I’m pretty sure the first time I’d ever heard of Baklava was from the Disney movie Aladdin. At least, that’s the first time I remember being conscious of what it actually was. I’d certainly never eaten it before that point, and honestly, didn’t even eat it until quite some time after. And when I did finally eat it for the first time in all it’s delicious nutty syrup-y glory, I never in a million years thought, “One day I’m gonna make this myself!”
My how times change.
Even after two years of pastry school, I still hadn’t made it though, so when I was presented with the challenge of making it, I admit, I was nervous. I’m supposed to be good at this – what if it’s a giant fail? I couldn’t bear to face that potential outcome, so, I decided to make it and only reveal the finished product if it turned out decent.
I started with the nut mixture – almonds, walnuts and pistachios. So far, so good.
I then began the layering process – Phyllo dough sheets, nuts, more sheets, more nuts…
…until no nuts remained.
Next, I had to cut it. I was nervous about this part – one false move could end the whole thing.
Next up, baking. While it baked, I made the syrup. I also sampled the syrup – repeatedly. After I was finally 100% sure that it was, in fact, unbelievably delicious, I removed the baked baklava from the oven, poured the syrup carefully over top, and garnished it with finely chopped pistachios.
Success! I waited until it cooled down, and ate a piece just make sure it passed the smell, sight AND taste test. This morning, again to be 100% sure, I had to have another piece. Now, it’s up to the people to decide its fate tomorrow, when I unleash my baklava out into the world (and by world, I mean my co-workers).