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Hello again, everyone! 🙂 Although I’ve hosted a summer throwback party on Instagram, this is my first blog post back from vacation, and I cannot tell you how awesome it was to get back in the kitchen and bake again. I made these sugar-free spicy baklava last Monday, which happened to be my husband’s birthday. When it comes to food he does have a very, very soft spot for his home country Kurdistan’s cuisine and although I generally can’t get him to eat sweet things, baklava is a huge favourite. To spice things up a little, we mixed pecans with pistachios (traditionally, baklava contain almonds, pistachio or walnuts) and added in some cinnamon and cloves. The end result was yum, yum, yum – and, as is fit for a baklava, unbelievably sweet.
180 grams or 6.4 oz. of pistachios
120 grams or 4.2 oz. of pecan nuts
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of Tagatesse
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
190 grams or 6.7 oz. of store-bought filo dough (preferably fresh, but you can also thaw it)
190 grams or 6.7 oz. of butter
180 grams or 6.4 oz. of Tagatesse
120 grams or 4.2 oz. of water
50 grams or 1.8 oz. of FiberSirup Gold
lemon juice from ½ lemon
In the oven: 175° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit/Gas mark 4
Grind the pistachio and pecan nuts to a coarse consistency and transfer them to a bowl. Stir in the cinnamon, Tagatesse and ground cloves and mix everything well together. Set aside.
Get the filo dough out and cut it so that it makes 25-30 separate sheets. How many times you need to cut it will depend on both your cake tin and the filo dough you buy. However, it’s important that you choose a tin that’s fairly deep. I used a regular baking tray and simply folded a baking paper wall around the baklava.
Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan. Now, start by giving either the baking paper or tin the baklava will be resting on a thick layer of melted butter using a brush.
Place the first sheet of filo dough neatly into a corner of the cake tin, then drizzle it with a generous amount of melted butter. Repeat with 2/3 of the filo dough sheets.
≈ If you’ve got a slow oven, preheat it to 175° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit/Gas mark 4 now ≈
Using a spoon, spread the nut filling onto the baklava base. Be sure to use the back of the spoon to pack it neatly together. Sprinkle a good amount of melted butter over the nuts, then continue with the filo dough sheet, butter, sheet until you’ve finished. Finish off by brushing a thick layer of butter onto the top sheet of the baklava.
Place the spicy baklava in the fridge for 15 minutes.
≈ If you’ve got a fast oven, preheat it to 175° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit/Gas mark 4 now ≈
Remove the baklava from the fridge and use a sharp knife to cut it into desired pieces. Remember that this will be incredibly rich once it’s finished – traditionally, baklava is cut into small rectangles.
Place the baklava in the oven and bake it for 30-35 minutes. It’s done when the top layer of filo dough has turned golden and crispy. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup.
In a non-stick saucepan, combine Tagatesse, water and FiberSirup Gold. Bring the mixture to a boil and leave it to simmer and thicken for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
Once the baklava is ready, take it out of the oven, and immediately use a spoon to pour the syrup over and in between all the pieces. It may seem like a lot, but you do want to use at least most of the syrup.
Leave the baklava to cool at room temperature (although I prefer to eat it warm). Give it a final cut using a pizza wheel, then serve the baklava with some sugar-free ice cream and a strong cup of coffee or tea with cardamom, Kurdish style 🙂