Date Syrup Baklava
We wanted to create a twist on a delicious and widely loved classic. The use of LIVA Date Syup in stead of honey adds a beautiful caramel-like flavour to the baklava!
Prepare the simple syrup 2 hours before preparing the baklava to allow it to chill before using. To prepare the simple syrup, combine all the simple syrup ingredients in a bowl and give it a good stir. Place the syrup in the fridge to chill.
After 2 hours, preheat the oven to 400 degrees f.
In a food processor add the walnuts and pulse a few times. Add in ½ cup of LIVA date sugar. Mix the sugar & walnuts and pulse once or twice. Add the rest of the date sugar & cinnamon and pulse. The walnuts and date sugar should come to a crumbly texture. Refrain from over-processing and making the mixture too fine or powdery.
Melt your butter sticks to a liquid state and prepare a baking pan. The baking pan size can be 11x ¾ in. x 9 3/8 in. x 2 5/16 in. or 9 x 14. Measure accordingly by cutting your phyllo sheets (all together) to fit the pan.
Begin brushing the baking pan with butter and add the first phyllo sheet. Use the brush to butter the top of the first sheet. Repeat this step; by brushing the butter on each layered phyllo sheet until you have layered 17 sheets.
When you have buttered the 17th phyllo sheet, add the walnut mixture, and spread evenly to form the center filling.
Add a phyllo sheet on top of the walnut filling and brush with butter. Repeat this step with each phyllo sheet, until you reach 7 phyllo sheet layers.
Brush the top of the 7th phyllo sheet later with butter. Without delay, use a sharp knife in an upward direction to carve pieces into the sheets. Cut lines into the baklava first vertically and, then horizontally, forming diamond shaped pieces. Cut deeply, until the knife reaches the bottom layers of the pan. Make sure to create these cuts delicately and slowly to ensure the sheets don’t pull away.
When the cuts are made, pour the remaining melted butter over the top of the baklava evenly. Move the tray side to side to ensure the butter is getting into the cut slits and spreading evenly throughout the centre and bottom of the tray.
Place the baking tray in the oven on the middle wrack for 35 minutes and until the baklava is golden on the top.
When the baklava is ready, remove the tray from the oven. Pour the chilled date syrup over the hot baklava evenly. Use a brush if needed to spread the syrup evenly. Let the syrup run through the cut slits. Leave the baklava to solidify and cool for at least 3 hours.
When ready, serve and enjoy!
Phyllo sheets are very delicate and need to be handled gently. Phyllo sheets need to be thawed and cannot be frozen or hardened when assembling. Remove the phyllo sheets from the freezer an hour before making baklava. LIVA date syrup is darker than simple syrup but will lighten and turn golden when met with hot baklava. LIVA date sugar is finer than refined cane sugar and should be pulsed lightly. When pouring the date syrup over the baklava, the syrup must be cold, and the baklava must be hot.