This recipe makes me think of my friends overseas for many reasons. But the main reason is this guy right here. Nutella.
I first had nutella on a crepe with sliced banana in Paris. It was truly the city of love that afternoon. Me and nutella. Soul mates.
Nutella took it’s place again in my life while living in Scotland. The lack of peanut butter (my daily staple for breakfast, lunch or dinner) left me looking for something to fill the empty dip in my spoon. (Because sometimes I eat peanut butter by the spoon…don’t judge!)
Nutella filled that dip. And probably my waistline. But really, who keeps track of these things? I remember sitting around a jar, spoons at the ready, with a particularly nutella-crazed friend, and those are always happy memories.
The pistachios in this recipe also make me think of a lovely Iranian flatmate I had the pleasure of living with my third year. Not only did she make us amazing Iranian dishes, but after visiting her home, she’s return with giant plates of saffron roasted nuts. The pistachios were always the first to go. Let’s be honest, you’ve never eaten just one, have you? And when they’re roasted in saffron they are ridiculously more addicting.
So with these happy memories to ward off my intimidation around making baklava, I pressed onward. And guess what? Totally worth it.
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup nutella, or other hazelnut spread (I’d recommend adding an additional 1/3 cup to this if you like extra chocolately things)
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds
- 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- Cooking spray
- 24 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Combine the nuts in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop.
3. Place the nutella in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds, or until melted. Be careful not to over cook it and stir it frequently if you heat it multiple times.
4. Spray the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time, put down six sheets of phyllo dough. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go up the sides, that’s not necessary. Just cover the bottom of the pan.
5. Top the phyllo sheets with 1/3 cup nutella. Spreading this is the trickiest part, so make sure your nutella is well melted to make it easier on yourself. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top of the nutella.
6. Repeat the process twice with the remaining phyllo sheets, nutella and nuts. You should have six phyllo sheets left at the end of this process. Use these to cover your last nutella/nut layer.
7. Cut the baklava into pieces before you bake it. This may seem odd, but it’s the trick to making sure your baklava doesn’t fall apart on you later.
8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until phyllo is golden brown. While you’re waiting for this to bake. Combine the honey, water and cinnamon stick in a sauce pan and cook over low heat until the honey is completely dissolved in the water. Increase the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep the mixture warm, but don’t simmer, while your baklava is baking.
9. When your baklava is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Then remove the cinnamon stick from the honey sauce and pour the sauce over the baklava, making sure it’s evenly distributed.
10. Let it cool to room temperature and store covered for up to a week.