In what can only be considered a glitch in the space/time continuation, I managed to post a recipe for chocolate baklava WITHOUT ACTUALLY INCLUDING THE CHOCOLATE. I have correct that glaring/mind-boggling/insane omission in this re-post. This is also more – much, much MORE! – to my personal baklava/paklava/choclava story, so stayed tuned for further installments.
In the 1980’s chocolate finally came into it’s own in a way that has stayed the course.
It was a chocolate happy decade….like anything chocolate can be UN-happy! In this premier, charter issue of Chocolatier Magazine was the first place I saw the words ‘chocolate’ and ‘baklava’ together, two great things are are even greater together.Was I a charter subscriber? Oh, YES I was. Do I have years worth of back issues that are now commanding fairly high prices on e-Bay? Hmmm, maybe some photocopying is in order, and then…….but first, back to
This is a word that has a happy sound.
The recipe I’m going to share is from the cookbook Caramel Knowledge, because the ’80’s gave us more then one version of the chocolate baklava, and although I remember making them, I never noted which one was THE ONE. Sometimes there’s more then one, and that’s OK, too.
1 # frozen filo dough
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
3 ½ sticks unsalted butter, divided
8 (1 –ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate (or 1-1/3 cups chips)
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Thaw the filo (take it out of the freezer the night before)
- Chop the walnuts very fine. Add sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
- Trim the stack of filo sheets to the size of your raised edge baking pan – 11 x 17 or 11x 15, whichever you’ve got. Cover the stack of filo with a barely damp towel, and keep it covered while working. Dried out filo can get pretty messy……
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Melt the remaining butter with the chocolate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Brush baking pan with melted butter. Lay on one sheet of filo. Brush filo with chocolate/butter. Top with another filo sheet, brush with chocolate/butter. Repeat until you have 10 sheets of filo in the pan.
- After the 10th sheet is brushed with butter/chocolate, sprinkled evenly with the nut mix.
- Now filo with chocolate butter, and then a second one…
- Another ½ cup of nuts all around on top of the chocolate butter…
- Continue sprinkling ½ cup of nuts on every other sheet on top of the chocolate butter.
- The last 2 or 3 sheets should have no nuts, just chocolate butter.
- Chocolate butter on top of the top sheet.
- With a sharp knife, cut the cholava. Cut it before it’s baked or you’ll end up with a very large pan of really tasty crumbs. Really. A very messy pan of very tasty bits that can be served over ice cream, but will not look good at all on a serving plate. Make a series of parallel cuts one inch apart down the length of the pan, then make diagonal cuts 2 inches apart from the side to make the classic diamond shaped pieces. Or make squares.
- Smooth out the top layer.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
- Lower oven temp to 300° and bake for another hour.
- Make sugar syrup :
- In large saucepan stir together sugar, water and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved.
- Cook over high heat – without any more stirring – until mixture comes to a boil
- Lower heat and continue boiling for 20 minutes
- When the cholava is done and out of the oven and still hot, spoon about two thirds of the syrup over it
- About an hour later when the first part of the syrup has soaked in, spoon the rest on.
- Allow it to rest several hours before serving. If you didn’t cut it into pieces before you put it into the oven, go and buy some ice cream now and use the chocolaty/nutty/cinnamony/crispy/ buttery goodness as a topping…..
- “I am told that baklava will keep for several weeks if merely covered with plastic wrap and not refrigerated. It can also be frozen, I am informed. I don’t know. I didn’t have that much left.” Al Sicherman
- Ditto. KMW
Al Sicherman. Caramel Knowledge. Harper & Row, 1988.p.220.