extra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigarsextra-aromatic rolled baklava cigars

The “NEW & IMPROVED” 2.0 VERSION … or just a better and more intense version of my rolled baklava fingers (renamed as “cigars” here) ! Why ? Because I realized that regular baklava that is usually prepared as a flat & multi-layered dish, and then sliced in squares and served was almost always more intense in flavor because it was much thicker and more nut-filled so this is just a recipe adjustment for a “new & improved” version of a recipe I often make and have been adjusting over time. I thought I’d share it with you as a “spring ritual”.

The flavor intensification requires several additional steps and ingredients. Roasting the nuts before reducing them into powders, intensifies their flavors. Using no water and just citrus juices (preferably orange, lemon and lime used together) to make the syrup, and adding some orange-blossom water and geranium water right at the end (just like floral rose water and often used in Mediterranean cooking) brightens the flavor and serves as a contrast to the roasted flavors of the nuts and the extra spiciness of the cinnamon and cloves, but also allspice and nutmeg, added here.

Otherwise, it’s almost the same recipe (see the 1st version of this recipe here) but “tweaked” to become toastier + nuttier + spicier + brighter + fruitier + sweeter = more intense. 

SPRING is here ! But is it almost SPRING where you are ? . . . :)

extra-aromatic rolled baklava cigars

23.03.2019

12 pieces (approximately 85 grams each)

ingredients

filo dough :

  • 240 grams (12 sheets or almost half a pack) thin filo dough (my sheets measure 35 cm x 30 cm)

mixed nuts :

  • 50 grams (¼ cup) roasted walnuts
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) roasted almonds
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) roasted pistachios 
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) roasted hazelnuts

for baking :

  • 200 grams (¾ cup + 1 ½ tbsp) melted butter

syrup :

  • 195 grams (1 cup) sugar
  • 120 grams (½ cup) fresh orange juice
  • 60 grams (¼ cup) fresh lemon juice
  • 30 grams (2 tbsp) fresh lime juice
  • 5 grams (1 tbsp) orange peel 
  • 2,5 grams (½ tbsp) lemon peel
  • 1,25 grams (1 tsp) lime peel
  • 0,5 gram (6-7 whole) cloves
  • 10 grams (2 whole) cinnamon sticks
  • 0,5 gram (3 whole) allspice peppercorns
  • 0,5 gram (1 small sliver/slice) of whole nutmeg
  • 2 grams (1 split & scraped) vanilla bean or 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 50 grams (2 ½ tbsp) thyme honey
  • 0,5 gram (1/8 tsp) fine sea  salt
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) of orange blossom water 
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) geranium/perlargonium water (or a few scented leaves) 

instructions

  • preheat the oven to 200°C and roast the nuts for 5 minutes (keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn), remove from the oven and let cool before placing in a food-processor and pulsing until reduced to a fine powder
  • lay 2 sheets of (dry and non-buttered) filo dough, one on top of the other
  • note : filo dough is fragile and rips and dries out quickly, cover with a sheet of baking paper and lay a clean kitchen towel that is slightly damp on top !
  • fold over the shorter side edge (about 4 cm), place your thin baguette or rod or tube across the folded edge
  • sprinkle approximately 3 tbsp of the ground nuts powders across the entire surface and even out carefully
  • using the baguette, loosely roll everything up
  • with your fingers on the outer ends, gently compress the filo roll (like an accordion) into a shorter roll and carefully remove/pull off the baguette
  • place inside your chosen baking dish (I used a 18 cm x 18 cm square pan)
  • repeat until you’ve filled up the baking dish with 6 longer rolls 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)
  • preheat oven to 150°C
  • brush butter on top of the rolled baklava fingers (fitted snuggly in the baking dish or pan) and pour the remaining melted butter to completely soak the baklava roll completely
  • bake for 75-90 minutes until golden and all of the butter has been well absorbed (after 45 minutes, tilt the pan slightly and re-brush with the melted butter on the top surfaces
  • while the baklava rolls are baking, prepare the syrup
  • in a saucepan, combine the sugar and juices and bring to a boil while stirring for 5 minutes then lower heat to medium-low, add the remaining ingredients (except for the floral waters) and let simmer for another 20-30 minutes until thicker, then add the floral waters, remove from the heat and let cool down before straining
  • pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava rolls and let sit and cool on the countertop for 6 hours minimum but ideally overnight for 12 hours 
  • note : do not refrigerate or they will get soggy, they will keep for a week on the countertop
  • garnish with some additional citrus zests and crushed pistachios and serve at room temperature.