Baklava

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Hello!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted a new recipe here. I’ve been really busy with a catering event that I did last Friday and didn’t have time to think about anything other than Greek food and macarons. I spent a ridiculous number of hours in the kitchen and at various grocery stores getting everything I needed.

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Good filo pastry is no joke!

If you remember last summer I did a couple of catering events for one of my high school teachers and his family including his retirement party and the wedding rehearsal dinner for his son.

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I did those events with my dear friend, Taylor. Right now, she is currently having the time of her life in Europe so I did this by myself (with frequent encouraging texts from her because she’s the greatest ;))

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This was an event for about 100 people and it was no joke. Originally I was doing all of the food, then a week before it was changed so I was just making the desserts (macarons, baklava, karidopita) and the spanakopita. My macarons were specially requested as an addition to all of the Greek food which I loved because macarons are one of my favourite things to make.

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I used more sugar, filo pastry, spinach, almond flour and just about any other ingredient you can think of than I’ve ever used over a four day period. By the time I was done I was exhausted. And my gimpy knee was not happy with me. The smiles on people’s faces made it so worth it though.

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The recipes I have for the Greek food I’ve done for the last few events are authentic Greek recipes given to me by my high school teacher’s wife. And oh my goodness are they good.

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My house smelled how I imagine every Greek kitchen to smell. Amazing.

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I’m sharing the baklava recipe for you because it’s always a hit and it’s so, so easy to make.

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Enjoy!

Baklava: 

Ingredients:

Baklava: 

  • 1 lb. filo
  • 1 lb. walnuts (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp. ground cloves

Syrup: 

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 4-6 whole cloves

Directions:

  1. Combine walnuts, sugar and spices in a large mixing bowl. Melt butter and brush bottom of a baking dish with melted butter; place on a baking sheet.
  2. Place a filo sheet in baking dish and brush with melted butter, repeating this process until 6-7 sheets line the bottom of the pan. Add two handfuls of walnut mixture and spread evenly. Add two more filo sheets, brushing each with butter. Add nut mixture, repeating this process until all the ingredients are used, ending with 6-7 layers of filo on top.
  3. Brush top sheet with butter and cut baklava into diamond shapes. Bake at 350° for 45min-1hr, until golden brown.
  4. Mix ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan. Boil for 30-45 minutes and pour hot syrup over cool baklava.

Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

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I’m on a self-imposed macaron break. At the end of next week I’m catering an event that is predominantly Greek food and a few batches of my macarons because they are the perfect little treat.

Combine this macaron break with my love for just about anything Spanish and you get these churros with the richest, creamiest chocolate dipping sauce you can possibly imagine.

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I was actually inspired to make these churros because the owners of my favourite restaurant in town are opening up two new restaurants this winter, one of which will be a churro bar.

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I don’t actually think before making these that I’d ever had a churro.

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I know. Who am I?

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So I went on a little churro quest online and found a recipe for these that I thought I’d try out.

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They’re goooood. Crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside with a hint of orange from the zest in the batter.

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These churros furthered my love for all things Spanish.

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Add in the chocolate dipping sauce and you’ll be dreaming of nights on the streets of Barcelona.

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Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce: 

Ingredients:

Churros:
Via

  • 175g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 100g unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • Sugar, for coating

Chocolate Dipping Sauce: 

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Directions:

Churros: 

  1. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Put the butter in a pan with 200ml cold water and a pinch of salt. Cook over a medium heat until the butter melts, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool for 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs until smooth. Stir in the orange zest, cover the bowl and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour enough oil into a large saucepan until one-third full. Place over a medium heat until the oil reaches 180°C. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped nozzle. Pipe 2 or 3 finger-length pieces directly into the oil, snipping off each with scissors. Cook for about 45 seconds each side, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve with chocolate dipping sauce.

Chocolate Dipping Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted. Whisk cornstarch into heavy cream and add to milk/chocolate mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and let cook for a further 30 seconds. The sauce will thicken and get darker. Remove from heat then transfer to another bowl for dipping.

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