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Cashew Filled Baklawa

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This cashew-filled baklawa is so simple to make. Baklawa recipes vary in the type of nuts used and in their presentation.
PREP TIME
35 minutes
COOK TIME
40 minutes
SERVES
approximately 55 slices

About this recipe

This cashew-filled baklawa is so simple to make. Baklawa recipes vary in the type of nuts used and in their presentation. Traditional Baklawa is either in the shape of a cigar, diamond, or square. As you all know, I love to present my food in a modern way — the Rouba twist, as I call it — so be sure to check out my individually served Pistachio Baklawa Parcels.

The quality of the nuts you use matters, so you should taste them for freshness before using them. What differentiates my baklawa recipe from the rest is the perfect balance of sweetness.  My baklawa is not drenched with sugar syrup but rather perfectly sweetened, giving you the option to add more syrup if you have a sweet tooth.

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baklawa in a tray

Ingredients

Filo Pastry

  • 20 filo pastry sheets (approximately 1 packet of 375 grams)
  • 150 grams ghee + extra for greasing
  • pistachio finely ground for garnish

Nut Filling

  • 3 cups of cashew roasted & salted (approximately 400 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • ½ tablespoon rose water
  • ½ tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons Attir – sugar syrup

Attir - Sugar Syrup

  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater

Notes from Rouba

  • Allow 1-2 hours for the baklawa to cool.
  • Filo or Phyllo from the refrigerator is always easier to handle than the frozen one.
  • The success of the baklawa lies in using the freshest nuts you can find.
  • Pouring cooled sugar syrup over the hot baklava allows the syrup to be well absorbed by the filo dough layers.
  • Sugar Syrup – Attir can be made in advance and stored in a jar for up to 4 weeks.
  • Once the baklawa is cooled, simply cover it with a tea towel or paper towel. Covering the baklawa with plastic wrap or placing it in an airtight container softens the pastry.
  • If you have no rose or orange blossom water at home, substitute with rosewater essence (available in most supermarkets) or make without.
  • Sugar Syrup – Attir can also be made without rosewater.

Method

Step 1.

Preheat the fan-forced oven to 180° degrees. Generously grease an 18cm x 28cm (3.5cm deep) baking tin with the extra ghee.

Begin by making the sugar syrup. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil (this happens fairly fast). Lower the heat, then continue to simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes until the syrup slightly thickens. Remove from heat and cool completely (remember, the syrup will continue to thicken as it cools down).

Step 2.

To make the filling, pulse cashew in a food processor until somewhat finely chopped (take care not to overprocess as nuts can become oily). Transfer to a large bowl and add the remaining nut filling ingredients. Combine well.

Step 3.

Cut the filo pastry sheets to the size of your baking sheet. Discard the trimmings. Layer half the filo pastry sheets in the baking tray. Make sure to keep the remaining filo covered with a dry towel and another damp tea towel on top of it.

Step 4

Spread cashew nuts evenly over the pastry. Place the remaining filo sheets on the top. Press over the pastry and mixture firmly but gently to release any air pockets.

Step 5.

Using a sharp knife, make parallel cuts about 3 cm apart, making sure to cut through to the base of the dish. Continue to cut diagonally the other way to create diamond shapes (for the perfect result, use a ruler – remember you can cut this whatever shape you like).

Step 6.

Heat the ghee in a small pot until very hot and pour all over the top of the baklawa, ensuring it falls into all the cracks – tilt the tray back and forth to coat evenly if necessary (you will notice the pastry begin to crisp immediately).

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove the baklawa from the oven and immediately drizzle over the cooled sugar syrup. Garnish with pistachio.

Sahtan - Enjoy in Good Health

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Creating magic and happy memories with food are my gift for you!
xx Rouba

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