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From The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger


  • Syrup:
  • 1 small orange
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup lightly toasted, unblanched whole almonds (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts (about 4 ounces)
  • 6 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces pitted dates (about 6 to 8), coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup clarified butter, melted
  • 9 sheets phyllo dough (about half of a 1-pound box), thawed


  • For the syrup:
  • Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips.
  • Juice the orange.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the zest, 3 tablespoons of the juice, the water, honey, both sugars and the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  • As the syrup cooks, skim any foam that rises to the surface.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and discard the zest and cinnamon stick.
  • For the filling:
  • In a food processor, pulse the almonds and walnuts until sandy in texture.
  • Add the chocolate and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Add the dates and pulse until the dates and chocolate are about the same size.
  • Place in a small bowl, toss with the salt and cinnamon, and set aside.
  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Near your work surface, set out the nut mixture, melted butter, a 9x14x2-inch baking pan and a pastry brush.
  • Unroll the sheets of phyllo and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep the layers from cracking.
  • When working with phyllo, dont let a tear throw you.
  • Just piece a torn sheet back together and keep layering.
  • Place one set of phyllo, with a long side facing you, on the work surface.
  • Brush with a light coating of butter, and sprinkle the entire surface with a a heaping 1/3 cup of nut mixture.
  • Repeat two more times to form three layers of phyllo, butter and nuts.
  • Carefully fold up the bottom edge and then roll up into a log.
  • Trim the rough ends, cut the log in half, and place the two halves side by side at one end of the pan.
  • Repeat with the remaining sheets and filling, making two more logs.
  • Place these logs side by side across the pan, at a right angle to the first two logs.
  • With a sharp paring knife, score the logs at 2-inch intervals.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer the pan to a cooling rack.
  • Remove any excess butter with a turkey baster, and discard.
  • Reheat the syrup over medium heat.
  • As soon as the logs are cool enough to handle, cut through the scored lines, then pour the warm syrup over the baklava.
  • Using a turkey baster or a spoon, baste the pieces with the syrup that settles on the bottom of the pan, until almost all of the syrup has soaked in.
  • Let cool.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
  • Makes 2 dozen pieces.

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