Peanut, Chocolate and Caramel Baklava

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I’ve been wanting to try to make baklava for a while – I love it. However, I know that my family are not overly keen, they find it to sickly and sweet.

Anyway, the other day i had some filo pastry left over from dinner and decided some experimentation was in order. I am the biggest peanut and chocolate fan, whether it be snickers, peanut butter m and ms, the peanut kitkat, I love them all.

I decided that I would try to incorporate this into a baklava. I looked up a recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website and used it as the basis for my version.

A traditional baklava is normally made by baking chopped nuts (often pistachios) in between layers of filo pastry and then pouring a honey/sugar syrup over the top to make it stick together.
I decided that instead of pistachios I was going to put a mixture of chopped roasted peanuts and chocolate. Instead of using a honey syrup, which I thought might be a bit too floral for the peanut/chocolate combination, I made a runny caramel and used this to sandwich it all together.

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My recipe was as follows:

1x 270g pack filo pastry (normally 6 sheets)
150g roasted unsalted peanuts
50g chocolate, chopped
100g butter, melted

For the caramel:
250g Sugar
125ml mixture of cream and milk
50g butter

First, to make the caramel:
Melt the sugar in a heavy based saucepan
When it is melted and golden brown in colour, remove off the heat and stir in the butter
Add the cream/milk mixture slowly, beating after each addition.
Set the caramel aside to cool.

Then make the baklava:
Put the nuts into a food processor and whiz them until coarsely chopped then mix in the chocolate pieces
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Cut the 6 sheets of pastry in half so you have 12 pieces
Find a tin roughly the same shape as your pastry pieces and butter it with some of the melted butter
Lay a layer of filo pastry into the tin and then brush it with melted butter
Add another layer of filo pastry onto the first one and butter it again
Repeat this until you have four layers of filo

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Sprinkle half the peanut and chocolate mix over the fourth layer of filo pastry

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Repeat the layers of filo pastry and butter on top of the peanut mixture so that you have another four
Sprinkle over the remaining peanut and chocolate and then layer up the remaining four pieces of filo
Make sure you brush the top layer with butter
Cut the baklava into pieces before you bake it. Make sure that you cut all the way through to the bottom.

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Bake at 170 degrees for 30 mins or until golden brown.

While the baklava is baking, check on your cooled caramel. If it is incredibly thick then thin it with some milk. It needs to be of a syrupy consistency that can be spooned over the baklava and seep down to the bottom.

When the baklava is cooked pour/spoon over half of the caramel, let it rest for five minutes then spoon over the other half.
When the baklava is completely cool you can take it out of the tin and tuck in!

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