Baklava recipe

Different parts of Turkey use different nuts for home-made Baklava; pistachio is used in the South-east, hazelnut is used in the Black-sea region,wallnut is used in central Anatolia,almond is used in the Aegean west, and sesame would be used in the Thrace. Sometimes baklava is served with thickened cream (kaymak).

Ingredients for Baklava

  • 3/4 Pound Butter (3 Quarter-Pound Sticks) Cut Into 1/4.Inch Bits
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 40 Sheets File Pastry;
  • Each About 16 inches Long And 12 Inches Wide; Thoroughly Defrosted If Frozen
  • 4 Cups Shelled Pistachio Pulverized In A Blender Or With A Nut Grinder

Step by step – how to make baklava

Melt the butter slowly over low heat without letting it get brown; skimming off the foam as it rises to the surface. Remove the pan from the heat; let it rest for 2 or 3 minutes; then spoon off the clear butter and discard the milky solids at the bottom of the pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degree and stir the vegetable oil into the clarified butter. Using a pastry brush coat the bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-by-2 1/2inch baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture.

Fold a sheet of filo in half crosswise; lift it up gently and unfold it into the prepared dish. Press the pastry flat; fold down the excess around the sides and flatten it against the bottom. Brush the entire surface of the pastry lightly with the butter and oil mixture; and lay another sheet of filo on top; folding it down and buttering it in similar fashion. Sprinkle the pastry evenly with about 3 tablespoons of pistachio.

Repeat the same procedure using two sheets of buttered file and 3 tablespoons of the pulverized pistachio each time to make 19 layers in all. Spread remaining 2 sheets of filo on top and brush the baklava with all of the remaining butter and oil mixture.

With a small; sharp knife score the top of the pastry with parallel diagonal lines about 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart; then cross them diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degree and bake for 45 minutes longer; or until the top is crisp and golden brown.

Recipe for the Baklava Syrup

Ingredients for the Baklava Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Step by step – how to make baklava syrup

Combine the sugar; water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and; stirring constantly; cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves.

Increase the heat to high and; timing it from the moment the syrup boils; cook briskly; uncovered; for about 5 minutes; or until the syrup reaches a temperature of 220 degree on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey. Pour the syrup into a bowl or pitcher and set it aside.

When the baklava is done; remove it from the oven and pour the syrup over it. Cool to room temperature; and just before serving; cut the baklava into diamond-shaped serving pieces

Afiyet olsun !


Australia’s best Turkish delight recipe

I have been trying to make Turkish delight for two weeks and have used approximately 5 kilograms of sugar in coming up with this recipe. When you don’t boil the mixture well enough, the Turkish delight doesn’t turn up firm enough, when you boil it too much, the mixture turns out too hard.

Turkish delight with hazelnut

Another important factor is the cooker you use. The timings given below are for gas cookers, it might take longer to cook Turkish delight on electric cookers.

So, don’t be discouraged in trying your skills, give the recipe a go. Enjoy !

The ingredients for making Turkish delight 

  • 1 kg white sugar
  • 4 cups of water ( 1 cup = 350 ml )
  • 90 gr starch (corn or wheat)
  • 1 tea spoon cream of tartar
  • Another cup of water
  • hazelnuts, walnuts, shredded coconut
  • 2 spoons of rose water
  • additional coloring and flavour of your choice
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of additional starch

Turkish delight is also popular in Europe, Balkans and the middle-east

Step by step – how to make Turkish delight

Boil 4 cups of water with sugar. Ensure the mixture stays on fire until the sugar melts properly. Once the mixture (syrup) reaches boiling point, keep the mixture on medium heat for another hour.

Mix starch with 1 cup of water in a deep mixing bowl

Get rid of the foam on your syrup. Add 2 cups of your warm syrup into your starch-water mixture to ensure your starch-water mixture warms up a little bit.

Add your starch-water back into your syrup and cook it again on high until it boils. Once it reaches the boiling temperature, bring the heat to minimal and further cook your syrup for 70 minutes (1 hour and 10 minutes).If you have a sugar thermometer, you can check the temperature of your mixture after cooking it for an hour. For best results, make sure it reaches 113 Celsius. If you would like to use the rose-flavour, you must add the rose water in the last 10 minutes. Ensure you give the mixture a good stirring every now and then with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture sticking to the base of the pan

Once the mixture turns golden and thickens, add your desired food coloring, aroma, hazelnuts and walnuts.

Prepare a hosting tray for your mixture. Make sure the base of the tray (or pan) is covered with a very thin layer of butter (or canola oil) and cover the base of your tray with cooking (parchment) paper. Spray some oil on your paper as well.

Pour your mixture into your tray. Sprinkle the additional 1/2 cup of starch onto your mixture and leave it to cool down place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight until firm. Leave it for 24 hours for best result.

Once you’ve done all these, mix 2 cups of icing sugar with 1/2 cup of starch. Sprinkle some flour and starch on a cutting board. Roll your (now thickened) mixture on the cutting board and then slice it into cubes.

Pour the icing sugar-starch mixture in another tray and put your cubes into this second tray. Let it wait for another 24 hours.

You should end up having approximately 100 cubes of Turkish delight!

Afiyet olsun !


What is the most delicious Turkish dessert; Trilece or Baklava?

At the entrance of many bakeries and fast food shops, you can see the following writing: – “Trilece is sold here”. Patisseries in elite sales-places compete in “making” the most delicious trilece and claim that theirs is the most original. Turkish journalists even make their list of “TOP – 10 places to enjoy trilece” in Istanbul or Ankara. Pastry masters offer various recipes in almost all newspapers in order to make the dessert. Likewise, there is “trilece craze” in Sydney and Melbourne Turkish communities too.

In Turkey trilece is known as an Albanian dessert. Some call it “the Old Yugoslavian dessert”.

A lice of trilece

However, “trilece” is derived from Spanish words: “Tres and Leches”, which mean “three kinds of milk”. Spanish cookbooks present recipes for the preparation of this dessert from the 19th century.

According to assumptions, Trilece was transferred to Turkey through Albania, during the war in former Yugoslavia. The “suspects” leading to this transfer are known to be Albanian immigrants which are among Balkan immigrants who settled in Turkey.

In Sydney, you can find trilece in Auburn of course. The most famous outlet is the “Menzil bakery” on Auburn road. Trilece is now also available at Arzum Market, a popular Turkish supermarket also in Auburn.

Whether it is from Latin America or Albania, its consumption and popularity in recent years seriously threatens the throne of Baklava. If you find baklava a bit too sweet and dry, perhaps it’s time to try trilece!


Everything about Baklava

While we were dining at this tourist-filled restaurant across Rome’s Colosseum, we had a little chat with the waiter, who happened to be Romanian.

Do you know what my favorite dessert is?” he asked me.

As he had just brought us plates full of delicious Tiramisu, I looked at him and confidently asked, “Tiramisu?“. He said “No” and surprised my friends and me with his answer.

He said, “My favorite dessert is Baklava. “

Some of us were shocked (especially our Australian friends), and needless to say, the Turks in our group felt a little bit of pride.

My mother,” said the Romanian waiter, “used to make baklava; dolma; sarma..” and the list went on.

Everything about baklava

The origins of Baklava

How did baklava become the most favorite dessert of this Romanian man? And possibly of many Greeks, Albanians, Persians or the Lebanese, Syrians or Georgians or Armenians…

Many nations claim baklava to be theirs. The Arabs claim its history to Assyrians, Greeks claim its roots in the Byzantine heritage, and Turks believe it was one of the many recipes their ancestors brought with them from Central Asia. 

C. Perry explains in his book “The taste for layered bread among the nomadic Turks and the Central Asian” that the tradition of making desserts by putting crushed nuts and sweets between thin layers of pastry went all the way back to early Turkic tribes living in Central Asia.

Istanbul, the flavour hub of the region

One important common point among all these cultures is the fact that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire at one stage. The kitchens of the Imperial Ottoman Palace in Istanbul had become the ultimate culinary hub of the empire. The various recipes, spices, ingredients were all refined in the palace kitchens. As a result, the modern baklava that we delectably consume today was perfected by the Ottomans in the 15th century.

The most popular Baklava-related event in Ottoman history was the Baklava ceremony of the Ottoman Army, which started around the 17th century. In the middle of Ramadan month, the Ottoman king would have a tray of baklava made for each group of 10 soldiers in the Army, which would be served and consumed at this official ceremony.

Loved by many nations, baklava is called بقلاوة in arabic, باقلواin Persian, baqlawad in Somalian, baqlawa in Kurdish, bakllava in albanian, baclava in Romanian, baklava in Hungarian, баклава in Serbian and Bulgarian, baklava in Bosnian and Croatian, bakława in Polish, baklava in Czech, пахлава in Russian, баклава in Ukrainian, μπακλαβάς in Greek, փախլավա in Armenian, ფახლავა in Georgian, বাক্‌লাভা, in Bengali.

Baklava, the national treasure

The “baklava” is a national treasure that should be protected, especially as its origin is disputed abroad. Therefore Turkish authorities published a series of criteria for the famous pastries to benefit from the official designation.

To curb the recent proliferation of counterfeits, inevitably ill-suited in this competitive climate, the very serious Turkish Institute of Standards (TSE) has specified the rules that must absolutely be met in order to obtain the “baklava” label.

It must have a golden color and appearance as tradition dictates; its syrup must not be too thick, it must not cause a burning sensation in the throat and melt in the mouth without having to chew, “explained the TSE.

The last element of these specifications, each baklava must have a minimum thickness of 35 mm.

The Institute regretted that more and more pastry chefs take their ease with the canons of “baklava” by using crushed peas rather than pistachios, or by preferring vegetable oils to butter, or by replacing white sugar syrup with corn syrup.

Baklava from Gaziantep (southern Turkey) is the first Turkish product to achieve the much sought-after protected designation status of the European Union (EU).