Homemade Baklava with Nuts and Honey

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Homemade Baklava with Nuts and Honey

Photo: Natalie Levin

The truth is that as a little girl I really couldn’t stand Oriental desserts and sweets such as Baklava or Kadaif. The main reason was because I simply didn’t like nuts at all, and would take out nus from any dessert I was served. So lucky I matured and expanded my horizons in the tastes and flavors departments.

These days I really like desserts with nuts, and in general – nuts and almonds are my favorite kind of snacks daily. Oriental cuisine and Arab desserts have also become a true favorite of mine, and whenever I get the chance, I make these kinds of desserts.

A few months ago, Assaf found an old Moroccan cookbook and we decided to try some recipes out of it. One of the recipes that caught our eyes was baklava. Although it’s a very easy to make dessert, I never got to make baklava at home before, and when I saw the recipe I told him we simply have to try it first and foremost. This baklava is made of layers of phyllo dough filled with lots of nuts, sesame and honey with cinnamon scent. In the end it turns into beautiful sweet squares of pleasure to serve alongside a cup of tea.

Homemade Baklava with Nuts and Honey

Photo: Natalie Levin

Homemade Baklava with Nuts and Honey

Based on a recipe from the book “Moroccan Cooking” by Rivka Levy Malul with our changes and adaptations.

For phyllo layers:

  • 16 of phyllo dough sheets
  • 80 ml. (1/3 cup) vegetable oil

For the filling:

  • 100 grams almonds
  • 70 grams hazelnuts
  • 100 grams pistachios
  • 70 grams of pecans
  • 50 grams of sesame seeds
  • 120 grams (1/3 cup) of honey
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt

For the syrup:

  • 200 grams (1 cup) sugar
  • 180 ml. (3/4 cup) water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Prepare the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c degrees.
  2. Place almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and pecans on an oven pan lined with baking paper and roast for about 10 minutes until golden.
  3. Cool slightly at room temperature.
  4. Grind the nut mixture in a food processor with a steel blade to fine crumbs.
  5. Transfer the ground nuts to a bowl and add sesame, honey, cinnamon and salt. Mix with a spoon until a uniform mixture is obtained.

Assemble the baklava:

  1. Grease the pan well.
  2. Place one phyllo leaf on the base and brush with oil. Top it with another phyllo, brush with oil and again until you get a layer of 4 leaves. Place about 1/3 of the amount of filling and apply to a uniform layer.
  3. Place another four phyllo leaves brushed with oil on top of the nut layer, and another 1/3 of the amount of the filling, and repeat until the filling and the phyllo leaves end. Finish with a top layer of phyllo leaves brushed with oil.

Baking the baklava:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c degrees and bake the baklava for 30-40 minutes until golden.
  2. Remove from the oven and cool slightly at room temperature.

Make the syrup:

  1. Cook sugar, water and lemon juice for 5-10 minutes until thick syrup is obtained.
  2. Pour the hot syrup over the baklava and let it cool completely at room temperature.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour or two and cut into squares of the desired size.
  • Keep the baklava in a closed container for up to a week.
  • It is recommended to serve the baklava at room temperature.
  • It is important not to give up the lemon in syrup because it slightly balances the sweetness.
  • You can use any type of nuts you like.
  • You can use coconut instead of sesame.

Homemade Baklava with Nuts and Honey

Photo: Natalie Levin