By Leigh O’Connor.
Baklava – that rich, sweet pastry made from layers of filo, filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup or honey – is a Middle Eastern dessert staple and considered the ancestor of strudel.
Come Wednesday, November 17 this deliciously naughty treat takes centre stage as we celebrate National Baklava Day. Usually served at room temperature, baklava can be cut into a number of shapes for serving, usually in small portions because of the richness of the filling and syrup.
Did you know that not only was it served to royalty, baklava was probably created in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul? The Sultan presented trays of baklava to members of his household troops and bodyguards during Ramadan, in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alaya.
The largest baklava recorded weighed 513 kg and was made in Ankara in Turkey in March 2018 during the Ankara Gastronomy Summit; while we don’t expect you to go to those lengths to celebrate, why not treat family and friends to a plate come Wednesday.
Putting a different spin on this delicious dessert, FRY’D on Oxford Street in the heart of Perth’s CBD dishes up Yia Yia’s Baklava for all to enjoy any day of the year. Handmade with love, every mouthful of this fried ice cream treat is perfectly balanced with crispy, sweet and nutty goodness; choose your ice cream flavour for the filling and be transported to heaven.
Rocking a bright pink vibe, Australia’s first dedicated fried ice cream shop has progressed from trials in the back of a Chinese restaurant to a food stall and food truck – now a bricks and mortar restaurant where dessert dreams really do come true. Think a hot crispy outer shell encased with premium Italian gelato for a creamy centre, creating the yummiest hot and cold dessert.
For those who aren’t in Western Australia, try this so sweet but so delicious recipe for macadamia baklava, soaking up the heavenly flavours of honey and cinnamon in an adaptation of the traditional Middle Eastern dessert. It’s up to you how many layers of filo pastry you use, just make sure to leave it to cool completely (preferably overnight) for the syrup to sink in.
For more Middle Eastern recipes, click here.