Hazelnut, Chocolate and Date Baklava

, from Issue #30. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Hazelnut, Chocolate and Date Baklava

The baklava are best served on the day of making. If you do make them ahead, reheat in a 180˚C oven for 3-4 minutes to re-crisp them, but cool before serving.


6-8 sheets filo pastry
½ cup melted butter

70 grams hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ginger
¼ teaspoon each ground cloves and cardamom
50 grams dark chocolate (68% cocoa), chopped
¼ cup finely chopped dates

To serve
icing sugar for dusting
rose Turkish delight, optional


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Filling: Put all the filling ingredients into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not turning into a paste. Any large pieces of filling will rip the pastry when rolled.

To assemble: Lay one sheet of filo on the bench with the short end towards you. Keep the remaining pastry covered with a damp tea towel to prevent it drying out.

Brush half the sheet with butter and sprinkle with three tablespoons of filling. Fold the top, un-buttered half, over the filling. Brush with butter. Cut into 3 x 7 cm wide strips and roll up firmly into small cigars. Brush with butter and place on a lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling, wiping the bench clean before laying out the next sheet of filo.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden, turning the tray halfway through for even browning. Transfer to a cooling rack.

To serve: Dust with icing sugar and arrange on a platter with the Turkish delight. Makes about 18 baklava.