I was having a curry night for friends and wanted something authentic for pudding. But how to get the chocolate bit in? Kulfi is the only Indian desert I know and chocolate kulfi? No, just didn’t seem right. So, I cheated a bit and made mango kulfi for pudding, and then made a middle eastern baklawa to have with lemon balm tea after dinner.
- First, took 400g filo pastry pack out of the freezer and left overnight in fridge to defrost.
- Heated 300g of granulated sugar with 200ml water until sugar dissolved.
- Added 6 lightly crushed cardamon pods and simmered for 15 mins until slightly thickened.
- Left to cool then added 1 tbsp rose water and 2 tbsp lemon juice.
- Meanwhile, chopped 100g almonds, 100g walnuts and 100g pistachios into small bits (initially tried to use coffee grinder to do this, but it enthusiastically turned the nuts into powder, so had to give up on this method as baklawa is so much nicer with pieces of nut to bite into and chew upon).
- Dry fried these for about 5 minutes being careful not to scorch them, then left to cool.
- Chopped 100g dark chocolate into small pieces.
- Mixed together nuts, chocolate, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tbsp syrup.
- Melted 175g unsalted butter.
- Buttered an 8″ sq cake tin then covered the tin with two overlapping sheets of filo (if I’d had a tin the same size as the pastry, life would have been easier) and brushed with melted butter.
- Repeated this another 5 times, then spread half the nut mixture over the pastry.
- Folded in the overhanging bits of pastry.
- Covered the nut mixture with another 6 layers of pastry brushed with butter then spread on the remaining nut mixture. Folded in the overhanging bits.
- Covered nuts with another 6 layers of pastry brushed with butter and then folded in the overhanging bits giving it all a final buttering.
- Cut the baklawa into about 18 pieces (tried to do diamonds, but turned out to be rectangles with a few triangles).
- Baked at 175°C (gas 4) for about 25 mins until crisp and golden.
- Poured the cold syrup over the top as soon as was removed from the oven (this helps keep it crisp).