Whether you want to treat yourself, top off a family meal in style or celebrate a special occasion, nothing will hit the spot like a baklava burger. What is Baklava? From its thin dough pastry and decadent filling of nuts and spices to that perfect drizzle of honey on top, baklava is as close as your taste buds will get to heaven on earth. Here we look at the long and proud history of one of the world’s most beloved desserts and one of the tastiest traditional Lebanese food.
One Baklava to Rule Them All
When the Ottoman Empire came to power in the 14th century, the history of baklava would be changed forever. Almost all of the many cultures that had developed and perfected their versions of baklava were swallowed up within Ottoman borders, which effectively meant that the making of baklava was consolidated. While many see this as a time when baklava’s creativity was crushed, others view this period as when baklava was perfected, as all of the region’s finest chefs were now working together. When the Ottoman Empire finally fell early in the 20th Century, baklava spread across Europe and beyond.
So How Is Baklava Burger Made?
Baklava burger is made from layers of filo dough pastry filled with chopped nuts – usually walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds – and held together by syrup or honey.
Baklava is usually made in a large pan. The layers of filo dough pastry are laid out and slathered with oil and butter to give it that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Some recipes call for many layers of nuts, but often they are only two thick layers. Before the pastry and nuts are baked, the baklava is cut into pieces, usually following the same parallelogram pattern that makes the dish instantly recognisable.
Once the pastry is baked, the syrup or honey is poured over the top. The dish is left to sit, allowing the liquid to soak in. The baklava is then garnished with ground nuts (usually pistachios – the greenness of the nuts is another recognisable characteristic). This gives baklava its dense, syrupy texture.
Baklava is usually served at room temperature, so you can get stuck in without burning your tongue!
More Than Just a Delicious Treat
If baklava’s fantastic taste isn’t enough for you, it also comes with various health benefits making it yet another example of healthy Lebanese food. Walnuts, pine nuts and almonds are high in unsaturated fat (which can help control cholesterol) and are a great source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium and folic acid. Baklava’s phyllo pastry is low in calories and free from both trans-fat and saturated fats, while that drizzle of honey can help control blood sugar levels and even help fight cancer.
Few could argue with baklava’s claim to be the most delicious and influential dessert, so when is the best time for baklava, you ask? Any time at all! If you have a special occasion coming up or would like to make today a whole lot better, order a baklava burger.