You’ll fall in love with each crispy layer of this sweet and addictive chocolate baklava recipe with hazelnuts. Finished with a drizzle of cinnamon and espresso infused syrup Helpful tips included for best results.
First, let’s answer the question; What is Baklava?
Baklava is a pastry dessert consisting of layers of phyllo pastry, chopped nuts, and some sweet syrup or honey. It traces its origin back to the Ottoman empire and is found in the modern cuisines of many countries from Turkey to Greece.
I know you saw the first My Big Fat Greek Wedding. You loved it right? Because if you didn’t I’m going to question your sense of humor.
It’s one of those movies you actually buy, because it’s sweet, funny and admit it—you wish you could enjoy a big Sunday dinner with the Portokalos family.
But since we aren’t able pull a chair up at their dinner table, go ahead and check out the trailer for the long awaited My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2! The new film reveals a Portokalos family secret that will bring the beloved characters back together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding.
Like I mentioned, to celebrate the upcoming film release, I made some baklava, a traditional Greek dessert made with layers of crispy phyllo, honey, and chopped nuts. And please don’t tell me you don’t eat baklava because that will just force me to drop some of Aunt Voula’s wisdom on you.
Before you head out to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in theaters on March 25, make a batch of this delicious baklava to pack up and bring to the movies!
How to Make Baklava, Step by Step
Before you get started, here are some tips for the best Baklava results.
- Thaw the phyllo overnight in the refrigerator. Then put the phyllo box on the counter to come to room temperature.
- Use a damp kitchen towel to hold your plastic wrap in place to prevent the dough from drying out.
- Use a light colored baking pan to prevent browning edges.
- Brush the butter on the dough instead of soaking.
- Before baking, cut the dough into serving size pieces
**This is a sponsored post in partnership with Universal Pictures
- 1-lb. “twin pack” phyllo dough (two 8-oz. packs, each containing about twenty 9x14-inch sheets)
- Filling 1 lb. raw shelled hazelnuts 6 oz. coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate Syrup 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1-1/4 cups unsalted butter 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder 2 tablespoons Frangelico
- 1 lb. raw shelled hazelnuts
- 6 oz. coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/4 cups unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico
Thaw the phyllo overnight in the refrigerator. Then put the phyllo box on the counter to come to room temperature, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Make the filling: Place the hazelnuts, chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor bowl fitted with the blade. Process until the nuts and chocolate are finely chopped (the largest should be the size of small dried lentils), about 15 to 30 seconds. Set aside.
Assemble the baklava: Unfold one pack of the phyllo sheets and stack them so that they lie flat on a work surface. Cover the top with plastic wrap, letting some excess plastic fall over all four edges. Place dampen kitchen towel on top of plastic wrap; this will hold the plastic in place and prevent the phyllo from drying out.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt butter. Brush bottom of a 9x13-inch metal pan (use a light color pan to prevent overbrowning to edges) with some of the butter. Remove a sheet of phyllo from the stack, (re-cover between using to keep phyllo moist and pliable) and place it on bottom of pan. Brush the sheet with some of the melted butter but don’t soak the phyllo (you’ll have about 40 layers of buttered phyllo once fully assembled). Repeat until 10 sheets have been layered and buttered. If pan has slightly angled sides, arrange sheets so the excess falls on the same side of the pan and cut the extra off every few layers with a paring knife. Sprinkle about one-third of the filling evenly over the phyllo.
Repeat layering and buttering remaining sheets from first pack and sprinkle on another third of the filling. Open, unfold, and cover second pack of phyllo. Layer and butter it as described above, sprinkling the remaining filling after layering about half the phyllo, and ending with a final layer of phyllo (you may not need all of the butter). Loosely cover and transfer pan of baklava to freezer for 30 minutes (this will make it easier to cut).
Bake the baklava: Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
Before baking, use a thin, sharp serrated knife and using a gentle sawing motion, cut the baklava to preferred serving portions. Avoid pressing down on the baklava while cutting it with the other. Bake the baklava until golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring sugar, espresso powder and 2/3 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in Frangelico. Pour the syrup evenly over entire surface of the baklava, allowing it to run down into the cut marks and along the sides of the pan. Set baklava aside to cool to room temperature before serving.
Recipe adapted from here.