Nadiya Hussain's Chocolate and Orange Blossom Baklava

Make Nadiya Hussain's impressive chocolate and orange blossom baklava for special dinner party dessert. As seen on her BBC series, Time to Eat.

From the book

Time To Eat by
Time To Eat
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Introduction

I had always imagined that baklava would be very sweet, like Indian sweets, and I wasn’t wrong – it is sweet, but there’s something about the crunchy, sticky pastry and nuts that makes you forget. This is my favourite combination of chocolate and orange, and I like to eat it the way we did in Turkey, with lashings of clotted cream on top.

Makes 16
Cook time: 2 h

Ingredients

300g mixed nuts
3 tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 orange, zest only (save the juice for the syrup)
200g butter
2 x 270g packs of filo pastry
2 x 140g pots of clotted cream
For the syrup:
250g caster sugar
50g honey
3 tsp orange blossom water
orange juice, freshly squeezed and topped with water to make 200ml of liquid
4 cardamom pods, crushed

Essential kit

You will need a square 21cm cake tin and a food processor.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C. Grease a square 21cm cake tin.

In a food processor, blitz the nuts until ground to small, even pieces. Stir in the syrup, salt, cocoa powder and orange zest and put to one side.

Melt the butter, then open your first pack of filo pastry. Cut the sheets in half so you have a pile of squares. Place your cake tin on top and trim the pastry with a sharp knife so it is the same size as the base of the tin.

Brush a square of pastry with butter and lay it in the base of the cake tin, then do the same to every single square until you have all that pastry inside the tin. Press the pastry down firmly every time you put in a square. Put the nuts on top and press down again to create an even layer.

Open the second pack of pastry and, again, cut it in half and trim the edges to fit the tin. Layer each piece one on top of the other as before, brushing with melted butter, and pressing down. If there’s any butter left over, just pour it on top.

With the pastry still in the tin, use a sharp knife to cut out the squares, making sure to get all the way to the bottom layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 130°C/fan 110°C and bake for a further 45 minutes.

To make the syrup, mix together the sugar, honey, orange blossom water and juice. Add the crushed cardamom pods and let them infuse for a couple of minutes, then remove. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Once the baklava is out of the oven, pour the syrup all over and leave to cool completely.

I like to decorate these with edible golden stars. They are best eaten with a smothering of clotted cream.

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