How to make Baklava
You will need a 35×25 deep baking dish
2 packs of filo pastry (14 sheets)
250g butter, melted
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground clove
600g walnuts (or 300g walnuts and 300g almonds) – you can use pistachios if you wish
50g fresh breadcrumbs
Handful of cloves
For the syrup
400g granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 whole orange cut in half
Preheat oven to 180* C (400* F) Fan.
Start by making the syrup.
Place a pan over medium heat and add the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange (cut in half). Bring the mixture to a boil and stir. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat.
Set aside to cool completely. **Remember the syrup needs to be cool when poured gently over the hot baklava.
To make the filling:
Beat the walnuts (or nuts of your choice) in a food processor until they are finely ground. Once finely ground, place in a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, ground cinnamon and ground clove and mix everything together. The mixture will smell lovely!
Melt the butter and generously brush a 35×25 cm baking dish.
Carefully spread the first sheet of filo pastry in to the dish (horizontally), making sure it covers the whole dish and letting the ends hang over the edges of the dish. Gently press down on the filo with your hands to spread it nicely all the way to the corners of the baking dish. Drizzle* with melted butter and repeat the same process with the second sheet of filo pastry, only this time place it on the other side (vertically) of the dish, slightly covering the first sheet. Drizzle the filo with butter and spread the third sheet of filo pastry directly over the first two sheets (you might need to trim the filo), making it fit nicely inside the dish.
Repeat with another filo pastry (so you have 4 filo sheets in total at the bottom). Drizzle with butter. Now sprinkle a handful of filling over the filo. Before you continue it is a good idea to trim the rest of filo sheets to the size of your dish. This way they will fit nicely into the dish.
Now you are ready to continue adding the filo sheets, by layering, drizzling with butter and sprinkling with the filling, until you are left with 3 filo sheets. Make sure you use all of the filling!
Now, you can fold the overhanging ends of the filo over and drizzle with butter. Add 2 of the remaining 3 filo sheets, drizzling each one with butter. Spread the 3rd and final sheet nicely over the top so it covers the whole dish.
Carefully use your brush to tuck it in all around the sides of the baklava, creating a nice top layer. Add all of the remaining butter over the top and you can now brush it over the filo.
Score the top with a sharp knife, creating diamond shaped pieces.
Be careful not to score all the way through to the bottom of the dish.
Stud every diamond with a clove in the middle
Bake for 40 – 60 minutes until golden brown on top and super crunchy.
When the baklava is ready, remove from oven and immediately, gently pour the cooled syrup over it
Set it aside to soak up all of the syrup and cool. When ready, cut into pieces and serve.
*Do not brush the filo with butter, as this will prevent the filo from cooking through