I was at it again this month in the kitchen! Erica from Erica’s Edibles blog challenged us to make baklava, but not just any ‘ol baklava, she challenged us to make baklava with our own homemade phyllo dough! I’ve always had the impression that phyllo is so difficult to make on your own, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s not quite as intimidating as one might assume. I have to be real, it’s a little time consuming, but as long as you are prepared to devote a full afternoon, a ton of flour and a chunk of patience then you’re well on your way to homemade phyllo and the best baklava you’ve ever eaten!
For this baklava I was pretty much using what I already had on hand. When I saw the challenge, my mind was reeling with ideas, but some of those ideas were for ingredients I didn’t already have in the cupboard. So to be smart about it, I used up what was already on hand. Recently I made some cake pops, one of which was a tiramisu cake pop. For that, I had a bunch of left over chocolate covered coffee beans. I figured, why not toss these into the baklava? So I replaced some of the nuts in the recipe with the chocolate covered espresso beans! In addition, I also added a small handful of macadamia nuts (there was only a small amount left in the bag, probably 1/4 cup), almonds and walnuts. The most prominent taste was definitely the coffee beans though! I’m so glad I decided to add the espresso beans because this was the best baklava I’ve ever made (undecided if it was the homemade phyllo or the espresso beans – or both! – that made this the best)!
For the syrup, I didn’t think to make sure I had enough plain honey on hand before I set about to make this baklava. In a hurry, I grabbed my jar of blueberry flavored honey and used it in addition to the regular honey. It was probably an even half and half of regular honey to blueberry flavored honey. What a fantastic choice! I don’t think I’ll ever make baklava without using some type of flavored honey again! It was a great way to add flavor without it being too overpowering. And the combination of coffee flavor and a hint of blueberry was amazing! I’ve already been asked to make it again, yummy!
Make sure to check out The Daring Kitchen, scroll to the center of the home page and you’ll see a slide show playing of all the baklava creations from the Daring Bakers and the recipe!