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Quick and easy Nutella Baklava Bracelets topped with roasted hazelnuts. The baklava is shaped like a round bracelet, resembling a cup that holds in delicious chocolate Nutella spread. This crispy baklava with Nutella is a real show stopper and will look beautiful on the dinner table.
As millions of Muslims are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, I’ve been feeling inspired to bake Middle Eastern desserts and goodies. This is my way of celebrating by making traditional desserts, but with a twist. Baklavas are a staple in all Arabic and Turkish celebrations, and the entire world loves them. What makes baklava so special is the crisp pastry, crunchy nuts and sweet syrup that makes your fingers sticky. What’s not to love?!
This dessert is a different version of traditional baklava, in the shape of a bracelet or ring that holds chocolate goodness. The pastry is much crunchier than a regular baklava and uses less sugar syrup. The sweetness comes from Nutella hazelnut spread and the flavour is enhanced by roasted hazelnut.
WHAT IS BAKLAVA MADE OUT OF?
Baklava is a dessert originating from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and popular all around the Balkans and the Middle East. Baklava is made from layers of crunchy phyllo pastry sprinkled with nuts and soaked in sugar syrup. Traditional Turkish baklava is made with pistachio, but other nuts can also be used.
Greeks typically make baklava with walnuts and honey, whilst other cuisines prepare it with almonds and cinnamon or cardamom. Other variations include baklava with hazelnuts or topped with ice cream – YUM!
Types of nuts used for baklava
When it comes to what nuts to use in baklava, the sky is the limit. You can use most types of nuts, although the most popular ones are pistachio, walnuts or almonds. This version of baklava uses hazelnuts, which add a deep, earthy flavour. You can also use macadamia, cashew and even peanuts. If you like experimenting, just use whatever type of nuts you prefer, as long as they can be chopped.
It’s important to remember that the nuts in baklava add crunchiness, so make sure you don’t chop the nuts too finely. Avoid using a blender, as it will make the nuts too fine; instead, use a food processor. Alternatively, place the nuts in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
A DIFFERENT TYPE OF BAKLAVA
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love to experiment with different shapes and flavours. This version of baklava takes inspiration from North African desserts shaped like rings or ‘bracelets’. The bracelet baklava is much crunchier than a traditional baklava, as it has a thicker ring of phyllo pastry. There’s also much less sugar syrup used in order to keep the pastry crunchy and not overly sweet. Furthermore, nuts are not used as the main filling, but rather as a topping. The filling is Nutella hazelnut spread, which makes this baklava much creamier than the traditional version.
This Nutella baklava is much easier to handle, as it’s made as an individual serving. There is not slicing or portioning required, so the baklavas will have a very uniform and tidy look. Also, just look how cute they are! Trust me, everyone will be asking for a second and third serving of this delicious baklava.
BAKLAVA BRACELETS INGREDIENTS
The ingredients used in this recipe are the same as with traditional baklava, with the addition of Nutella. The main ingredients are:
1. Phyllo pastry – type of pastry that looks like a very thin sheet of paper. Since phyllo pastry is very thin, it’s very difficult to make at home. Therefore, I recommend buying it already made from most Middle Eastern shops. You can also find phyllo pastry in larger mainstream supermarkets, in the frozen section.
2. Sugar syrup – a simple syrup made from water and sugar. You can give it extra flavour by adding some lemon juice or orange blossom water. Alternatively, a few drops of extracts will do the trick, such as vanilla, orange or lemon.
3. Nutella hazelnut spread – used as the main filling for this recipe. In a way, this spread is a creamier version of nuts used in a regular baklava. Of course, you can use any other types of nut spreads, including vegan-friendly versions.
4. Nuts – roasted hazelnuts. Since we are using Nutella spread, hazelnuts enhance the nutty flavour and make the chocolate taste pop even more.
HOW TO MAKE NUTELLA BAKLAVA BRACELETS – STEP BY STEP
Making baklava is so much easier than it seems and the same applies to baklava bracelets. They are very easy to make, although they can be a little fiddly. Prepare all your ingredients before starting the recipe. First, make the sugar syrup and let it cool down before using. Ensure the melted butter is at room temperature and the phyllo pastry is unwrapped and ready to go. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Now, let’s start:
Preparing the phyllo pastry
1. Cut 6 phyllo pastry sheets in half, along the long edge. Work with one sheet at a time, covering the remaining sheets with plastic wrap and a damp towel. You will need to work quickly, as phyllo dries up within minutes. Brush a little melted butter on the phyllo sheet, without soaking it. Adding too much melted butter can make it rip when handled.
2. Place a skewer or straw on one of the shorter ends of the phyllo sheet and start rolling the pastry around it. Make sure not to squeeze too tightly, and just loosely wrap the pastry around.
3. Leave a 5cm (2-inch) strip at the end unrolled. Brush a little more melted butter on the pastry roll. This will keep the pastry moist so we can press it without it cracking.
4. Next, press from each end of the roll inwards, so the pastry shirrs. Stop once it looks relatively uniform, without applying too much pressure. Now we can take out the skewer or straw in the middle and set aside.
Shaping and baking
5. After removing the straw/skewer, join the ends together to create a circle or ‘bracelet’. The loose edge on the end needs to be towards the interior. Brush the baklava with melted butter, then press the loose pastry in the middle with your thumb to make it stick. Make sure there are no gaps in the pastry underneath, as this needs to hold Nutella filling.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry looks golden brown. If you want the pastry to be lighter in colour, 20 minutes will be enough. Personally I like the pastry really crunchy, so I leave it in for 25 minutes. Brush the baklavas with syrup as soon as it comes out of the oven. Make sure you cover the edges really well.
Filling and decorating
7. Let the baklava bracelets cool down completely before filling them. This should take about 20-30 minutes at room temperature. Once cooled, scoop some Nutella and add it to the centre of each baklava bracelet. One teaspoon of spread will be enough. If the Nutella spread is too thick, microwave it for 20-30 seconds so it’s runnier and you can spread it easier.
8. The final step is sprinkling some crushed or chopped roasted hazelnuts over the top. I like to use a food processor to chop the nuts into smaller pieces that still add crunch. I advise against using a blender, as it will turn them into a powder, much too fine to add crunch.
These Nutella baklava bracelets are really pretty and taste amazing. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, baklava can be stored at room temperature. It’s actually encouraged to store it at room temperature to maintain its crispiness. With this recipe specifically, storing it in the fridge would make the pastry chewy and the Nutella stone hard. Therefore, I recommend storing it in a dry place in an airtight container for more than 2 weeks.
Baklava lasts for over 2 weeks at room temperature or 3-4 months if frozen.
Yes, absolutely. You can make baklava in advance and store it at room temperature for 2+ weeks. If you want to make it even more than 2 weeks before, you can also freeze it.
No, puff pastry cannot be used to make baklava. Phyllo pastry is very thin, like a transparent sheet of paper. Puff pastry consists of laminated layers of dough and butter, which puff up when baked. With a dessert as delicate as this, you want it to keep its shape, so try to use phyllo pastry if possible.
Yes, you can freeze baklava either before or after baking. To freeze before baking, wrap each individual baklava bracelet in plastic wrap, then cover with aluminium foil to prevent freezer burn. To freeze after baking, place the filled baklava bracelets in the fridge until the Nutella has hardened. Afterwards, wrap them in plastic wrap and aluminium foil. To thaw, place in the fridge for 4-6 hours, then leave at room temp for 2-3 hours before serving.
Phyllo pastry is always vegan, but Nutella is not. To make this recipe vegan simply replace Nutella with a vegan alternative.
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Nutella Baklava Bracelets with Hazelnuts Recipe
- 1 long skewer or drinking straw
- 70 g sugar (⅓ cup)
- 30 ml water (2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp orange blossom water
Nutella Baklava Bracelets
- 6 sheets phyllo pastry*
- 100 g melted butter, cooled (½ cup)
- 50 g Nutella (¼ cup)
- 50 g roasted hazelnuts* (⅓ cup)
- Firstly, we will make the sugar syrup. Place the water, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Without stirring*, let water come to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6-7 minutes or until the syrup becomes thicker. Let the syrup cool down completely, then add the orange blossom water.*
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (320°F) fan assisted. Take out 6 phyllo pastry sheets and stack them on top of each other, then cut them all in half along the shorter edge. Make sure you cover the sheets you aren't using with plastic wrap followed by a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Take one half of a phyllo sheet and brush a little melted butter over it. Place a straw or skewer on the shorter edge, then start rolling it on the pastry. Make sure it's not too tight, otherwise the pastry can crack. Leave 5cm (2 inches) at the end unrolled.
- Dab some more melted butter over the rolled side, then push the pastry from each sides to crinkle or shirr it. Do it slowly so the pastry doesn't crack and add more butter if the phyllo looks too dry.
- Take out the skewer or straw, then curve the shirred pastry into a circle, with the loose edge toward the inside. The loose pastry should overlap without any gaps in the middle (as this will hold the Nutella). Press the edges down by dabbing some melted butter onto it and sticking them together. Repeat this process for the remaining 11 pieced of phyllo.
- Place all the baklavas in a lined baking tray, then brush them with the remaining melted butter. Bake them for 25 minutes or until they look golden in colour and crisp.
- Once baked, brush the sugar syrup over the baklavas immediately. Do not add too much syrup, as the filling will already be very sweet. Let the baklavas cool down completely in the tray.
- When the baklavas are cold, add 1 tsp of Nutella filling inside the centre, smoothing it out with the back of the spoon or a toothpick. If the spread is too thick, microwave it for a few seconds until it's a little thinner. Sprinkle some crushed hazelnuts over the top and enjoy!
- I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead.
- If the phyllo pastry is frozen, ensure you thaw it properly before using. To thaw, leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Phyllo pastry dries up very quickly, so always cover it with plastic wrap and a damp towel when you aren’t using it.
- Hazelnuts can be used with the skins on. If you only have raw hazelnuts, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C (350°F).
- Stirring whilst cooking the syrup can cause the sugar to crystallise and form lumps of sugar. This will make for a grainy syrup, instead of liquid and smooth.
- Orange blossom water is entirely optional and only used for fragrance. It can be replaced with rosewater or any type of extract (orange, vanilla etc).