Olive Oil Baklava with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate
Brightland's Chef in Residence, Noreen Wasti, has shared the recipe for a nutty, decadent holiday treat: Olive Oil Baklava with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate.
"The holiday season is filled with confections and treats and while I love a frosted Santa sugar cookie as much as the next person, sometimes it’s nice to do something a little different. I was inspired by baklava — a dessert that is said to have originated under the Ottoman Empire and has spread throughout much of the Middle East and Central Asia in many variations."
"Baklava is made up of delicate layers of phyllo pastry that are filled with nuts and soaked in a sweet syrup. The phyllo layers are traditionally brushed with butter, which I’ve switched out for ALIVE — a swap that that adds beautiful richness and that also happens to make this dessert accidentally vegan!" -Noreen Wasti
For the Baklava
"The filling is a mixture of walnuts, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and salt that you might find yourself eating on its own by the spoonful." -Noreen Wasti
For the Syrup
Notes from Noreen:
I find it useful to cut the phyllo pastry to the shape of the pan, but if you don’t want to do this you can just place the phyllo sheets as-is into the pan and fold the edges over to fit.
I used a 10-inch springform cake pan, but any deep square, sheet, or round pan will work just fine.
If you’re confused about the phyllo layers, the order is: 6 sheets phyllo, filling, 3 sheets phyllo, filling, 3 sheets phyllo, filling, 6 sheets phyllo. Feel free to adapt this to however many sheets you are using. All phyllo sheets get brushed with olive oil.
The simplest cut for baklava is squares, but if you want to get fancy, here is a helpful tutorial to make the star diamond pattern — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hutF_E0kmqQ
"For me, chocolate and salt go hand-in-hand, so be generous with it - it’s much needed to offset the sweetness of the silky honey-sugar-vanilla syrup that gets doused on top. This dessert is nutty, decadent, and a lot easier than it looks, trust me. Happy Holidays!" -Noreen Wasti