Layers of paper thin pastry sandwiched with sweet sticky spiced nuts, covered in a light syrup and sprinkled with more nuts.
Lightly brush the bottom and sides of a baking tin (we used 18cm x 18cm square tin).
Brush one piece of filo with butter and place it brushed side down in the tin. Brush the top, then repeat with more filo. Use half of the filo at this stage and completely cover the base. Use any shape pieces to fit, just ensure it is roughly even and all pieces are brushed top and bottom.
Mix the chopped nuts with the maple syrup and a pinch of salt, then spread over the pastry layers.
Now add the remaining pastry in layers as before (brushing with butter on both sides). Try and make the top layer a whole piece of pastry just to make it look nice! Pour any remaining butter over the top.
Get a sharp knife and cut the baklava all the way through either in squares or diamonds.
Bake at Gas Mark 4 (350f / 180c) for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to Gas Mark 2 (300f / 150c) and bake for a further 45 minutes. The top should be a golden brown.
About 10 minutes before the baklava finishes cooking, put the sugar in a pan with the vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Cook on a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
Pour the hot syrup over the baklava when it comes out of the oven, ensuring that you pour it into the gaps as well as over the top.
Sprinkle or grate chopped nuts over the top. Allow to cool (if you can wait) before removing from the tin! Enjoy!
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