This is a simply amazing recipe—layers of crisp phyllo interspersed with mixed nuts and hazelnut-chocolate spread, with just enough butter to enhance the flavor yet keep the sat fat low. Baklava is a classic Mediterranean dessert that traditionally features layered phyllo dough, nuts, and syrup or honey. In this version, creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread adds rich, decadent flavor to this nutty, crowd-pleasing pastry. Because phyllo sheets are thin and delicate, handle with care so you won't tear the sheets. Keep the sheets you are not working with covered so it won't dry out.
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup blanched toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
24 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
How to Make It
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir until honey dissolves. Increase heat to medium; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230° (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; keep warm. Discard cinnamon stick.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place hazelnut-chocolate spread in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds or until melted. Combine hazelnuts and next 5 ingredients (through salt). Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing ends of sheet to extend over edges of dish; lightly brush with butter. Repeat procedure with 5 phyllo sheets and butter. Drizzle about 1/3 cup melted hazelnut -chocolate spread over phyllo. Sprinkle evenly with one-third of nut mixture (about 1/2 cup). Repeat procedure twice with phyllo, butter, hazelnut-chocolate spread, and nut mixture. Top last layer of nut mixture with remaining 6 sheets phyllo, each lightly brushed with butter. Press gently into pan.
Make 3 lengthwise cuts and 5 crosswise cuts to form 24 portions using a sharp knife. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until phyllo is golden. Remove from oven. Drizzle honey mixture over baklava. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover; store at room temperature.
Because phyllo sheets are thin and delicate, handle with care so you won't tear the sheets. Keep the sheets you are not working with covered so it won't dry out.
This recipe was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.
As one who often makes the traditional baklava, I must say I did not love this. A few suggestions for those who do try this: more layers of phyllo are needed on the bottom to better support the heavier chocolate layer. I would put 8-10 on the bottom layer. Traditional syrup for baklava uses way less honey... I found the honey tasre overwhelming. I would add less honey, more sugar/water in the syrup. For the same amount of prep and work, I prefer a traditional baklava recipe.
I made just a one very simple change to this recipe with great results-- I used butter-flavor cooking spray & the melted butter alternately in the layers, versus only the butter (really saved calories). Otherwise, I followed this recipe to a T, taking a tip from an online chef's video and folding the extra phyllo dough back over onto itself to fit inside my dish, versus letting it hang over the sides oddly. My last tips: Watch your toasting nuts--mine only needed 5 mins in the oven before they were done! And finally,do not store this in the fridge or in your cold car; it takes a long while to thaw out and it really tastes different from the intended room-temperature kind. Will be making this again!
Dangerously yummy! I have shared this recipes with friends. My son shared with his ship-mates and they thought this was heavenly. I am making again this holiday season. The Nutella is perfect for this dessert.
I have made this dessert twice now and it is one of my all time favorites! I took the first batch to a cookout and everyone raved how good it was and had several requests for the recipe. Even the men who don't eat much dessert went on how good it was. What they liked about it was that it was not too sweet drenched in lot of honey. I have made baklava before but this one with the layer of hazelnut chocolate gives it a unique flavor and is so delicious. It is hard to stop just at one piece. It is even better the day after when it has soaked in the honey mixture. Love it, love it!
I don't know if I'll ever appreciate store-bought baklava again. It tastes so much more amazing when it's homemade. The nutella definitely took it over the top. My honey mixture never did make it to 230 either. It was more like 215 - 220 which worked out fine. Definitely a keeper.
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