Sorry for the lack of posts the past 2 weeks. I just got back from a holiday in New Zealand (: So I am all refreshed and ready to keep the blog going! It was a fantastic trip; spending time with family and eating absolutely delicious food! I couldn’t believe 11 days went by in a jiffy. Time always seems to fly when we are having fun. Will definitely head back for another holiday in time to come!
We were so fortunate that we have family living in Auckland so we were able to live in their beautiful place for the 11 days. Just feel so calm and serene. Love their place! It’s really amazing to wake up to this view everyday.
When I first stepped into the house, there was just one word in my mind : WOW! The one room that I absolutely loved was the kitchen. The oven to be more specific!
Doesn’t it look gorgeous? It’s my dream stove/oven! (:
My cousin had a get together with his friends and he was in-charge of desserts so he asked me to teach him to make a Mediterranean dessert and the first thing that popped into my mind was baklava! It was quite brave of me to suggest that as I have never ever made it before. It was just always on my “to-bake” list! Thankfully, it turned out delicious and his friends liked it. *phew*
Nothing beats the combination of butter, nuts and sugar in between layers of crispy pastry. I remember when I use to live in Brunswick, we were able to buy really delicious baklava. Till this day, I would crave for one and have the urge to drive there to get it!
Making baklava was a team effort though. Needed someone to be in-charged of brushing the layers of filo pastry with melted butter, and other to place the layers of the filo perfectly in-line with the rest, another person scattering the nut and sugar mixture. Just made the whole process really fun! Loved every second of it.
Definitely making this again. Soon 😀
Baklava (Adapted from Gourmet Traveller August 2009)
250g pistachios and cashews, finely chopped
50g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g butter, melted
300g filo pastry
Lemon Honey Syrup
150g caster sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1) Combine the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and set aside. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a tray with baking paper.
2) Layer one-third of the filo pastry in tray, brushing butter between each layer. Scatter evenly with half the nut mixture, then top with half the remaining pastry, brushing butter between each layer. Scatter over remaining nuts, top with remaining filo, brushing between each layer with butter. Refrigerate until firm (15 minutes), then cut through all pastry layers into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife. Bake until golden and cooked through (about 30 mins). If needed, cover loosely with foil partway.
3) Meanwhile, for honey syrup, combine sugar, honey, lemon rind and 150ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low, simmer until infused (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, stir through lemon juice and set aside to cool slightly.
4) Cool baklava slightly (2-3 minutes), pour over syrup evenly, set aside at room temperature to cool completely (overnight if possible). Baklava will keep in tray, covered, for 3-4 days. ENJOY!
My favourite way to have it is to pop it into the microwave for 10 secs and have it warm! How do you like to eat your baklava? (: