Nov 292012
 

I’m amazed at my son’s manipulative powers. He loves to be the center of attention like any 6 year old and gets immense happiness if he can make his sister look bad. As we were having our lunch my son remembered to question me if I had my breakfast and I was carried away by his simple gesture and the lovely thought that he cared for me. Anyone could spot his beaming triumphant look that he won my heart a tiny bit more than his dad or his sister. As I was feeling elated it became very clear in the coming days of how this simple question turned into a game. The next day my daughter went a step ahead and asked me, “Did you eat your breakfast tomorrow?” as if this question can be asked in advance. Now everyday my son, my husband, and my daughter remember to ask me the same question and declare their victory that they were the first to ask. I don’t think I can complain anymore, I just have to settle that my family does ask the questions that I would want to be asked but the sad part is they don’t wait for the answer though!

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My story apart, like many other sweets that are in my to-do list, Baklava has been sitting patiently for too long. When this week’s Avant Garde Cookies group decided to cook something from Turkey(I’m referring to the country not the bird) I decided to try Baklava. Baklava has been claimed by many ethnic groups but has strong evidence pointing to Turkish cuisine. Traditionally Baklava is prepared by stacking layers of phyllo dough brushed with melted butter and filled with crushed nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pistachios. I didn’t want to go the authentic route but loved this recipe by Alison Roberts, I modified the recipe to suit my family’s taste and available ingredients in my pantry.

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In a food processor/blender coarsely powder almonds, chocolate and sugar. Keep aside.

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Place a phyllo dough sheet on clean surface. Brush with melted butter, stack another layer of phyllo dough on top of it. Brush with melted butter again and layer one more layer of phyllo dough. There should be a total of 3 layers of phyllo sheet stacked on top of each other. Cut the sheets into 4 equal quarters. Place a tablespoon of chocolate-nut powder on the narrow edge. Fold the sheet on both the long edges. Then fold along the narrow edge covering the filling. Carefully roll the sheet towards the other narrow edge. Brush the cigars on all sides with melted butter and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 390F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sheets turn golden brown.

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While the cigars are baking, prepare the sugar syrup. Boil sugar and water for 5 minutes on high. Add cardamom and saffron and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the syrup thickens. Once the baklava cigars are baked place them on heat proof dish, drizzle the syrup on top of it. Let sit for few minutes until the syrup is absorbed into the cigars. For topping, mix chocolate syrup and caramel sauce in a small bowl. Just before serving, drizzle the chocolate-caramel sauce and top with crushed pistachios. Enjoy!!!

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Chocolate Baklava Cigars Topped with Chocolate-Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16

Ingredients

  • Almonds -- 1/2 cup (slivered almonds can be used)
  • Chocolate -- 1/2 cup (I used mix of caramel chocolate, dark chocolate, and mint chocolate--- any kind of chocolate such as white or dark or milk chocolate can be used)
  • Castor Sugar -- 1 Tbsp
  • Phyllo Pastry Sheets -- 12 sheets
  • Unsalted Butter -- 3 Tbsp
  • White Sugar -- 1/2 cup
  • Water -- 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom Pods -- 1 or 2
  • Saffron -- few strands (optional)
  • Chocolate Syrup-- 2 Tbsp (optional for topping)
  • Caramel Sauce -- 2 Tbsp (optional for topping)
  • Crushed Pistachios -- 1 Tbsp (optional for topping)

Instructions

  1. Coarsely powder almonds, castor sugar, and chocolate in either a food processor or blender. Keep aside.
  2. Thaw the phyllo sheets as per the package instructions. Place one phyllo sheet on a clean working surface. Brush with melted butter. (Note: As you are working with one phyllo sheet at a time, cover the remaining sheets with kitchen towel to prevent drying.)
  3. Place another phyllo sheet on top of the first sheet. Brush this one with melted butter and place one more phyllo sheet on top. There should be a total of 3 layers of phyllo sheet stacked on top of each other.
  4. Cut the sheets into 4 equal quarters. Place 1 tablespoon of chocolate-nut powder on the narrow edge. Fold the sheet on both the long edges. Then fold along the narrow edge covering the filling. Carefully roll the sheet towards the other narrow edge.
  5. Brush the cigars on all sides with melted butter and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 390F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sheets turn golden brown.
  6. While the cigars are baking, prepare the sugar syrup. Boil sugar and water for 5 minutes on high. Add cardamom and saffron and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the syrup thickens. Once the baklava cigars are baked place them on heat proof dish, drizzle the syrup on top of it. Let sit for few minutes until the syrup is absorbed into the cigars. For topping, mix chocolate syrup and caramel sauce in a small bowl. Just before serving, drizzle the chocolate-caramel sauce and top with crushed pistachios. Enjoy!!!

Notes

While working with phyllo sheets, make sure you work with clean hands and handle them very delicately as they tend to tear apart very easily. My family doesn't like anything too sweet, so I've halved the sugar for the syrup. If you like it very sweet then make syrup with 1 cup of sugar + 1 cup of water. I also found that 1 Tbsp of filling for the cigars can be increased. So use between 1 and 2 Tbsp of filling for each cigars. This may yield less number of cigars for the given filling.

http://sizzlingveggies.com/challenges/avant-garde-cookies/chocolate-baklava-cigars-topped-with-chocolate-caramel-sauce/

 

This is for the Avant Garde Cookies Group. Check out Anusha, Radhika,Kavi, Priya, Priya Mahadevan, Roshni and Veena the other cookies in my voyage.

 

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  8 Responses to “Chocolate Baklava Cigars Topped with Chocolate-Caramel Sauce”

  1. Amazing presentation J!! Looks so deeeeelish!

  2. Lovely! Beautiful pics..

  3. haha- you are surrounded by loving people who just want you a little more than others 🙂 the baklava cigars look stunning and must have tasted swell.

  4. amazing dish, loved your pics a lot….

  5. I made this with phyllo shells. do visit my space. yours is very lovely.

  6. Looks yum. I can use some for my after dinner smoke.:) Joking! You are amazing.
    I am hosting Kids Delight from 16th Nov to 15th Dec’2012 . Do send me your entries

  7. I just wish I could get hold of the damn phyllo sheets in my place Jay. Other wise I would have tried it long back. Really lazy to do it from scratch though.

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