Jalapeno Baklava – sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? Well, much like our Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, this recipe adds beer and jalapenos to a traditional dessert, coming up with something awesome.
Unlike the brittle, which has a “low, slow” burn, there is almost no burn to this at all. Rather than bringing heat to the table, the jalapenos are there for a fruity, complex flavor. The beer also adds an interesting complexity, and doesn’t jump out at you as being – in fact – beer. Although a total bastardization on tradition, many people who’ve tried this have declared this to be their favorite baklava. Try it!
This is one of the many interesting, awesome booze-flavored desserts in my first cookbook, “The Spirited Baker“. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check it out!
Jalapeno Beer Baklava
1 package phyllo sheets, thawed (1 lb)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously grease the bottoms and sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Carefully unroll phyllo dough. Use a knife to slice the whole stack in half to make two stacks of 9 x 13″ sheets. Cover with a damp cloth to prevent phyllo from drying out as you work – it’s finicky, fragile stuff!
Lay two sheets of phyllo in bottom of prepared pan. Use a pastry brush to apply a thorough coating of melted butter. Layer with two more sheets. Repeat twice more, for a total of 8 sheets. Sprinkle 1/4 cup (50 ml) of the nuts evenly across the top. Layer with two more sheets, butter, and 1/4 cup (50 ml) nuts. Continue this pattern of two sheets, butter, nuts until you have about 6 sheets left. Layer two sheets, spread with butter, lay down two more sheets, spread with butter, and top with a final two sheets.
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes, whatever size you’d like them. Be sure not to cut all the way to the bottom – cut to about 1/4 – ½” from the bottom. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. In the meantime, make the sauce.
Finely chop jalapeno peppers. Remove seeds and rib meat if you prefer – leaving them in adds heat. Combine with beer in a small saucepan. Heat over medium until simmering, then turn heat down to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to infuse flavor. (5 for less peppery, 10 for more peppery!).
Add sugar to beer and pepper mixture, stir until dissolved. Add in honey, stir well, and simmer on medium-low for another 20 minutes.
When baklava has finished baking, remove from oven and immediately pour the honey beer sauce evenly over the top. Let cool completely before cutting all the way through to the bottom, using the precut lines.
* Use whatever nuts you like. I like roasted peanuts and/or cashews when using beer and jalapenos, but any nuts will work. As for beer, I like using a pale lager for this recipe, such as Corona. Anything too dark would overpower the other, more delicate flavors in this recipe – the honey, nuts, etc.
|Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!
Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.
To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.