Chocolates and roses are so ordinary for Valentine’s Day, but the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul has a new dessert item for this day of romance that is anything but common. Guests of the ultra-luxury hotel can now delight their taste-buds with a delectable Chocolate Baklava treat made by the hotel’s awarded pastry chefs, Executive chef and Master Chocolatier, William McCarrick and Baklava guru Chef Duran Gunes. The two whipped up this classic recipe that is a signature dessert from the holy land of Baklava in Anatolia, Gaziantep.
What makes this Chocolate Baklava so unique? It is made with three types of flour exclusive to Turkey and the finest cocoa chocolate in the world (64%). The divine pastry is then enhanced with cream and festive spices including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove and black pepper. The perfect marriage of sweet and spicy! A candied orange peel garnishes the dish.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul pastry chefs are sharing this heavenly recipe with your readers so that everyone can inspire romance for this Valentine’s Day.
INGREDIENTS for 20 pieces
For the Filling
• ¼ TBSP - gram spice mix
• 42 oz - pomegranate juice
• 26.5 oz - cream
• 8.5 oz - glucose
• 77 oz - bitter couverture (chocolate)
For the syrup
• 2 cups (1 lb) sugar
• 2 cups (16 fl oz) water
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the cover
• 40 sheet filo pastry
1. Place all the ingredients under 'filling' in a bowl. Mix all for middle of baklava
2. Combine until blended.
3. Place all the ingredients for the syrup together in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, while stirring for the sugar to dissolve. Simmer for 10 minutes and leave it to cool.
4. Brush a 12X10 in baking dish with butter.
5. Brush 10 sheets of filo with melted butter.
6. Lay them on the dish one by one.
7. Spread the filling in the dish.
8. Now top it off with further 10-12 sheets of pastry, buttering each sheet as needed (You can trim off the excess pastry hanging on the side of your baking dish. Now brush the top of the pastry with more butter)
9. With a sharp knife, score the top layers in large diamond shapes.
10. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 1 hour or until the top turns golden brown. If you find that the top is turning color too quickly, then cover the top with foil.
11. Remove from the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the top.
12. Now comes the MOST DIFFICULT part. You have gotta to let it sit for at least 5-6 hours for it to absorb the syrup.