Layers of Delight {Recipe – Hazelnut and Chocolate Baklava}

At this time of year, certain food hit our shelves to celebrate the festive season, some more popular than others. Christmas cake with it’s golden layer of nutty marzipan and snowy icing crown, is the marmite of Christmas. I love marzipan so I don’t get it, but plenty of people hate the marzipan or the vine fruit.  So this is an alternative to Christmas cake recipe for a Hazelnut and Chocolate Baklava. Instead of the traditional pistachio and rose water flavours, I’ve gone down a more Italian flavour for this baklava with a dash of hazelnut coffee syrup in place of the rose water and some cocoa nibs for some crunch.  I’ve also done a Pecan and Maple Baklava before for Christmas and went down so well with a strong coffee after dinner.

Chocolate and Hazelnuts

Ingredients –

–          300g hazelnuts, lightly toasted

–          50g ground almonds

–          50g cocoa nibs

–          200g dark chocolate

–          400g pack of filo pastry

–          350g butter, melted

–          5 tbsp hazelnut syrup

–          200ml water

–          400g white caster sugar

  1. In a food processor, whizz both the nuts, cooca nibs and the chocolate until finely chopped.Hazelnut and Chocolate Crumb
  2. Trim the filo to fit a 8×8 inch tin and cover with cling film as the pastry will dry out quickly. Brush the base of the tin with the melted butter. Place a sheet of filo pastry on top, brush with more butter and top with another sheet, repeat the process with nine more sheets of pastry, brushing with butter between each sheet.
  3. Sprinkle on top a third of the nut chocolate mixture, Top with another sheet of pastry, brush with butter and layer with more pastry with melted butter brushed in between for another 10 sheets of pastry.Baklava Layers
  4. Sprinkle another third of the nut mixture. Repeat the pastry layering process with another 10 sheets of pastry with brushed butter between the layers. Brush the last remaining sheet with melted butter.
  5. Bake at 170C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into diamond shapes and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. )r you can cut before baking but a bit more tricky.Cut Baklava
  6. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup by combining the hazelnut syrup, water and both sugar into a pan, over a medium heat dissolve the sugars and bring to the boil for 4 minutes until a thickened syrup.Hazelnut Coffee SyrupBaked Baklava
  7. When the baklava is out of the oven and still hot, spoon over the hot syrup, it will look like a lot of syrup but pour it all over as you want it to soak into the pastry and nuts. Enjoy with a strong coffee.Hazelnut and Chocolate Baklava

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