freaky baklava, vegan

spice is the variety of life 🤡

friends! i had this idea for a savoury baklava for a hella long time, but admittedly it had to go through a couple of permutations before i managed to make it not foul aha.

but something about that combination of sweet, spicy and salty… when it works, it really works. and i guarantee if you serve up these bad bois as nibbles, everyone will be ~ s H o O k ~ (did i do that right??).

i used harissa to bring heat to the baklava but also i’m super curious to know how it would be with gochujang… or sambal… or something else that’s hot and delish. get ya freak on and use whatever ya want 🤡

ingredients

12 sheets filo/phyllo pastry (in UK, this usually means 2 packs!)

220g margarine

50ml honey or agave

250g caster sugar

300ml water

2 tsp harissa

200g cashews

200g peanuts

small handful coriander

generous pinch of salt

method

  1. Add the syrup/honey, harissa, sugar and water to a saucepan. Stir in the sugar and then let it simmer at a low heat until it has become slightly thicker, but not as viscous as honey – as a rough guide, after simmering for 15 minutes, mine was ready. Then put it somewhere to cool – this step is first because the syrup needs time to cool before it is poured onto the baklava.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Melt the margarine and use a spatula or pastry brush to grease a shallow tin.
  3. Chop the nuts – I like mine on the coarser side but you can chop them pretty fine if you like! Set them aside.
  4. Put a sheet of pastry on the bottom of the tin, and cover it with melted margarine using your spatula. Be careful not to tear the pastry, but at the same time it’s really not the end of the world if you do. Add another sheet on top, add margarine, and repeat for 2 additional sheets (4 in total).
  5. Once 4 sheets are in the tray, evenly distribute 1/2 of the nuts and then begin putting the next 4 sheets of pastry on top. By the end, you are looking for the following pattern:

top:

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

Nuts

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

Nuts

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

margarine

pastry

Bottom (base of tin)

6. The last sheet of pastry should get a bit more margarine than the others to stop it drying out in the oven. Cut the out the classic baklava shape while it’s in the tin (R.I.P. tin).

7. Bake it for about 25 mins, or until you get the golden brown colour you’re after.

8. Take it out and pour half the syrup evenly over the baklava, then pour the rest over 5 minutes later. Top with coriander and a very generous pinch of salt. Let it cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!

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