rolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingersrolled baklava fingers

"Baklava" is right up there with moussaka and spanakopita for things we love to eat and rarely make (or at least not often enough).

The preparation of the baklava filling, the layering of the fragile filo dough, the buttering and the assembly could hinder anyone's good intentions as well as their wavering appetites. A big thanks to my sister who gave this a try after she saw this recipe prepared by a Greek pastry chef in Greece named Sophocles (so wise, thank-you Sophocles). This recipe is clever because of the way in which the steps are quick and separated (watch the video to understand). I decided it to give it a try for the first time on last New Year's day deciding to invite a few friends over for dinner. The invitation had been sent around 1:30 pm and I had decided that it was a good time for a New Year's nap. Getting up calmly at 3:30 pm and checking my phone to discover that the dinner invitations had been accepted (they would arrive 4 hours later) and unfortunately, the roll of filo dough was still in the freezer and would require at least a few hours to de-frost in order to be manageable. I was now less calm. I didn't have much of a choice, it was going to have to be a filo-based meal, with a large spinach feta pie and a baklava dessert. I started at 4 pm (with the fillings while waiting for the dough to defrost) and by 7 pm everything was ready …

See ? Eeee-Zeee !

rolled baklava fingers

28.03.2015

12 baklava fingers (approx. 70 grams each)

ingredients

  • 12 sheets of filo dough about 250 grams or half a pack (my sheets measure 37x29cm or 14,5x11,5 inches)
  • 40-50 grams ground almond powder
  • 40-50 grams ground walnut powder
  • 40-50 grams ground pistachio powder
  • 175 grams melted butter

syrup

  • 150 grams sugar
  • 100 grams orange juice
  • 100 grams water
  • 1 tbsp orange and/or lemon peel or 1 tsp zest
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 stick vanilla or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • optional : a few leaves of lemon geranium (or 1 tsp of orange-blossom water or rose water)

instructions

part 1 - filling and shaping the baklava fingers

  • layer 2 sheets of (dry and non-buttered) filo dough, one on top of the other
  • fold over the shorter side edge closest to you (about 4 cm or 1 1/2 inches)
  • place your thin baguette or rod or tube across the folded edge
  • sprinkle approximately 2 tbsp of the ground nuts powders across the entire surface
  • using the baguette, loosely roll everything up
  • with your fingers on the outer ends, gently compress the filo roll (like an accordian) into a shorter roll and remove baguette
  • place inside your chosen baking dish (i used a 18x18cm or 7x7 inch square pan)
  • repeat until you’ve filled up the baking dish and they all fit snuggly inside (but not too tightly so that the butter can seep through)
  • cut the long baklava rolls in half-lengths (for the butter to soak through easily)

feel free to cut them to size to fit snuggly in any type of baking dish/pan whether they are aligned in a square or rectangular dish or in a spiral in a round dish

part 2 - baking

  • melt the butter in a small saucepan
  • heat oven to 150°C (300°F)
  • brush butter on top of the rolled baklava fingers (fitted snuggly in the baking dish or pan) and pour the remaining melted butter to envelope and soak the baklava fingers completely
  • bake for 75-90 minutes (or more if you make a larger pan) until golden and most of the butter has been well absorbed
  • let cool for 5 minutes before adding the syrup, it should be warm

every 30 minutes, brush some melted butter on the top of the baklava fingers to avoid excessive browning on the top surface

part 3 - syrup

  • in a saucepan, add all syrup ingrediants together and boil for 5 minutes then lower heat and let simmer for another 15 minutes
  • pour the warm syrup over the warm baklava fingers and let sit and cool for 2 hours or longer (refrigeration is optional, they will keep for a week on the countertop)
  • garnish with remaining ground pistachio powder and serve cold or at room temperature