Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baklava Disaster

I have 3 packages of phyllo dough in my freezer. I'm not sure why, but they're there. So I figured I'd try to make some baklava. I bought some walnuts and honey at the store, and I was ready to get started. Yeah, I know, they look delicious, but they weren't.

My first mistake: not enough layers.

Second mistake: not enough brown sugar

Third mistake: I thought I would substitute some chopped dates for brown sugar. Not a good idea.

Fourth mistake: not enough butter brushed over each phyllo dough sheet.

Fifth and most important mistake: making up a recipe before practicing with a tried-and-true recipe.

Because I didn't do enough layers, the baklava was too airy. Without enough brown sugar, the layers didn't stick to each other during baking. The dates got chewy during baking and gave the baklava a weird texture. And without enough butter, it just turned out crispy.

Let me just say, for the record, this was my first attempt at baklava. I read through some recipes and I thought I could wing it. This method has worked for me before, but it certainly didn't this time.

Don't make the same mistakes I did. Follow a good recipe and then modify once you've gotten the method. And when they say to let it sit for several hours before eating, do it!
P.S. Watch the cloves. Too much and it'll be all you can taste.

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