Baklava is a popular Greek and Middle Eastern sweet pastry dish, made with layers of crisp filo pastry and lots of chopped nuts. Here, it's built into a rich caramel ice-cream dessert.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (44 votes)


  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) thickened cream 
  • 2 cinnamon quills 
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped 
  • 8 egg yolks 
  • ½ lemon, juiced 
  • 330 g (1½ cup) caster sugar 
  • 500 g baklava, roughly chopped 
  • finely chopped pistachios, to serve 

Caramel sauce

  • 385 g (1¾ cup) raw sugar 
  • 100 g unsalted butter 
  • 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream 
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 1 hour

Chilling time 12 hours

Freezing time 7 hours

You'll need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead

Makes 2 litres

DRINK Samos Muscat Blanc, Samos, Greece

Place 750 ml thickened cream, cinnamon and vanilla bean and seeds in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside for 1 hour to cool and to allow vanilla bean and cinnamon to infuse. Then strain and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and 220 g caster sugar on high, until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to very low, then gradually pour in cream mixture and whisk until combined. Return mixture to pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon; do not boil. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, place remaining 500 ml thickened cream and 110 g caster sugar in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Set aside in the fridge.

To make caramel sauce, place sugar and butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until melted and combined. Slowly add 250 ml pouring cream, stirring constantly with a whisk. As you reach the end of the cream pour it in a little more quickly and continue to stir until it bubbles. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk cornflour into remaining 250 ml pouring cream. Return caramel mixture over a medium heat and whisk in cornflour mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes or until thickened. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled. Makes 625 ml.

After cream mixture has chilled, fold in the whipped cream. Return half the mixture to the freezer and place remaining half into an ice-cream machine (see note) and churn until frozen. Line a deep 20 cm deep square cake pan with foil so both ends overhang the pan. Spoon ice-cream into pan and, using the back of a spoon, smooth the surface. Freeze for 3 hours or until set.

Spread chopped baklava over frozen ice-cream so it is covered completely, pressing lightly to compact. Spoon over two-thirds of the caramel sauce and return to freezer for 1 hour or until set.

Meanwhile, churn remaining ice-cream mixture until frozen. Spoon ice-cream over caramel and, using the back of a spoon, smooth the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3 hours or overnight until set. Turn out onto a work surface, cut ice-cream into thick slices and serve with remaining caramel sauce and pistachios.


• If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, place mixture in the freezer and stir every 20 minutes to break up ice crystals for about 4 hours or until firm.

As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg98.

Photography by Alan Benson and Jason Loucas