Monday, June 27, 2011

Daring Bakers June 2011 - Baklava and Homemade Phyllo

Overhead view of baklava
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

In true JennyBakes fashion, I waited until the day before I needed to post the challenge to try the recipe. I hemmed and hawed for a while, because I had enough hazelnuts, but also had some chocolate chips sitting around, so I ended up making what another Daring Baker's five year old has deemed "choklava," using a generous helping of chocolate chips in with the nut mixture.

I have made Danish pastry before, puff pastry (once, never again), croissants, and even strudel, but never had I attempted making phyllo dough before. I mean... the store makes it so easy, I can just buy a box and whip up practically anything! But I faced this challenge head on. I'm not afraid of tearing delicate dough. I don't mind spending two hours rolling out golf-ball-sized balls into paper thin dough sheets. No really, I don't. And really, that was time consuming but not terrible.

Slice of Hazelnut Chocolate Baklava
Several other Daring Bakers had said the recipe had too much syrup, and I wish I'd listened, because my end result was a bit too gooey and syrup for my tastes, and oh so sweet! I partly blame the chocolate, maybe it hampers moisture absorption a bit. It is still satisfying to pour the syrup over the pastries right out of the oven and listen to the sizzle and bubble. Twelve hours later, though, they were still wading in the goo. I still gave them to people. If there is a lesson over and over, it is to trust my instincts!

A few changes I made in the recipe, which you can see on Erica's blog once she posts, was to fiddle a bit with the spices - I added cardamom and used more orange than was called for, and the entire house smelled like the holidays! I think if I made phyllo again, I would use my old lowfat use nonstick cooking spray between the sheets trick, and make something savory with it.


Unknown said...

Ha! I'll have to try Windex next time...didn't think of that. ;-) Glad you enjoyed it.

Lisa said...

You're so right about the humidity deal. In Turkey, they roll phyllo outside in damp, humidity, without a complaint or hitch. I'm a spoiled, humidity hating American lol

Your baklava is phenomenal..ooey gooey delicious, the photo of the interior is killer food porn! Beautifully done!

Kris Ngoei said...

Very cute and pretty cubes, these make great petite four :-)

Julie said...

Mmm, choklava! They look great! I love how tall they look!