Lebanese walnut baklava with cinnamon and cloves recipe

Holly-cooks-Lebanese-walnut-baklava-with-cinnamon-and-cloves-recipe-pinterestLayers of crunchy browned filo pastry slightly salty from the brushed over butter, packed with delicious sweeten slightly spiced nuts, surrounded by homemade syrup keeping the whole piece moist. This is baklava in all it’s glory, served with dark strong coffee baklava takes some beating.

Baklava is made from layers of filo pastry with lots of melted butter between each layer and then coarsely ground nuts with some sugar and a little spice between some or one of the layers. The recipe below has a layer of nuts between every two layers of pastry. There are six pastry layers and five nut layers. You could change this to two layers of pastry, each contained 6 sheets of pastry, with all the nuts in the middle, there are no hard and fast rules.
Holly-cooks-Lebanese-walnut-baklava-with-cinnamon-and-cloves-recipe-300webFor the pastry layers
150 g / 5 oz walnuts
50 g / 2 oz  sugar – caster or granulated
200 g / 7 oz  salted butter
270 g / 9 ½ oz of filo (phyllo) pastry – 12 sheets
1 tsp of ground cinnamon

For the sugar syrup
150 g / 5 oz sugar – caster or granulated
150 ml / ¼ pint water
2 cloves

Makes 36 pieces – each piece has 9.5g of carbohydrate

1. Preheat your oven to 160 C fan/ 180 C normal / 400 F / Gas Mark 6 and toast the walnuts. This should take about 8 minutes.
2. Leave the nuts to cool a little before blizting them in the food processor with the 50 g of sugar and the cinnamon until you have a relatively fine mixture.
3. Melt the butter.
4. Unwrap the pastry. (Some people like to keep it covered with a damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out, I don’t do this and haven’t had problems.)
5. Brush melted butter over a tin measuring roughly 29 cm x 22 cm.
6. Place your first piece of pastry in the tin and then generously brush melted butter over it. Repeat with a second sheet of pastry.
7. Divide your nut and sugar mix in five and sprinkle a fifth of it over your pastry.
8. Then repeat the above two steps until you have no more nut mixture left.
9. Cut up the baklava as you like. I went for small rectangles 6 x 6 of them, but diamonds or squares would work too.
10. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from oven.
11. While the pastry is cooking make the syrup. Place the sugar, water and cloves in a saucepan and heat over a low heat stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Then boil for 6 minutes.
12. Now remove the cloves and let the mixture cool.
13. Let the baklava cool once it is out of the oven. Cut up whilst it’s still in the tin. Pour the syrup over and leave until it is completely cold before removing from the tin. Enjoy!

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