Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Baklava


There's no better Mediterranean dessert than baklava in my opinion! I love the crispy, flaky, buttery layers of phyllo dough as it contrasts with the honey sweet syrup and chopped walnuts. But how could this dessert be even better? Throw chocolate into the mix!

This recipe for Chocolate Baklava found it's way onto our Mediterranean inspired Superbowl menu without hesitation. I came across this recipe online and loved that it was easy to put together. It may have been a little time consuming with building it and buttering each sheet of phyllo dough... but using a pastry brush to paint with butter made time fly by. If you're a fan of baklava, give this twist a try, especially if you like chocolate too!


Chocolate Baklava

recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Filling:
1 pound finely chopped walnuts
1 package (12 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted

Syrup:
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by greasing all sides.

In a bowl, prepare the filling by combining the chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Stir to incorporate, set aside.

Unroll one package of phyllo dough and place one sheet of phyllo dough inside the greased baking dish. Butter the dough with a pastry brush. Repeat with 7 more phyllo layers and buttering each one.

Top the 8th sheet of phyllo dough with 1/3 of the nuts and chocolate mixture.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough over the filling and butter the dough with a pastry brush. Repeat with 4 more phyllo layers and buttering each one.

Add half of the remaining nuts and chocolate mixture over the top sheet of phyllo dough.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough over the filling and butter the dough with a pastry brush. Repeat with 4 more phyllo layers and buttering each one.

Add the remaining nuts and chocolate mixture over the top sheet of phyllo dough.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough over the filling and butter the dough with a pastry brush. Repeat with 7 more phyllo layers and buttering each one.

Bake the baklava in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine the syrup ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the baklava from the oven and cut into serving size pieces. Pour the syrup over the warm baklava and allow it to cool completely in the pan for at least 30 minutes so the syrup can get absorbed.