According to my husband Brice, one of the best things about having a cook at his fraternity house in college was that she made great dessert. No, he sadly wasn’t a dessert lover back then either. It was that the college girls, I guess myself included, were much more inclined to stop by. Their cook Jody in particular made some really delicious baklava. Making this Mediterranean dessert was much more fun than just eating some cookies out of a box (though she did make awesome chocolate chip cookies too, I remember), so whenever it was made, all the girls were excited to head to the Delta Sig house. Sure, the boys thought it was for them, but truth be told, it was merely the thought of that tasty baklava.
What is not to like? Layered phyllo dough, nuts, and honey layered into one rich, flavorful pastry. But what can make baklava even better? Adding chocolate of course.
Frankly, that just makes anything better in my opinion.
So when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Baklava, using Nutella of all things, I knew I had to make it.
Simply put, this is an amazing treat – sweet, crunchy, decadent. Though surprisingly easy to make make, it is an impressive dessert to serve up when entertaining. So go ahead and give it a try, you know you want to!
Recipe from Cooking Light
Prep time: 1 hour, 20 minutes; Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- 3/4C honey
- 1/2C water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1C hazelnut-chocolate spread (I used Nutella)
- 1/2C toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2C roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1/3C blanched toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/3C toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2t ground cinnamon
- 1/8t salt
- Cooking spray
- 24 phyllo dough sheets, defrosted, in 14 x 9″ rectangles (If the box you purchase are not in that size, just take a pair of kitchen scissors to cut them to the approximate size.)
- 1/2C butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place hazelnut-chocolate spread in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 30 seconds or until melted.
3. Combine hazelnuts and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl; set aside.
4. Lightly coat a 13 x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.
5. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining phyllo sheets with a damp towel to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing ends of sheet to extend over edges of dish; lightly brush with butter.
6. Repeat procedure with 5 phyllo sheets and butter. Drizzle about 1/3C of the melted Nutella over phyllo dough. Sprinkle evenly with about 1/2C of the nut mixture.
7. Repeat procedure two more times with phyllo, butter, Nutella, and nut mixture. Top last layer of nut mixture with remaining 6 sheets phyllo, each lightly brushed with butter. Press gently into pan.
8. Make 3 lengthwise cuts and 5 crosswise cuts to form 24 portions using a sharp knife. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until phyllo is golden. Remove from oven.
9. While baklava is baking, combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir until honey dissolves. Increase heat to medium; cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230° (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat but keep warm. Discard cinnamon stick.
10. Drizzle the cinnamon honey mixture over baklava. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
11. Cover and store at room temperature (if you somehow manage to not eat all of it first!)
Tips & Tricks:
Baklava is surprisingly easy to prepare. The difficult (and time-consuming) part is layering the phyllo dough. Phyllo dough is really fragile and can try out really quickly, making the layering process difficult. So be sure to handle the phyllo with care and to cover the remaining sheets with a damp towel, otherwise it is likely to crack and tear. Don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world if it does tear, but a little more difficult and less pretty for the layering.
For a time-saver, put the nuts in a small food processor to do the chopping for you!
Don’t have a candy thermometer? Don’t fret. While it is better to have one to be sure the cinnamon honey mixture is the right stage, you can base it off of the time cooking instead and also test it via your eyes – the honey should be completely dissolved, about half as much liquid as when it started, but the mixture should not be at a syrupy stage yet.