baking: 30 min
The baklava rolls
- 80 g of clarified butter
- 1 cup of toasted walnuts
- 1 cup of toasted pine nut
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- A pinch of clove, or nutmeg, or cardamom (optional)
- 1 heaped tbsp sugar
- 4 to 6 sheets of phyllo dough
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- 2/3 cup of water
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of rose water or orange blossom water
- 1 crushed green cardamom pod or 1 clove (optional)
Syrup (make ahead)
Bring water, sugar and lemon to a boil, cook for 10 min or so. Add rose water or orange blossom water at the end. Set aside to cool.
Making the rolls
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a baking sheet with clarified. Reserve.
Toast walnuts and pine nuts for few minutes in the over. Try to get rid of the walnut skin as much as you can. Let them cool for 10 min.
In a food processor, Pulse the walnut coarsely. Pulse the pine nuts coarsely. Mix them.
Fold in the sugar, cinnamon and any other spice you choose to add (cloves, nutmeg..). pulse one more time to combine. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Cut the phyllo sheets in 3. Cover them until you need them or they’ll dry.
Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a flat work surface, short side facing you. Grease with clarified butter.
Place a second layer and grease it again. Spread a sausage-shape of mixture over phyllo dough.
Leave about 0.5 to 1 cm from both sides without filling.
Make sure the filling is compact, you need to squeeze it firmly. Push your fingers through the 2 holes to make sure it's compact.
The first turn you will give to the roll is the moment where you make sure that your filling and the dough are firmly and evenly squeezed. After this, you just roll until you use all the dough and form a proper cylinder/cigar, starting from the bottom all the way to the top.
Give the rolls a final brush of butter, place them in the baking sheet and bake for about 30 min until golden and crisp.
Pour the cold syrup (or soak) on the rolls straight after you take them out of the oven. Let them sit and absorb the liquid for a couple of minutes.
The baklava keeps for few days, sealed in a good container.