Usually, people who have a sweet tooth crave something sweet to eat every now and then. Main course and big meals are all part of the meal, but dessert and sweeteners are just mandatory that add flavor not just to the food but to life too. Hence keeping in mind your satisfaction for a rich dessert, we are here with an amazingly delicious recipe of Almond-Cardamom Baklava (Azeri Pakhlava) that would just sweeten your day and satisfy your sweet cravings in an instant.
Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the Levant, the Caucasus, Balkans, Maghreb, and of Central and West Asia.
Commonly regarded as a Greek specialty, baklava is available in a wide range of local variations throughout Greece, both mainland and islands. It is also widely found in Turkish and many Arabic and Middle Eastern cultures. Baklava is generally served on special occasions in many areas during religious ceremonies. Initially, when it was not as common and known, it could only be afforded by the rich and wealthy, but now is a dessert that every culture opts for and is widespread in different regions.
As the name denotes, Azeri Pakhlava is the kind of pakhlava that is found in Azerbaijan (Baku) and is made with utmost specialty and care with a layer of sweetener at the top, served after cut into diamond pieces for the perfect texture and taste.
Hence the recipe today is the combination of Yeasty pastry, hazelnuts or Circassian walnut, milled clove, cardamom, saffron, which are used for the preparation of pakhlava and would give a the deliciousness that is rare and unique. To sweeten your day and lighten your mood by trying out this recipe. Satisfy your craving and brighten up your events and occasions by serving this perfect dish to your guests.
Almond-Cardamom Baklava (Azeri Pakhlava)
Ingredients for syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp saffron
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- tbsp lemon juice,
Ingredients for the dough
- 1 pcs large egg room temperature
- 1 pinch of Salt
- 2 tbsp sour cream room temperature
- 1 cup warm melted unsalted butter
- 1 cup warm milk
- 6 cup all purpose flour
Ingredients for the filling
- 3 cup crushed nuts walnuts, peeled almonds, or peeled hazelnuts) plus more whole or blanched almonds for decorating
- 2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
- The first thing to do before starting to prepare the dish is to get all your ingredients ready from the list and make sure you have all of them available at the time of baking the baklava.
- Make sure that all your ingredients are fresh and available at the time of baking.
- Set the time accordingly and maintain the track time.
- Have your almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts peeled beforehand for a time-saving process.
- Also, make sure you have the sugar granulated and cardamom grounded at the time of starting the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 375° and set a rack at its center.
Prepare the syrup
- For preparing the syrup of baklava to take a medium saucepan
- Add the sugar, saffron, water, honey, and lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved for about 2 minutes.
- Remove and let cool.
Make the filling
- While the oven is getting ready, brush a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with some of the melted butter.
- Place a sheet of dough in the bottom of the dish. Brush the top with melted butter.
- Repeat the same process for 7 times to yield 8 buttered layers.
- Sprinkle the buttered dough with a third of the prepared almond filling, distributing it evenly.
- Add another 4 sheets of dough, brushing each with melted butter, then cover the top with half of the remaining filling.
- Repeat with 4 more sheets of dough, more melted butter, and the remaining filling.
- Finally, add 8 sheets of dough, brushing each with melted butter. (If you have some leftover dough; freeze and store for another use.)
- Using a sharp knife and leaving a 1⁄2-inch solid border around the sides of the pan, slice the dough lengthwise into four 1 1⁄2-inch-thick columns.
- Then make diagonal cuts every 1 1⁄2 inches across the columns to create a pattern of diamond shapes.
- Brush the top layer generously with melted butter, and top each diamond of dough with a blanched or whole almond.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until it turns brown and looks ready.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°.
- Brush with more melted butter. Bake again until lightly golden for about 30–35 minutes more.
Spread the syrup on top
- Remove the dish from the oven.
- If needed, using a sharp knife, cut along the creases again, then pour 2 cups of the saffron syrup evenly over the baklava (it will sizzle dramatically).
- Let cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the baking dish.
- Your delicious and sweet baklava is ready to be served. You may also let it sit for the night and then serve the other day.
- Serving: This recipe is meant to treat approx. 24 people. If you wish to cook for a larger crowd, make sure to increase the quantity and ratio accordingly.
- Storage: Almond-Cardamom Baklava (Azeri Pakhlava) tastes the best when eaten fresh, and as soon as it is baked but just in case you have any leftovers, you need not worry as you can conveniently store your meal in a closed Tupperware for up to 2-3 days. If the weather is very hot, try not to store the dessert for more than a day.
- Syrup: Syrup can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, at room temperature. Skim away any crystals that form.
- Variations: Almond-Cardamom Baklava can also be made with different styles as per the culture and tradition of every state.
- Crockery and equipment: For the purpose of baking, try using a non-stick baking tray.