Greek baklava is one of my all time favorite desserts. The fillo! The butter! The nuts! The honey syrup! And now the chocolate! I’ve decided to take a good thing (an excellent thing) and make it even better by creating chocolate baklava. Bittersweet chocolate and pistachios pair together in between layers of buttery fillo in a rich and satisfying end to any dinner.
If I were to do a word association game and someone said ‘Greek food’ to me, I would probably…oh definitely say baklava in response. What is my favorite Greek dessert? Baklava. What is the treat I always wanted when I was younger and out with my parents at a Greek restaurant? You know it. Baklava. 🙂
It was only a matter of time before I put a baklava recipe on the site! And, since I didn’t want to do a recipe for standard baklava (which is obviously wonderful and amazing, but there are 30 bazillion recipes for it), I thought about it and came up with a recipe for chocolate baklava.
I mean, how do you make baklava even better? Even more addictive and rich and totally something you should be making right now? Add chocolate. After all chocolate is the answer to the question about life, the universe, and everything. 42 was simply what they said it was because they didn’t want to share the chocolate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, I’ve been on a bit of a Greek food kick lately, what with my Slow Roasted Greek Lamb Leg and my Homemade Greek Pita Breads. (Next up is a Spring Greek Salad and then there’s a Chicken and Artichoke Saute I’m working on.) So, making my favorite Greek dessert seemed obvious.
Want to do a Greek-themed Easter or dinner party? Well then, you need a kick-ass Greek dessert.
Pull out your fillo, grab some pistachios and whatever other nuts you like on baklava, and lay in a good supply of bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli). It’s time to cook up a batch of a baklava, which will make your Greek dessert and your chocolate loving heart happy. 🙂
– Happy Baklava, Annemarie
Rich Pistachio and Chocolate Baklava
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup pistachios
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz fillo dough, one sleeve in a standard package, thawed
- 8 tbsp (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- pinch ground cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt
Simple Chocolate Drizzle
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350F and move an oven rack to the middle position. Brush a 9x9 baking pan with a little butter.
- Add the chocolate chips to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3-4 times to break up the chocolate a little. Add the pistachios and pecans and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the nuts and chocolate to a bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and kosher salt. Stir to combine.
- Unwrap the fillo and lay it out on a board. Cover the fillo with a damp dish towel. Layer 4 sheets of fillo in the baking pan, brushing each piece with butter as you layer. Since the pieces will be too long for the pan, fold the pieces over and turn the pan as you work so that you get an even coverage over the bottom.
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the chocolate-nut mixture over the fillo. Layer 2-3 sheets over the chocolate-nut mixture; buttering, folding, and turning the pan you work. Repeat with 1/3 of the chocolate-nut mixture and 2-3 sheets of fillo. Then top with the last 1/3 and layer 4 sheets of fillo on top, buttering, folding the fillo, and turning the pan. Take one last sheet of fillo and cut it to length to just fit the baking pan. Butter the fillo and lay it carefully over the top.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into 12 rectangles, making 4 cuts in one direction and 3 cuts in the other. (For smaller baklava, you can cut them all diagonally in half or take the side with 3 cuts and cut in between to make 24 small rectangles.)
- Bake the baklava for 45 minutes, until golden.
- Meanwhile, make the honey syrup. Add the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon, and salt to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar, then take it off the heat. Taste the syrup and add more cinnamon and/or salt as needed.
- Pour the hot syrup over the hot baklava once you take it out of the oven. Let the baklava cool to room temperature, about 4 hours.
- If you want to make the chocolate syrup, combine the chocolate chips and butter in a heat proof bowl and put it over a pot of simmering water. Heat the chocolate until it is almost completely melted, then take it off the heat and stir until the chocolate is smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the baklava.
- For best results (and least chance of drying out the fillo) thaw it unopened in the fridge overnight. I have successfully used fillo which has been in my fridge for up to 3 days.
- Both the pistachios and the pecan are raw, unroasted and unsalted nuts.
- You will not need all of the butter. I find that I use between 4 and 6 tablespoons of butter on the fillo. However, I'd much rather have a little too much than run out in the middle.
- Fillo is much easier to work with than you might think. The secrets are to keep a damp dishcloth over the stack of fillo so it doesn't dry out and not to fret if your piece of fillo tears or wrinkles. No one will ever know even if half of them tear as you work.
- The chocolate sauce is pretty and looks good in photos, but I don't miss it when I don't use it on the baklava. They are very chocolatey already. If you use the sauce, you can drizzle it from a spoon or use a squeeze bottle. I have a Kuhn Rikon set.
- This recipe can easily be doubled and made in a 9x13 pan. In the doubled recipe you won't be folding the fillo over. Simply lay it flat in the pan with the edges hanging over a bit.
- Have fun trying different nuts in the filling! I like the pistachio/pecan combination, but you can add various combinations of walnuts, almonds, black walnuts, or hazelnuts in place of the nuts in the recipe.