What makes Turkish baklava so good is that the first layer of pastry is spread with kaymak, a thick rich cream that adds a buttery silkiness. I would never try to improve on baklava – it’s pretty perfect just as it is, but this version takes some of the best elements and combines it with Turkish coffee to make a pretty good twist on a classic.
Turkish coffee ice-cream
- 450 ml milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 70 g sugar
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- 5 tsp Turkish coffee
- 160 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 160 ml thickened cream
- 40 g cold unsalted butter, finely chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 g kaymak (see Notes)
- 50 g sugar
- 2 sheets gold strength gelatine
- 170 ml pouring cream
Yufka pastry disc
- 2 sheets yufka pastry (see Note)
- 100 ml ghee, melted
Pistachio and hazelnut garnish
- 2 tbsp slivered pistachios, slivered
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
- 1 tbsp finely chopped preserved orange
- 2 tbsp candied walnut or fig syrup (see Note)
- 18 thyme flowers
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.
Chilling/freezing time overnight
You will need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
To make the Turkish coffee ice-cream, I would normally prepare the anglaise (custard) in the restaurant using a Thermomix. To do so, place the milk, egg yolks and sugar in a Thermomix set to 80˚C and blend on speed 4 for 7 minutes. When the time as elapsed, blend on speed 7 for 5 seconds, then pass through a fine sieve into a jug, cool, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until chilled.
To make the anglaise the old-fashioned way, bring the milk to the boil and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, then slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking continuously until the mixture reaches 80°C. Transfer the anglaise to a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug, cool, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until chilled.
Meanwhile, place the coffee and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. As soon as the coffee comes to the boil, remove from the heat and stand until completely cool. You want the sediment to settle on the bottom of the pan so don’t stir. Pour the anglaise into an ice-cream machine, add the coffee, leaving the sediment behind in the pan, and churn according to manufacturers’ instructions. Freeze overnight or until completely firm.
To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently until just combined. Pour into a small container and refrigerate until required.
To make the kaymak cream, using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the yolks, kaymak and sugar until well combined. Soak the gelatine in iced water until soft, then drain and squeeze out the excess water. Meanwhile, place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine and stir until dissolved. With the motor on low speed, gradually pour the hot cream onto the yolk mixture and combine well. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and refrigerate until cool and set.
To make the pastry circles, preheat the oven to 170°C. Cut twelve circles of yufka pastry the same diameter of the inner rim of your serving bowls. Place six circles on a lined baking tray and brush with ghee, being careful not to tear them. Place another round on top and brush again with ghee. Place a piece of baking paper over the top, then place a heavy-based baking tray on top of the paper (this stops the pastry puffing up). Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool, then store in an airtight container until required.
To make the pistachio and hazelnut garnish, place the nuts in a mortar and pestle and pound just until coarsely crushed. Add preserved orange and the candied walnut syrup and combine well.
To serve, place a quenelle of ganache just off centre in a serving bowl. Pipe a small amount of kaymak cream opposite and carefully place a yufka disc firmly on top. Finish with a scoop of ice- cream and garnish with the pistachio and hazelnuts and the thyme flowers scattered around and serve immediately.
• Kaymak is a thick, rich Turkish cream, typically made from buffalo or cow’s milk. Substitute with clotted cream.
• Yufka pastry is an unleavened Turkish pastry used in sweet and savoury dishes. It is rolled into thin round sheets and is available from Middle Eastern delicatessens.
• You can make your own candied green walnuts or figs in syrup. Alternatively, they are readily available in jars from Middle Eastern grocers.