Sunday Chronicle epicuriosity 17 Nov 2019 The sweet scuffle ov ...

The sweet scuffle over Baklava

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SWATI SHARMA
Published Nov 17, 2019, 4:01 am IST
Updated Nov 17, 2019, 4:05 am IST
The result is a dish so delicious that not only was it served to royalty but numerous ethnic groups claimed it as their own.
Baklava is generally served on special occasions in many areas during religious ceremonies.
 Baklava is generally served on special occasions in many areas during religious ceremonies.

The original Turkish delight, Baklava has undergone a transformation, with the modern-day baklava rich, sweet and high on presentation. Made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts such as walnuts, almonds or pistachios, baklava is sweetened with syrup or honey. The result is a dish so delicious that not only was it served to royalty but numerous ethnic groups claimed it as their own. Baklava is generally served on special occasions in many areas during religious ceremonies. Thus, Christians serve baklava at Christmas and Easter, Muslims eat it during Ramadan, and Jews often enjoy it as a Rosh Hashannah and Purim treat. The biggest and best secret is that baklava is not that hard to make at home either!

PISTACHIO BAKLAVA
INGREDIENTS:
For the syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 strip orange peel

 

For the pastry
1 pound pistachio (toasted)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
16 oz package phyllo dough, thawed
1½ cups unsalted butter

Method
To make the Syrup:

Combine the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

To make the Baklava:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  

Place the pistachio, cinnamon and cloves in a food processor and process until the pistachios are finely ground. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over very low heat, keeping it warm throughout the process so it doesn’t start to solidify.
Brush a 9×13-inch pan with melted butter and place one layer of filo at the bottom. Brush the filo with the melted butter, and then add another layer of filo, and brush with more butter. Continue this process until you have layered seven sheets of filo.

Gently spread one-quarter of the nut mixture evenly over the top of the filo. Repeat the process of layering filo sheets and brushing with melted butter, but this time use only five sheets of filo.

Gently spread another one-quarter of the nut mixture over the top of the filo. Repeat this twice more, layering and buttering five sheets of filo and topping with one-quarter of the nut mixture.

Finish off with seven layers of buttered filo. Brush the top sheet with melted butter as well. Using a sharp knife, trim any ragged pieces of filo dough that has crept up the sides of the pan.

Cut the baklava into 12 even squares, and then cut into triangles (you should have 24 triangles).  Place the pan in the oven and bake until golden brown for about 50 minutes.

As soon as the baklava comes out of the oven, remove the cinnamon stick and orange peel from the syrup and slowly pour it over the hot baklava, making sure to get it into all of the cracks and crevices as well as on the top surface. Allow the baklava to sit for at least 4 hours before serving.

CLASSIC BAKLAVA

Ingredients:
For the Pastry
1 pound walnuts (toasted)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
16 oz package phyllo dough, thawed
1½ cups unsalted butter

For The Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 strip orange peel
Method:

To make the Syrup:
Combine the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

To make the Baklava: (refer to the above method)
Baklava can be stored at room temperature, covered very loosely with a paper towel or foil until ready to serve. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

DRYFRRUIT BAKLAVA
Ingredients
2 boxes filo pastry sheets
2 cups pistachios, shelled, coarsely minced
2 cups walnut, shelled, coarsely minced
2 cups almonds , coarsely minced
2 cups melted butter
1 cup finely minced pistachios, to garnish

For syrup
1 cup sugar
2 glass water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon liquid glucose
Few drops rose water
Few saffron strands

Method
Preheat oven to 300°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll all six filo pastry sheets to fit a baking dish and set aside. Grease pan with room temperature butter. Place one  rolled sheet of filo pastry into pan, then grease pastry sheet with butter. Place another layer of puff pastry on top, then grease with butter. In a medium bowl, coarsely combine chopped pistachios, walnuts and almonds. Pour mixture over filo pastry sheets in dish. Place another filo pastry sheet over the top of the mixture, then grease it with butter. Place the last filo pastry on top and pour remaining butter over it. Use a sharp knife to cut baklava in the shape of a diamond or square. Place baklava in oven and bake until golden brown. The top of the filo pastry should be light golden colour and the papers should appear crispy. Meanwhile, make the thick sugar syrup heating all the ingredients together. Once the baklava comes out of the oven, pour the thick sugar syrup on top. Garnish it with finely ground pistachios.
Yogender Pal, executive chef, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre

FATAR BAKLAVA
Mushroom mix
Ingredients
Mushroom 200 gm
Cream 60 gm
Cheese 30 gm
butter 15
Garlic 10 gm
Thyme 3 gm
Salt to taste
Pepper 2 gm
Final Yeild 275 gm

METHOD
Sauté mushrooms and garlic. In a large sauté pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add mushrooms, stir to coat with the butter. Increase the heat to high, stirring constantly until the moisture released by the mushrooms has evaporated. Add freshly ground pepper, a pinch of salt and cream. Stir in the grated cheese and chopped thyme. Keep it for cooling and store in refrigerator.

Sun Dried Pesto
Ingredients
Sundried tomato 250 gms
Olive oil 52
Garlic 5 gm
Pine Nut 20 gm
Basil 10 gm
Parmesan 5 gm
Salt to taste
Pepper 5 gm
Final Yeild 260 gm

METHOD
In a large food processor, combine sundried tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Assemble pie: Spread the mushroom mix using a spoon in a filo pastry sheet, roll it like a roll and place it on the baking tray. Brush the rolled fatar baklava with butter and put it for baking.

Bake: Bake at 170°C for 10-12 mins, until lightly browned.

Serve: spread the sundried tomato on plate , now place the baked fater baklava and garnish wit house salad and cherry tomato.

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