The festival of Ramadan is incomplete without some crispy, flaky, and soft Baklavas. And it becomes even more special if they are homemade. Making vegan Baklava at home is time taking but it is quite easy. All the efforts and the patience are totally worth it. Moreover, homemade is always the best. Am I right?
Generally, it is made with cow ghee but I made it vegan by using a combination of coconut oil and some vegan butter. In my opinion, it tastes much better because you get that slight hint of coconut flavor which tastes quite good in Baklava. You must try my recipe and I am sure you are going to love it.
We saw Baklava in Indian stores but never felt like buying it. Mostly because we did not know how it tastes and what it is like and buying a big pack never made sense. But it looks quite exciting – the flaky layers with the garnishing of pistachios and rose petals. Anyway, we never had it in India.
But when we came to Munich, Germany, we saw a big and beautiful Turkish sweet shop here. It had so many varieties of Baklava and they all were looking gorgeous. My mouth waters even when I think about it. We went inside the shop and instead of trying some Baklava, I ended up buying some gulab jamun and jalebi. Huhhh. And then again I started fantasizing about Baklavas.
One day, I couldn’t control myself and bought a packet of filo sheets. I watched a bunch of baklava recipes and made this amazing sweet at home. At first, I thought that it is just hyped but after a few bites, we both changed our minds. It is worth all the hype. It is flaky and crispy from the outside and softer from the inside. And that nuttiness, so tempting. It doesn’t need many ingredients and you end up having such an amazing sweet at home. It is just like Ghevar – seems difficult and enigmatic but quite simple to make.
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What is Baklava?
Baklava is a popular Turkish (or Greek) sweet or dessert made with layers of filo pastry sheets. This is a baked dessert in which thin filo pastry sheets are layered and coated with some ghee all over. After a few layers, a thin layer of finely chopped nuts (like walnuts and pistachios) is sprinkled over it. Then again, it is covered with a few layers of filo sheets. This is repeated three to four times until you get a nice layered sweet.
Once baked, they are sweetened with some sugar syrup.
Components of Vegan Baklava
- Filo Sheets: You can use store-bought sheets which makes the job much easier. Otherwise, you can make these thin sheets at home too.
- Chopped Nuts: For Baklava, you can either use walnuts, pistachios or almonds, or a combination of these nuts. I mostly prefer the taste of mixed walnuts and pistachios. You can even season the chopped nuts with some nutmeg, cardamom powder, or cinnamon.
- Melted Oil: Generally, Baklava is made with ghee but I made it vegan using a combination of coconut oil and vegan butter. You can use either of these or a combination of both. The coconut oil adds a very nice flavor to it Also, make sure to melt both together. Because butter contains moisture, it will form bubbles on heating. Heat and cook till the bubbles stop and the moisture evaporates.
- Sugar Syrup: I prefer to make the sugar syrup using brown sugar and maple syrup. It tastes so much better. I even add some lemon juice and orange flavor because that citrus flavor makes these baklavas even tastier.
Why do baklavas become soft and soggy?
To make crispy and flaky baklavas, it is very important that the sugar syrup is at room temperature (not hot or cold). Pour the sugar syrup on baklavas as soon as they are out of the oven. If the baklavas get cold and then you pour the sugar syrup, chances are that they will become soft and soggy.
Another reason for sogginess is the consistency of sugar syrup. If the sugar syrup is watery, your baklavas will become soggy because of all the moisture. Cook sugar syrup till you get one thread consistency.
Also, make sure that there is no moisture in the oil and butter combination that we are using. Heat and cook the butter till there is no moisture left in it.
How to store Baklavas?
You can prepare it at home and store it in an air-tight container. It can easily last for a couple of days. You can even keep them in the refrigerator for a week or even more.
How to store Filo Pastry?
Filo pastry tends to get dry very quickly. Make sure to take them out of the refrigerator when you are ready to make this recipe. Keep them covered with a damp cloth at all times. Do not use wet towels otherwise they may become wet and stick to each other.
If you have leftover sheets, cover them well from all over (using a cling wrap) and refrigerate. They can last for a very long time if they don’t get dry.
Is this recipe Vegan?
Yes. This Baklava recipe is vegan. All the ingredients used in this recipe are plant-based.
- Coconut Oil and Vegan Butter – You can use Ghee instead if you are okay with using dairy products. If you are a vegan, you can make it with coconut oil or with vegan butter only. Use either.
- Brown Sugar – You can replace it with the same quantity of white sugar.
- Maple Syrup – Use honey, if you are looking for a non-vegan option. Or you can skip it too.
- Nuts – You can make it with just walnuts or pistachios. You can even add some almonds.
Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this deliciously sweet recipe at home. If you like the recipe and make it, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.