There’s No Honey in Baklava, I’m Crushed

Today on Martha Stewart she was making baklava.  I eagerly waited until the very last segment to see how it is actually made.  In my mind I pictured the process to be some ancient custom, maybe something that mothers only passed down to their daughters.  But to my surprise it looked really simple, I mean really simple.  Since I love, love, love baklava I thought I would whip some up, tonight in fact.  But here’s the shocker that I learned today – Baklava doesn’t have honey in it.  What?  How many times have I eaten baklava and pronounced to everyone around me that I was in love with honey.  I fee like a kid learning there is no Santa Claus.  It’s not honey it’s sugar syrup and butter.  Butter, oh okay, I’m over it, cause I also have a love affair with butter.  And baklava so here it is.

I scrolled through Martha’s other recipes and put out an email to family for some authentic recipes.  I decided not to try the one she made on air today because I didn’t have rose water.  Now I know that rose water is used in many recipes but I just can’t get the idea of soap out of my mind.  Here’s the recipe I made: Cinnamon-Walnut Baklava.

I started out by pulsing my nuts with the cinnamon and sugar, easy.

Check out this Cuisinart it’s older than I am and still works perfectly.

Then I started in on layering my phyllo.  I had some confusion following the steps in the recipe.  I never read very carefully and when they start saying repeat, butter, repeat, add filling, then repeat 3 times I get all confused.  I never know exactly what to repeat, all of it or just the last step.  So I deviated and just did it like they did on the show this morning.  I layered a bunch maybe 15 and then put all my nut mixture on and then put another 20 or so.  I was also confused because I couldn’t figure out if my box contained 2- 1 lb packages or 2- 1/2 lb packages so I was hesitant to use all the phyllo in the box, it seemed like so much.

Next up, making the cuts, I was nervous, they did it so perfectly on the show.  But no problem, this was super easy.

Into the oven it went and I started making the syrup.  Syrup was pretty easy.  My palms started getting sweaty because I was thinking back to my toffee making problems (The trouble with making toffee) and this looked similar.  But not the case, it was easy.  It didn’t really get thick but I just pretended it was.

So my only hitch came after I pulled the golden beauty from the oven and started to pour the syrup on top.

When the hot syrup hit the baklava it started boiling.  This was a bit scary, I wasn’t expecting that.  Since this was my first time I am not sure if this always happens or if I really botched it up.  I’ll find out next time when I let the syrup cool first.

The finished product – see those little edge pieces I couldn’t resist.

So as I write it is cooling, I can’t wait to taste it.  In fact I can’t wait to try more recipes.  Maybe I will do a survey of baklava recipes.  Oh delicious.

Okay I had to come back and update this.  It is amazing!  Oh butter, how I adore you.  It is a little sweet I think I will cut the sugar by 1/2 cup at least and using less syrup was just fine.

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7 responses to “There’s No Honey in Baklava, I’m Crushed

  1. Chelsea Kruse

    AHHHHHHHHH-mazing!!! So good! Too bad the whole pan was gone in a day. Will you make more?

  2. the syrup is supposed to boil when poured over 🙂

  3. Well 90% of baklava recipies actually have honey, Martha just decided to replace it with a simple syrup…. But in the end, theyre almost the same thing anywau right 😀 Sugar is sugar 🙂

  4. Diane Harriman

    According to my great grandmother, grandmother and mother, Baklava does not have honey. The flavor is overpowering. It looks like you had total success!

  5. Most baklava recipes I have seen are made with honey. I make one with maple syrup. Some baklava aficionados have told me that it is the best they ever had.
    Here’s the recipe:
    wezah.com/family/maple-cashew-baklava

  6. THANK YOU!!! for putting this recipe here.. I am deathly allergic to honey and I LOVE Baklava.. Now I know a safe way to make it and have it when ever I want.

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