Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Marmalade Baklava with Chocolate Crème

Orange marmalade and a side of rich chocolate crème make this Mediterranean classic truly sing.

Recipes: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson

Serves – 10 to 12

½ recipe Michael’s Brown Bread Praline (recipe follows)
100g pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
100g dried cranberries
32 filo pastry sheets (1½ boxes)
100g butter, melted
170g marmalade
Orange Syrup (recipe follows)
Chocolate Crème (recipe follows)

Combine the praline, nuts and cranberries, and set aside.

Using the base of a 24cm cake tin as a guide, cut the filo pastry sheets into rounds. Cover with a damp cloth to prevent drying out.

Lightly brush a pastry round with butter. Layer another round on top and brush with butter. Repeat until there are 10 pastry rounds in a stack.

Transfer the stack to a 24cm springform cake tin. Top with 2 tablespoons marmalade and sprinkle evenly with ¼ of the fruit and nuts.

Place 2 rounds of filo pastry on a board and brush with melted butter. Cover with a further 2 rounds, then set this stack on top of the nuts. Repeat this process of pastry, marmalade and nuts until you have 4 nut layers.

Place the remaining 10 filo pastry rounds on top of the final nut layer, buttering every second sheet (including the top). Cover tightly and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.

Heat the oven to 180°C. Cut the uncooked baklava into 10 to 12 wedges (while still in the tin) Brush the top with melted butter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and pour Orange Syrup evenly over the top. Set aside to absorb the syrup for at least 2 hours before serving with Chocolate Crème.

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Michael’s Brown Bread Praline

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan. Add 50g (2 slices) crumbled stale wholemeal bread and fry until crisp. Sprinkle over ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and stir until caramelized and pale golden.

Transfer to a tray and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 cup

Orange Syrup

Over a medium heat, stir together 110g sugar, 150ml water, 3 tablespoons light honey, 65ml freshly squeezed orange juice and the finely grated zest of 3 oranges until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, until syrupy. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Crème


5 egg yolks
110g sugar
500ml cream
75g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Crystallized Orange Zest, optional (recipe follows)


Heat oven to 150°C. Whisk the egg yolks and half the sugar.

Stir the remaining sugar and cream over low heat until dissolved. Bring to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth, then slowly stir into the yolk mixture (aim for no froth — if it does form, scoop it off and discard).

Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into 6 small ramekins set in a roasting dish. Add enough hot (not boiling) water to come halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until custards are just set in the centre (they should still wobble slightly). Remove from the roasting dish and allow to cool. If chilling overnight, cover with a tray.

Garnish with Crystallized Orange Zest to serve.

Serves 6

Crystallized Orange Zest

Put long strands of zest from 1 orange in a small sieve. Plunge the sieve into a small pot of boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Remove sieve and refresh zest under cold water. Repeat the boiling water and blanching process.

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Stir 450g sugar and 1½ cups water over low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil, then add the zest (use a fork to separate the strands). Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until zest looks opaque and syrup thick.

Remove the zest to a tray to cool, then toss through ¼ cup caster sugar. Store in an airtight container.


Syrup leftover from these recipes can also be used on cakes or poached fruit.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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