BAKLAVA - HONEY NUT FILO SLICE

Baklava is considered a national dessert in countries like Lebanon, Turkey and Greece.

I love this sweet, odd shaped dessert or accompaniment with afternoon tea.  It is quite sweet, but the taste of the filo pastry mixed with butter and nuts is just divine.

They are not real big, and if you didn't want to eat as much, you could always cut them into smaller shapes than I have, as mine are cut to the traditional size.

I made it slightly different to the traditional Baklava you buy, however it has no added chemicals as the store ones do, and they taste absolutely delicious.

Here in Australia these tiny morsels can cost up to $5.00 a piece, so I decided to make my own.  I had a few failures before they actually turned out right, but I think these are even nicer than the store bought ones as there is more  walnuts and almonds in them.

An added benefit is that it's cost is so much lower than $5 a piece!

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 minutes
Makes: About 18 pieces

Ingredients
375g packet Filo pastry
200g unsalted butter
100g walnuts, chopped finely
100g slivered almonds
¼ cup caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Thickened cream -optional
Honey Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup honey

Method
Melt the butter and allow it to cool.

I use frozen filo, and can get two different brands, so if using one of these, defrost first.

Line a 19 cm square cake pan with baking paper, bringing the paper above the sides of the pan.

Fold out the filo pastry on a chopping board, and cut cross-ways into three sections.  Shred each section into thin strips.

Put these pieces into a large bowl. Separate the strips slightly as you put them in the bowl.

Pour the cooled, melted butter over the pastry and toss well to coat the shreds thoroughly.

Spread half the pastry over the base of prepared pan. 

Sprinkle with half the combined walnuts, almonds, sugar and cinnamon.

Top with remaining pastry pieces, then sprinkle with remaining walnut mixture.  It should now look like this:

Cover the pan lightly with foil, and cook in a moderate oven (180°C/160° fan forced) for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil, and cook for a further 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

While this is cooling for about 10-15 minutes, make the honey syrup by combining sugar, water and honey in a pot.  Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to the boil, then simmer -without stirring - for about 15 minutes, or until syrup is slightly thickened.  It will thicken more as it cools.

Pour ¾ of the hot syrup over the warm slice. 

Cool completely before cutting with a serrated knife into squares.

Serve the slice drizzled with remaining warm syrup and thickened cream if you want it to be decadent!

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