Baklava Rolls With Honey and Rose Syrup

Baklava is a very popular sweet and nutty dessert originating in the Middle East. It consists of layers made of filo pastry and chopped nuts, soaked in honey or sugar syrup. The syrup can be flavored with rose water or orange blossom water. It tastes best when made ahead to allow the filo pastry to soak up the syrup. It should be enjoyed in small quantities, served cold or at room temperature and paired with a strong, black coffee πŸ™‚

This Honey Baklava is a strong combination of walnuts, almonds and pistachio nuts, honey, lemon juice and spices. And the best part is that our baklava is sugar free as we use honey instead of refined sugar. Although, it is not a very difficult recipe to make, it requires lot of time to prepare it so you’ll have to start early if you want to make it πŸ™‚

If you prefer a more vegan friendly alternative, swap the butter for a very mild olive oil (or a neutral oil), honey with maple or agave syrup and make sure to use filo pastry suitable for vegetarians.



The ingredients below are for 16 pieces.

Ingredients for Baklava Rolls:

240 g nuts (I’ve used a combination of walnuts, almonds and pistachio)
120 g fresh store bought filo pastry (the filo package I’ve used only had 4 filo sheets cut in half)
130 g unsalted butter
1/3 cup clear honey + 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Ingredients for Honey and Rose Syrup:

1/2 cup clear honey
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

To garnish:

dried, edible rose petals
chopped pistachio

How to make Baklava Rolls with Honey and Rose Syrup

  • Start off by making the honey and rose syrup. In a small saucepan place water and honey. Gently bring to boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes or just until the liquid has reduced by a third. Remove from heat and stir in the rose water and lemon juice. Set aside to cool down. The syrup must be cool when poured over the pastry otherwise the pastry will end up soft and moist. The syrup can be made few hours earlier or even the day before.
  • Grind the nuts in a food processor until coarse, then move them to a mixing bowl. Stir in the cardamom and honey and mix well. Set aside.
  • Next step: melt and clarify the butter, or just simply melt the butter. After clarifying, the quantity of butter will be reduced. However it will be enough  for the 120 g filo sheets. Set aside 2-3 tablespoons to brush the exterior of the rolls and the baking pan. Mix the rest of melted butter  with 2 tablespoons of honey. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 160ΒΊ C and lightly grease a shallow baking pan, with a bit of the melted butter, using a pastry brush.
  • Open the filo package and carefully remove the sheets. If they are too big (like mine), cut them half along the widest edge. Very important: before you use the sheets, cover them  with parchment paper (or cling film) and then with a damp kitchen towel to prevent from drying out and cracking. The filo pastry is very thin and delicate and it brakes and dries out easily.

Assemble the Baklava Rolls:

  • Remove one filo sheet from underneath the damp towel making sure to cover the rest up again until you’ll take out the next one. Lay the filo sheet on your work surface and lightly brush the entire surface up with the melted butter honey mixture.
  • Place aprox. 2 tablespoons of the nuts mixture at one end of filo sheet leaving about 2 cm margin at that end. Using your fingers, try to mould the nuts mixture to look like a long and evenly sausage.
  • Start rolling the filo sheet by folding the 2 cm margin over the nuts and then both lateral sides to hold the nuts filling. Finish by rolling it tightly around the nuts and apply a bit of butter at  the end to seal it.
  • Place it in the baking pan, seam down and then cover the pan with a different damp kitchen towel while you roll the rest of the filo sheets. Don’t forget to brush all the filo sheets with the mixture of melted butter and honey.
  • After all the filo sheets are rolled and placed into the baking pan, using a sharp knife, cut them in half and brush them lightly with the remaining clarified butter (the one without the added honey).
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. When ready, remove the pan from the oven and immediately spoon over the cooled honey rose syrup. Leave it to soak for 5 minutes and then spoon over the remaining syrup. Sprinkle the top with chopped pistachio and few dried rose petals.
  • Allow to cool down before serving and enjoy!
See more desserts here
See some other baklava recipes on BBC Good Food

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