Some awesome projects posted so far, I especially love the little whale purse, too cute!
I am back for another round with team randomizer, and hope to get plenty more crafts done this time.
Prompt: September battle royale - EVIL!
Bonus Points: Engineering
Project Name: Baklava
Brief Description: One of my absolute all time favourite desserts is baklava, I have been making it for about ten years now, and it still makes me incredibly happy. The crisp flaky pastry, the crunchy mix of nuts, the sweet sticky syrup, this definitely ticks all the boxes for me! So why is it on the side of evil, instead of good, you may be wondering? ALL THAT BUTTER. I used a full 250g block in this recipe. Then there is all the sugar, and honey... definitely not a 'good for you' dessert! As I have been making this for years I don't really measure anything out, so this recipe is just an approximation!
1 box filo pastry
250g unsalted butter
2 c nuts (pistachios and walnuts are traditional, I used these as well as almonds)
1c sugar (divided into two half cup portions)
1 cinnamon quill
6 whole cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
1 orange (not traditional, but I love orange flavour)
Traditionally the syrup is made with either rose water or orange blossom. Despite the fact that I live in a very multi cultural area I couldn't find either, which is why I just used an orange instead. If you can get your hands on some I implore you to do it! It adds a whole new level of delicious to this dish!
Start by making the syrup, as you want it to be completely cool before pouring it over the baked baklava.
Simply simmer the honey, half a cup of the sugar, the juice of the orange (zest that bad boy first tho!) with the vanilla and spices, and about 1/2c of water. Once it has reduced by about half take it off the heat and leave to cool.
Roughly chop up the nuts, combine in a large bowl with the rest of the sugar and the zest from the orange.
Melt the butter. SO MUCH BUTTER.
Using a pastry brush, butter the base and sides of a deep baking dish.
Layer the filo in the dish, brushing each layer with butter as you do so. Filo pastry can be a bit tricky to work with, keep it under a damp teatowel and work as quickly and gently as you possibly can. Don't stress if you rip a few pieces, it'll be fine!
After about ten layers, cover the pastry with 3/4 of the nut mixture. If your filo is larger than your dish I like to let the edges hang over and then fold them over the top of the dough. Keep layering and buttering your pastry, after another six or so layers add the rest of the nuts and keep going until you run out of pastry.
Cut the baklava into small squares or diamonds, this is a very rich dessert so you only want them to be an inch and a half or so.
Bake the baklava in an oven preheated to about 200'C. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until pastry is crisp and golden.
Immediately pour cool syrup over hot baklava, it will bubble up and then soak right in.
If you have any restraint, allow to cool before eating. Or just dig right in.
Baklava lasts for about 4 days covered on the benchtop or in the pantry, I wouldn't recommend refrigerating. It tastes even better on the second day, because that delicious syrup has had time to soak into everything.
If you are feeling REALLY decadent, baklava goes excellent with cream.
All ready to eat, are you drooling yet?
And a bunch of in progress shots...