Some people are known as chefs and others as bakers. (Many people know both, but that’s not about them.) Chefs tend to improvise more and thrive on instinct; Bakers tend to be more accurate and thrive on measurement and calculation. Personally, I tend to lean toward the delicious side of the spectrum.
I seldom find myself scooping out the flour, thermometers, and the sweet stuff. It’s a lot of effort and following the instructions, and I tend to screw this stuff up—at least on the first try. However, we non-bakers can appreciate a good dessert, too. The trick for us pastry and cake ruins is to stick with projects we can handle. I recently discovered a good idea: a Nutella baklava roll. I found the recipe on Dimitra’s YouTube channel.
My family is Greek, so I grew up on baklava. The traditional baklava is a dessert made of layers of phyllo dough interlaced with melted butter and chopped nuts – usually walnuts or pistachios – all soaked in honey or sweet syrup. The pieces are cut in the form of lozenges. Baklava is enjoyed in Eastern Europe and beyond, with Greece and Turkey claiming its origin. It is a regional delicacy in Armenia, where it is seasoned with cinnamon and cloves, as well as Iran, where cardamom is added.
While classic baklava is as delicious as it gets, it can be boring because it requires layering each sheet one by one and brushing them with the melted butter individually. The rolling method simplifies this step, compared to the traditional stacking method. In addition to being a bit more technical, this recipe adds an amazing twist on the original flavors. Hazelnut, which is often found in baklava in Turkey’s Black Sea region, is used here, and playing on this flavor profile, comparable Nutella or Chocolate Hazelnut makes a great addition.
This may not be a traditional baklava, but it could be he is Good. I made it for the first time last Easter, and it was a huge success. While my mom’s aunt, Helen, who is a fan of baklava, was certainly suspicious, she even had to admit the rolls were conquered from the classic in the best possible way. Sweet and sticky orange syrup is what really keeps this occasional recipe in the baklava family rather than something completely different.
Best of all, this recipe is available to good and bad bakers alike. Limited oven time, multitasking, and just a few ingredients make this recipe easy, even if you’ve never worked with phyllo before. (And it’s important to know if you’re working with filo by the way, is to let it thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before using.) There’s no bad time for this dish, and it’s especially good during these warmer months because it’s so light. Pair it with an iced coffee and enjoy!