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Almond Baklava With Rose Water

The fragrant secret to this recipe from Delfina Studio Cafe is the rose water.

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 12 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 2/3 cups 329g / 11ozSugar
1 1/2 cups 355mlWater
2/3 cup 157mlHoney
2   Cinnamon sticks
8   Strips orange peel, 2" by 1/2"
2 teaspoons 10mlRose water = (available at Middle Eastern markets And specialty foods stores)
1 cup 198g / 7ozUnsalted butter - (2 sticks) - melted
3 cups 279g / 9.8ozCoarsely-chopped almonds
1 teaspoon 5mlGround cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlGround allspice
15   Fresh phyllo pastry sheets or frozen - thawed
  Plain yogurt

Recipe Instructions

Stir 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, honey, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Mix in rose water. Chill until cold.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush 13- by 9- by 2-inch metal baking pan with some of melted butter.

Mix almonds, ground cinnamon, allspice, and 1/3 cup sugar in medium bowl. Fold 1 sheet of phyllo in half to form 12- by 9-inch rectangle. Place folded sheet in prepared pan. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with 4 more folded sheets, brushing top of each folded sheet with butter. Sprinkle half of nut mixture over. Top with 1 folded pastry sheet and brush with butter.

Repeat with 4 more folded sheets, brushing top of each with butter. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over. Repeat with 5 more folded sheets, brushing top of each with butter. Using sharp knife, make 5 diagonal cuts across phyllo, cutting through top layers only and spacing cuts evenly. Repeat in opposite direction to form diamond pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Strain rose syrup. Spoon 1 cup syrup over hot baklava; cover and chill remaining syrup. Recut baklava along lines all the way through layers. Let stand 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.) Serve baklava with yogurt and remaining syrup.

"Bon Appetit, January 2002"


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