Honestly, I was trying to come up with some excuse for why I couldn't complete this month's challenge. One reason: i.n.t.i.m.i.d.a.t.e.d. I just didn't think I would have the patience, time or ability to do it. And I'm not a fan of backlava. Ok there. I said it. I made it once a few years ago and just didn't like it, so I wasn't too excited about the challenge. Now that I've finished it though, I'm delighted I did. I can now say I made my own phyllo pastry.
And I will never be doing it again. I figure its like climbing Mt. Everest. Its an awesome achievement, but once in a lifetime is enough.
Ok well maybe its not as extreme as climbing Everest, but its my baking equivalent :)
Here's a link to the recipe which has some really great tips on how to roll out the phyllo.
As I have a 90th birthday cake to make (I'll post it next week :), I'm just going to give you what I did in stages.
First I had to make the phyllo and roll it very, very thin. I made a single batch of recipe and it took me nearly 4 hours to roll it out.
Once I had the dough done and nicely covered I started processing the nuts. Instead of going for the walnuts and pistachios listed in the recipe (not really a fan of walnuts, which may have contributed to my dislike for the first version I made years ago) I emptied out my cupboard and used the different types of nuts I had on hand.
In the end I had cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and brazil nuts. So I threw all them with a cinnamon stick, a pinch of allspice and some sugar into my mini-processor.
Isn't it cute?
Its so tiny it took a few goes but I finally ended up with bowl of deliciousness ...
A thought it was stuffing, so he grabbed a spoon and dug in. He had quite the look of shock when he realized it wasn't actually stuffing, but he said it tasted awesome. I had to use my rolling pin to get him out and make sure I had some left for the backlava!
After multiple butter-phyllo-butter-phyllo-butter-phyllo-butter-phyllo-butter-phyllo-nut mix-butter-phyllo (you get the idea) it was ready for the oven. When it was finished I poured the syrup over the crispy deliciousness and just left it swimming for the night.
Swimming in syrup
I was a little worried it would be too much syrup, but by the morning ...
The syrup had all soaked in! I was surprised.
I had to try a slice ...
...and it was totally delish!! So nice, I have to get it out of the house ... my hips don't need this delicious, pastry, nutty, syrupy treasure hanging around. Good thing I have a 90th birthday party to take them to :)
Try it sometime. Just make sure you don't have anything else planned for the evening :)